Uncle George Gorringe and Mrs. Elsie Debney at the Kirrenderri, Heart of the Channel Country Exhibition opening on 11 March 2022. Bill Gorringe worked for the Debney family at Arrabury Station. The Debneys were very supportive of the Mithaka people.
You might be surprised to learn that there has been treaty between Indigenous people and settlers – as long ago as 1889.
After decades of brutal oppression from the colonial state, frontier violence in the Channel Country was ended by the Debney Peace in 1889. This was a negotiated peace ceremony, led by Mithaka elders.
Historian Tom Griffiths wrote an article in The Conversation about the Debney Peace, of which the only written record is Alice Duncan-Kemp’s book, “Where Strange Paths Go Down”(1964).
Elsie Debney is the wife of Murray Debney, and her sister Shirley married Murray’s brother Ross. Elsie and Shirley’s parents owned Cuddapan Station.
Ross managed Arrabury Station until it was sold in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Murray was the boreman.