Shadrach Livingstone James

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Shadrach Livingstone James
Born (1890-05-15)15 May 1890
Cummeragunja, Australia
Died 7 August 1956(1956-08-07) (aged 66)
Geelong, Australia
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Mooroopna
Parent(s) Thomas Shadrach James
Ada Bethel Cooper
Relatives Douglas Nicholls (cousin)

Shadrach Livingstone James (15 May 1890 - 7 August 1956) was a teacher, unionist and Aboriginal activist.[1]


James was born in 1890 to Thomas Shadrach James and Ada Bethel Cooper at the Cummeragunja Mission in New South Wales. His father was a Mauritian-born teacher and his mother a member of the Yorta Yorta people.[1]

In 1909 James married Maggie Campbell in Echuca. The couple had seven children, three sons and four daughters.[1]


The young James was educated in the mission school run by his father and eventually became qualified as a teaching assistant. After worked with his father it was assumed that he would be appointed his successor as Head Teacher, however the New South Wales government declined to appoint him to the position.[1]

Working life[edit]

In 1928 James and his family moved to Mooroopna where he worked for Ardmona Fruit Products Co-operative. He was elected as secretary of the local branch of the Food Preservers' Union and was for a time vice-president of the Goulburn district council.[1]


Between 1928 and 1955 was honorary secretary of the Aboriginal Progressive Association of Victoria. In this role he was active in lobbying government to improve living conditions for Aboriginal people.[1]

James faced bureaucratic opposition due to his mixed-race heritage.[1]


James died in 1956 of a heart attack in Geelong and was buried in Mooroopna Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "James, Thomas Shadrach (1859 - 1946)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-18.