Sally K. May

Sally K. May is Senior Research Fellow with the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University. She is also the author of Collecting Cultures: Myth, Politics, and Collaboration in the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition (2009).

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2805-023X

The Bible in Buffalo Country »

Oenpelli Mission 1925–1931

Publication date: October 2020
Arriving in the remote Arnhem Land Aboriginal settlement of Oenpelli (Gunbalanya) in 1925, Alf and Mary Dyer aimed to bring Christ to a former buffalo shooting camp and an Aboriginal population many whites considered difficult to control. The Bible in Buffalo Country: Oenpelli Mission 1925–1931 represents a snapshot of the tumultuous first six years of the Church Missionary Society’s mission at Oenpelli and the superintendency of Alfred Dyer between 1925 and 1931. Drawing together documentary and photographic sources with local community memory, a story emerges of miscommunication, sickness, constant logistical issues, and an Aboriginal community choosing when and how to engage with the newcomers to their land. This book provides a fascinating and detailed record of the primary sources of the mission, placed alongside the interpretation and insight of local Traditional Owners. Its contents include the historical and archaeological context of the primary source material, the vivid mission reports and correspondence, along with stunning photographs of the mission and relevant maps, and finally the oral history of Esther Manakgu, presenting Aboriginal memory of this complex era. The Bible in Buffalo Country emerged from community desire for access to the source documents of their own history and for their story to be known by the broader Australian public. It is intended for the benefit of communities in western Arnhem Land and is also a rich resource for historians of Aboriginal history (and other scholars in relevant disciplines).

Macassan History and Heritage »

Journeys, Encounters and Influences

Edited by: Marshall Clark, Sally K. May
Publication date: June 2013
This book presents inter-disciplinary perspectives on the maritime journeys of the Macassan trepangers who sailed in fleets of wooden sailing vessels known as praus from the port city of Makassar in southern Sulawesi to the northern Australian coastline. These voyages date back to at least the 1700s and there is new evidence to suggest that the Macassan praus were visiting northern Australia even earlier. This book examines the Macassan journeys to and from Australia, their encounters with Indigenous communities in the north, as well as the ongoing social and cultural impact of these connections, both in Indonesia and Australia.