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Mick Rangiari interviewed by Jack Doolan

Jack Doolan: And then we'll talk about that walk off from Wave Hill.

Mick Rangiari: Well, when we come back after that race meeting at Negri, and we did — to come back. We wanted, like just get our stuff from truck. We had a couple of truck then, from Negri. And that evening, and someone said: 'Oh, old Vincent come back from Darwin.' And they said: 'Oh, you know what we going to do about it tomorrow?'

Everybody get up, you know, where the camp, everybody muster, to listen to this old man bin talking: 'Okay, we got to make a move tomorrow.' Before we give everybody, and give pensioner women and men, okay, you know, give them warning. 'Okay, soon as everybody have breakfast, we can go to Vestey office, and see Mr Fisher, and we'll say nobody can work for him. We got to start.'

Okay, that night we had a camp, everybody, because he bring good news.

Jack Doolan: Yeah, so that's one day you didn't go to work?

Mick Rangiari: Next morning, next morning. Just one day. Soon as we bin come back from Negri, and that late.

Mick Doolan: And Vincent's back by this time, eh?

Mick Rangiari: And that night we had to listen to old Vincent, what he got to tell us. Every family bin gone listen to Vincent: 'Okay, tomorrow we go to Vestey office. And we going to start to walk away.'

So we did. Alright. We camped that night, and next morning everybody get sort of dressed, have a breakfast, and everybody bin come to sort of one places. All bin meet up there. And so we bin walk into office, Vestey office. Okay, and old Vincent and Gerry, and few others, elders, bin look for — going inside, found this bloke sitting in his office.

And this old man said: 'Oh, we got to tell you something. Could you come out, just for a second.' So Mr Fisher come out, and everybody was just right around that bloke, he was in the middle. And Vincent there, and Gerry and few others, elders. Okay, talk to him: 'Okay, we bin brought up by Vestey, and you know we bin working slave, just for tobacco, bit of salt beef, bucket of tea and a bit of damper, that's all, and nothing for every week.' We used to get one box of matches and nicki-nicki tobacco. 'This time, we just sorry, you can have your station. It is your station, we just walk out of station now.' And Mr Fisher said: 'Oh, you're joking!'

'I'm taking my mob now. I'm taking everybody from this station. So you can't see us more.' When we leave this station, we mean that, because Vesteys are rich people. One of your boss, they in Sydney, some in England. And they should give us fair go. Good house, good everything, you know. They didn't recognise we are human being. They must have bin think us some sort of animal.

Now we just walked away: 'Okay, goodbye.' So we walked away.

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This is an edited transcript typed from an audio recording.
The National Museum of Australia cannot guarantee its complete accuracy.

© National Museum of Australia 2007–22. This transcript is copyright and is intended for your general use and information. You may download, display, print and reproduce it in unaltered form only for your personal, non-commercial use or for use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) all other rights are reserved.

Date published: 26 March 2020

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