Bobby McLeod (1947 – 30 May 2009)
Bobby was an Aboriginal activist, poet, healer, musician and Yuin elder. He was from Wreck Bay Village, Jervis Bay Territory. He was involved in the fight for Aboriginal rights in Australia and travelled the world speaking about cultural lore, health and healing. Life Bobby was born in 1947, the oldest of 6 kids, and a descendant of the Monaro people. He grew up at Worragee, an Aboriginal community outside Nowra. His father, Arthur, was a labourer, a boxer, and an alcoholic. His mother was active in the Worragee-Wreck Bay chapter of the Country Women's Association and the local Baptist church. Her father was Robert Brown, the first Aboriginal stipendiary magistrate. His father's father was a black tracker on the NSW south coast. Bobby started his singing career in the Baptist Youth Fellowship choirs. He learnt to play the guitar from Jimmy Little's family. Bobby completed his Intermediate at Nowra High School in 1963, excelling at sport. His family moved to the new "model suburb" of Green Valley in Sydney's south-west. In 1966, a Sydney City Mission report on the suburb described "a lack of community life, a breakdown in family life, large numbers of deserted wives, needy children and bewildered people". Within two years of moving there, Bobby had been sentenced to five years in jail for assault and robbery after a fight at Blacktown RSL. After being released from prison in 1968, Bobby played rugby league for the Redfern All-Blacks. Bobby was in prison a second time in 1973 when his father died. He wrote his first song, "Wayward Dreams", after attending the funeral on day release.