Crow Yougarla, Thirty-Three Men

Anyhow we went to Warrawagine then, we get a good lot of people. You know Mac Gardiner, bin working there, Cookie Gardiner, and all bin working there, Warrawagine. We had a meeting with that mob, night time, and all willing. ‘Tomorrow morning we coming, what we got to say – “we got to go with this mob”’.

Alright, we coming early, Bill Shepherd was manager then. We coming there. ‘Gooday’. ‘Gooday everyone’.


‘Where you going?’

‘We aftering these people’.

‘Why you going aftering this mob?’

All the Mac mob [say], ‘We bin waiting for this mob, we got to go. All got to be in one way, no scab. We got follow this mob’.

So we get them back, went half way, half way where that Callewa is, you know that two hills? old road there, new road come to that road, in that gap now, river, this side river, two hill alongside of Callewa. We come through there then. We pulled up with a semitrailer, and all go jail, with a handcuff.

And went there, and pull up half way, and went. Went Yarrie then. And he see me, my boss: ‘You’re here? I tell you you got to keep away from troubles. You’ll get jail, you’ll get jail now’.

Alright, we went in the court then, in Marble Bar. I had two months, and another bloke, one boss, one boy, Sambo’s brother, he’s finished in Port Hedland, young brother belong to Sambo Bina. And we stop there and we come back right back.


Audio: Crow Yougarla (Yakalya), recorded by Anne Scrimgeour, Woodstock Station, 21 August 1991.
Photo: Crow Yougarla, Board for Anthropological Research, South Australian Museum, AA346/4/22/1 Pilgangoora R603.

Related Sources

O'Neill's Account of Strikers' Campaign to Fill the Jails

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Exhibit Analysis: 

The strikers’ campaign to fill the jails took place in 1949, following the imprisonment of ten men for removing a worker, Cocky Brown, from Corunna Downs Station. In protest, and to demonstrate their refusal to be cowed by O’Neill’s threat, parties of strikers began travelling out to stations to bring more workers into the strike. By April, 43 men had been imprisoned.