Church missionaries in Aboriginal camps

Church missionary Daniel Matthews visits Aboriginal camps along the Harbour to offer supplies and care, (and to entice people to his mission station at Maloga). On 25th July he writes,

“went to North Shore – gave rations for children – meat, flour, tea and sugar. In evening called at black’s camp – glad to see me, conducted by ’fire sticks‘ [led by Koori guides] blacks drunk – back to Sydney in ferry – saw Jane half caste street walking at night”.

Matthews continues,

“Aug 2nd Went by steamer to Manly, broke up camp, brought Harry, Eliza, Harriet and 5 children to Mr Hills. All readily consented to come. Trip in steamer lovely view – great crowd of blacks in Mr Hill’s yard – fire, plenty of food and blankets … alright except Mrs Beckett and Charley Abbot’s wife … I went to railway station about passes. Mr Gribble (Head of another mission station, Warangesda) to Botany Bay for Ellen and boys. ... Met Sir H Parkes... [the Premier, who] consented to blacks getting the same rations at Maloga [a mission station in Victoria run by Matthews] as in Sydney”. (Daniel Matthews 1881, Extracts from Diary, AIATSIS MF)

  • Excerpt from Diary of Daniel Mathews, 1881
  • Anderson Park, once a popular camping site

Some individual missionaries such as William Ridley continued to press the government for action to help Aboriginal people in Sydney.