Papunya Deaths 1966 - 1970


National Archives of Australia F133 Item 1966/146 Papunya Deaths Paul Mackett Copyright P J Mackett, 2011 28. 4.1966 From Papunya Settlement to Alice Springs Edward Jambajimba born 6. 8.1964, mother Manbaia Edward died 12. 3.1966 Alice Springs Hospital Also mentions Nanuma, born c1944. 6. 5.1966 Telegram to Darwin Sam, aged 5 months, died 5. 5.1966 at Papunya from pneumonia. Mother is Nelly, father is Ben Two Bob. 9. 5.1966 Wireless message Papunya to Alice Springs Female child Pauline died am 7. 5.1966 at Papunya. No 'apparent' suspicious circumstances. 9. 5.1966 Telegram to Darwin Reporting death Papunya 7. 5.1966 child Pauline. Further details when available. Death Alice Springs Hospital 8. 5.1966 Peter aged 14 months ex Woola Downs from pneumonia. Parents Ivy and Roy Potter. 10. 5.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Sam, born 13.12.1965, died 5. 5.1966, mother nellie, father Ben Two Bob. Suffered severe measles in April and went down from there. Died at Papunya. Certificate of Burial (No 581). 10. 5.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Pauline, born 20. 3.1965, died 7. 5.1966, mother Bicky, father Turkey. This child, eldest of twins, was brought to the Hospital early Sunday morning 8. 5.1966 where she was discovered to be dead. Apparently died the evening before. Died at Papunya. Certificate of Burial (No 582). 12. 5.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Ada, born 27. 9.1965, died 11. 5.1965, mother Rosie, father Don. Measles in April then downhill from there. Died in Alice Springs Hospital. 23. 5.1966 Wireless message Papunya to Alice Springs Male child Sidney, born 14. 5.1966, mother Iliam, died am 22. 5.1966. Body not buried and is being picked up by Police today for post mortem as requested by Coroner. 26. 5.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Christine, born 2. 5.1965, died 26. 5.1966, mother Mutjanku, father Tjitjuwin. Died at Papunya. Dead when brought to the Papunya hospital at 8am on 26th May. 25. 5.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Matali, born 21.12.1965, died 22. 5.1955, mother Ngangi, father Shorty Bruno. Measles in April. Died in Alice Springs Hospital. 24. 5.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of child Sidney. Born 14. 5.1966. Mother of Sidney is Iliam, born 23. 2.1952, father is Cranky Jimmie (deceased), mother is Annie. Father of Sidney is alleged to be Carbine. 25. 5.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Etina, born 9. 8.1965, died 20. 5.1966, mother is Anindo, father is Yala Yala. Died in Alice Springs Hospital. Mother and child had measles. 25. 5.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Maggie, born 3. 5.1965, died 14. 5.1966, mother Wanatjura, father Tjitjuwinya. Mother is blind. Measles in April. Died in Alice Springs Hospital. 25. 5.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Sidney, born 14. 5.1966, died 22. 5.1966, mother Iliam (born Haasts Bluff 23. 2.1952, her father Cranky Jim deceased and mother Annie ROW p149), father not known. Was brought to Superintendent at 6.30am on 22. 5.1966. His body was stiff and from cold although the back was still a little warm, he was covered in loose gravelly dirt. 17. 5.1966 Confidential Memo from welfare Branch to Director (Southern) Concerning deaths of children at Papunya and Yuendumu. Mentions child Pauline, Reuben Jabaljari at Yuendumu and Trina Nabananga. 7. 6.1966 From Social Welfare Branch Alice Springs to Darwin States reports attached for deaths of children Christine, Sidney, Matali, Etina and Maggie, all ex residents of Papunya Settlement who died in the month of May 1966. 3. 6.1966 Telegram to Darwin Reporting death Alice Hospital 3. 6.1966 Billy Number 2 twin aged 14 months ex Napperby cause measles and Trachyitis. Mother Patsy father Don STOP. 27. 5.1966 not named female died Papunya born same day mother Murmuya father Tjugadai family shown on Kintore Range Patrol Census. Police investigating. Papunya 2. 6.1966 Ruby aged 3 years mother Winnie, Father Willie. Further details when available (presumably died). 