A Terribly Wild Man

Christine Halse
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Investigates the life of Ernest Gribble, a drover-turned-missionary who raised an international controversy with his public campaign for an investigation of the police responsible for a massacre of Aboriginal people.

Saint or sinner? Turbulent priest or dedicated shepherd? Ernest Gribble's life teemed with trials and contradictions. But who was this 'terribly wild man'?

Gribble wanted to be a drover or jackeroo, but he obeyed his dying father and embraced a missionary career with all the fervour of his tormented soul. 'Obsessed with sex', according to his superiors, Gribble zealously policed the behaviour of his Aboriginal charges, ruling his missions with a benevolent rod of iron. Anticipating the Stolen Generations, he abducted Aboriginal children from their parents 'for their own protection'.

To his contemporaries, this driven, quixotic man was either a visionary, a madman or a traitor to white society. His single-minded championing of Aboriginal rights made him powerful enemies and his campaign for an investigation into a police massacre of Aboriginals in the 1920s put Australia in the international spotlight.

Gribble's tortured private life matched his controversial public career. Once described as the first 'successful' missionary to the Aboriginals, Gribble would die in obscurity, mourned only by those he had spent his life trying to protect.

Christine Halse's biography reveals the humanity of this complex, tragic figure - a man whose life echoes the tensions that haunt Australia's past.

'What a story! A man who made hell in the name of heaven but in the late 1920s forced his country to acknowledge one of the last great massacres of black Australians.' - David Marr

Author bio:

Christine Halse was born and grew up in Sydney. She studied education at Macquarie University and gained her PhD in race relations at the University of Queensland. She is currently working at the University of Western Sydney, where much of her time is devoted to research and working with post-graduate students. Her research interests include cultural identity formation and relations between cultures and communities. She has published widely in these areas locally, nationally and internationally. An independent researcher for government and non-government organisations and national evaluator of institutions and education programs, Dr Halse is also an Executive member of the Aboriginal Studies Association and the Pacific Circle Consortium and Editor of the journal Pacific Asian Education. She plans to start sky-diving lessons on her 60th birthday. She is married and revelling in life with her daughter. A Terribly Wild Man is her first book.

Category: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9781865087535
Table Of Contents: Acknowledgements ix

Introduction xiii

A note on language xv

1 Mostly of tears 1

2 Clasping their children tightly 22

3 Porridge for every meal 48

4 Horse-thieves and harlots 74

5 When native fruits are ripe 93

6 Dark deeds in a sunny land 112

7 Ghosts crying in the dark 127

8 A complete outsider 154

9 Punishment place 170

Endnotes 193

Sources and a select guide to reading 205

Index 209
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: June 2002
Page Extent: 248
Format: Paperback - C format
Age: 0 - 0
Subject: Biography: general