Chapter 9.  


April 1952 May 1965  



"Aborigines Protection (Amendment) Act 1963: 

gulag provisions remain intact"




Work in progress. Updated 22/04/2006 .

Note: This web page is part of a research blog, and will expand.



Documents 1952-1965

  To come: documents 1952 - 1954


Labor Government; John Joseph CAHILL, Premier, 02.04.52 - 22.10.59  



Aboriginal Population

30th June, 1954  


"New South Wales; 1,403 (Persons in Employment or Living in Proximity to Settlements), 10,810 (Half-caste, Enumerated at the Census.) 12,213 (Total, Full-blood and Half-caste.) ... According to the latest information available from native welfare authorities, there appears to have been little real change since 1947 in the total number of aboriginals oin Australia. They appear to have decreased in some states and have increased in others ... But exact numbers are not yet known and estimates have recently been revised. Even by Census and special surveys it is difficult to obtain accurate counts of those aboriginals who live on the fringe of settlements. Nomadic habits still persist to some extent among "settled" natives and it is still very difficult to obtain reliable estimates of the numbers of aboriginals who inhabit extensive districts remote from settlement. These are in an area exceeding one milhon. square miles of hinterland embracing outlying parts of three States and of the Northern Territory ... The only available source of estimates is the administrative records of various welfare authorities supplemented by observations of field officers ..."

[Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 47, 1961, Page 329) ]


  To come: documents 1954 - 1956



Attachment of Wages Limitation Act,

Attachment of Wages Limitation Act, 1957, attachment of moneys due to employees of, and contractors to, the board constituted under this Act. board employees' wages not liable to attachment. 

  To come: documents 1954 - 1956



Leases and Licenses under Land Acts

"1. General. Information regarding the methods of obtaining leases and licences of Crown lands in the several States and Territories was given in earlier issues of the Official Year Book (see No. 22, pp. 149-63).

2. New South Wales. At 30th June, 1959, the total area of leases and licences under the control of the Department of Lands, the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission and the Western Lands Commission was 114,800,891 acres, of which 77,992,947 acres were held under the Western Lands Act, 28,384,685 acres under perpetual lease and 8,423,259 acres under other forms of lease, licence, and permissive occupancy ..." 

[Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 47, 1961, Page 99) ]


1960 Select Committee (?); Aborigines, Aborigines Protection Board

Consolidated Index to the Royal Commissions Select Committees of Parliament and Boards of Inquiry held in the Commonwealth of Australia Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria 1856-1960 (La Trobe University Library Publication No. 19) Aborigines, Aborigines Protection Board


Protection of Aboriginals

"For the protection of the aboriginal Australian race, there are institutions, under the supervision of Aborigines Boards, where these people are housed and encouraged to work. The work is usually carried out at mission stations, but many of the natives are nomadic and receive food anfd clothing when they call, while others only rarely come near the stations. The aboriginal race is extinct in Tasmania. The expenditure from Consolidated Revenue in in 1959-60 was as follows: New South Wales, 239,541 pounds (1958-59, 204, 576 pounds)." 

[Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 47, 1961, Page 707) (About 17 pounds per head including "Administration costs") ]



Parliamentary Proceedings, 1961-1962

Parliamentary Debates and Proceedings [1961-1962] Cubawee, Lismore (Mr Robinson) [18 Aug 1961-13 Sept 1961], Vol 36 p 722;


Age and Invalid Pensions

"Aboriginal natives, other than those who are nomadic or primitive, are eligible for age and invalid pensions on the same conditions as other members of the community ..." 

[Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 47, 1961, Page 691) ]


Maternity Allowances

"Aboriginal natives, other than those who are nomadic or primitive, are eligible for maternity allowances on the same conditions as other members of the community."

[Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 47, 1961, Page 697) ]


Unemployment, Sickness and Special Benefits

"Aboriginal natives, other than those who are nomadic or primitive, are eligible for these benefits on the same conditions as other members of the community." 

[Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 47, 1961, Page 701)


Widows' Pensions

"Aboriginal natives, other than those who are nomadic or primitive, are eligible for widows' pensions on the same conditions as other members of the community."

[Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 47, 1961, Page 703) ]


Free grants and reservations

"1. New South Wales. (i) Free Grants. Crown Lands may, by notification in the Gazette, be dedicated for public purposes and be granted therefor in fee-simple. Such lands may be placed under the care and management of trutees, not less than three nor more than seven in number, appointed by the Minister. (ii) Reservations. Temporary reservations of Crown lands from sale or lease may be made by the Minister. (iii) Areas Granted and Reserved ..." 

[Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 47, 1961, Page 95-97) ]


Alienation and Occupation of Crown Lands

"The area occupied includes roads, permanent reserves, forests, etc. In some cases, lands which are permanently reserved from alienation are occupied under leases and licenses ... Land occupied under leases or licences for pastoral purposes are frequently held on short tenures only, and could be made available for settlement practically whenever required. New South Wales.- The total area of New South Wales is 198,037,120 acres, of which 27.4 per cent had been alienated at 30th June, 1959; 5.8 per cent. was in process of alienation, 59.0 per cent was held under leases and licences, and the remaining 7.8 per cent. was unoccupied, or held by the Crown.

Granted and sold prior to 1862: 7,146,579 acres; Sold by auction and other sales, 1862 to date; 15, 878,670 acres (incomplete)

[Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia (No. 47, 1961, Page 109) ]


British enterprise in Australia

"The record of a bare six generations of British enterprise in Australia ... falls wholly within the epoch of the stupendous energies let loose by the Industrial Revolution, which originated in England, and the Democratic Revolution ... which spread from France ... The continent has been peopled by a civilization ready-made; the British have imposed themselves upon it with their barbed wire and railways ... the forward-scattering of a horde ..."

  [Source: Hancock, WK; Australia (Jacaranda, Brisbane, 1961. Page 20) ]


"The natural progress of the aboriginal race towards extinction"

"The Australian Aborigines, shut up for centuries from the co-operative intelligence by which nations who are neighbours have created their common civilization, never imagined that first decisive step from the economy of the chase which would have made them masters of the soil. Istead, they fitted themselves to the soil, modelling a complex civilisation of intelligent artificiality, which yet was pathetically helpless when assailed by the acquisitive society of Europe. The advance of British civilisation made inevitable 'the natural progress of the aboriginal towards extinction' it is the soothing phrase of an Australian Governor. In truth, a hunting and a pastoral economy cannot exist within the same bounds. Yet sometimes the invading British did their wrecker's work with the unnecessary brutality of stupid children. The aboriginal race has always possessed enthusiastic friends, but the friends have never agreed upon a consistent and practical policy for the black man's preservation. It might still be possible to save a remnant of the race upon well-policed local reserves in Cental and Northern Australia. This would cost hard thought and hard cash. Australian democracy is genuinely benevolent, but is preoccupied with its own affairs. From time to time it remembers the primitive people whom it has dispossessed, and sheds over their predestined passing an economical tear." 

[Source: Hancock, WK; Australia (Jacaranda, Brisbane, 1961. Pages 20-21) ]


"The very soil has suffered from the ruthlessness of the invaders"

"The very soil has suffered from the ruthlessness of the invaders. The most precious possessions of Australia are her rivers, whose even flow is protected by the forests ... the invaders hated trees. The early Governors forbade them to clear the river banks ... in the second half of the nineteenth century tree-murder by ring-barking devastated the country on a gigantic scale ... the greed of the pioneers caused them to devastate hundreds of thousands of acres of forest-land which they could not hope to till or to graze effectively ... the land brought forth for them bracken and poor scrub ... They ruined valuable timber to make a few wretched farms ... Even the River Murray ... has suffered an alarming increase of its winter velocity and decrease of its summer flow through the destruction of forests round its head waters." 

[Source: Hancock, WK; Australia (Jacaranda, Brisbane, 1961. Pages 21-22) ]


"The Englishman eats out the aborigine"

"The advent of the white man with his ready-made civilisation had violently disturbed the delicate balance of nature ... The Englishman eats out the aborigine. English trout displace the native black-fish from the mountain streams ... the rapid extinction of the native bear ... the greed and ignorance of her (Australia's) invaders. And yet ... the trampling of hundreds of milhon.s of sharp little hoofs has consolidated illimitable grass-lands for the use and comfort of man ... From the flame and ruin of dreary scrub arise fertile cornlands and a rich permanence, and the wounds which the violence of the British inflicted upon Australia are healed as impatience to possess slackens into a true partnership."

