Australian Football Hall of Fame (AFHOF)

The Australian Football Hall of Fame (AFHoF) was established by the AFL in 1996 to recognise people who have made a significant contribution to the game since its inception in 1858. The Hall of Fame includes footballers, coaches, media personalities, administrators and umpires. But what makes a significant contribution to the sport? Is it long service in a paid job? Is it the number of games played, or some other quantifiable statistic? Or could it be that through football someone changed what was acceptable in the game and in society?

The American baseballer Jackie Robinson acquired mythological status in American baseball by being the ‘first’ (which he was not) black player in the professional game. To survive this experience, Robinson suffered and endured much. Most Americans admire his achievement as something important. Robinson changed baseball and changed America. Is such a contribution to a sport worthy of recognition by a Hall of Fame? For many people it is.

Pastor Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls (1906-1988)

Doug Nicholls was born on Cummeragunga Aboriginal Station in New South Wales on 9 December 1906. Schooling was provided to Grade 3 standard and strict religious discipline was emphasised. When he was eight, Doug saw his 16-year-old sister Hilda forcibly taken from his family by the police and taken to the Cootamundra Training Home for Girls, an experience he would never forget.1

Cummeragunga fielded a strong indigenous football team which often played teams from the local Echuca region such as Echuca, Echuca East and Rochester. Young Doug was captain of the Cummeragunga school football team before joining the otherwise white Tongala football club (who played in the Goulburn Valley Football League).

As a player Doug was small and fast, only 157 centimetres tall. (He was eventually to be recognised as the all-time shortest Fitzroy Football Club player - equal with Barclay Bailes - and only two centimetres taller than the all-time shortest player, Jim Bradford of Collingwood/North Melbourne).

Carlton VFL

In 1926 Nicholls came to Melbourne to make his mark as a professional foot runner.2 Over time he would win more than 1,000 pounds as a foot runner. His biggest wins came in 1929 when he won the Warracknabeal Gift and Nyah Gift. Professional foot running was a seasonal (summer) sport, so Nicholls, already recognised as a good footballer, played football through the winter.

In 1927 Nicholls tried out as a footballer with Carlton. He appeared in an Argus report on Carlton’s ‘recruits at training’ as ‘Nicholls, a fast man’.3 However, soon after, the paper reported the Carlton selectors had not yet found the wing man for whom they were searching.4

Nicholls believed racism to be the reason he was not selected at Carlton. Stories have been written about this episode. They variously note that Carlton's trainers would not rub him down, that people said he smelled5, or that he was not allowed in the rooms.6 It should be added that Nicholls was not known for exaggerating racism and often played down the racism he himself actually faced.

With VFL access proving difficult, Doug Nicholls sought a home with the Victorian Football Association (VFA).

Northcote VFA

Doug Nicholls No:146- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
Doug Nicholls No:146- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
In 1927 Northcote Football Club in the VFA sought a new wingman to compensate for the loss of Tommy Downs, the 1925 Recorder Cup (VFA) winner. Downs left Northcote and filled the role at Carlton that Nicholls had wanted. Downs was a fiery character, and over the next years at Carlton he was suspended for 60 games - and played only 56.

Nicholls was immediately in the Northcote senior team. He played his first game at Brunswick in May 1927. The Argus listed first-gamer Nicholls as one of the best Northcote players on the ground.7 Initial success did not falter, and Nicholls became a regular in the Northcote side. Doug’s success meant that his brother joined him at Westgarth Street in 1928.

Nicholls played in Northcote’s 1929 premiership side, and in the club's two losing Grand Finals of 1930 and 1931. The Argus included Nicholls in its list of best players on the ground in all three Grand Finals (and listed him as best on ground in the 1930 decider).8 In 1930 Nicholls won Northcote’s Best and Fairest award.9

Association Representation

Often forgotten, as the VFA played so few interstate games, is the fact that Nicholls twice represented the VFA as a representative player, both times in 1931 (against NSW in Sydney, and against the VFL at the MCG).

