Historian Peter Read found by talking to Wiradjuri survivors that there is an Indigenous oral tradition which tells that Queen Victoria gave Aborigines freehold title to reserves because she knew that they were the true owners. One Wiradjuri man, Gordon Simpson, told Read in 1979 that 'the land as far as I can remember, as I've heard me father and the older people talking about it, did belong to the Aboriginal people themselves - not belong, but they lived on it all their lives. There was some controversy going on some years ago about the Queen making a special grant to a special family, by the Queen of the day, Queen Victoria, they mentioned the name. Well the records went astray on that one, we couldn't prove this was the case or not'.
Keywords: land ownership, Queen Victoria, reserves
Read P (ed), 1984, 'Down there with me on the Cowra Mission',Pergamon Press, p 132.
Author: Rowse, Tim and Graham, Trevor