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Remembering Reserves: The Deebing Creek Aboriginal Mission and Cemetery in Aboriginal History and Memory

  • Bill Thorpe

Extract

Eight kilometres south-east of Ipswich, along the banks of Deebing Creek, lies the site of a former Aboriginal mission reserve which, from 1892 to 1915, accommodated Aboriginal people from across Queensland, displaced from their lands by encroaching white settlement and government intervention. Some came from faraway places – Normanton, Burketown, Cooktown, Townsville, Barcaldine, St George, Alpha, Mitchell, Cunnamulla, Roma, and even New South Wales. Others were from regions adjacent to the mission such as Logan, Beaudesert and Boonah and from nearby Ipswich, Purga and Deebing Creek itself.

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Notes

1 Courier-Mail, 3 December 1977.

2 Kidd, R., ‘Regulating Bodies: Administrations and Aborigines in Queensland 1840-1988’, Ph.D. thesis, Griffith University, 1994, xiii.

3 Blake, T., A Dumping Ground: A History of the Cherbourg Settlement (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2001).

4 Blake, A Dumping Ground, 68.

5 Kidd, R., The Way We Civilise: Aboriginal Affairs – The Untold Story (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1997); Thorpe, W., ‘Archibald Meston and the Aborigines, Ideology and Practice 1870-1970: An Exploration in Social History’, B.A. Honours thesis, University of Queensland, 1978; W. Thorpe, ‘Archibald Meston and Aboriginal Legislation in Colonial Queensland’, Historical Studies 21 82 (1984): 52–67; B. Whimpress, Passport to Nowhere: Aboriginal people in Australian Cricket 1850-1939 (Sydney: Walla Walla Press, 1999); M. Ryan, Dusky Legend: Biography of Sam Anderson, Aboriginal Cricketer (Lismore: Northern Rivers Press, 2001).

6 Frances Wright pers. comm., 20 November 1999.

7 Winterbotham, L.P., ‘Some Native Customs and Beliefs of the Jinibara Tribe as well as those of some of their Neighbours in South East Queensland’, typescript, University of Queensland Anthropology Museum, 1957, 67.

8 Brisbane Courier, 14 July 1923.

9 O'Donnell, D., ‘The Ugarapul Tribe of the Fassifern Valley’, JRHSQ, 14 4 (1990): 153.

10 Blanket Day’, The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser, 3 May 1859.

11 Evans, R. Walker, J., ‘ “These Strangers. Where are they going?” Aboriginal-European Relations in the Fraser Island and Wide Bay Region 1770-1905’ in Lauer, Peter ed., Fraser Island. University of Queensland Anthropology Museum, Occasional Papers in Anthropology, 8, 1977: 39–105.

12 Swain, T., A Place for Strangers: Towards a History of Australian Aboriginal Being (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993) 128.

13 Campbell, J., The Early Settlement of Queensland and Other Articles (Ipswich: Ipswich Observer, 1875), 22; Harris, G., ‘Reminiscences of my early days in Ipswich’, FML mss., Fryer Memorial Library, University of Queensland, 1925, 8.

14 O'Donnell, ‘The Ugarapul Tribe’, 144145.

15 Kidd, ‘Regulating Bodies’, 51.

16 Brisbane Courier, 11 August 1855.

17 Broome, R., Aboriginal Australians: Black responses to White Dominance 1788-1994 2nd ed. (St. Leonards: Allen and Unwin, 1994), 32.

18 Kidd, ‘Regulating Bodies’, 40.

19 Foote, W. H. to Secretary of Public Instruction, 30 November 1894.

20 The Austral Star, 1 October 1897.

21 Evans, R., Fighting Words: Writing About Race (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1999), 126.

22 Evans, R., Saunders, K., and Cronin, K. Race Relations in Colonial Queensland: a History of Exclusion, Exploitation and Extermination (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1988, first published 1975), 121.

23 Evans, Fighting Words, 117.

24 Thorpe, ‘Archibald Meston and Aboriginal Legislation’, 66; Kidd, ‘Regulating Bodies’, 42.

25 Thorpe, ‘Archibald Meston and Aboriginal Legislation’, 59.

26 Thorpe, ‘Archibald Meston and Aboriginal Legislation’, 56.

27 Evans, Fighting Words, 131.

28 Thorpe, ‘Archibald Meston and Aboriginal Legislation’, 63.

29 Kidd, ‘Regulating Bodies’, 63; Blake, A Dumping Ground, 6.

30 Robert Morrison, pers. comm., 13 February 1978.

31 Ryan, Dusky Legend, 19.

32 Williams, C. with Thorpe, B. Beyond Industrial Sociology: The Work of Men and Women (North Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1992) 9599.