[Source: Hancock, WK; Australia (Jacaranda, Brisbane, 1961. Page 22-23) ]



Aboriginal Infant Mortality [12 April 1962] Vol 40 p 79


The Heffron Government and Lismore Aborigines

"Between April 1952 May 1965 Cahill, Heffron and Renshaw (all Labor), in three Acts, endorsed the original violent theft of Aboriginal citizenship and land ownership rights with updated legislation of their own. And in 1952, "At the fringes of settlement, and beyond, were the aborigines, the descendants of the original inhabitants of the country. Their numbers are fairly stable .. There are about 27,000 half castes, mostly in NSW and Queensland ... Aborigines are mostly employed in pastoral work, though many of the full-bloods are still in a tribal condition. They are the responsibility of the State Governments, with the exception of those in the Northern Territory ... Governments spend about 1 to 2 milhon. pounds on the protection of the aborigines. The smallness of their numbers means that these dark people are not a political problem, and are never likely to be one, but the backward state of many of them is often a reproach to white Australians who come across it for the first time." [16]


The Northern Star newspaper reports on Aborigines, January, 1962

20,000 Pounds For Housing at Box Ridge Reserve "...The Member for Casino, Mr Ian Robinson, MLA, ... said the Box Ridge reserve was the subject of strong public criticism several months ago because of sub-standard housing and poor hygiene." (&c.);

Aboriginal Family Chosen For Goonellebah Home "... (The Aboriginal man) has lived at Cubawee all his life. He is a bush worker. He has worked on banana plantations and at present is collecting leaf for the cork wood factory at Casino." (&c.);

Aborigines See New Home "... The house will be handed over to the Aborigines Welfare Board after being dedicated on behalf of the Lismore Minister's Fraternal by Rev. W. Morgan ... (the Aborigines) were selected by the Aborigines Welfare Board to live in the house, which is being built by the Australian Christian Youth Council." (&c.)

Home For Aborigines Dedicated "... Ald. C. J. Campbell, the Mayor of Lismore ... said for many years there had been an ever-widening separation of whites from aborigines. 'Although it is difficult for a family to make the break and try to fit in with a new community, I feel sure the (Aboriginal) family will prove their worth as citizens in the years to come. Lismore City Council has always opposed the placing of aboriginal settlements in the city. But we know if we can help the aboriginal families in our area, we will set a good example for others to follow ..." (&c., &c.)

Widespread Rain During Weekend; 4 Inches In Lismore "... Residents in the four main catchment areas-Nimbin, Kyogle, Mullumbimby and Bangalow, said although creeks had risen slightly the water was getting away quickly ..."

Reserve Site Proposal "... A locality plan of the site, proposed to be set aside as a new area for aborigines from the Cubawee reserve, will soon be made available to Gundurimba Shire Council by the Aborigines Welfare Board ... The board advised a meeting of council that negotiations were proceeding between the board and Lismore City Council for the acquisition of land in portion 32 of the Parish of Lismore. [Portion 32 is situated beyond the Wyrallah Road public school] ..."

Cubawee: 32,000 Pound Plan To Rehouse Aborigines "The expenditure of 32,000 pounds has been approved to rehouse aborigines from Cubawee. The Chief Secretary,  Mr. C. A. Kelly, last night advised that a site had been suggested in Wyrallah Road, just outside Lismore City Council's boundary. Mr Kelly, in advice to the Minister for Lands and Minister for Lismore, Mr. K. C. Compton, said the site was at present owned by Lismore City Council which ... was approached regarding the sale of the land to the Aborigines Welfare Board to enable the rehousing of Aborigines from Cubawee. The site had been suggested following a visit to Lismore by a senior town planning officer of the Department of Local Government. To Mr. Compton, who had made personal representations on behalf of Pastor Roberts, of Cubawee, regarding the unsatisfactory conditions on the reserve, Mr Kelly said no reserve had a higher priority for rebuilding than Cubawee ... the Board has approved the erection during the 1962-63 financial year of 15 houses at an estimated cost of 32,000 pounds ... there is only a small number to be rehoused and the Aborigines Welfare Board will continue to maintain control over the area. The health of the aborigines should be much improved by virtue of the fact that they will have a water supply, sewerage and electricity ... It will take the aborigines from Cubawee from a cesspit into conditions where they can live a normal life ... Mr Harrison (Lismore Aborigines Advancement League) said it would be proposed that all Cubawee residents be given a medical check before they moved to East Lismore ... It would prevent a recurrence of the shocking mortality rate among the children which was shown in a published statement last year."

