Phillip Waipuldanya Roberts

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Phillip Waipuldanya Roberts
Phillip Roberts.jpg
Phillip Roberts dressing leprosy patients wounds in Maningrida
Personal details
Born Phillip Waipuldanya Roberts
1922
Roper River, Australia
Died 24 November 1988(1988-11-24) (aged 65–66)
Nationality Australian
Occupation Doctor, activist

Phillip Waipuldanya Roberts OBE (1922 – 24 November 1988) was a traditional doctor, activist and advisor to the Commonwealth Government of Australia on Aboriginal policies and programs.

Early life[edit]

Roberts was, born south of the Roper River in the country of the Alawa people. He was the eldest son of Barnabas Gabarla, a former drover, stockman and saddler who became an evangelist for Roper River Mission.[1] He had a primary school education from the mission and became a motor mechanic.[2]

Working life[edit]

In 1953, he went to Urapunga Station to repair a marine engine and met Dr WA (Spike) Langsford of the Department of Health accompanying him on a survey of the Victoria River District. He then worked as a medical assistant for the department and became well known for seeking out Aboriginal people in remote areas with leprosy, encouraging them to come to Darwin for treatment. It earned him the title of 'Leaper Hunter'. Queen Elizabeth II visited Phillips on her 1963 visit to Darwin.[3]

In 1969 he was selected as one of only three advisors for the Council of Aboriginal Affairs established after the 1967 Referendum. He advised the Commonwealth Government of Australia on Aboriginal policies and programs.[2]

The book I, the Aboriginal by Douglas Lockwood is written about Roberts.[4][5] It won the major literary award at the Adelaide Festival of the Arts in 1962.[6] It was developed into an hour-long film in 1964.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Herald and Weekly Times (c. 1962). "Phillip Roberts (Waipuldanya) (left) and his father Barnabas Gabarla (right) [picture] [ca. 1962]". State Library of Victoria. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Carment (Editor), David; Wilson (Editor), Helen J. (1996). Northern Territory of Biography, volume 3. Darwin, (NT): NTU Press. pp. 275–276. ISBN 0949070920.
  3. ^ "Queen Calls On 'Leper Hunter'". The Canberra Times. 37, (10, 488). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 19 March 1963. p. 3. Retrieved 16 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ Lockwood (1918-1980), Douglas (1962). I, the Aboriginal. Adelaide: Rigby. ISBN 0851792219.
  5. ^ "Remarkable Man Of Two Worlds". The Canberra Times. 37, (10, 409). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 15 December 1962. p. 18. Retrieved 16 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Aboriginal Theme Winner". The Canberra Times. 36, (10, 176). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 17 March 1962. p. 3. Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "I, the Aboriginal". The Australian Women's Weekly. 31, (49). Australia, Australia. 6 May 1964. p. 14. Retrieved 16 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.