Victoria VFA 1931- Team in Royal Blue and Gold- Australasian 1931 - Source: State Library of Victoria Newspaper Collection - Photographer Unknown
Victoria VFA 1931- Team in Royal Blue and Gold- Australasian 1931 - Source: State Library of Victoria Newspaper Collection - Photographer Unknown


In a preview of the VFA players before the important interstate game against N.S.W, the Sydney Morning Herald noted Nicholls as one of the main attractions, describing him thus: ‘he is a beautiful pass and high mark. Is very plucky, and revels in the crushes, out of which he bounces like a rubber ball’.10

In short, the fast paced wingman had become a VFA star.

Transfer

Around this time Ross Faulkner, a committeeman at both Northcote and VFL club Fitzroy, changed the name of his most popular footballs to ‘Native Brand’, in recognition of the efforts of Doug Nicholls. Faulkner's influence may also explain why Nicholls transferred to Fitzroy rather than to another VFL club.

To finish the Northcote story: Doug Nicholls would eventually play seven seasons with the VFA club (1927-31;1937-38). Later, in 1947, he was appointed Northcote’s senior Coach. As far as this writer can ascertain, Nicholls was the first indigenous coach in any major football competition in Australia, again pushing football boundaries.

Fitzroy VFL

Doug Nicholls - 1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - Source: Australian Rules Football Cards
Doug Nicholls - 1933 Hoadleys Victorian Footballers - Source: Australian Rules Football Cards
Finally in 1932 the doors opened at Fitzroy for the Association star. In Darwin, the Northern Standard repeated the news for the local readers:

(Nicholls) has been cleared by that Club to Fitzroy, and received his permit from the League last night. He was overjoyed at being free to play League football, and could not find the club secretary (Mr. T Coles) quickly enough to tell him. Asked what number he would like on his guernsey, he replied Number 13.11

Doug's first VFL game was Fitzroy's Round One win against Carlton in 1932. (Between 1932 and 1936 he would play 54 games for Fitzroy).

By 1934, Nicholls had become an established player in the Fitzroy team. One writer noted:

It is always certain that if Nicholls be hemmed in the centre of a crowd of players he will emerge with the ball and, once clear, his flashing speed gets him well ahead of any opponent and the ball is sent on with a low, skimming drop kick. He is a most agile player, and he leaps to a remarkable height when going for a mark. Not only does he take them in the ordinary way, but he is able to spin in the air and still hold the ball. Further he can mark when running in the direction of the ball instead of having to run in to meet it. His ability to run, bending down to pick up the ball at the same fast speed, raises him to a class above the average player.12

As a small player in the rough 1930’s game, Nicholls did not survive unscathed. In 1933, he was knocked unconscious and carried from the field during the second quarter of a game against Richmond. He was still unconscious when the third quarter began.13 In August 1934 Doug injured his knee in a game against Mooroopna.14 In 1935 he tore a thigh muscle and this put him out for a number of games at the end of the season.15 He quickly developed a reputation as a tough but fair player.

In 1934 Nicholls began studying to be a missionary and Pastor. Religion was becoming important to him, but he was also drawn to the Church because it was then one of the few avenues available for advancement. In Black America and South Africa, people who wanted to speak out against social injustice also used the church as their platform. It is clear that it was more than religious zeal driving Doug down this path, as he was soon using the Church to campaign for the betterment of the conditions of indigenous people.

This must have been a fine balancing act. Nicholls wanted to change the opinions of White Australia while still playing football. Already a popular footballer, he spoke in churches widely throughout Victoria. He had become famous for his dignity and fairness, and this at a time when football’s reputation for violence was at its height.

League Representation

The Daily News Perth 4-7-1938 p4
The Daily News Perth 4-7-1938 p4
Nicholls first represented the VFL in 1934 when he was chosen to play against the VFA. This particular VFL team was effectively a 'seconds' team, as another VFL team played on the same weekend against South Australia in Adelaide. This ‘seconds’ team was hardly a weak team! It featured future Hall of Fame players Reg Hickey (Geelong), Gordon Coventry (Collingwood), Alan Hopkins (Footscray), and Bill Mohr (St Kilda). The VFL's 33-point win was due in no small measure to both Nicholls and Carlton’s Joe Kelly who the Age newspaper reported ‘dominated the wings for most of the day’.16

In 1935 Nicholls was selected in the VFL team to play in Perth and Adelaide. A widely popular choice, Doug joined the team on what was an extensively reported trip.

