Cunningham, Syd 'Doc'

Syd 'Doc' Cunningham was an Aboriginal man of the Yuin people who was known to many as Black Santa. He was a welfare worker with the Western Districts Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs in St Marys and served with the Australian armed forces in World War II. In the 1960s he began making trips to remote areas of western New South Wales with presents for Aboriginal children. After his retirement in 1992, Cunningham continued to raise funds for the Christmas presents he would take to Aboriginal children, sitting outside a supermarket on King Street, Newtown with a table, a chair and a bucket. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1989. 

After his death in 1999, a plaque in his honour was erected on the spot on King Street where he had sat.

Milestone
Born
1926
Died
Balmain Hospital
22 Mar 1999
Name
Birth
Cunningham, Sydney Arthur
Alternate
Black Santa
Occupation