Kings of the Ranges
Featured Image: Acknowledge Up Country Entertainer; Thursday 1st February 2018
Stewart Foster is from Doomadgee in the Gulf and works on Morstone Downs Station, a property of some 176,000 hectares near Camooweal, Queensland. Morstone runs approximately 15,000 head of Brahman and Brahman/Charbray cattle.
It’s just possible Stewart Foster is a relative of King Cubby Pedro photographed with my father-in-law Bob Mackay at Lawn Hill Station in the early 1970s?
Cattle work on Lawn Hill was ‘seasonal’ during the ‘Dry’. Aboriginal stockmen were accessed from the nearby Doomadgee Mission. Doomadgee is a largely indigenous community located in the Gulf of Carpentaria, approximately 140km from the Northern Territory border and 93km west of Burketown. The community is positioned alongside the Nicholson River and provides access to the coast, freshwater rivers and Lawn Hill National Park, one of the Gulf’s most popular natural tourist attractions. The Waanyi and Gangalidda people are recognised as the Traditional Owners for the region surrounding Doomadgee.
The Aboriginal stockmen were apparently offered a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) My brother-in-law has a copy of a Memorandum of Agreement (dated 1949 I think) between a named aboriginal of Doomadgee Mission and the agent acting for Lawn Hill. It is for employment at Lawn Hill at £7 per week; which was quite good for the time I think? The memo is signed by the agent and with a thumb print by the aboriginal stockman. Interestingly it is not counter-signed by the owner or owner’s representative?