Birth of Harry Williams, who becomes the first Koori to play soccer for Australia. He begins soccer life at nine with the St George Police Boys Club. A third grader with Western suburbs, he rises through the ranks with St George Budapest in 1970. In 1970 he is picked for the national side and tours the world. He plays 17 full international and 26 other representative games for Australia. In 1977 he plays six world cup games. (Tatz p. 10) He is still running professionally in the mid 1980s.

The Art Gallery of NSW establishes an Aboriginal Art Space. Begun in the 1950s, it is renowned for bark paintings from Arnhem Land, many of which are donated by Dr Stuart Scougall in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Over the years there have been other significant donors, including the scientist Harry Messel.

2500 Koori people are living in the Metropolitan inner-city region. The population has grown to 12000 by 1965. (Morgan, p. 47)

  • Aboriginal migrants

Aboriginal people arriving in Sydney from the bush, take up residence in rented accommodation in the inner-city and Balmain, in the shanty town areas around the harbour, or the La Perouse reserve itself. (V50, ‘Things were pretty tough in the city then’)

Smith’s Weekly reports that a Koori girl received thirty shillings a week as a Cook on a station. She moved to a country town and got thirty five shillings for washing dishes in a café. Coming to Sydney, she got four pounds, ten shillings a week in a shirt factory. Many country people find rent a problem.


Koori boys bind logs and planks together to make rafts to go fishing for prawns and other fish in Blackwattle Bay.

Uncle Chicka Madden is allowed to leave school early (at 14 years), and is paid one pound ten shillings at an engineering works as an apprentice. He only stays a week. He joins a rope works at Waterloo for eight pounds ten shillings a week and stays there for five years


Dave Sands (1926-1952), boxer, is born on 24 February 1926 at Burnt Bridge, near Kempsey, New South Wales, fifth of eight children of George Ritchie, a rodeo-rider and timber-cutter. Dave's brothers Clement, Percival, George, Alfred and Russell also box, emulating their father and their maternal great-uncle Bailey Russell, a noted bare-knuckle fighter.

  • Dave Sands, Boxer, Courtesy of National Library of Australia.

In an attempt to shift former workers in the declining inner-city factories to newer areas, the NSW Housing Commission invites families to live in new homes, or for many, former Army hostels in Hearn Bay, Liverpool, Ingleburn and Warwick Farm.

Faye Hoskins, born in 1932, comes to stay in Rozelle from Lismore. She spends 8 years working in a paper factory.


The Palms Café, in Botany Road, according to Ruby Langford, is ‘a place for all the Koori teenagers.’ Alan Madden remembers it as a place ‘where every man and his dog went’. (V45, ‘Redfern yarns’)


Alma Ridgeway and her three children leave the Burnt Bridge Reserve for Sydney to settle at Rozelle. Other families are moving to similar areas like Leichhardt.

Frances Peters-Little, growing up at Birchgrove in the 1950s, returns to her grandmother in Walgett every year. While she is there, she says, ‘I become a different person then’. Country racism, she says, was different. Pure arrogance. But in 1985, when interviewed by Plater, she reflects that the most vicious racism comes from other Koori people. ‘You can’t be Aboriginal if you grew up in Balmain or if you did you might be Aboriginal but you’re not as Aboriginal as someone else who grew up on Moorie Mission. How dare they? Who’s our panel of critics here? … It’s almost like there’s a vested interest in some people maintaining this stereotyped idea of what an Aboriginal person is and where they come from’. She also recalls the hundreds of Koori people who survived the early settlements and had to forget they were Aboriginal, ‘so they did, they denied it'. (Plater, pp. 180-182, 245)

  • Jimmy Little, grandson James Henry and Frances Peters Little



George Abrahams begins his football career. He plays two international games. Tatz p. 81

Roy Carroll is a powerful Middleweight boxer.

The Aboriginal-Australian Fellowship is formed. Amongst the Koori founders are Pearl Gibbs, Charles Leon, Ray Peckham and Bert Groves, and non-Aboriginals Jack Horner, Faith Bandler and Len Fox.


Faith Bandler tells the communist newspaper Tribune that 'Aborigines should be allowed to retain their culture and status as the oldest Australians.'

  • Faith Bandler


Tranby Indigenous College is founded in Glebe. In 1958, the first three male adult students arrive in Sydney from northern NSW to undertake apprenticeships in panel beating, fitting and turning, and plumbing. Alf Clint establishes the first college .

  • Tranby Co Operative College Glebe, 1940's

The Madden family, including Chicka, moves to a Housing Commission house in Warwick Farm. Chicka buys a motorbike to commute back to Redfern. (V14, ‘Making tracks’)

Desperate times for the Eatock family (V 26, ‘My sister and her kids were living in a car’)


Chicka Madden is offered a job clearing timber for the Warragamba Dam. On the site he meets many young men from La Perouse (some formerly from northern NSW) such as members of the families Ardler, Sands, Ritchie, Hassan and Davidson. He works as an axeman at the wall of the dam for about five years. When the work finishes he is offered a Water Board job in the city digging trenches. Not for him! (V47, ‘Working at Warragamba Dam’)

Dennis Foley’s Auntie Bertha and her husband work in the IXL factory in Bridge Rd, Stanmore. (V6, ‘Auntie Bertha of Chippendale – too common or too flash?’)

Koori families and other homeless people are living among the wharves and old boats along what is now Bicentennial Park and Federal Park near the end of Glebe Point Road. They pick up employment in unofficial labour exchanges like the White Bay Hotel, and also gain income from scavenging for scrap metal and timber.

  • Connie Macdonald

The coal-loader railway line through Pyrmont and Glebe is a useful (though dangerous) transit route around the inner city for children.

First Conference of the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement (FCAA). Amongst the Delegates is Bert Groves. At this conference Groves supports the proposal that the Australian Constitution be changed by referendum to eliminate the discriminatory clauses against Aboriginal people, sections 51 (xxvi) and 127. (Horner p. 31)

Members of the Fellowship include Pearl Gibbs, Bert Groves, Trixie and Jack Bell, Charles Leon, Jack and Mary Simms, Flo Caldwell, Ted Duncan, Ray Peckham, Ken Brindle, Clive Williams, Joyce Mercy, Harriet Ellis, and Lester and Jerry Bostock.


After two years residence at the Warwick Farm former army camp, the Madden family is allotted a house in Villawood two or three kilometres from the station, (no bus!) while his father works in the city on the railways. Uncle Chicka continues to ride his motor bike to town on Friday nights. The family find it too far from the city and finally move back into Redfern.

Lionel Morgan (Manly) plays two tests for Australia. (Tatz p. 81)

Judy Chester and her family leave Wellington because her mother has a serious illness. They settle in Redfern and later to Green Valley in the southwest. They work with Gandangara people from the south western areas of Sydney including Robyn Williams, whose grandmother is able to pass on directly for her family the stories for the land around what is now Liverpool and Camden. A number of Aboriginal women’s supportive networks for childcare are established at this time such as the St John’s Park Aboriginal Women’s group. (Goodall, p. 295)

The Australian Aboriginal Fellowship organise the first dance for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people at the Redfern Town Hall. The Master of Ceremonies is Jack Simms of La Perouse. (Horner, p. 49)