Brungle Reserve

~Brungle Reserve~

Brungle, NSW

Brungle was one of the first 'reserves' under this plan and as many of the older Aborigines remember quite clearly the manager was such a monster they all headed off within months of his arrival. Other Aborigines were brought in from outlying regions but when the offending manager was moved the original inhabitants moved back to the reserve. Consequently the community, largely known because of the considerable talents of the Bulger and Penrith families, is an active Wiradjuri community.

1866 - Death or an Aboriginal - Poor Tommy, one of the oldest of the Tumut tribe of aborigines diod last Wednesday day, and was buried on the following day.-Tumut Times,December 3 - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Friday 7 December 1866).

THE RESIDENT TEACHER and superintendent (Mr. Usher) has been appointed to take charge of the blacks at Brungle, twelve miles from Gundagai. Mr. G. O'Byrne, district inspector of schools, accompanied by Sub-inspector Police, James Cornet, visited Brungle on Saturday last, and marked out a site for the superintendent's residence, which is to be finished by August 1. Much satisfaction is expressed at this result, as the blacks are becoming a nuisance to neighboring selectors through not having a \ responsible person to look after them.

1888 - SCHOOL HOUSE FOR ABORIGINALS. - [BY TELEGRAPH.] (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.) GUNDAGAI, FRIDAY. The schoolhouse for aboriginals at Brungle, near Gundagai, has been completed. It is a very comfortable structure. It is understood that the teacher of the Brungle school has been appointed teacher to the aborigines two days a week in conjunction with his other school arrangements, which gives the greatest dissatisfaction. Already one half of the obildren have been withdrawn from the school through this action of the Education Department. There are 60 blacks on Brungle, occupying about 18 huts, the materials for which were supplied by the Government last year. The blacks are comfortable now. The Government supply them with provisions. -(Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Saturday 8 September 1888).

1888 - THE BRUNGLE NATIVE ENCAMPMENT. [BY TELEGRAPH.] (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.) GUNDAGAI, THURSDAY. - The Rev. J. B. Gribble has officially inspected the Brungle Native Encampment. There are between 80 and 90 persons in the camp. About a dozen huts have been built, and some clearing, fencing, and ploughing done. A good school-house has been recently erected, but the teaching arrangements give much dissatisfaction. A regular married teacher is desired. The concern requires to be put into shape, and to that end a practical manager should be appointed. The Government have supplied building material, fencing wire, and implements, but the blacks are working without order or plan. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Friday 12 October 1888)

1889 - THE BRUNGLE ABORIGINAL CAMP. - TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD. - Sir,—I shall deem it a great favour if you would allow me to state a few facts in relation to the community of aborigines encamped on the Brungle Creek. The camp in question contains about 100 persons of all ages, the great majority being pure aboriginals. Their manner of life is to say the least very forbidding, and reflects greatly on our boasted civilisation, which has supplanted this unfortunate race.

The chief source of their subsistence is the Government ration allowance which is made through the channel of the Aborigines Protectorate Board. But such allowance is altogether inadequate, seeing that only the women and children with a few old men are supplied, the natural result being that all those who do not receive rations share with those who do, to the speedy pauperisation of the entire community. It is taken for granted by the authorities that those who do not receive Government rations should shift for themselves, either by labour amongst the settlers or by hunting or fishing.

As regards remunerative labour, I may state that at certain seasons of the year it is very scarce, especially during such a severe drought as that which we are now experiencing, while it is a well-known fact that a number of strong able-bodied young fellows make it a common practice to drink and gamble all they earn, and as to hunting and fishing, their location is most inconvenient for such means of subsistence . The small area of a reserve which they command (about 300 acres) is surrounded by private properties considerably improved while joining the camp block on two sides the Brungle town allotments have already been surveyed, and will soon, I am led to understand, be put up for auction. The blacks are therefore precluded from that liberty which is their right to hunt for their own support; when they do go out for this purpose, they are sure to come into collision with some settler who, from a common sense standpoint, is led to regard them and their pack of dogs as an unbearable nuisance. But, even supposing they did not thus come in contact with the legal occupiers of the surrounding country, the bush itself has been so cleared of opossums and kangaroos by white trappers, who make a trade in their skins, that the unfortunate aboriginal is placed at a considerable disadvantage, while the same thing might be said with reference to their fishing in the Tumut River. That river has been systematically netted by white fishermen, so that the blacks again have to go without.

