David Unaipon

Timeline created by JenEEO
In History
  • Birth of David Unaipon

    Birth of David Unaipon
    David Unaipon was born at the Point McLeay Mission, South Australia. He was the fourth of nine children. His father James Ngunaitponi was an evangelist and his mother's name was Nymbulda. Both of his parents were Yaraldi speakers from the lower Murray River region. Image: Point McLeay mission station, circa. 1872
  • Living and Studying with CB Young

    Living and Studying with CB Young
    From the age of 7 Unaipon attended school at the mission. In 1885, at age 13, he left the mission to become a servant to C. B. Young. Young encouraged Unaipon's interest in philosophy, science and music. Image: a young David Unaipon living and studying with CB young. c. 1885.
  • Point McLeay

    From 1890, Unaipon moved back to Point McLeay. Here he read widely, played the organ and learned bootmaking at the mission.
  • Working in Adelaide and at Point McLeay

    Unaipon became frustrated at the lack of work opportunities for educated Aborigines at mission settlements. In the late 1890s he took a job as storeman for an Adelaide bootmaker before returning to assist as book-keeper in the Point McLeay store.
  • Marriage to Katherine Carter

    Unaipone married a Tangani woman from the Coorong, Katherine Carter, née Sumner, at the mission at Point McLeay.
  • Patented Shearing Handpiece

    Patented Shearing Handpiece
    Unaipon developed and patented a modified handpiece for shearing.
  • Published Writer

    Published Writer
    Unaipon became the first Aboriginal writer to be published. One of his earliest publised works was an article entitled "Aboriginals: Their Traditions and Customs" in the Sydney Daily Telegraph (2 August 1924). Image: David Unaipon, late 1920s.
  • Bleakley inquiry

    Bleakley inquiry
    In 1928-29 Unaipon assisted the Bleakley inquiry into Aboriginal welfare. Unaipon had become the best-known Aborigine in Australia and was often seen as his people's spokesman.
  • Urges the Commonwealth take over of Aboriginal Affairs

    Unaipon urged the Commonwealth to take over Aboriginal affairs. He proposed that South Australia's chief protector of Aborigines be replaced by an independent board.
  • Other patent applications

    Between 1909 and 1944 Unaipon made patent applications for nine other inventions, including a centrifugal motor, a multi-radial wheel and a mechanical propulsion device, but the patents lapsed.
  • Awarded a Coronation Medal

    Awarded a Coronation Medal
    Unaipon was awarded a Coronation Medal.
  • Death

    David Unaipon died at Tailem Bend Hospital, aged 94. He was buried in Point McLeay cemetery and was survived by a son. All information sourced from:
    http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/forging/australians/unaipon.asp all images from http://www.google.com/imghp
  • Featured on the $50 note

    Featured on the $50 note
    David Unaipon was featured updated $50 note from 1995. Unaipon is relevant to us today due to the bredth of his impact in many different fields. From humble beginnings at the Point McLeay Mission he became a published writer, inventor and political figure. Unaipon found success and respect that many other Indigenous people of his time were not given. His wisdom and intelligence pathed the way for other Indigenous intellectuals to also gain this respect.
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    The Life of David Unaipon