Douglas Ralph Nicholls remembered by Google with a Doodle today
He came to Melbourne in 1927, slept in empty fruit boxes at Victoria Market, and then half-a-century later he would be sleeping in the Governor’s house in Adelaide.
Douglas Ralph Nicholls was a Pastor and born in New South Wales on 9 December 1906 in Yorta Yorta Country. He was an aboriginal Australian and a multi-clanned descendant through his mother, Florence Nicholls, and father, Herbert Nicholls, who regards he Boort, Charlton, and Donald districts as the heartland of their Dja Dja Wurrung connection to Country.
Douglas remained a lifelong fighter against prejudice, an advocate for his people, a man of peace and compassion. He worked with his uncle as a tar boy and general hand on sheep stations and lived with the shearers. He worked hard and had a cheerful disposition.
He came to Melbourne in 1927, slept in empty fruit boxes at Victoria Market, and then half-a-century later he would be sleeping in the Governor's house in Adelaide.
In his life span, he became a Church of Christ pastor, boxed with Jimmy Sharman's troupe, and starred as a professional sprinter as well as played league footy. He was one of the first indigenous Justices of the Peace, the first indigenous Father of the Year, and the first indigenous Australian to be knighted.
Pastor Doug joined war services as a batman initially. Later, for most of the 1950s, Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls lived beside the Northcote football ground where he was employed as a curator.
He played Australian rules football, was a member of Northcote's 1929 premiership team and finished third in the Recorder Cup voting in 1931, his final season with Northcote. He joined the VFL's Fitzroy Football Club in 1932. In 1934, he was third in the Brownlow Medal count; and in 1935, he was the first Aboriginal player to be selected to play for the Victorian interstate team, ultimately playing four interstate games.
Google is remembering this great man with a doodle on his birthday.