Lily Kermode is an inmate in Singleton’s Childrens Home. (Australian Indigenous Ministries file, SLNSW)

Aboriginal people on Sackville reserve are “so very few” that authorities decide it did not warrant a settled Missionary. Mission work at Sackville Reach is neglected and in 1911 the APB places an embargo on the residence of single men and women on the camps (Brook, 1st edit, 42).

Frederick Barber (Yeri) is closely involved with the Australian Inland Mission and selected as the first Aboriginal helper to trial as a missionary. Posted to Macleay River, Tingha. He becomes one of the “honoured Native Missionaries”.

“Albert”, son of King Davey, resides with the Carter Brothers at Stewart’s Brook (Lucas, 38)

The Aboriginal population of Katoomba is growing (38) while Windsor, Blacktown Rd and Sackville Reach are together listed by APB Report as only 61.

Brandy is seen as the “last of his tribe” by the first settler community to arrive in the Hunter Valley (Gresford, Dungog, Paterson region). Even as an old man, Brandy fears the possibility of a raid by the “wild Kamilaroi blacks”. (Bennett, The Earliest Inhabitants, p3)


APB minutes: “Sackville Reach public school, Elsie Morley 10 yrs and Louisa Morley 8 yrs conveyed to and from school”

AIM establishes a Prayer Band in Karuah. They crown an Aboriginal woman as the Queen of Karuah. She, together with the King of Karuah (formerly given a “crescent shield”) become the “true leaders of their people”. (Long, In the Way Of His Steps, 1936.

Horseman, William Jonas of Karuah River rides his mount at King George V’s coronation in London. Over a century later, William’s grandson Dr Bill Jonas writes: “My grandfather, Billy Jonas, was one of Australia's best-known Aboriginal horsemen and he was taken to ride in England at the coronation of King George V. I believe it was his reputation as a horseman that helped save our family from being rounded up, herded onto a mission, and deprived of the opportunities we have enjoyed” (Dr Bill Jonas, Worimi, from Karuah River region, 2014)

Darkinung speakers settle at La Perouse. This includes Annie Barber (nee Dillon, “Grannie Barber”), George Trooper and his wife Rachel (formerly at Sackville camp on the Hawkesbury and met by RH Mathews). Annie and George are painted there by artist Herbert Beecroft. The artist describes George as “the blackest black I ever saw and a true type” (Nugent, Botany Bay p50, in Ford p372).


The Cootamundra Home for Aboriginal Girls is opened.

Wilhelm Schmidt reviews all available language records. He argues that Darkinjung, “Wonnarua” (Wannarua, Wannerawa) and “Awabakal” are the same language referred to as “Middle-Kuri”. RH Mathews’ language records are well reviewed by Wilhelm Schmidt in Europe. Yet Mathews’ cultural findings are obstructed by British-born intellectuals led by Professor Baldwin Spencer at University of Melbourne and Professor David at University of Sydney. They will not accept the findings of a native-born colonial-educated man who grew up in the bush among Aborigines. They intimidate other researchers to ignore Mathews, including The Australian Museum, Sydney (Ford; Thomas, Culture in Translation, 2007)


John Edward Barber (son of John Luke Barber and Eliza Cox), aged 45 years, is drowned and buried at the Church of England Cemetery Sackville. W29 W132.

1913 - 1927

Aboriginal reserve land in NSW falls from 26,000 acres to only 13,000 acres. Aboriginal people are forcibly removed by police from farms they had successfully settled, cultivated, maintained and independently farmed. (Maynard, Fred Maynard and the AAPA).


World War I. Around 500 Aboriginal people enlist in the armed forces. The NSW government continues to remove Aboriginal children from their families, including youngsters whose fathers are serving overseas.

Kathleen Boney is at Singleton Girls Home.

Birth of Sarah Alice Roberts in Wickham.


AIM employs Aboriginal assistants to AIM missionaries where possible. The first is Alec Russell at Karuah.

Aboriginal black tracker, George Trooper, finds William Stuart’s body.

Eva Punton (Frame) is born in Broadmeadow.

Granny (Annie) Barber dies probably at La Perouse Aboriginal Mission.

