Dictionary of Sydney

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Mr Jack Healy remembers a local Aboriginal man from Williams Creek, interviewed 1986

Mr Jack Healy was born in 1908. He was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960.' Here he remembers from his childhood the man he believed to be the last survivor of a local Aboriginal tribe.

JACK: There used to be an Aboriginal [man], and I used to see him, he used to be around by the Brewers' Hotel, that was The Golden Fleece in those days, and his name as I remember it was Billy Goliga. And I understand, if I can remember rightly and I'm sure this is right, that he was the last of the Aboriginal tribe that lived over the river. There used to be a reserve over the river for Aborigines on Williams Creek and I'll tell you the buildings are still there, not from them, but from the migrants. When the migrants first came they either had them at Cabramatta or they had them in the Migrant Centre over there and that Migrant Centre is built on Aboriginal land. I don't know if the Aborigines know that or they would be after it, wouldn't they? Not that I think it would do them much good, but it is their right, it is their land.

INTERVIEWER: Whereabouts did this Aboriginal [man] live?

JACK: He lived over somewhere on the land over at the back of William's Creek, yes, over the river, yes. Billy Goliga was his name.

INTERVIEWER: Did he keep to himself or did he mix with everyone else?

JACK: Oh no, he used to come over I used to see him sometimes, I might talk to him when I was going to school, when I was a kid I'd to see him around outside the Golden Fleece Hotel, sometimes with a couple of sherbets too many. Yes, he was a tall fella.

Contributed By
(Excerpt from interview with Mr Jack Healy from the 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson ; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith.)