Newspapers introduced the new star to their local audiences. A number of articles included an interview with Nicholls and reported his comments about the trip across the Nullarbor Plain - 'I saw some of my people, and I can only say that their lot is tragic. When I return to Melbourne I intend to bring their condition under the notice of the proper authorities. Their living conditions could be a lot better.'17 For many years Doug Nicholls was one of the few non-white persons in Australia able to talk about social issues where the message would be reported.

Nicholls played in both of Victoria’s victories over Western Australia, popular though not starring.18 He was expected to be chosen for the match in South Australia,19 but a leg injury kept him out.20 A bad toothache is also likely to have affected his performances. On the train trip from Perth to Adelaide, he had to dash off to the dentist when the train pulled in to Port Augusta to get his tooth pulled out. He only just made it back on - by running and jumping onto the moving train as it pulled out of the station, much to the amusement of his team mates.21

In 1936, with their own local boy Nicholls at the height of his football fame, the Cummeragunga football team proposed an exhibition match against the VFA. Nicholls, already speaking out against the conditions of aboriginal people, could only look on as Councillor Griffen (Port Melbourne Football Club) said such a match would ‘make a burlesque out of the Association’. The VFA decided to take no action on the matter.22 (In 1944 Nicholls led an indigenous All-Star side against Northcote in front of 10,000 people. Councillor Griffen’s comments would not have been forgotten).

In 1936 Nicholls continued to be a regular in the Fitzroy senior side. He was one of five players to win a club end-of-season award that year. 1936 however was to be his last season in the VFL. 23 In the following year, 1937, failing eyesight and ongoing knee injuries forced Nicholls to leave Fitzroy and return to Northcote.24

Community Involvement and Administration of Football

By 1938, after eleven years playing at an elite level, Doug's playing career was finished, but this did not end his connection to football. As with so many ex-football stars, the game would remain part of his life. Doug would be regularly stopped by people wanting to talk about football.

Nicholls confronted wider issues than just football. Throughout the 1940's, 1950’s and 1960's his voice became an important one in the fight for aboriginal rights. Nicholls had a politician’s memory for names, and his football connections and fame opened many doors.

Nicholls tackled racism in the game. He promoted aboriginal football and introduced other aboriginal players to VFL clubs. 25 Nicholls himself later played a game for Cummeragunga in 1940.26 He sponsored and played for All-Star aboriginal teams against city teams, most importantly a series of matches against Northcote (VFA) from 1944. Around 10,000 came to see the 1944 game, a bigger crowd than a number of VFL crowds that weekend (Round 6 1944).27 In 1947 Nicholls managed an aboriginal side that played a curtain-raiser against a combined Ballarat B-side. 1947 was also his year as non-playing coach of Northcote.28

In the late 1960’s Doug Nicholls was appointed inaugural chairman of the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation (NASF). Throughout this period he became an important administrator and patron. He helped to organise the first aboriginal Sports Carnivals, providing interstate football competition for aboriginal teams. According to the authors of a biography of Carnival organiser Alick Jackomos, the VFA's support for the 1973 Carnival was due ‘no doubt because of Doug Nicholls’ and his involvement as Patron.29 Carnival teams also played for the ‘Sir Douglas Nicholls Cup’. The NASF's Sports Carnivals continued and were held in Canberra (1974), Tasmania (1975), Alice Springs (1976) and Adelaide (1977). Importantly, after the 1973 Carnival, an All-Australian indigenous team was selected to play in Papua New Guinea, with Nicholls again as Patron.

The reputation Doug Nicholls built in the wider community, a reputation for fairness and kindness, was initially won on the football field. While still playing football, Nicholls spoke out on indigenous issues and became one of the strongest advocates for aboriginal rights in Australia. Further, many people were influenced, in their opinion about football, by Doug's community standing. Locally, within indigenous football, his involvement was also profoundly important.

Colour Barriers in Football

It can be difficult to appreciate the extent of racism in the white culture of 1930’s Melbourne. The full extent of the impact Doug Nicholls achieved as a prominent black man is therefore easily overlooked.

