Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls KCVO , OBE (born December 9, 1906 in Cummeragunja Mission , New South Wales , † June 4, 1988 ), also called Doug Nicholls , was an Aboriginal of the Yorta Yorta , who lived in the Murray River area of New South Wales and Victoria live. He was a professional Australian football athlete and pastor . He held the post of Governor of South Australia from December 1, 1976 to April 30, 1977, when he resigned from office for health reasons.
Douglas Nicholls went to school in Cummeragunja, where religious principles were cultivated. When he was eight years old, he saw his 16-year-old sister being taken to a girls' home, the Cootamundra Training Home for Girls , by the police .
At the age of 13 he worked with his uncle as a tar maker and helper at the sheep breeding station where he lived with the sheep shearers . He worked hard and had a cheerful disposition. This got a sheep shearer to the point that he challenged him to a fight and offered a price of three Australian dollars a week. The sheep shearer lost after six rounds.
Nicholls played Australian football and was accepted into the Carlton Football Club team in the Victorian Football League (VFL), but he was not allowed to play due to the prevailing racism and other players got a chance. From there he went to Northcote Football Club (now Richmond Central Amateur Football Club ) for five years and played in this top team in 1929.
At times he made his living with races in which runners of different races took part, and in 1928 he won the Waracknabeal Poison . As a result, the organizers of these races kept it free. He was the first chairman of the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation . In 1932, Nicholls became a member of Fitzroy Football Club , where he became the first Aboriginal player selected for the Victorian Interstate team in 1935. Knee injuries forced him to quit the sport in 1939, and he returned to Northcote as a non-gambling coach in 1940 . The football game got him work during the winter and in the other seasons he made money by participating in boxing matches on a team that challenged the audience.
Nicholls was a pastor and social worker for Aboriginal people. After his mother's death, he became interested in Christianity and was baptized in Northcote by the Churches of Christ in Australia (now the Northern Community Church of Christ ). In 1935 he became a lay preacher at the Gore St. Mission Center in Fitzroy .
In 1941 he was drafted into the military in the 29th Battalion and in 1942 he joined the Fitzroy Police Department. He left this as a social worker for the Fitzroy Aboriginal Community, where he looked after alcohol and gambling addicts, took care of their social problems and helped them with problems with the police.
Numerous Aborigines followed his religious ideas and a large following developed around him. He became the Churches of Christ of Australia's first Aboriginal pastor . Since he was already ordained in the pastor's ministry, he was able to preach the gospel.
In 1957 he became a senior executive of the Aboriginal Advancement League (AAL). He was editor of the magazine, Smoke Signals, and helped Aboriginal people with government and general problems. He pleaded for the dignity and human existence of the Aborigines. This brought in people and the support for the AAL grew rapidly.
He helped fund Aboriginal children's homes and cottages at Queenscliff and was a founding member of the Victorian Secretariat of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI).
In 1968 he became a member of the new Department for Aboriginal Affairs in Victoria. Nicholls was also an active Freemason.
Doug Nicholls married Gladys Nicholls in December 1942 after their first husband, a brother of his, died in April 1942 in a traffic accident. Doug and Gladys were married for 39 years and had six children, two sons and four daughters.
He died of a stroke and was buried in a state funeral in the Cummeragunja cemetery.
- 1957: Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
- 1962: Father's Day Council of Australia for Victoria's Father of the Year (for “outstanding leadership in youth and welfare work and for the inspired example he set the community in his unfailing efforts to further the cause of the Australian Aborigine”).
- 1968: Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
- 1968: Meeting with Pope Paul VI. on the occasion of the Ecumenical Conference in Melbourne
- 1970: Guest on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Australia.
- 1972: The first Aborigine to be beaten to a Knight Bachelor degree by Queen Elizabeth II . He and his wife Gladys traveled to London because of this.
- 1973: Appointed King of Moomba .
- December 1, 1976, Sir Doug Nicholls was named the 28th Governor of South Australia , the first Aboriginal to hold this position.
- 1977: he became Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO)
- 1991: a suburb of Canberra was named Nicholls.
- 2003: the new chapel of the Northern Community Church of Christ in Preston was named after him.
- 2006: The proposal to erect statues of Sir Douglas and Lady Gladys Nicholls in Parliament Garden at the corner of Nicholson Street and Albert Street in Fitzroy by the Parliament of Victoria is accepted. In December 2007, the bronze statues on a granite base, designed by Louis Lmouth and created by Ngarra Murray in 1½ times life size, were presented to the public.
- M. Clark: Pastor Doug . Lansdowne Press, Melbourne 1972, ISBN 0-7018-0017-8 .
- Biography of Sir Douglas Nicholls (Pastor)
- Biography of Douglas Nicholls at Darebin Ethnic Communities Council site
- ABC Mission Voices - Cummeragunja. Koorie Heritage Trust
- Howstuffworks "Nicholls, Sir Douglas - Encyclopedia Entry" ( Memento of the original from February 21, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Ken Mansell: Haydn Bunton - legend and myth . June 17, 2003. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- Biographies of Doug and Gladys Nicholls ( Memento of the original from July 30, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Council of Melbourne (accessed July 12, 2009)
- It's an Honor: Knight Bachelor
- Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 Feb 2006) Moomba: A festival for the people. Pages 17–22 also on page 8 as a photo www.melbourne.vic.gov.au ( memento of the original from October 29, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .
- It's an Honor: KCVO
- Memorial for Pastor Sir Doug and Lady Gladys Nicholls ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Call for tenders from Assets and Services Division, Council of Melbourne, May 16, 2006 (accessed July 12, 2009)
- City of Melbourne - Walks and tours - Sir Douglas and Lady Gladys Nicholls Memorial ( Memento of the original from October 13, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , City of Melbourne (accessed June 12, 2009)
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Nicholls, Douglas Ralph (full name); Nicholls, Doug|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Australian athlete, Governor of South Australia and pastor|
|DATE OF BIRTH||December 9, 1906|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Cummeragunja Mission , New South Wales|
|DATE OF DEATH||4th June 1988|