Wood engraving (Walter G. Mason, 1857) of the solid silver breastplate made for Jackey Jackey in recognition of his heroic deeds (shaped to include swans and a fox)
|Died||1854 (Aged 21)|
State of New South Wales
|Known for||Heroic Deeds as guide and companion for surveyor Edmund Kennedy|
Jackey Jackey (aka Jacky Jacky) (1833–1854) is the name by which Galmahra(aka Galmarra), the Aboriginal Australian guide and companion to surveyor Edmund Kennedy was known. He survived Edmund Kennedy's fatal 1848 expedition into Cape York Peninsula and was subsequently formally recognized for heroic deeds by the then colony of New South Wales in words engraved on a solid silver breastplate or gorget which read as follows:
Presented by His Excellency Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy K.D. Governor of New South Wales, to Jackey Jackey, an Aboriginal native of that colony. In testimony of the fidelity with which he followed the late Assistant Surveyor E.B.C. Kennedy, throughout the exploration of York Peninsula in the year 1848; the noble daring with which he supported that lamented gentleman, when mortally wounded by the Natives of Escape River, the courage with which after having affectionately tended the last moments of his Master, he made his way through hostile Tribes and an unknown Country, to Cape York; and finally the unexampled sagacity with which he conducted the succour that there awaited the Expedition to the rescue of the other survivors of it, who had been left at Shelbourne Bay.
"For whites it was a generic dismissive, denying blacks their individuality and hence their dignity. To blacks it meant a collaborator, the subservient native complicit in his own people's dispossession.
In April 1848, still a young man, Galmahra was asked to accompany and help guide Assistant Surveyor Edmund Kennedy and team (including botanist William Carron) on an expedition through unknown country heading up into Cape York Peninsula. On that expedition Galmahra proved his value (including bush skills) and turned out to be a loyal and resilient member of the expedition upon whom Edmund Kennedy increasingly relied until he died, speared by Jathaikana' (aka Yadhaykenu) people in the northern Peninsula area (December 1848), somewhere near the Escape River.
Following an inquiry into Edmund Kennedy and other expedition members deaths, Galmahra became more generally known to the colony of New South Wales as Jackey Jackey: an Aboriginal Australian to be honored for his loyalty, heroic deeds, and general assistance to the expedition. By March 1849 a lithographic portrait of 'Jackey Jackey' had been produced for sale, and by the beginning of 1851 the Governor of New South Wales had presented him with a specially made, pure silver breastplate (see above) plus a £50 bank account gratuity.
Galmahra never wore the breastplate, never accessed the £50 bank account, and did not seem to have otherwise been fully engaged or employed by the colony. Instead he gained a reputation for enjoying his alcohol and, in 1854, after drinking too much during an overland journey to Albury, New South Wales, fell into a campfire and died.
On-line newspaper articles
- "The Fate of Kennedy's Expedition". Sydney Morning Herald. 6 March 1849. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Correspondence: Jackey Jackey". Sydney Morning Herald. 7 March 1849. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Jackey Jackey" (regarding Silver breastplate)". Sydney Morning Herald. 31 December 1850. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Assistant Surveyor Kennedy" (regarding blue marble plaque commemorating Kennedy - including both picture and recognition of Jackey Jackey)". Sydney Morning Herald. 6 March 1852. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
Places named after Jackey Jackey
- "Jacky Jacky Creek, Tablelands Region, Queensland". Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Jacky Jacky Range, Cook Shire, Queensland". Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Jackey Jackey Creek, Torres Shire, Queensland". Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Jackey Jackey Airfield, Torres Shire, Queensland". Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Medal given by Sir C. Fitzroy to Jackey Jackey, native servant to the explorer Mr Kennedy". Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- Maloney, Shane (April 2008). "Jackey Jackey & the Yadhaykenu". The Monthly. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- "Place name details: Jacky Jacky Creek". The State of Queensland (Department of Environment and Resource Management). 4 March 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- Blyton, Greg et al. (2004). Wannin thanbarran : a history of Aboriginal and European contact in Muswellbrook and the Upper Hunter Valley. Muswellbrook Shire Council Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee.
- "Heroic Acts". National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- See for instance Mansell, Michael (27 August 2003) The decline of the Aboriginal protest movement: "we have to rely on Cathy Freeman, proudly holding her people's flag aloft against all protocols, to symbolise our rejection of having to be Jacky-Jacky Australians" in Green Left Weekly
- Beale, Edgar (1967) ' Jackey Jackey ( - 1854)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press Online Edition accessed 9 May 2010
- Tindale, Norman (1974) Online Portion of Map of Australian Aboriginal 'Tribal' Boundaries including "Wonnarua' (NSW) Accessed 15 May 2010
- Carron, William (1849) "Narrative of an expedition undertaken under the direction of the late Mr. Assistant Surveyor E. B. Kennedy, for the exploration of the country lying between Rockingham Bay and Cape York;, one of the survivors of the expedition" Accessed 8 May 2010
- Sydney Morning Herald (7 March 1849) "Correspondence: Jackey Jackey" Accessed 10 May 2010
- Prints and printmaking Australia Asia Pacific Jacky Jacky (lithographic portrait by Charles Rodius) online database entry Accessed 16 May 2010
- Sydney Morning Herald (31 December 1850) "Jackey Jackey" (regarding Silver breastplate)" Accessed 10 May 2010
- "Beale, Edgar (1967) ' Jackey Jackey ( - 1854)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press". Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- "State Library of New South Wales record "Silver breastplate presented by His Excellency Sir Charles Augustus Fitz Roy K.B., Governor of New South Wales, to Jackey Jackey"". Retrieved 9 May 2010.
- "Maloney, Shane (2008) "Jackey Jackey & the Yadhaykenu", The Monthly April 2008, No. 33". Retrieved 9 May 2010.
- "Henry Tranter (2005)"A Brief over view of the Kennedy Expedition" & Duncan Ray (2005) "My Involvement in the Search for Where Kennedy went in 1848" Presented at Opening of A Plaque at Edmund Kennedy Camp XXXIII, 4 June 2005; Eacham Historical Society". Retrieved 29 May 2010.