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Sir Douglas Nicholls


Sir Douglas Nicholls was an eminent personality of Australia who was of aboriginal origin. His whole life was a struggle for giving the aboriginals their due rights. He was a versatile personality involved in sports, religion and community work. The full name of Douglas Nicholls is SirDouglas Ralph Nicholls. He was also known as Doug commonly. The most significant thing in the career of Douglas Nicholls is that he chosen as the governor of South Australia but retired after a year due to poor health condition.

Douglas Nicholls was born in the year 1906 on the 9th of December. He belonged to the Yorta Yorta tribe which falls within the broad section of Aboriginals of Australia. Doug came from a very humble background as his mother was a domestic help and his father worked as a contractual farmer. Due to the poor economic condition he was unable to peruse schooling after class there. During this few years of education religious principles were integrated in to his mind. In childhood he even used to catch various kinds of snakes and sell it to the sideshow organisers for money. At the age of eight he confronted a severe family tragedy when his sister was taken away by the police forcibly. From the age of 13 he began working under the supervision of his uncle. He enjoyed his job as a tar boy thoroughly.

Within a few years the sporting talent of Doug Nicholls was discovered and finally he got a chance in the Carlton Football Club. After proving his talent in the club he shifted to Melbourne. In his early career he suffered due to the racist attitude. The next club he joined was Northcote Football Club and remained with them for a period of five years. Next club which he joined was called the Fitzroy where he stayed until he retired in 1939. The reason behind his retirement was his knee injury. It was due to football he was offered jobs. After 1940 he went back to Northcate club where he stayed as a non-playing coach. This association with sports had made him associated with the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation.

The next phase in Doug’s career began when he became interested in religion. By 1935 he was involved integrally with the church and also gradually began his career as an active social worker. He was able to influence the aboriginals and his good work got the post of pastor of the Aboriginal Church of Christ. The next big step in his career occurred when he was chosen as an officer of the League of Aboriginal Advancement. In 1972 he got knighthood in honour of his services in the social field. Before this he had also got an award Order of the British Empire. In 1988 Sir Douglas Nicholls died although he had retired in 1977 after encountering his first stroke.

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