Racism reached a high level in the 1930's. In Germany, the United States, and South Africa, segregation and apartheid reigned supreme. In Australia, indigenous Australians were not immune. Many aboriginal people required permits to travel. Many were banned from drinking alcohol, and from practising law. Many aboriginal families were forcibly broken apart by white people, creating a whole ‘stolen generation’.

In the sporting world, aboriginal teams faced discrimination. A few examples:
  • In 1929, the Condobolin Rugby Football Club in Parkes (NSW) refused to play against an indigenous team if the latter was accepted into the local competition.30
  • In 1929, at Lake Tyers in Gippsland, the local aboriginal football team was not allowed to compete in the local competition. One reason given was that the blacks were too arrogant in victory over the white teams.31
  • In 1935, Waratah, a team of whites in Darwin, refused to play an indigenous team unless a particular umpire was selected.32
  • In 1953, the Argus reported that the Pingelly Football Association in Western Australia had banned aboriginal players in the Association since 1948.33

It is difficult to know how much sledging occurred on the football field in the thirties. Considering the experiences of recent indigenous footballers, it is reasonable to assume that Nicholls copped heavy racial abuse while playing football. If that was so, Nicholls faced the same dilemma that Jackie Robinson later faced in American Baseball. He would have been forced to accept years of abuse from opponents and crowds with little practical ability to fight back. If Nicholls did endure abuse on the football field, his campaign at the same time for aboriginal rights off the field shows his great character.

One anecdote in particular hints that Nicholls did experience sledging. An Argus writer noted - 'Mr. E. Pleydell, one of the St. Kilda delegates to the Victorian Football League, told me a story about Nicholls the other day. After Nicholls had got rid of the ball in a match, an opponent bumped him so hard that he fell to the ground. On rising Nicholls chased the offender right across the ground and, on catching up to him, remarked in soft tones, "Was that necessary, Gordon?" Gordon confessed later that he felt so abashed that he would have been happy to see the ground open up and swallow him.' 34

Off the football field in Australia, aboriginal footballers were treated differently than white footballers. In 1948, the former South Fremantle aboriginal player Billy Hayward was hauled to court and fined for receiving alcohol, his half drunk glass of beer being brought into the court as evidence.35 In 1954, the Canberra Times reported that Bruce Pott, another aboriginal footballer, had been sentenced to fourteen days jail for drinking beer.36 The report clearly stated his gaol sentence was not for drunkenness, rather for mere possession of alcohol. Pott waited three nights in prison before even being sentenced. Sadly, the newspaper explained how this was an even worse miscarriage of justice as ‘Pott was reared by a white family as a white man and has a white man's job and pay’.

One of the most famous stories written about the great Fitzroy footballer Haydn Bunton is also one that sheds light on the football experiences of Doug Nicholls. The story is that when Nicholls joined Fitzroy, he was changing by himself in one corner of the dressing room. Haydn Bunton approached Doug and asked why he was changing away from the other players. "We-e-ll", said Doug, "You know how it is...". And from that moment on Haydn Bunton was always alongside him in every dressing room.37 The story is usually told to acknowledge the humanity of Bunton, but what the story also shows is that Doug Nicholls - already a hardened professional, having played five seasons with the strong Northcote side - had faced racism in the change room for years.

Clearly Nicholls lived in a society where skin colour affected a person's daily life. Doug stood up to racism in his sport, not with a single action, like Nicky Winmar, but with years of campaigning and action - against a level of racism difficult to imagine in today’s Australia. The parallels between the experiences of Nicholls and those of famous black American baseballer Jackie Robinson are hard to ignore.

Outside Football

Nicholls campaigned tirelessly for aboriginal rights. The list detailing his involvement with protests, action committees, and campaigns is a long one indeed.38 He spoke to school children for instance, telling his own story and including the central part played by football. A few of his commitments outside football afford a glimpse of his activism:

  • Enlisted in the Army in World War Two. Served for around six months before being asked to work with the aboriginal community in Fitzroy.
  • Ordained as Churches of Christ Pastor in 1945.
  • Director of the Aborigines Advancement League.
  • Victoria’s second-ever aboriginal Justice of the Peace.
  • Elected Victorian Father of the Year 1962.39
  • Knighted by the Queen in 1972 (Australia's first aboriginal Knight) - for ‘distinguished services to the advancement of the Aboriginal people.’ 40
  • Crowned Melbourne’s 1973 'King of Moomba'.
  • Appointed Governor of South Australia (1 December 1976) but poor health made the appointment difficult to perform.