The one tangible consequence is this— the Brungle blacks are beggared, and were it not for the kindness of farmers in the district, the women and children would soon be on the verge of starvation, for as soon as the rations are done the men send off their women and children on a begging expedition. I maintain, sir, that such a condition of things ought not to continue in a wealthy colony such as this, and, I think, with an aboriginal vote tor this year of between £9000 and £10,000 adequate provision should be made for all the blacks and halfcastes in this district.

The Brungle camp is made up of people from the Lachlan, Yass, Narrandera, Cootamundra, and Warangesda mission— those from the latter place freely stating, when asked why they left the mission, that they prefer camp life to the unsatisfactory state of things existing there and, seeing that aborigines from so wide a district as that represented by the Tumut and Lachlan rivers are gathered here on 300 acres, and where they have no freedom, it would be politic on the part of the Government to allot an extensive area away in the west towards the Lachlan, where the necessary country is still available, and then remove this community to such a centre, with the understanding that it was to be their home, and there, and no where else were they to settle. Such a plan has been adopted in North America and also in New Zealand with good results to both the natives and Europeans, why not in this colony? One fact stands out plainly, and that is, we have 8000 of these people in our midst, and are we to make proper provision for their location before all the suitable country becomes alienated or not ?

There is, I understand, some talk of the appointment of a person to fill the double post of teacher and farm overseer at the Brungle camp. As a temporary arrangement, such a step would be wise and good, but in my opinion the great aim of the protectorate board should be to set apart an extensive native reserve, where freedom and security from white intrusion might be enjoyed by all the aboriginals in this south-western district.

I am, &c , - A RESIDENT OF BRUNGLE. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Thursday 4 April 1889)

1889 - TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD. - Sir,-Having read the letter of "A Resident of Brungle " relating to the position of the aboriginals settled in that neighbourhood, and as I am in the habit of visiting the encampment, I may be allowed to give a brief expression of opinion on the subject. The blacks now settled at Brungle, it would seem, have been led to focus there partly on account of their being disturbed elsewhere, and partly because of the liberal supply of Government rations through the Police at Gundagai, the fact of the existence of a reserve for camp purposes being, of course, an initial reason. That the camp is in certain respects an inconvenience to white settlers appears very plain as soon as one becomes acquainted with the bearings of the position. The aborigines ought not to be permitted to congregate in the very midst of European settlements, for if they do they not only injure the whites, but themselves. My own opinion, after a residence of many years amongst these people is that they can only be dealt with successfully in community, and such community should be as far removed as possible from contres of white population; and I consider that the argument of " A Brungle Resident," when he urges for the blacks' own benefit the reservation of an extensive area, somewhere where country is still available, for the purpose of settling thereon all the aboriginals in a given district. I am fully persuaded that if such a provision were to be made in three or four different places in the colony, and duly qualified men were set over such settlements who would be directly amenable to some such body as the Aborigines Protectorate Board- which organisation, I can say from practical observation, is thoroughly efficient in dealing with the needs of the blacks- not only would comprehensive and permanent good ensue to the remnants of the race still in our midst, but from the standpoint of economy, a decided saving of public money would be secured. For, as at present disbursed, a little here and a little there, without any real system of economy to regulate such distribution, there cannot fail to be much waste and loss.

I have spoken to several persons of intelligence and sound judgment on the Upper Murrumbidgee, and they are all agreed on this question that special legislation is most urgently required to provide adequately for those whom we have dispossessed; and if some philanthropic member of Parliament would only take the matter up and make it so to speak his "hobby," it would not be long before a change for the better would come to 8000 needy human beings.

That legislation is urgently required on this subject may be dearly seen by a single fact recently given to myself personally by a gentleman actively engaged on behalf of our blacks. He assured me that during a period of about two years and a half £10,000 had been spent on two mission stations, with nothing scarcely to show for it. If that is the case then it is high time that special legislation should be secured, if for no other reason, to prevent such waste of public money.

I am, etc., MURRUMBIDGEE. April 10. - - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Saturday 13 April 1889).