3. 6.1966 Wireless message from Papunya Female child Ruby, mother Gwinnie, father Willie Jabanardi, died 3.00pm yesterday. No suspicious circumstances. 6. 6.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Ruby Nabananga, born 24. 6.1963, died 2. 6.1966, mother Winnie, father Willie. Died en route Papunya to Alice Springs Hospital. Ruby and Winnie were visiting from Yuendumu. 6. 6.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Kirindji Kuku, born 1920, died 6. 6.1966, wife Anmanari. Severe measles at end of May. Died Alice Springs Hospital. 10. 6.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Christopher, born 19. 7.1965, died 8. 6.1966, mother Mary, father Carpa. 14. 6.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Steven, born 6. 1.1966, died 8. 6.1966, mother Nora, father Charlie. Died Alice Springs Hospital. 30. 5.1966 Police Alice Springs to coroner Alice Springs Death of Aboriginal male child Sid. Aged 7 days when died. Mother was Iliam and grandmother Annie. Interpreter Bobbie. Ilium stated she had trod on the child during the night when she had risen to go to the toilet. 9. 6.1966 Telegram to Darwin Reporting death of Christopher 8. 6.1966 aged 11 months. mother Mary, father Karpa. 9. 6.1966 Wireless message from Papunya Male child Christopher born 19. 7.1965 mother Mary father Karpi brought down dead from camp yesterday. AMS and coroner notified. Body and mother and father evacuated to Haasts Bluff then Alice Springs. 5. 7.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Moyura (Muiura), born 1922, died 5. 7.1966, husband Nosepeg. She died (in her sleep) during the early hours of 5. 7.1966 8. 7.1966 From Papunya to Social Services Alice Springs Information re deaths of children 1. 1.1966 - 30. 6.1966 Name Glenda Mother Nitjanka Born 18.12.1965 Died 2. 1.1966 Age 15 days Cause Severe chest infection Comment Baby was not brought to sister until it was too late. Hospital 8.00am - died 9.00am. Name Shira Mother Alice Born May 1962 Died 31. 1.1966 Age 3 yrs 8 mths Cause Chest infection Comment Child in poor condition having just returned from Ragget's Well Name Edward Mother Mambia Born 6. 8.1964 Died 12. 3.1966 Age 1 yr 7 mths Cause Loss of weight, diarrhoea and chest infection Comment (... censored ...) Mother refused admission to Alice Springs Hospital for 3 weeks. Name Gerry Mother Wentjia Born 6. 3.1965 Died 24. 3.1966 Age 1 year Cause Malnutrition, failure to thrive. Comment (... censored ...) Name Kim Mother Tatuli Born 12. 6.1964 Died 19. 4.1966 Age 1 yr 10 mths Cause Malnutrition and chest infection Comment (... censored ...) the child, and also refusing admission to Alice Springs Hospital Name Sam Mother Nellie Born 13.12.1965 Died 5. 5.1966 Age 4 1/2 mths Cause Chest infection following measles Comment Baby's condition deteriorated suddenly whilst arrangements for evacuation were being made. Nellie most co-operative. Name Pauline (twin) Mother Bickey Born 20. 3.1965 Died 7. 5.1966 Age 1 yr 3 mths Cause Gross weight loss Comment (... censored ...) mother had new baby and repeated camp rounds and enquiries failed to find the child - weight at death 10 lbs 3 oz Name Ada Mother Rosie Born 27. 9.1965 Died 11. 5.1966 Age 7 1/2 mths Cause Chest infection following measles also infected mouth Name Maggie Mother Wanatjura Born 3. 5.1965 Died 14. 5.1966 Age 1 year Cause Diarrhoea and chest infection. Loss of weight. Comment Mother had been sick with measles and child was (... censored ...). Also very difficult to feed. Name Etina Mother Anindo Born 9. 8.1965 Died 20. 5.1966 Age 9 mths Cause Malnutrition Comment Mother had been very sick with measles, and the child was (... censored ...). Name Sid Mother Iliam Born 14. 5.1966 Died 22. 5.1966 Age 9 mths Cause (P.M. Report) Ruptured stomach Comment (... censored ...). Child seen day before death when perfectly healthy in the morning, but sick at night but not dangerously so. Name Matali Mother Ngangi Born 21.12.1965 Died 22. 5.1966 Age 6 mths Cause Chest infection and diarrhoea Comment Chest infection contracted following measles Name Vanessa Mother Kawai Born 1. 