Sir Douglas Nicholls died in 1988 and is buried at the Cummeragunga Mission cemetery. In 2007 a statue of Sir Douglas and Lady Nicholls was unveiled in the gardens behind Parliament House, in Melbourne.

In 2005 the 'Sir Doug Nicholls Cup' was established in memory of his achievements. It is now the perpetual trophy played for in matches between AFL representative teams and teams of Indigenous All-Stars. An All-Stars side defeated the Western Bulldogs in 2005 to become the first holders. The trophy was lost to Essendon in 2007, but won back again against the Adelaide Crows in 2009. In 2013 the All-Stars defeated Richmond. They were captained on this occasion by Nathan Lovett-Murray (Essendon,145 games, 2004-), the grandson of Doug Nicholls.

Other Indigenous Footballers

All senior football competitions in Australia now recognise, and benefit from, the large number of indigenous players involved in the modern game. Also, the list of Indigenous players who participated at a senior level in the past continues to grow. Today, Joe Johnson (55 games, Fitzroy, 1904-06), Alf Egan (51 games, Carlton, 1931-1935), and others, are recognised as having begun their VFL playing careers earlier than Nicholls, though it must be noted that, in their own time neither Johnson nor Egan was identified publicly as being aboriginal.

Recently, Carlton Football Club historian Tony De Bolfo has added Cyril Mann to the list of early indigenous footballers. De Bolfo confirmed with Mann’s family that Cyril's grandfather was William Cooper, another great activist from Cummeragunga. 41 Cyril Mann played 42 games for Carlton (1939 - 1942, 1945).

Recent research by Melbourne Cricket Club historian Trevor Ruddell has also uncovered the remarkable story of Albert 'Pompey' Austin, who played a match for Geelong in the Victorian Football Association (May 25, 1872). Austin was undoubtedly the first aborigine to play senior football. 42

The fact that the list of indigenous names continues to grow in this way indicates the football community as a whole has become more aware and more mature. Nevertheless, it also makes it harder for modern football followers to appreciate just how ground breaking and courageous the VFL career of Doug Nicholls actually was. For many years he stood alone in the spotlight.

Calls for Recognition in Football

This article is not the first call for Doug Nicholls to be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame. He has been nominated multiple times by his family (Gary Murray’s 2013 nomination was posted in full on Facebook), and articles such as Michael Winkler’s ‘A Giant of the Game’ (2008) have already asked the question and received much comment.43

In May 2013, it was revealed that Doug Nicholls was on the short list of candidates for the next sporting legend statue at the MCG. AFL Community Engagement Officer Jason Mifsud was one of those supporting that push.44 This potential recognition of Nicholls at the MCG, as an iconic Australian sporting legend, is clearly in contrast to the absence of his name in the hundreds already recognised by the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Conclusion

The fact that the Australian Football Hall of Fame does not include Doug Nicholls must be seen as a glaring absence. One must accept that if Nicholls had been white he would have had far more opportunities. Importantly, Nicholls did not throw in the towel when rejected by Carlton: he starred in the VFA, forced his way into the VFL with Fitzroy, and then earned interstate representation. Nicholls also used his football fame as few others have done, and used it to campaign for aboriginal rights. His reputation, character and example were very well-known in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and there can be no doubt he blazed a path that others would follow.

For the Hall of Fame selectors to induct Doug Nicholls, they would need to recognise an intangible contribution that cannot be measured in the number of games played, or number of goals kicked. Oddly enough, these intangibles of “integrity, sportsmanship and character” are clearly written into the criteria for selection of candidates for the Hall of Fame.

Doug Nicholls was a tough, courageous footballer who triumphed as an indigenous player in a manner that made him a powerful beacon for all who followed. Nicholls was a truly iconic figure. He deserves far more official recognition by the football community.45

What makes a significant contribution to Australian Rules Football?