1889 - THE BLACKS' CAMP AT BRUNGLE. - [BY TELEGRAPH.] (FROM OUR COllllESPONDENT.) GUNDAGAI, FRIDAY. - An unsatisfactory state of affairs is said to exist at the blacks' camp at Brungle. Their dogs have become so numerous as to be a nuisance to stockowners in that locality, and the loss of sheep is something remarkable. Sub-inspector Cornett had a number of the dogs shot. It is considerent that the blacks should be better looked after. The camp is said to be a scene of gross immedrality. Gambling and thieving go on apace. The rations supplied by the Government are devoured by the strong and healthy men who are able to work. The women and children are still relying on the charity of the people in the neighbourhood, whilst the old men have hard times. All this points to the need for careful supervision. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Saturday 3 August 1889).

1889 - THE BRUNGLE ABORIGINAL CAMP. TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD. - Sir, I shall deem it a great favour if you would allow me to state a few facts in relation to the community of aborigines encamped on the Brungle Creek. The camp in question contains about 100 persons of all ages, the great majority being pure aboriginals. Their manner of life is to say the least very forbidding, and reflects greatly on our boasted civilisation, which has supplanted this unfortunate race.

The chief source of their subsistence is the Government ration allowance which is made through the channel of the Aborigines Protectorate Board. But such allowance is altogether inadequate, seeing that only the women and children with a few old men are supplied, the natural result being that all those who do not receive rations share with those who do, to the speedy pauperisation of the entire community. It is taken for granted by the authorities that those who do not receive Government rations should shift for themselves, either by labour amongst the settlers or by hunting or fishing. As regards remunerative labour, I may state that at certain seasons of the year it is very scarce, especially during such a severe drought as that which we are now experiencing, while it is a well-known fact that a number of strong able bodied young fellows make it a common practice to drink and gamble all they earn, and as to hunting and fishing, their location is most inconvenient for such means of subsistence .

The small area of a reserve which they command (about 300 acres) is surrounded by private properties considerably improved while joining the camp block on two sides the Brungle town allotments have already been surveyed, and will soon, I am led to understand, be put up for auction. The blacks are therefore precluded from that liberty which is their right to hunt for their own support; when they do go out for this purpose, they are sure to come into collision with some settler who, from a common sense stand point, is led to regard them and their pack of dogs as an unbearable nuisance. But, even supposing they did not thus come in contact with the legal occupiers of the surrounding country, the bush itself has been so cleared of opossums and kangaroos by white trappers, who make a trade in their skins, that the unfortunate aboriginal is placed at a considerable disadvantage, while the same thing might be said with reference to their fishing in the Tumut River. That river has been systematically netted by white fishermen, so that the blacks again have to go without.

The one tangible consequence is this — the Brungle blacks are beggared, and were it not for the kindness of farmers in the district, the women and children would soon be on the verge of starvation, for as soon as the rations are done the men send off their women and children on a begging expedition. I maintain, sir, that such a condition of things ought not to continue in a wealthy colony such as this, and, I think, with an aboriginal vote tor this year of between £9000 and £10,000 adequate provision should be made for all the blacks and halfcastes in this district.

The Brungle camp is made up of people from the Lachlan, Yass, Narrandera, Cootamundra, and Warangesda mission those from the latter place freely stating, when asked why they left the mission, that they prefer camp life to the unsatisfactory state of things existing there and, seeing that aborigines from so wide a district as that represented by the Tumut and Lachlan rivers are gathered here on 300 acres, and where they have no freedom, it would be politic on the part of the Government to allot an extensive area away in the west towards the Lachlan, where the necessary country is still available, and then remove this community to such a centre, with the understanding that it was to be their home, and there, and no where else were they to settle.

Such a plan has been adopted in North America and also in New Zealand with good results to both the natives and Europeans, why not in this colony ? One fact stands out plainly, and that is, we have 8000 of these people in our midst, and are we to make proper provision for their location before all the suitable country becomes alienated or not ?

There is, I understand, some talk of the appointment of a person to fill the double post of teacher and farm overseer at the Brungle camp. As a temporary arrangement, such a step would be wise and good, but in my opinion the great aim of the protectorate board should be to set apart an extensive native reserve, where freedom and security from white intrusion might be enjoyed by all the aboriginals in this south-western district. —I am, etc, A RESIDENT OF BRUNGLE. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Thursday 4 April 1889).

