Aussie Fifty Dollar Note

Poem written by Greg Dodge

There’s something very special about this true Aussie legend that I’m about to share,
He led such an exceptional life, spanning ninety-five long years, for his people even today, that was very rare1.

He was born in South Australia of the Ngarrindjeri2people in 1872,

Where he was acknowledged at such a young age, with many things that he seemed to pursue.

He was an inventor, and a scientist, an author, a musician, and a preacher,

They called him the Australian Leonardo da Vinci3, such an inspiring teacher.

He travelled widely to promote the cause of Aboriginal rights,

In 1909 his goal was to patent many inventions for the whites

He played around with perpetual motion4 and patented his shearing tool5,

He applied for nineteen patents, he was definitely no fool

One day he was observing a boomerang6as it moved gracefully through the air

He had developed the basic design for a helicopter, 22 years before it was operational somewhere.

As the first Indigenous author he has written a vast amount of books,
He found out pretty quickly that most book publishers, in those days, were just flamin’ crooks.

Political issues he fought for Aboriginal affairs and self determination

Travelling all over this country, to protest with his people about their continual denigration.

By the way, his name is David Unaipon and he is honoured with his picture on the Aussie Fifty dollar note
Check out his “Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines”7and many more books that he wrote.

The Queensland State Library8in ‘88 started giving Indigenous authors the David Unaipon Award9,
So that the stories, myths and legends of our First Nations people are known here and abroad.
Remember the next time you get to look at an Aussie Fifty Dollar note
You’ll look proudly at his picture – and always remember what David invented and what he wrote.

Listen or view the POEM, Aussie Fifty Dollar Note here

Written and Spoken by Greg Dodge © 2020


  1. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/indigenous-life-expectancy-and-deaths
  2. https://coorongcountry.com.au/indigenous-ngarrindjer-coorong-culture/
  3. https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/09/28/remembering-david-unaipon-man-fifty-dollar-note
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion
  5. https://digital.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/nodes/view/2845
  6. https://www.originalpeopleonline.com/blog/what-does-the-boomerang-helicopter-and-australian-50-note-share-in-common
  7. https://www.bookdepository.com/Legendary-Tales-Australian-Aborigines-Unaipon-David/9780522849059?ref=grid-view&qid=1630635432368&sr=1-2
  8. https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/
  9. https://guides.lib.uw.edu/c.php?g=341672&p=2299458#:~:text=About%20the%20David%20Unaipon%20Award&text=Named%20in%20honour%20of%20David,who%20have%20not%20been%20published.

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One Comment

  1. The stories of such great people should be told in our education system. This will bring pride amongst our brothers and sisters today, and understanding to those that may have prejudice due to a lack of understanding.

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