The Reverend Ernest Gribble and race relations in Northern Australia

Halse, Christine (1993). The Reverend Ernest Gribble and race relations in Northern Australia PhD Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Halse, Christine
Thesis Title The Reverend Ernest Gribble and race relations in Northern Australia
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1993
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Supervisor -
Total pages 471
Language eng
Subjects 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
Formatted abstract
For the sixty-five years between 1892 and 1957, Ernest Richard Bulmer Gribble worked as a Church of England missionary to the Aborigines of Australia. During that time, he pioneered four missions, and spent twenty-seven years as the first Anglican Chaplain on the government Aboriginal settlement of Palm Island.

His was a tumultuous career marked by constant financial, spiritual and personal crises, and clashes with Aborigines, the Anglican Church, the Australian Board of Missions, his staff and others. Yet, there were also outstanding achievements. Under Gribble's leadership, the first Aboriginal missionaries and representatives to Synod were appointed; James Noble became the first Aborigine to be ordained an Anglican deacon, and Palm Islanders got their first chance for secondary education because of a scheme Gribble conceived and implemented. Gribble was also instrumental in exposing the 1926 massacre of Aborigines by police on the Marndoc Reserve and forcing a Royal Commission that indicted the two police officers.

Considerable mythology has sprung up around Gribble. Some see him as a saint. For others, he was a tortured tyrant. The aim of this first biography of the Reverend Ernest Gribble is to expose who he really was - his actions, attitudes, opinions and feelings. With a methodology that utilised ethnographic and oral evidence as well as previously unexamined written sources. Gribble's life, his relations with Aborigines and his impact on indigenous culture are explored The resulting expose reveals a man whose work, behaviour and attitudes were marked by contradictions. These were the function of a coherent, if neurotic, psycho-social formation which must be understood to comprehend the full dimension of Gribble's life and work as a missionary.

Keyword Aboriginal Australians -- Missions -- Australia, Northern.
Australia, Northern -- Race relations.
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

Document type: Thesis
Collections: Queensland Past Online (QPO)
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Wed, 25 Nov 2009, 14:19:13 EST by Miss Stephanie Wright on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service