1891 - Todav Mr Carruthers visited Brungle, and inspected the Aborigines' Camp tbere being accompanied bv Mr H Johnson (Undor-Secretary in the Education Department, Inspector Fosbory, Mr P. G King, M L C , Captain Battye and Mr G O Byrne. The Minister visited the blacks' school, under the charge of Mr Usher the children were intelligent, and fairly proficient. He afterwards inspected every hut, neatness and cleanliness being the prevailing features. The Minister questioned the blacks as to their wants, and promised to allow additional meat rations, an increased area in the camp, and to try and give each family a sepatate holding of two or three acres. Some blackfellows wished free railway passes to visit their families occasionally at distant localities. During the past year even births and three deaths have take place. During the past year seven births and three deaths have taken place at tbe camp the number of which is 100 souls when all are present The blacks gave ringing cbeers for the Minister and party on their departure deputation of Brungla residents interviewed the Minister, when Mr A M Gruer read a statement setting forth the reasons for removing the blacks camp from Brungle. The Minister put numorous pertinent quatations to the deputation and promised better supervision of the blacks. The Minister and party then left for Gundagai enroute for Sydney. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Saturday 28 February 1891).

1891 - The Aboriginal School at Brungle having been completed it has been decided to appoint a local board to supervise the arrangements there, the gentlemen chosen being C. W. Weekes, P.M., James Cornett sub-inspector of Police, Duncan M'Kinnan, Brungle, Alex. McGruer, Brungle, - (Ref- Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907)(about) Previous issue Saturday 3 October 1891).

1893 - The Brungle Aborigines' Station. - Our correspondent at Tumut under date January 9 writes : The bush fire which destroyed the crops at the aborigines' station at Brungle, and might easily have proved most disastrous, was, it is believed, wilfully caused by dissensions in tho camp, but there is no direct proof. The white settlers of the neighber hood complain bitterly of the blunder that is caused in having the whole area allotted to the blacks, fenced in one paddock, in whioh are small plots of crop, the rest of the paddook being a wilderness of high grass, and in case of fire a standing peril to the surrounding country. - (Ref- Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907)(about) Previous issue Saturday 14 January 1893).

1893 - ABORIGINIES PROTECTION BOARD. - A meeting of the Aborigines Proteotion Board held yesterday. Inspector-General Fosbery, occupied the chair, and Approval was given for the purchase of material necessary for the erection of a hay-shed tool shrd at tho Brungle aborigines station. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Friday 13 October 1893).

1902 - ABORIGINALS PREDICT. FLOODS. - A splendid fall of rain is reported from the Albury district. 'This has greatly improved the prospects of obtaining good harvests. The aboriginals on the Tumut River say that the movements of the water fowl and the ants indicate a coming flood in that part of the country. - (Ref- Morning Post (Cairns, Qld. : 1897 - 1907)(about) Previous issue Tuesday 28 October 1902).

1894 - ABORIGINES PROTECTION BOARD. - A meeting of the Aborigines Protection Board was held at the offices in Phillip street yesterday afternoon Mr Edmund Toabery (Inspector General of Police) presided There were also present the Hons Richard Hill and R H D White, Ms L C , and Mr A M Hutchinson A communication was received from the under-Secretary for Public Instruction, enclosing copy of the district inspector a report on the school for aboriginal children at Brungle the report showed that the number of pupils enrolled was 21 had the proficiency of the classes was indifforent, and that no progress had been made since the previous inspection It was decided to refer to the local board of advice for further information, and for favour of remarks upon an explanation to be obtained from the teacher Autbonty was given for the purchase of clothing for a number of destitute aborigines, and for children attending school at Wallaga Lake and Ulladulla with regard to an outbreak of typhoid fever at Warangesda mission station, the secretary to the Aborigines Protection Association reported that there had been only two cases that one patient was convalescent, and that the other had been taken to the Narrandera Hospital. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Friday 9 March 1894).