Aboriginal Settlement: Council Not willing To Sell Land "... Lismore aldermen last night said council was not prepared to sell land to the Aborigines' Welfare Board. They said council had always supported a policy of assimilation, but not to the creation of new reserves. One member ... said council would have to face up to the problems of the aborigines and stop dodging the issue ... Council must face up to the fact ... that aborigines are outcasts and no one wants them. You will only make it harder for them by taking them to a new reserve away from their work  ... Ald Whelan said Housing commission homes were a form of settlement except that people were white ... We don't want to perpetuate Cubawee ... Ald. Habib said Council was determined not to sell land to the Aborigines Welfare Board ... the Cubawee people would prefer (to) operate small farmlets. A better plan would be to make the present area more hygienic ... the Wyrallah Road proposal ... They were ratepayers and claimed that their house values would drop by a third . It's nice to be Christians, but the only way to look at this is to view it as though we lived next door to the aborigines ... Ald. Weston said assimilation was the only answer ... It was wrong to create new reserves ... They should be done away with and the Aborigines treated independently ... The Department of Local Government town planner had travelled to Lismore from Sydney and must have given a suitable report about the land on Wyrallah Road ... the Wyrallah Road area ... was purchase by council for the sewerage treatment works. The (Aborigines Protection) board was asking council to sell two acres of the holding for the (aborigines) housing scheme ..."

To The Editor. Opposition to Reserve Plan For Aborigines "... spread them through Lismore ... set up these new proposed facilities where their thoroughfare into town causes the (white) population the least inconvenience and assures them of no hostility. Local government bodies have ample powers of resumption for this problem. ... the crux of the problem is that the population of Lismore wishes to see the standard of living of these people improved, but they do not want to sacrifice what they have worked for when there is little chance of the sacrifice having any rewarding results. The answer to the problem is to ... train them to take their place in the community &c., &c."

Agreement! Aborigines Don't Want Wyrallah Road Either "Wyrallah Road residents can breathe a sigh of relief. They don't want the Cubawee residents to live near them and the Cubawee people are equally determined not to thrust themselves on unsympathetic whites. Cubawee men and women, who admitted to being elated at the news of the 32,000 pounds being provided for improved housing facilities, yesterday said they were distressed and disappointed to learn of protest meetings being called by people in the Wyrallah Road are. Pastor Frank Roberts, snr., the acknowledged leader of the 14 families at Cubawee., said: 'You can tell the Wyrallah Road people that there's no need to hire a hall for a meeting on Thursday ... There was no need to ring the chapel bell again the people knew that they weren't wanted. I can't help my colour ... Above all they want to leave the present 22 acre reserve, with its dilapidated wood and tin homes, lack of practically every modern facility, including water, sewerage, bathrooms and laundries. Pastor Roberts, a young married man, wants a new home for the sake of his children. But he wants to stay close to his own people. Assimilation is not for him, yet. The need, he said, was for the segregated Cubawee school to be closed ... The women of Cubawee have never had hot water, or water of any kind as a household amenity. They have never had a slow combustion stove, a septic tank system, built-in cupboards or the use of a laundry ... They don't want to carry water up a muddy, sloping creek bank all their lives ... Pastor Roberts' scheme ... resume 30 to 40 acres of land near the Tuncester Railway Station; use the 32,000 pounds to build homes for all the Cubawee people; take water to the homes; close the (segregated) Cubawee school; initiate health services and tuition for the people, especially the mothers and children ... A new site was needed where the men could grow vegetables ..."

Urgent Need To End Cubawee Blot "The view of a Lismore Alderman that it is nice to be a Christian but the real test is to live next door to Aborigines, rather cynically covers the actions, if not the expressed views, of the City Council regarding the transfer of the Cubawee reserve inhabitants. It does not apply only to the council. Negotiations for the resettlement of the Cubawee aborigines have been the subject of controversy since the middle of 1955. The nett result is that the families on the reserve  are still housed under primitive conditions which are a stark blot against Government, local government and community codes for decency in living ... the council has fairly consistently followed the view that the best approach to assimilation is by purchase or erection of houses in the city ... One of the important factors ... should be the views of the people most directly involved the coloured families now enduring the hardship and health hazards of the reserve conditions ... the Department could well take immediate action on these lines in Lismore ... the white people have failed in this trust ..."

Letter To Editor Do Something Quickly "Sir In 1957, 25,000 pounds allotted for the provision of homes for the people of Cubawee, went back into consolidated revenue because it was not spent in the allotted time. The major factor which caused this to happen was the shilly-shallying of the previous City Council ... they (the Aborigines) are naturally somewhat averse to moving into individual houses surrounded by whites ... it would appear that most of the ("Ratepayers") opposition is based on callousness or ignorance ... FC Fredericks, Lismore."

Housing Aborigines Opposition To Protest: Call Public Meeting "Prejudice and ignorance had resulted in the calling of a protest meeting against a proposal to house aborigines in Wyrallah Road, Lismore, just outside the city council's boundary. Two speakers used those terms when they addressed 140 people who met in the East Lismore Church Hall last night ..."

