Background image: Ngullukbang Kurrunbang (Ngul-luk-bang Kur-run-bang) - Turtle Rock. This cave or rock is now known as Yankee Hat.

Holding onto Country in the 21st Century

Two main Ngambri families maintained their connection with their ancestral country into the 21st century. These were the families of Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams and Richard ‘Black Dick’ Lowe.

Both Harry and Dick worked as stockmen on stations mainly in the Murrumbidgee area from the 1860s onwards, particularly at Cuppacumbalong and Lanyon.

They also maintained Ngambri camps at Gudgenby, Namadgi, Cooleman, Gurrangorambla and many other places up in the mountains and on the plains.

Dick married Sarah McCarthy-Duncan, the daughter of Nanny. They had eleven children, most of whom died young but some of them survived.

Sarah and her children eventually settled in Yass. Some Lowe descendants still live in the Yass area. Dick passed away while on a visit to Goulburn in 1916. He was 76.

Harry married a Yass woman, Ellen Grovenor, nee Howe, and they had three children: Daisy, Harold ‘Lightning’ and Joseph Roderick, known as Roddy. While Ellen and Daisy lived mainly in Yass, Harry and his boys continued to take care of their ancestral country in the Canberra region. Harry died aged 84 in 1921.

Roddy never left his country. He worked as a labourer on the construction of the provisional Parliament House and helped rebuild Yarralamla House. He died at his camp at Russell Hill, Canberra, in 1951.

It is mainly Lightning’s descendants who have maintained the Ngambri connection to our ancestral country in the 21st century.

Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams

Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams at Uriarra Station, circa 1903.
Photo by George Webb, reproduced courtesy of the Webb Family of Fairlight Station

Arnold Williams

Son of Doug Williams. Here studying axe grinding grooves at Middle Creek, Namadgi National Park, 1991.
Photo by Reg Alder. Photo reproduced courtesy of the Williams family.