Xavier Herbert's classic Australian novels Poor Fellow My Country (1975) and Capricornia (1938) are acknowledged as directly influencing Baz Lurhmann's film Australia. Aboriginal children have a particular significance in white imaginings of a distinctly Australian race destiny. Moreover, the creamy Aboriginal child has become a redemptive emblem of reconciliation in cultural imaginings. This article revisits Herbert's Aboriginal child character, Prindy, in Poor Fellow My Country, to assess Herbert's nationalist ambitions and how they were embodied by the mixed-descent child in his work. It situates this aspiration within an acquisitive impulse towards racialized children that characterized British colonialism, and that re-appears in Luhrmann's Australia.