Protest To Continue Lismore Meeting On Tonight "The views of the Cubawee aborigines had not altered the intention of the Wyrallah Road residents to continue with moves aimed at preventing the establishment of a reserve in their area ... 'There is nothing to stop the authorities from forcing the Cubawee people to move to Wyrallah Road ... the decision will not come from Cubawee but from the Lismore City Council and the Aborigines Welfare Board, through the Chief Secretary's Department ... If the people at Cubawee preferred to stay as a single unit, rather than accept assimilation in individual areas, then city organisations could well support that idea and gain a quick response from the authorities who control the finance ..."

"Pure Prejudice" If Colour Offends: Speaker At Meeting " ... Mr FC Fredericks said ... the people would not know an aborigine except for his colour. yet there was a protest against them walking down the road which ran through the centre of the tribal territory ... Mr Fredericks challenged anyone to go to Cubawee and live there for a week not a lifetime. When they came back to Lismore there would be no talk of protest. They would say: 'Take the people away from Cubawee as quickly as possible.' Mr W Seller ... said there was a danger to children with aborigines passing them on their way to school ... Mr FC Ramsay said he had never been interfered with by aborigines during the 16 years at South Lismore, but women and children had been molested by whites. In many instances, the aborigines would uplift the whites ... Australia was known overseas as the country which degraded and ignored its aboriginal population ... To call Lismore a Little rock would not be out of place ... it was always the same group which was charged with drunkenness in Lismore. In some instances it could be the way of expressing hostility for the rotten deal received from the white community ..."

To The Editor Reserve Site For Cubawee "Sir All that has been published concerning Cubawee recently is merely a repetition of what has appeared in the "Northern Star" from the early twenties ... Their location about 1920, was at Tullera ... the location was too far from town (and work.) ... the aborigines announced their intention to abandon Tullera and take up residence on the travelling stock reserve at Tuncester. They openly challenged the authorities to evict them ... The houses they built were a highly creditable advance on their previous habitations ... The board was provided with 20,000 pounds to meet the request (for better living conditions). ...The Protection Board rejected Cubawee because it was subject to flooding. To this the Aborigines replied, 'So is Lismore.' and said that during a major flood it was covered with water for a week, as against one day at Cubawee. The only alternative is the one ... suggested on the hillside behind Tuncester Railway Station ... All that is now needed to end the unsavoury state of Cubawee is for the Government to provide the funds to buy that land. John Stewart, Lismore"

Do Unto Others "... Our Lord gave us His commandments one is, love your neighbour as yourself. Who is your neighbour? The very folk you don't want in Lismore. (Mrs) I Schuhmacher, Telohea."

Cubawee Or Wyrallah Rd. Aborigines To Be Asked For Views The people of Cubawee aboriginal reserve tonight will be asked whether they want to stay at Cubawee or live in Wyrallah Road. A meeting of the Aboriginal Advancement League last night was adjourned to Cubawee so that the people there could express their opinions. At last night's meeting, Pastor Frank Roberts, snr., said he could not commit the people of Cubawee without their consent ... the Secretary of the league, Mrs V Brill, said that no matter what area was proposed for a reserve, there would be opposition. She said Lismore City Council had continually refused to cooperate on the matter. It had refused to provide a sanitary service at Cubawee: it had refused to make land available within the city, and now refused to make available land it owned outside the city boundary ... 120 people were living in appalling conditions ... Mr FC Fredericks said that proposals had been made over many years ... but in every case people had set out to frustrate these moves ..."

Cubawee Problem Factors (To The Editor)  "Sir:- ... (they are) honest, kindly, courteous, and shy; rather than contentious, agreeable ... Mr Williams, an aboriginal who was a drover on the Upper Clarence ... musical lilt of their native language ... Every opportunity implies an obligation, every right a responsibility, and every possession a duty. We have the opportunity, we claim the right, and we have the possessions possessions derived from a fair land which once belonged to the aborigine. I Somerville (Lismore)"

Board's Assimilation Policy Attacked "The assimilation policy of the Aborigines' Welfare Board was un-Christian, undemocratic and immoral, Pastor Frank Roberts, of Cubawee, said in Lismore last night ... the policy was unworkable ... Enforcement of the board's policy would lead to genocide for the aborigines, he said. He said aborigines did not want to be split up, but wanted to retain their identity and live as a unit. Contact with whites had led to the demoralisation of the aboriginal race. Pastor Roberts said that Lismore was one of the most anti-aboriginal towns in Australia. He questioned the assertion by another speaker at the meeting that most people in Lismore were on the side of the aborigines. Pastor Roberts said the aborigines feared that the welfare board would bring pressure to bear on the Government to pass the wrong type of legislation. He said the Wyrallah Road site was not acceptable. The people at Cubawee now lived on 24 acres and it was proposed to put them on two acres in Wyrallah Road. 'Australia is a big country. Surely there is enough land space near Lismore for the aborigines to live,' he said. 'Surely the people of Lismore will rise above their prejudice and the churches throw in their weight for the first time in 170 years,' he added." [18]

[Source: Northern Star Newspaper, January 1962 ].


