Warning: Indigenous Australians are advised that this website includes images or names of people now deceased.

Lupngiari (Captain Major)

(1915 to c 1975)

Lupngiari (Captain Major), seated with a curtain in the background.

Source: Tribune, courtesy of Search Foundation, State Library of New South Wales, ON161/158

Lupngiari, also known as Captain Major, was the public face of the dispute in the pastoral industry which led to the walk-off from Newcastle Waters and Wave Hill stations in 1966. When Dexter Daniels was working with Aboriginal lepers at Darwin Hospital he heard about Captain Major, a strong leader who worked at Newcastle Waters. Dexter supported Captain Major in his organisation of the first walk-off from Newcastle Waters.

Lupngiari made two trips to Sydney, organised and supported by unions such as Actors' Equity, to gain publicity and support in the South for the striking Aboriginal pastoral workers.

He won over the journalists with his sense of humour. When asked if the workers got any other rations apart from salt beef and bread, he replied, quick as a flash 'Oh, yes, sometimes they bin put extra salt on the beef'.

Further reading

Frank Hardy, The Unlucky Australians, Nelson, London, 1968

< Previous Next >