I say, look at Doug Nicholls.



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End Notes


2. A RARE CHARACTER. (1935, June 24). Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 - 1950), p. 4. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70243512
3. FOOTBALL. (1927, April 1). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 6. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3846751
4. FOOTBALL. (1927, April 11). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 7. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3848510
6. Doug Nicholls: the greatest? Michael Winkler 1:50 PM Mon 19 May, 2008 - http://archive.is/ku68x
7. No heading. (1927, May 23). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 7. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page454176
8. FOOTBALL. (1929, October 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 16. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4043460 ASSOCIATION FINAL. (1930, September 29). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 15. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4200317 ASSOCIATION. (1931, September 28). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 11. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4434968
9. BEST AND FAIREST PLAYERS. (1930, October 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 11. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4202038
10. VICTORIANS REVIEWED. (1931, August 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16800728
11. ABORIGINAL FOOTBALL PLAYER'S PERMIT. (1932, May 24). Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921 - 1955), p. 5. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49490473
12. Gossip from the Playing Fields. (1934, June 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 7 Supplement: The Junior Argus. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10948654
13. TRAGIC INCIDENT AT FOOTBALL MATCH. (1933, September 2). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), p. 16 Edition: HOME EDITION. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83405035
14. LEAGUE TRAINING. (1934, August 15). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 17. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10959327
15. HOPEFUL TEAMS. (1935, August 12). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 13. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11756688
16. The Age 18-Jun-1934 p6
17. Northern Standard Darwin 9-Jul-1935 p10
18. Victorians Gave Western Australia a Lesson in Football Tactics. (1935, June 22). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), p. 6 Edition: LATE CITY. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84177199 INTERSTATE FOOTBALL. (1935, June 26). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), p. 21. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32868057
19. Interstate Football EVEN CHANCE OF VICTORY. (1935, June 28). News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128488425
20. VICTORIANS HANDICAPPED. (1935, June 29). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 21. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40055665
21. BISSET IN DOUBT VICTORIA V. SOUTH AUSTRALIA. (1935, June 29). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 28. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12253706
22. ASSOCIATION TEAM. (1936, September 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 10. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11912183
23. Trophies at Fitzroy. (1936, September 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 10. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11912181
25. ASSOCIATION MAKES FEWER CHANGES. (1941, May 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 12. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8167054
26. GOOD FOOTBALL EXPECTED Park Oval Tomorrow. (1940, July 5). Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : 1869 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116293947
27. 10,000 SEE TEAM OF ABORIGINES. (1944, June 13). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 13. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11817338
28. Aborigines to play in curtain-raiser. (1947, June 5). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 15. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22430974
29. A Man of All Tribes: The Life of Alick Jackomos, by Richard Broome and Corinne Manning p187
30. RUGBY FOOTBALL. (1929, June 21). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24271046
31. ABORIGINES BARRED. (1929, April 21). Sunday Mail (Brisbane) (Qld. : 1926 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97685668 ABORIGINAL FOOTBALLERS. (1929, April 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 19. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4000366
32. Darwin Football Squabble Extends To Aborigines. (1935, April 16). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74135812
33. Why keep it quiet?. (1953, October 17). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 44. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23311388
34. Popular Choice. (1935, June 1). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 27. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12244457
35. Ex-Footballer Fined. (1948, January 31). Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 - 1956), p. 1. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75776752
36. 'WHITE' ABORIGINE GAOLED FOR DRINKING BEER. (1954, January 13). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p. 1. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2905327
37. A legend in his time. (1971, September 25). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p. 12. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110679183
39. PASTOR DOUG: HE BEAT THE ODDS. (1979, December 29). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p. 11. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110976004
40. Queen names 20 knights. (1972, June 3). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), p. 1. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article102024535
42. See Trevor Ruddell, Albert 'Pompey' Austin: the first aborigine to play senior football, in Peter Burke and June Senyard (eds.), Behind the Play: Football in Australia, Maribyrnong Press, Hawthorn (Victoria), 2008, pp. 89-105
45. Doug Nicholls: the greatest? Michael Winkler 1:50 PM Mon 19 May, 2008 - http://archive.is/ku68x3