AustraliaSir Douglas Nicholls

Sir Douglas Nicholls Biography, Wiki, Age, Wife, Children, Cause of Death, Google Doodle

9th December 2018 - Google celebrates Sir Douglas Nicholls with a doodle on what would have been his 112th Birthday

Sir Douglas Nicholls Wiki

Sir Douglas Nicholls Bio

Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls was born on 9th December 1906 and died on 4th June 1988. He was a prominent Aboriginal Australian from the Yorta Yorta people. Douglas Nicholls was a professional athlete, Churches of Christ pastor and church planter, ceremonial officer and a pioneering campaigner for reconciliation.

Nicholls was the first Aboriginal Australian to be knighted when he was appointed Knight Bachelor in 1972 (he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1977 and also the first appointed to vice-regal office, serving as Governor of South Australia from 1 December 1976 until his resignation on 30 April 1977 due to poor health.

Sir Douglas Nicholls Personal details
Sir Douglas Nicholls Born He was born on 9th December 1906 in Cummeragunja Reserve, New South Wales
Sir Douglas Nicholls Died 4 June 1988 (aged 81) Mooroopna, Victoria
Sir Douglas Nicholls Nationality Australian
Sir Douglas Nicholls Wife Gladys Nicholls
Sir Douglas Nicholls Profession Athlete, Pastor, and Political leader
Sir Douglas Nicholls Google Doodle 9th December 2018 – Google celebrates Sir Douglas Nicholls with a doodle on what would have been his 112th Birthday
28th Governor of South Australia
In office 1 December 1976 – 30 April 1977
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Preceded by Sir Mark Oliphant
Succeeded by Sir Keith Seaman

Sir Douglas Nicholls Early life

Nicholls was born on 9th December 1906 on the Cummeragunja Reserve in New South Wales. He was the last born of five children. His parents were Herbert Nicholls and Florence Atkinson. His paternal grandfather was Aaron Atkinson, who was the brother of William Cooper.

Schooling at Nicholls’s mission was provided to Grade 3 standard, and strict religious principles were emphasised. At the age of eight, he saw his 16-year-old sister Hilda forcibly taken from his family by the police and taken to the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls where she was trained to become a domestic servant.

At 13 Nicholls worked with his uncle as a tar boy and general hand on sheep stations, and he lived with the shearers. He worked hard and had a cheerful disposition. This annoyed one of the shearers so much that he challenged Nicholls to a fight, with the loser to hand over one week’s pay (30 shillings – $3). After six rounds the shearer who challenged him conceded defeat.

Sir Douglas Nicholls Family

Nicholls married Gladys Nicholls in December 1942, the widow of his brother Howard Nicholls (1905–1942); Howard (who had married Gladys in 1927) had died in April 1942 as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. Gladys already had three children. Douglas Nicholls and Gladys were married for 39 years and raised their combined six children; two sons, Bevan, and Ralph, and four daughters, Beryl, Nora, Lilian, and Pamela. Lady Gladys Nicholls died in 1981.

Nicholls’ great-grandson Nathan Lovett-Murray also played Australian Rules Football, playing 145 games for Essendon.

Sir Douglas Nicholls Governor of South Australia

Nicholls was appointed Governor of South Australia on 1st December 1976, on the nomination of Premier Don Dunstan. He was the first non-white person to serve as the governor of an Australian state and is the only Aboriginal person to have held viceregal office. Due to his race, his nomination proved controversial and attracted more attention than most viceregal appointments.

Nicholls suffered a stroke and was admitted to the cardiac ward at Royal Adelaide Hospital on 25th January 1977. He had a history of high blood pressure and had suffered a mild heart attack some years earlier. His retirement due to ill health was announced on 22 April, with effect from 30 April. He held office for only 150 days, making him the shortest-serving governor in South Australian history and the only governor to serve for less than a year.

Sir Douglas Nicholls Google Doodle

On 9th December 2018, Google celebrates Sir Douglas Nicholls with a doodle on what would have been his 112th Birthday for championing the upliftment of Australia’s Indigenous people and leading to him becoming the first Aboriginal Australian to be knighted by the Queen of England.

Sir Douglas Nicholls Google Doodle

Sir Douglas Nicholls Death

Nicholls died on 4th June 1988 at Mooroopna. A state funeral was held for him and he was buried in the cemetery at Cummeragunja.

Sir Douglas Nicholls Football and Coaching Career Highlight

Football career
Personal information
Original team(s) Tongala
Height 157 cm (5 ft 2 in)
Weight 65 kg (143 lb)
Playing career
Years Club Games (Goals)
1927–1931 Northcote
1932–1937 Fitzroy 54 (2)
1937–1938 Northcote
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1935 Victoria 4 (0)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1947 Northcote 20 (4–16–0)


Moses Njoroge is the Senior Editor at Glob Intel, a news and IT service provider company. He has a wide range of experience in freelance writing, Web/System Development and other related IT services.

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