Noteworthy: David Unaipon

Today the Google Doodle in Australia is there to celebrate what would have been David Unaipon’s 140th Birthday.

If you don’t know who that is, take a fifty out of your wallet, from under your mattress or out of an automatic teller machine. He’s the one that’s not a glum looking woman (That’s Edith Cowan).

David Unaipon was a native Australian who was the last full blood member of his tribe.

He was obsessed with education from a young age and excelled beyond everyone in his classes. The Secretary of the

Aborigines’ Friends’ Association said of him “I only wish the majority of white boys were as bright, intelligent, well-instructed and well-mannered, as the little fellow I am now taking charge of.” Which still sounds a bit condescending… can you get away with calling anyone a little fellow anymore?

He became the first published aborigine author in Australia. He also invented all sorts of things taking out 19 provisional patents in his lifetime. His inventions included an improvement to sheep shears that is still used today!

He spent his life being a living example of the potential of all people for greatness. He didn’t let any disadvantages hold him back. Even the fact that Aborigines were not considered full citizens of Australia or given the vote until the year of his death didn’t hold him back from his ambitions.

Today we honour him by having him on the fifty dollar note in Australia.

If you would like to learn more about David Unaipon… and hear some jokes involving him… and learn about all the other people on the banknotes in Australia, please come see my show! “Noteworthy”


#David Unaipon #mfringe #noteworthy


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