6.1965 Died 25. 5.1966 Age 11 1/2 mths Cause Chest infection, loss of weight following measles. Comment Mother refused admission to Alice Springs Hospital on numerous occasions - even refused to return to Alice Springs with Doctor in the A.M.S. aeroplane. She finally went by road but it was too late. Name Christine Mother Mortjunka Born 2. 5.1965 Died 26. 5.1966 Age 1 year Cause Post mortem report - Pneumonia Comment Healthy the day before brought dead to hospital the following morning. Name Unnamed Mother Murmuya Born 27. 5.1966 Died 27. 5.1966 Age ? mins Cause Suffocation - P.M. report Comment Grandmother (Nanguri) on trial for murder. Acquitted at Supreme Court Hearing Name Ruby Mother Winnie Born 24. 6.1963 Died 2. 6.1966 Age 3 yrs Cause Dehydration Comment Mother 'went bush' when evacuation plane arrived returned later. She was thought to have been visiting from Yuendumu and was not sen or looked after because of this. Name Steven Mother Nora Born 6. 1.1966 Died 8. 6.1966 Age 5 mths Cause Dehydration caused by diarrhoea. Comment Child lost weight very quickly and baby was evacuated by air but died in Alice Springs Hospital some time later. Name Christopher Mother Mary Born 19. 7.1965 Died 8. 6.1966 Age 11 mths Cause P.M. Report - pneumonia Comment Seen at 5.00pm eating happily appeared well and healthy. Brought to hospital dead at 6.00pm. Information re deaths of children 1. 1.1966 - 30. 6.1966 Comments supplied by W Eldridge Sister in Charge and P pedersen Superintendent Papunya. The high death rate at Papunya so far this year is to a certain extent due to the epidemic of measles in April / May which reduced the resistance of many infants to the usual winter infections. There are too many mothers at Papunya who will sit down in camp when good, nourishing food is available at the Infant Feeding Centre yet they invariably come for their own meal 1/2 an hour later and think it sufficient to offer their child something from their own plate - be it a potato, onion or hunk of meat. An improved system of checking the children attending the centre has so far had good results. Attendances at present are very good and an all round improvement of the infant's health has been noticed. The native people are utterly ignorant of the nutritional requirements of their children. The lack of hygiene, despite adequate facilities is appalling and causes a quick spread of infection. This situation is further aggravated by the ever multiplying CANINE population sharing the same lodgings, blankets and eating and drinking utensils. Many dogs are diseased, starving scrounging skeletons to be seen scavenging through all the garbage cans for scraps. e.g. On 28. 6.1966 when a sister, during a 'camp round', went to check on a 4 day old baby, she counted no less than 12 dogs sharing the wurlie. We are hoping that the Village will help to alleviate some of the poor conditiond that these children have had to contend with in the past. Some children remain chronically underweight despite all efforts on our part to improve this condition. When children in this category become ill they have little or no resistance and deteriorate rapidly. We find our greatest problem is the non-co-operation of some parents when their child is ill and it will be some time till 'white-man's medicine' will overrule tribal customs. 25. 7.1966 Telegram to Darwin Reporting death Papunya 22. 7.1966 adult female Namutja. 25. 7.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Manatji Nambajimba, born 1945?, died 22. 7.1966, husband Tjalyuri, child Susan. Died at Papunya. 26. 7.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Cowboy (Woralyari), born 1936?, died 11. 7.1966, mother Tjinatjiritu. Died Alice Springs Hospital 3. 8.1966 Wireless from Papunya Aged female Aboriginal Munjuta died am today No suspicious circumstances. Cause not known, probably old age, born 1895. 3. 8.1966 Telegram to Darwin Reporting death Papunya 3. 8.1966 Munyuta born 1895 husband deceased. Undated Alice Springs Hospital Deceased Unnamed Babe, female, new born Born 26. 5.1966 Papunya Post Mortem 30. 