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Wombeetch Puyuun, c1818 – 1883 Wombeech Puyuun, also known as Camperdown George, was a member of the Liwura Gundidj clan, the traditional owners of the land around Camperdown. He was the last member of his clan still living on Country.

Wombeetch Puyuun, c1881.

The ups and downs of Wombeetch Puyuun’s life was extensively reported in the newspapers of the time. But what stands out is the superficial nature of this reporting. There is no mention of his family, or of his tribal past and culture – just a record of the way he infringed the white man’s rules about how he should live. 

However, what also stands out from this reporting is Wombeetch Puyuun’s determination to live on Country, and to be free to come and go as he pleased. He refused to move to the Framlingham Aboriginal Station, despite pressure to do so, and continued to reside in Camperdown until his death. 

The earliest mention of Wombeetch Puyuun is in a list of Aboriginal people attending the Mount Rouse Aboriginal Protectorate Station, near Penshurst. He spent a few days there in early 1843, but it seems he only stayed long enough to see what was on offer. He also occasionally visited the Framlingham Aboriginal Station, where most of his surviving clan members had been moved after 1865. 

Wombeetch Puyuun preferred a simple, unencumbered life and was content to reside in a simple native hut (mia mia). In 1876, Aboriginal Guardian, James Dawson moved ‘George and Charlie’ into a very comfortable European style hut he had arranged built for them at the western end of Camperdown. On returning to check on them a few days later, he was… ‘astonished to find that they had forsaken the hut and returned to their old camp site and mia mia’.

In 1882, acting Aboriginal Guardian, Robert D Scott came up with a novel solution: he arranged for a solid dwelling to be built that closely resembled a mia mia. This dwelling apparently met with the approval of Wombeetch Puyuun. He lived here until his death from bronchitis on 26 February, 1883. 

In reporting the death of Wombeetch Puyuun, the Camperdown Chronicle paid him a rather underhanded compliment. He was described as ‘a universal favourite… He had a kindly nature and was possessed of none of the worst qualities of his race… The old man had refused to be moved to Framlingham, preferring to wander about the streets of the town with his two dogs’. 

Wombeetch Puyuun is buried at the Camperdown cemetery. His grave is marked by an impressive obelisk, erected in his memory by his friend and Guardian, James Dawson.

Wombeetch Puyuun at Lake Gnotuk, c1878.


From the “Hampden Guardian” newspaper, 22/2/1877

Constables Sinnott and Keyte, when walking about the township, had there attention directed to the old blackfellow, “Camperdown George”, who having by some inconsiderate people been supplied with intoxicating liquor, was being noisy and disagreeable. 

George on being remonstrated with, insisted that this was “his country” and continued his abuse of the police and everyone in general. It was deemed best, in the old fellows interest, to remove him to the lock-up where he was deposited for the night.

The next morning George was brought before Mr. Peter McArthur J.P., who gave him a good talking to. Mr. McArthur suggested to George that he should go down to Framlingham, and remain at the aboriginal station there.

But the old fellow merely shook his head, and, remarking that this was “his country”, offered to take sixpence as an instalment of the rent due by the white fellows generally, and by the magistrate in particular.