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Pepper-Connolly, Louise (c. 1841 - 1934)

c. 1841
Port Albert, Victoria, Australia
Aboriginal health worker and Childcare worker


Louise Pepper-Conolly was of Kurnai descent. Her mother was killed by squatters and she, in her grandsons' words, 'was overtaken and wounded by gun pellets'. Later, in search of her own people, she settled on the Ramahyuck mission. There she married Nathaniel Pepper, and the couple were given charge of children in the mission orphanage house.

Upon her husband's death in 1877, Louise remained in charge of the orphanage which, at times, housed 20 children as consumption took its toll on the Kurnai. In 1886, government assimilation policy forced Louise and her family from Ramahyuck to Stratford. She was on call to many of the people who had been residents at Ramahyuck.

A stone monument commemorating Louise Pepper-Conolly has been placed in the main street of Bairnsdale, Victoria.

Sources used to compile this entry: Horton, David (ed.). The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Vol. 2, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1994, p. 857.

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