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'King Billy' 'King Billy' i(A61317 works by) (a.k.a. Jimmy Clements; Nangar; Yangar)
Born: Established: ca. 1847 ; Died: Ceased: 28 Aug 1927 Queanbeyan, Queanbeyan area, Canberra region (NSW), Southeastern NSW, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
Heritage: Aboriginal Wiradjuri ; Aboriginal
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Respected Elder and Lore man, Jimmy Clements aka 'King Billy' along with John Noble, aka 'Marvelous' were present at the opening of the Provisional Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927, a controversial gesture that has since been interpreted as the first land-rights demonstration. Police tried to move Clements on, but the assembled crowd rallied around him and he was allowed to stay.

On the following day, May 10, prominent citizens were paraded before the Duke and Duchess of York as they stood atop the steps of Parliament House. Clements was among those who passed before them. As the Argus reported at the time, 'an ancient aborigine, who calls himself King Billy and who claims sovereign rights to the Federal Territory, walked slowly forward alone, and saluted the Duke and Duchess. They cheerily acknowledged his greeting'.

  • Source: McKenna, Mark, This Country : A Reconciled Republic? (2004).

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Last amended 9 Aug 2017 11:19:38
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