Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls (1906 – 1988 ) pastor, athlete, footballer, governor
Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholl was born in Cumeroogunga, near the Murray River in New South Wales, and was Australia’s first Aboriginal state governor. He was excellent at sport and played football for Fitzroy and Victoria. He was just as good at running and boxing. His great uncle, William Cooper, was an important Aboriginal leader.
Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls was born in Cumeroogunga, near the Murray River in New South Wales, and was Australia’s first Aboriginal state governor. He was excellent at sport and played football for Fitzroy and Victoria. He was just as good at running and boxing. His great uncle, William Cooper, was an important Aboriginal leader.
Nicholls was a social worker and a minister of the Church of Christ who worked for the rights of Aboriginal people. He spent a lot of his life working for groups that helped Aboriginal people, including the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation and the Aborigines’ League of Advancement in Victoria. He was awarded two medals by Queen Elizabeth II and was made Sir Douglas Nicholls in 1972 because of his work for Aboriginal Australians. He was made Governor of South Australia in 1976. He had only held office for a few months when he became too sick to work. He died in 1988 after suffering a stroke.
A suburb in Canberra and a sports field in Melbourne are named after him.
When the Queen asked Doug Nicholls, at Buckingham Place prior to conferring his Knighthood, “How have you been able to achieve what you have?”. Doug Nicholls responded, “I met a man named Jesus Christ”. (Thank you GT)
The Canberra suburb Nicholls :
Douglas Nicholls OBE; Born at Cumeroongunga, an Aboriginal mission station in New South Wales; moved to Victoria where he developed his athletic skills becoming a first class sprinter and a State footballer; joined the Church of Christ 1932, later became a pastor; awarded an OBE in 1968; Director, Aboriginal Advancement League, Fitzroy, 1969; appointed Governor of South Australia and knighted in 1976, but was forced to retire through ill-health less than a year later.
Background to the street names of the suburb of Nicholls is available on this actpla website. http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/tools_resources/place_search (search Nicholls)
The Australian Aboriginal League was founded in the 1930s by William Cooper, Pastor Doug Nicholls, Auntie Marj Tucker and others.
Source : http://www.indigenousrights.net.au/person.asp?pID=969
Refer also : William Cooper – https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/william-cooper/
Influential Australian aboriginal Christians
Trailblazer Sir Doug Nicholls fought injustice for much of his life, and his family is now fighting to rectify a perceived football injustice against Nicholls himself. Descendants of the late Nicholls – the face of this week’s AFL Indigenous Round – are so exasperated by his exclusion from the Australian Football Hall of Fame that they have vowed to create a hall of fame for indigenous players – with or without AFL involvement.
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