1906 - WHAT A SPARK WILL DO. GUNDAGAI, Wednesday. - Yesterday a waggon was coming down a hill at Brungle, and the driver put on the brake, which generated sparks. As they flow out they set fire to the grass on the roadside. Tho oulbreak spread to the property of Mr. George Guy. The fire burned fiercely for a time, but was got under by a largo number of aborigines from tho Brungle Mission Station. - (Ref- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)(about) Previous issue Thursday 25 January 1906).

In 1909 the Aborigines Protection Act became law in New South Wales.

One of its conditions was to establish a certain number of 'reserves' or 'stations' for Aborigines which were run by white managers. These managers had enormous control over the Aboriginal residents on their 'reserves'. They inspected their houses for cleanliness, controlled the amount of alcohol coming into the reserve, and could send children away to be institutionalised if they felt the parents were not capable of looking after them.

1914 - ABORIGINAL CALIGRAPHIST. At a recent meeting of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines it was reported that James Andrew Williams, a full-blooded aboriginal, had won three first prizes and one was open to all comers in the Gundagai show (says a N.S. Wales exchange). The writing competition was open to all comers in the Gundagai-Tumut district. Williams, who is but 13 years and 9 months old, received his tuition at the Brungle station. - (Ref- Warwick Examiner and Times (St. Lucia, Qld. : 1867 - 1919)(about) Previous issue Wednesday 20 May 1914).

1924 - DEATH OF MBS T. H. AUSTIN. - News has been received locally that Mrs Austin, wife of Mr T. H. Austin, died at the Brungle Aboriginal Mission Home, in the Tumut district, on Monday. The deceased was a resident of Singleton for many years, being associated with her husband in the administration of the Aboriginal Mission Home in George Street until it was closed. Previous to coming to Singleton Mr and Mrs Austin lived at Mount O]ive. The deceased leaves five children and the sinecrest sympathy will be, felt for the husband and in the sad bereavement.- (Ref- Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954) (about) Previous issue Thursday 24 July 1924).

1926 - LETTER FROM MR T. H. AUSTIN - The following letter has been received from'Mr. T. H. Austin, of the Aboriginal.Station, Brungle, via Gundagai. Mr. Austin will be remembered locally as the superintendent of the Mission Home, Singlotlon, some, years ago:— '' Dear Sir, —Please, find enclosed sub scription for 'Argus.' I always enjoy reading the 'Argus,' and I am glad to see Singleton is progressing. I am also glad, to see you all benefited by the glorious rain. The Tumut- Valley was about the last place to receive" rain. We have had about 3 inches here, and now the whole landscape is changed. We have a splendid shoot, and winter feed is assured. - . My station is still ..going ahead. We have lately installed a water supply here. An Alston windmiir pumps, from a beautiful spring to a tank 35 ft. high, and SCO ft. from the spring. Gravitation does the. rest. This saves the people carrying water a distance of 400 yards. They now have plenty of water for their gardens. I am this year president of the Brungle Agricultural Bureau. Wo have about 60 members here. This is our second year. I am interested in the records of the various Bureau in the Singleton, district as published in tho 'Argus' from time, to time, and anything of interest happening your way is reported here. Whilst we are a long way from tho city. l am enjoying the benefits of city life afforded by wireless. I have a 4 valve set, and get all the stations in Australia splendidly. 1 must now close, wishing Singleton continued success and prosperity. - (Ref- Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954) (about) Previous issue Saturday 17 April 1926).

1928 - LETTER FROM FORMER RESIDENT. Mr T. H. Austin, who will be remembered by many residents of Singleton. as the superintendent of the old Aborigines Mission Home in George-street, is now in charge of tho Aboriginal Station, Brungle, via Gundagai. In a letter to this office he writes:— "This district looks well just at present. If any Singleton residents visit this district, and intend coming to either Gundagai or Tumut, I would be pleased to receive a call from them. . Anyone travelling from Gundagai to Tumut should take the Brungle road. There is good trout fishing-not far from hero, and Yarrangobilly Cavos, about 70 miles away, are worth visiting. The scenery on this road, via Brungle, is also good. The trout fishing ought to attract some..of Singleton's anglers. There is also a good golf course at Tumut and Talbingo. - (Ref- Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954) (about) Previous issue Saturday 14 July 1928).

This report is submitted in good faith. All endeavours have been made to make all entries authentic and correct. For any corrections and additional valuable information, maps and photos you may have please contact John - To Home - To Extra Topics.