Northern Star, February 1962

Aborigines Prefer Tuncester Site "Cubawee residents and the Lismore Aborigines' Advancement League last night rejected Wyrallah Road as a site for a housing settlement. The people of Cubawee, who met earlier in the day on the reserve, said they favoured an area near the Tuncester railway station or on the travelling stock reserve near the Cubawee school ... Pastor Frank Roberts said he visited Wyrallah Road and was abused by a woman resident there. 'I was told: We don't want black people here ... What advantage would there be in taking these people from their present environment to one of deep-rooted prejudice, hatred, bitterness and intolerance ... the majority of residents there were not offering friendship to the Cubawee people.' ... other Cubawee residents ... said they did not want to go to Wyrallah Road ...  Mr FC Fredericks said ... the Aborigines Welfare Board, which controlled the finance, had a policy which called for certain amenities to be available at new housing projects. The two acres at Wyrallah Road would provide for 12 homes on 6,100 square feet block, larger than the 5,500 square feet required by the Lismore City Council. If sought, a greater area could be obtained at Wyrallah Road for recreation and a pre-kindergarten school ... Mr M Walsh said it was not a suitable site. It was cold and bleak ... 'We formed the League to do something for the aboriginal people. It is where they want to go that matters, not a man in Sydney' ... The meeting ... defeat da move to seek personal interviews with Cubawee residents as a means of ascertaining their reactions to various sites proposed for settlement. It also defeated a motion to ... make a survey of the needs of the residents ... the league will ... invite a University of New England sociologist, Dr. Bell, to make a survey of the requirements of the Cubawee people ... "

Controversy Helps Welfare Officer: Assimilation Interest "A young lady who is an "interested observer' because it 'ill-behoves newcomers to voice opinions too loudly' has attended all meetings recently in connection with the controversial settlement for Cubawee residents. She is ... Miss Margaret Wishart ... who started her new work as female welfare officer for the Aborigines' Welfare Board in Lismore ... Her diary of a crowded program has such items as ... "Drove to Cubawee to collect residents to transport them to protest meeting". But she believes the controversy will help her understand the local assimilation problem and this is a part of her work as a welfare officer. Yesterday she was off early in the morning with ... a drum of petrol and a large jar of tables for distribution to native children for round worm treatment ..."

Claim Aborigines Drunk In Park Drunken aborigines annoyed persons who visited Spinks Park, Lismore City Council's Health Committee was told last night ... Mr FW Braid ... had written to the council complaining about the behaviour of the aborigines ... Some of them were constantly under the influence of alcohol. He claimed that the aborigines had annoyed and begged alms from citizens and visitors who used the park and toilets. He said it was not uncommon to see white persons consorting with the aborigines in the park. The deputy town clerk, Mr BC Stevens, ... said that on Tuesday he had to phone police and ask them to remove troublesome types from the park Ald H Habib ... said that most of the trouble took place about 5 am. ..."

Housing Aborigines: Public Meeting To Be Called. Clash In Council "Lismore City Council last night agreed to the calling of a public meeting to discuss rehousing of Cubawee aborigines on a new site ... the mayor, Ald. CJ Campbell ... said that ... a protest meeting at East Lismore had been 'a bit of a fiasco.' Ald. Campbell said an organised minority at the meeting had "got ahead of the disorganised rabble' ... the Cubawee problem had resulted from years of neglect by succeeding governments ... The council will advise the Aborigines' Welfare Board that it is not prepared to sell it two acres of land in Wyrallah Road. It will point out that the land is too small for a reserve, and also that the council holds it under a lease which does not expire for another four years ... the president of the Lismore aboriginal Advancement League, Mr. D Harrison ... said that 21 Cubawee children had died in the last seven years and last year 50 Cubawee children were admitted to hospital ... Ald. Hill said he strongly objected to Mr Harrison's reference to the deaths of Cubawee children. He said the information was privileged material, and only the Department of Health was entitled to comment on it ... Mr Harrison said the figures were factual and had been published in the press ... He said all sites he mentioned were 'available', because all land was 'available' to the Government if it wanted it ... Ald Campbell said that if 15 houses were built on two acres in Wyrallah Road the area would become another Cubawee. He said every time the Minister for Local Government selected land for a new reserve it was land owned by the Lismore City Council. Ald Fitzhugh said the council should call a public meeting so that the Advancement League could be given proof that the people of Lismore were not monsters. He said the people in Wyrallah Road were not opposed to the aborigines because they were black, but because of their habits and behaviour. Before aborigines could live in towns they must learn to accept their responsibilities, he said ... Ald HP Habib said it was unfortunate that the aborigines had been humiliated by the controversy about a new reserve. The problem had resulted from the failure of the Government and the Aborigines' Welfare Board to take action, he said. The aborigines had asked for a certain area of land and they should get it." 

