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National Museum of Australia

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Photograph depicting Moir family picnic at Delta Downs Station, North QLD, c1890s

2009.0012.0002

Photograph depicting Moir family picnic at Delta Downs Station, North QLD, c1890s

Object information

Physical description

A sepia photograph on card, depicting two men, two women and a young child [Moir family] having a picnic, with palm trees in the background. The family are lying or sitting on palm fronds lain over the ground, and a billy is positioned at the lower right corner of the image. On the reverse of the card, the number '2' is handwritten in pencil.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of a brass breastplate, eight sepia photographs, a cardboard box and some archival material. The plate was presented to Gallawang, an Aboriginal man who was the head stockman at Delta Downs Station (or Delta Station) in 1893, by the station manager, James Alexander Moir. On the top edge of the plate the year '1893' has been stamped into the metal. On the body of the breastplate 'GALLAWANG / KING OF DELTA' has been stamped. The photographs depict the homestead, the Moir family and Aboriginal workers.

Breastplates are a tangible record of relationships between individual settlers and Aboriginal people around mainland Australia. They were frequently presented to recognise the 'Chief' or 'King' of a 'tribe', which was often an attempt to aid peaceable settlement. They also often recognise service, such as on pastoral properties like Delta Downs where by the 1880s most of the stockmen were Aboriginal. Delta Downs is located 80 kilometres north of Normanton, on the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Queensland, on the land of the Kurtjar people.

Object information

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