The APB decides at meeting that it is not advisable to spend any money on the Sackville Reserve because it is nearly deserted (Brook, 1st edit, 43).

A few Aborigines remain steadfastly anchored to their abodes on Sackville reserve for many years.

Annie Markim (nee Barber) makes a carrying basket from bulrushes found near Sackville Reserve to present as a wedding gift to Mr and Mrs Tom Books in 1924. (Brook, 2nd edit, 41)

Henry Barber plays cricket for Sackville Reach and Riverstone Cricket Clubs. His wife Annie’s final years are spent at La Perouse Mission where she is known as Granny Barber W513, W454.

September 15. Ephraim Everingham dies and is buried at the Aboriginal burial ground, Sackville. Eleven years later his wife Martha passes away at Tizzana, Ebenezer and is buried at Sackville Church of England cemetery (Brook, 1st edit, p51).

1915 - 1939

APB is empowered to remove and apprentice Aboriginal children without a court hearing. Under the Act (1915, 1918, 1936), the APB is entitled to forcibly remove Indigenous children from their families without parental or court consent. Aboriginal movement between reserves is also strictly controlled. Families are threatened with removal of their children if they do not comply with APB orders.


Berntee, Gommera and Yee-oekarlah accompany a young Percy Haslam (c 8 years old) on bush trips around Lake Macquarie to Toronto, Belmont and south to Swansea, Cooranbong, Martinsville and Mandalong. They are among his first teachers of Aboriginal language and tradition. Haslam records that they take him through some ceremonies when he is approximately 12 years old and give him the name Pip-peeta (little Hawk). This is the beginning of a life commitment to the study of and support for Aboriginal culture and history. (Maynard, Awabakal Voices, p80).

Percy Saunders (husband of Maud Barber) dies aged forty years at the Coast Hospital Sydney. He has been living at the Aboriginal Mission Station, La Perouse. A representative from the Aborigines Mission officiates at his funeral.


Melita Punton is born at Lambton in Newcastle.

St Clair Mission is taken over by the APB and renamed Mount Olive Reserve. Aborigines become subject to the absolute control of the manager. A large number are expelled for not adhering to strict regulations. The number of Aboriginal people living at Mt Olive declines. (AIATSIS, Australian Museum)

Singleton Boys Home is established by the APB for the Protection of Aborigines on the grounds of the former Mission. It is the precursor to Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Training Home. By the end of the year there are 46 boys there. The home is intended to accommodate boys removed from their families under the Aborigines Protection (Amendment) Act until they are old enough to be sent out to work. The boys receive training while in the home so they can be employed in manual or agricultural work when they turn 15 years of age. They remain wards of the state until they are 18. Any income is held in trust by the Board.

Gavi Duncan’s great grandfather is at St Clair Mission, Singleton. (see Gavi Duncan. See video)

William Clode (born in Paterson) is “relocated” to St Clair in Singleton. (See Todd Osland video)

Eric Taggart is born. He is the grandson of Harry Taggart, a member of Putty Darkinung Aborigines and develops an association with the descendant of Aborigine Sophie Newman (Sophia) from the Hawkesbury-Hunter Ranges. They became informants for journalist Percy Haslam. Robert Mathews knows Sophie Newman from Wollombi when she is living at Sackville on Hawkesbury River. Sophie’s granddaughter is “Nana” Sales (nee Newman). Her son is Eddy (“Tomahawk” or “Tommy”) Sales, an advocate for Darkinung people. (Ford 89, 284, 301).

Death of RH Mathews. Mathews has 2200 pages of published work on Aboriginal language and culture. This includes the rock art, ceremonies, kinship, mythology, material culture and more of Darkinung peoples. (Thomas, Culture in Translation, 199)

St Clair Mission operates in Singleton, Hunter Valley, NSW till 1918 it is taken over by the Aborigines Protection Board. In New South Wales, the idea of developing reserves was to ‘protect’ and ‘civilise’ Aboriginal people. St Clair Mission, is located in Carrowbrook between Muswellbrook and Singleton.... St Clair operated until 1918 when it is taken over by the Aborigines Protection Board and renamed Mount Olive Reserve. At his time, strict rules were introduced by Manager of the Mission and many people were removed from Mount Olive for not following the strictly imposed rules.