5.1966 at 12.00 noon Cause of Death Asphyxiation - Foreign matter in air passages Signed J A Hawkins, Medical Officer Mother Murmuya Clinical History New born babe found by Settlement Sister to have dirt in its mouth PM - External Findings Dirt begrimed new born baby whose mouth and pharnyx were packed with dirt Mouth, etc Mouth and pharnyx packed with dirt and saliva Neck, Larynx etc Larynx choked with dirt Oesophagus Thinly lined with mud Trachea and Bronchi Dirt evidence down trachea both bronchi and its divisions Lungs - Left Some areas of atelectasis Summary Dirt impacked into mouth, pharynx, glottis, trachea and major bronchi. Some areas of atelectasis of both lungs. Probable cause of death Suffocation (asphyxia) by foreign matter (dirt) in mouth and airways. 9. 8.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Stillborn male child, born 7. 8.1966, died 7. 8.1966, mother Piyungku, father Yumbuluru. Born prematurely in camp. 9. 8.1966 Telegram to Darwin Reporting deaths Alice Area 2. 8.1966 Dolly Naird Numbinka ROW p3 Police investigating Post mortem Stop Papunya 6. 8.1966 aged pensioner Junti Jungarai Stop Alice area 7. 8.1966 Peter Winnum ROW p165 Police investigating Post Mortem Stop Alice area 7. 8.1966 Billy Williams ex Amoonguna aged 58 yrs Post Mortem Stop Papunya 8. 8.1966 mother Payungku and her stillborn baby Further details when available. 25. 7.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Manatji (Nambajimba) born 1945? died 22. 7.1966, husband Tjalyuri, child Susan. Died in her sleep on the 22. 7.1966 and had been deceased about two hours when seen by the Sister. 9. 8.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Piyungku, born 1944?, died 8. 8.1966, husband Yumburulu, children Noel, Walkabruta, Liam. We were indirectly notified she had delivered a male infant in the Village. 22. 8.1966 From Papunya to Social Welfare Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Jinakatara, aged 37 yrs, died 20. 8.1966, first wife deceased, second wife Payungku, third wife Kayu-Kayu. Died Alice Springs Hospital. 24. 8.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Unnamed female stillborn 24. 8.1966, mother Valmai (Tjulata), father Edimintji, siblings Warren, Donald. Premature about 7 1/2 months. 30. 8.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Yarngaia Nabaljari, born 1900, died 29. 8.1966, daughter Liddy, son Frank. Died Papunya. 8. 9.1966 From Papunya to Registrar Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Nangatji Naburula, born 1925, died 5. 9.1966, husband Yala Yala (or Gibbs). 19. 9.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Mooratjina, age approx 60 yrs, died 16. 9.1966, first wife Ngilara, second wife Yamanari, third wife Ngingura, fourth wife Wunajarra. Arrived on the Settlement with 17 other Pintubis via a Patrol Officer. 8.11.1966 Wireless from Papunya Female child Avis, parents Johhnie and Lonnie Wheeler, died am 5.11.1966. Doctor and Coroner advised. Body transported Alice for PM as requested. Aerial Medical. 10.11.1966 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Avis Nabanardi, born 22.10.1966, died 5.11.1966, mother Lornie, father Johnny Wheeler. 29. 1.1967 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Monica Ratara, female, age 60 yrs, died 29. 1.1967. 16. 3.1967 Telegram Papunya to Alice Springs Unnamed female child, mother Enawentja, father Nolan Nulipa, believed stillborn bush on 14. 3.1967. No suspicious circumstances. Body evacuated with mother to Alice Springs Hospital yesterday. 17. 3.1967 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Enawentjia, born 1939?, died 15. 3.1967, husband Nolan (Ngulipa), daughter Janie. Dien in the plane en route to Alice Springs Hospital. 20. 3.1967 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Unnamed, born 14. 3.1967, died 14. 3.1967, mother Enawentjia deceased 15. 3.1967, father Nolan (Ngulida). Enawentjia had only one living child Janie aged 6 years. She lost two others at birth, a male in 1959 and a female in 1963. 21. 