See: Lismore City Council Minutes 37515, 5th Feb 1962 "Correspondence from the Aboriginal Welfare Board, inquiring if the Council will sell two acres of land in Wyrallah Road adjacent to new (sewerage) treatment works ... 'Council is not prepared to sell two acres as requested ... not large enough ... is leased and 2 acres cannot be alienated.'" ]

Many Forms of Aid to Aborigines (by RJ Heffron, Premier of NSW) "We hear much criticism of the Government, but little praise for the services it renders to aborigines throughout New South Wales. Labor policy, carried out through the Aborigines' Welfare Board, is to help persons of aboriginal descent to prepare themselves for full citizenship and eventually assimilate them into the community. In housing, education, health and employment the Board's efforts are designed to enable these people to take their place as worthwhile citizens in the community. To date 329 homes have been built for aborigines on stations and reserves; 39 town houses, nine recreation halls and six church halls, as well as necessary roads, water supply systems and fencing ... Total cost of these projects is about 836,000 pounds ... In health, travelling dental clinics are available for aborigines; there is a regular medical inspection of inmates in children's homes; X-ray examinations for tuberculosis are carried out by the anti-TB Association's travelling clinic ... School help ... Every Aboriginal child is afforded the opportunity of attaining the educational standard which is open to white children ...Since 1946 ... 27 children passed their Intermediate Certificate and 28 were unsuccessful ... four bursaries each year ... summer camps for aboriginal children from distant country centres ... at La Perouse ... the children are medically and dentally examined ... male and female welfare officers ... aid to aged and infirm, indigent and incapable ... Relief consisted mainly of food rations, blankets and clothing, medical and dental attention, transport of indigents to hospital, and burial expenses ..."

Letters To The Editor "... the aborigine ... were in possession of this land 10,000 or 12,000 years before our coming. We deprived these people of their ancient tribal lands and have never offered them a decent piece of land in return ... the wind of change has not reached Lismore. We hope that in future the 'white drunks' will be reported by park snoopers to your City Council and in the same spirit of tolerance, be deprived of civil rights and sent to rot away their lives in the hell that is Cubawee ... civilised people ... will know they will not have to scratch Lismore's 'white skin' too far to find the savage beneath. Apartheid and Christian principles are not an ideal marriage. Enid Ryan, Casino." 

[Source: Northern Star Newspapers, February 1962 ]


Northern Star, March 1962

Suggested Sites To House Aborigines "Seven sites for consideration as areas for housing Cubawee Aborigines were listed in a letter received by Lismore City Council from Mr DW Harrison. The letter was not included in correspondence 'to be dealt with' at last night's meeting, but was listed in miscellaneous correspondence ... The mayor ... has not yet announced a date for a public meeting to discuss the question of rehousing the Cubawee aborigines ... In his letter, Mr Harrison, who is president of the Lismore Aborigines Advancement League, listed the following sites for consideration of the proposed public meeting: Wyrallah Road, Section of farm adjoining showground ... near North Lismore railway station, ... Portion of a farm adjoining the saleyards and adjacent to Dunoon Road, Portion of a property owned by Mr W Somerville at Tuncester Railway Station, Portion or all of a farmlet at Tuncester Railway Station ..., The front portion of the rifle range paddock at Tuncester, owned by the Commonwealth Government, portion of the hill immediately opposite the existing Cubawee site, owned by the Pastures Protection Board ... There was no discussion after the letter was read."

