MICKEY JOHNSON (1834-1906)
ABORIGINAL KING OF ILLAWRRA
A Collection of Images
Compiled by Michael Organ
Mickey Johnson, King, 1896, Wollongong City Library Collection.
Mickey Johnson (1834-1906) is perhaps the best known Aboriginal man of the Illawarra district from the nineteenth century.  Much has been written about him, a number of photographs taken, and in 1896, as part of the region's centenary celebrations, he was proclaimed 'King' in a ceremony at Wollongong Showground. At the time he was also presented with a breastplate by local politician and historian Archibald Campbell MLA. Mickey was seen as one of the leaders of the local Aboriginal community, though precise details of his life and his place in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal society is yet to be revealed in any detail. The images on this page represent a gallery of portraits and images taken in nature. The majority are undated and of vague provenance. A number of photographs are attributed to Samuel Cocks, a local, Kiama-based photographer, though these attributions are not definitive.
Mickey Johnson, Wollongong City Gallery Collection, glass plate positive
Mickey Johnson, Samuel Cocks Collection, University of Wollongong Archives An Australian Aboriginal, postcard Mickey Johnson, Wollongong City Library Collection
Mickey Johnson, Wollongong City Library Collection
Mickey Johnson and family, Samuel Cocks Collection, University of Wollongong Archives Mickey Johnson and family, with Mr McDonald who owned a shoe store , Wollongong City Library Collection
Mickey Johnson, barking a tree , Samuel Cocks Collection, University of Wollongong Archives Mickey Johnson, photograph by Samuel Cocks, Wollongong City Library Collection
Mickey Johnson and family meeting with William Buthong (King Billy or Madbili) of Shoalhaven and family, Samuel Samuel Cocks Collection, University of Wollongong Archives
Mickey Johnson receiving his king plate, Wollongong Showground, 30 January 1896, Wollongong City Library Collection
Benjamin Edwin Minns (Australian, 1864-1937), 'Mickie Weston', signed and dated 'B E MINNS 1920' and inscribed '"Mickie Weston"/ (King)/ N.S.W South coast' (lower right), watercolour, 38 x 33cm (14 15/16 x 13in). Sold at Owston Collection sale, Sydney, June 2010.
Mickey, Australian Aboriginal - Australia 1938 Sesquicentennial Poster Stamps Sheet - sheet of fifty six vintage vignettes commemorating the 150th anniversary of the settlement of the British Crown Colony of New South Wales. Approximate size of each stamp: 50mm x 34mm. Overall sheet size: 14.9in x 10.4in. Mint never hinged. Produced by the Australian National Travel Association and New South Wales Government Printer.
1 Michael Organ, Illawarra and South Coast Aborigines 1770-1850, Aboriginal Education Unit, University of Wollongong, 1989, 649p.