8.1967 Wireless from Papunya Nawi (Nairi) Jubarula Pintubu approx 37 yrs wife Mulkia (or Rawmona) deceased am sunday 20. 8.1967. Body despatched to Alice Springs for Post Mortem as considered there were suspicious circumstances. Note added in biro states Papunya advised cause of death (1) Rheumatic heart disease (2) Congestive failure (3) Chronic liver damage 29. 3.1967 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Cecily, born 5. 2.1966, died 24. 3.1967, mother Pirmankara, father Billy Parker. 17.11.1967 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Dick (Wokila) Jungala, born 1939, died 15.11.1967, brother Taba Taba. Involved in fight while intoxicated. Spear wound penetrating back fleshy portion of thigh. Bleeding ceased when seen by Sister at 6.30pm 15.11.1967. Patient deceased 7.30pm 15.11.1967. 2.11.1967 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Copper, born 1. 5.1960, died 2.11.1967, mother Tjunkaia, father Toba. 23. 5.1968 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Darkie, born 1895, died 23. 5.1968, wife Lingandari, children Bicky, Letji, Charlie Marshall. Darkie moved away soon after the death of his son Dick 9. 4.1968. 17. 9.1968 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Circumstances of death of Ngalunta, born 1910, died 14. 9.1968, husband Walter Tabolba, children Lottiem Mona, Anderson, David, Shirley, Emma, Katawiltja. 26. 9.1968 From Papunya The Director Ngalunta Nabangadi, Pintubi tribe, born 1910, died 14. 9.1968 at Papunya Settlement. Ngalunta was a hemplegia following a stroke in hospital and this appears to have been the cause of his death. 12.11.1968 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs Information Form Death - Doctor George Pangata Pastor Petering, Lutheran minister resident at Papunya proceeded to Glen helen after your telegraphic permission to bury was received. On arrival at Glen Helen Station he was advised that the deceased had been buried by Zaccheus (Tom Onion) and Jimmy, both residents at Glen Helen Station. 15.11.1968 Telegram to Darwin Reporting Deaths 5 (five) Aboriginal children Stop Susan Mary Golder Santa Teresa 10 months died Alice Springs Hospital 16.10.1968 cause of death septicaemia Stop Beverly Papunya 6 month died Alice Springs Hospital 9.10.1968 cause of death respitory failure due bronchial pneumonia Stop Ruth Nambajimba 2 yrs 9 months died Willowra 4.10.1968 cause of death asphyxia due pulmonary congestion Stop Paula Nambula 6 months died Willowra 11. 7.1968 cause of death gastroenteritis plus pneumonia Stop Shawn Yuendumu died Alice Springs Hospital 28.10.1969 cause of death cardio respitory arrest due septicaemia due gastroenteritis Stop No suspicious circumstances in any above cases Stop 3.12.1968 From Papunya to Coroner Alice Springs On the 24.11.1968 I was called to the camp at 4.30pm. Obviously the female baby delivered of Esiam, husband Sandy Abbot, was stillborn. 7. 2.1969 From Darwin to Papunya Aborigines reported deceased Enclosed are a list of Aborigines who are reported to have been in your area. We believe that they have died, but we wish confirmation of this from one relative or several people who are in a position to be able to verify the deaths. We would also like information (if possible) of the whereabouts, approximate date and circumstances of the deaths. Kanutja Ngalia, female, born 1899 Manadji, Pintubi, female, born 1946 Husband Tjalyuri, child Susan Tjingaba Mary, Pintubi, female, born 24. 7.1959 Papunya Father Paddy Wojapi, mother Jeanne Maka Rupert, Pitjantjara, male, December born 1956 Father Snowy McDonald, mother Itjealia Tom, Ngalia, male, born 1928 Mother Jitilba Walangkura I, Pintubi, female, born 1938 Husband Uta Uta, children Geordie, born 1955 Tjutjama, born 3. 8.1960 Maurice, born 3. 3.1960 Martin, born 24. 7.1963 Edith, born 19. 5.1966 22. 7.1970 Telegram to Papunya Stephen Jabarula's body cannot be returned until completion of autopsy examination recommended to coroner by you Stop Please forward circumstance report of death. _______________________________________________________________________
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