Council Rescinds Decision To Call Public Meeting "Lismore City Council last night adopted a recommendation from its Finance Committee rescinding a previous decision  to call a public meeting to discuss the rehousing of aborigines on the reserve at Cubawee ... since 1957, when the Leechy Scrub proposal was first raised, the city council had repeatedly washed its hands of a matter in which it should be vitally interested ... Ald. Wilson said that Ald. I Fitzhugh had voted against the recommendation ... the matter was 'not Lismore City Council's baby' ...a mayoral report ... certain action had been taken by the Aborigines Advancement League ... I raised the matter at the at the last Finance and general Purpose Committee ... Council can only be concerned with matters of this nature within its own area ... would not be proper for council to initiate any move unless expressly requested by the people concerned (the aborigines, and the Aborigines Welfare Board ... council, as it was the owner of the land required, was asked if it would be prepared to sell the land ... the Aborigines Welfare Board is by law charged with their care, control, and welfare of aborigines and this being so it is not competent for councils to interfere with that Authority ... a government department could 'go over the heads of council' and take possession of land it wanted ... 

Council Somersault Dodges Leadership " ... on a previous occasion (the council) beat a hasty retreat from a decision to provide six acres of Leechy Scrub reserve as a settlement area for 15 aboriginal families. In the four years between that reversed decision and the cancelled public meeting, little or nothing to help towards an understanding, or a settlement, of a problem that should be a blot on the conscience of the area and the authorities directly involved ... condoning for another four years  conditions which are no credit to any area ... whether blame can be placed on others, such as the Aboriginal Welfare Board, health or public organisations ..."

Fined For Supplying Liquor "Kyogle.- An aborigine with a certificate of exemption allowing him to enter hotels was fined 3 pounds ... on a charge of supplying an aborigine with intoxicating liquor. The certificated aborigine ... pleaded guilty to supplying ... three bottles of wine ..."

Meeting On Cubawee Change, March 29 "... all interested parties or people were asked to attend. Sites for the relocation of the Cubawee inhabitants would be considered. It was hoped that a firm recommendation could be made to the Aboriginal Welfare Board."

Aborigines: Concern At Growth Of Settlements "Although the growth of uncontrolled aboriginal settlements was a problem of great concern, it was beyond the scope of a conference of health officers to offer any solution ... Dr. DJ Law said this at a conference of officers of the North Coast district ... the matter was one which could only be solved with financial help from the Government ... uncontrolled settlements of aborigines ... were causing much concern ... the population (at Coff's Harbour) had trebled and many were living in 'gunyahs' which had been erected on the creek banks within the shire ... the area and the creek are found to be polluted, but what can we do? The only action we can take is to issue a closing order on something we can't require to be made habitable anyway. Mr Smith said he felt the welfare board did not exercise enough control over the aborigines, who were continually being referred back to his council for instruction on matters which should be entirely the concern of the board."   

Meeting Selects Tuncester Site: Would Suit Aborigines "Land near Tuncester railway station was selected by a public meeting in Lismore last night as the most suitable site for rehousing the Cubawee aborigines.



Government Gazette references, Select newspaper reports, notes, Secondary sources



Government political allegiance

Labor Government Robert James HEFFRON, Premier, 23.10.59 - 30.04.64


Act 36: Aborigines Protection Act

Aborigines Protection Act, 1909-1963, as further Amended by-Aborigines Protection (Amendment) Act, 1963, No. 7. Assented to, 29 March, 1963

Elizabeth II, No. 7, 1963

An Act to remove certain restrictions imposed by the aborigines protection Act, 1909-1943, upon Aborigines ... 2(b) by omitting section 8A (Removal to reserves, etc) (c) by omitting section 8B (enticing aborigine to remove from reserve.) (d) by omitting section 8c., (Removing Aborigine from New South Wales) (e) by omitting section 9; (Supply of liquor to aborigines.) (f) by omitting section 10; (Wandering with aborigines.) (g) by omitting paragraph (b) of subsection four (Wards absconding, etc.) (h) by omitting section 13B; (In case of unfair treatment, board to remove aborigine.) (i) by omitting section 13C; (Employer to pay wages to Superintendent in certain cases.) (j) by omitting section fourteen; (Power to remove aborigines camped in the vicinity of townships.) (K) by omitting section 14A; (Medical examination and treatment) ..."

[Source: The Public Acts of New South Wales Permanent Supplement Being Amendments and Annotations 1st January, 1958 to 31st September, 1966 (The Law Book Company Limited) ]  


"Onerous restrictions"

This Act provided for the "repeal of more onerous restrictions on movement, liquor, employment." [22]


Government political allegiance

Labor Government John Brophy RENSHAW, Premier, 30.04.64 - 13.05.65



Government political allegiance

Labor Government John Brophy RENSHAW, Premier, 30.04.64 - 13.05.65


Act 37: Adoption of Children

Adoption of Children Act 1965 (No. 23 1965)




[2] See McCorquodale generally








[22] McQuorquodale, John