33 Thorpe, ‘Archibald Meston and the Aborigines’, 87, 96.

34 Queensland Times, 14 January 1892.

35 Queensland Times, 25 February 1892.

36 Fuller to Secretary, Aboriginal Committee, Ipswich 1 May 1893.

37 Fuller to Secretary, Aboriginal Committee, Ipswich 1 May 1893.

38 Foote, W. H. to Secretary of Public Instruction Ipswich, 30 November 1894.

39 Robertson to Under Secretary, Home Department, 4 November 1896.

40 Fuller to Secretary Aboriginal Committee, Ipswich, 1 May 1893.

41 Report on the Material Organisation, Deebing Creek Provisional School, December 1895’.

42 Evans, Fighting Words, 123.

43 Thorpe, ‘Archibald Meston and Aboriginal Legislation’, 6364.

44 Ryan, Dusky Legend, 14.

45 Robertson to Tozer, 19 May 1897.

46 Foote, W. H. to Secretary of Public Instruction, 30 November 1894.

47 Queensland Times, 24 February 1894.

48 Ryan, Dusky Legend, 25; Whimpress, Passport to Nowhere, 206.

49 Queensland Parliamentary Papers, Vol 2, (Brisbane: Queensland Government Printer, 1906), 27.

50 Roth to Secretary, Deebing Creek Mission Station, 12 March 1907.

51 Haebich, A., Broken Circles: Fragmenting Indigenous Families (Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2000 ) 173.

52 List of Names, 1903.

53 Children attending Aboriginal School at Deebing Creek’, 1903.

54 Report on Aboriginal Mission Station at Deebing Creek’, 5 September 1894.

55 Annual Report by the Deebing Creek Aboriginal Home and Industrial Committee’, 1902.

56 Queensland Parliamentary Papers 1906, 27.

57 Blake, Dumping Ground, 15.

58 Blake, Dumping Ground, 15.

59 Queensland Presbyterian Minutes, May 1917, 35.

60 The Salvation Army Corps History Record Book, n.d.

61 Rowley, C. D., Outcasts in White Australia: Aboriginal Policy and Practice Volume II (Canberra: ANU Press, 1971).

62 Thorpe, ‘Archibald Meston and the Aborigines’, 124.

63 Evans, Fighting Words, 22.

64 Reynolds, H., ed., Aborigines and Settlers: The Australian Experience 1788-1939 (Stanmore: Cassell, 1972); Evans, Saunders and Cronin, Race Relations in Colonial Queensland.

65 Pers. comm. Les Davidson, Churchill, 18 January 1978.

66 Davidson to Cavanagh, 5 December 1974; pers. comm. Frances Wright, Margate, 19 November 1999.

67 Burger, A., Neville Bonner: An Autobiography (South Melbourne: Macmillan, 1979), 37.

68 Davidson to Cavanagh, 5 December 1974.

69 Fourmile, H., ‘Who Owns the Past? Aborigines as Captives of the Archives’, Aboriginal History, 13 (1989), 18.

70 Burger, Neville Bonner, 37.

71 Tomasetti, W.E., ‘One People of Australia League’, typescript F2435, Fryer Memorial Library, University of Queensland, 1967, 3.

72 Reynolds, H., Why Weren't We Told? A Personal Search for the Truth about our History (Ringwood: Viking, 1999), 64.

73 Cochrane, K., Oodgeroo (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1994), 31.

74 Burger, Neville Bonner, 37.

75 Killoran to O'Neill and Adams 30 April 1973.

76 Walker and Walker to Killoran, 25 January 1974.

77 Killoran to Walker and Walker, 5 February 1974.

78 Walker and Walker to Killoran, 23 April 1974.

79 French to Killoran, 14 November 1974.

80 Davidson to Cavanagh, 5 December 1974.

81 Cavanagh to Davidson, 224 February 1975.

82 Administrative Officer Communities memo: Deebing Creek cemetery, 14 February 1975.

83 Aird, M., Brisbane Blacks (Southport: Keeaira Press, 2001), 33.

84 Skinner to secretary, Land Administration Commission, 26 June 1975.

85 Killoran to Acting Secretary, Land Administration Commission, 4 August 1975.

86 Acting Secretary, LAC to Walker and Walker, 10 May 1978.

87 Acting Secretary LAC to Killoran, 26 February 1976.

88 Killoran to Secretary, LAC, 5 March 1978.

89 Aboriginals Buried at Deebing Creek’.

90 Memo, ‘Meeting with Bill Robertson’, 17 July 1978.

91 Whimpress, Passport to Nowhere, 211212.

92 Aird, Brisbane Blacks, 68.

93 Killoran to Ivins, 3 February 1982.

94 Stanley, J.M., ‘A Very High Resolution Magnetometer Survey, Deebing Creek Aboriginal Cemetery’. The Geophysical Research Institute, University of New England, 1985.

95 Schofield to Thorpe, 24 June 2002.

96 Davidson to Viner, 21 December 1977.

97 Evan, Fighting Words, 46.

Remembering Reserves: The Deebing Creek Aboriginal Mission and Cemetery in Aboriginal History and Memory

  • Bill Thorpe

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