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Place Names Register Extract

Ruddick Circuit

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Name Ruddick
Type Designation Circuit
Place Id 23195
Place Type Road
Status Registered
Date Registered 4 March 2008
Locality / Suburb  
  Stuart Park
Local Government Area  
  Darwin City Council
History/Origin RUDDICK CIRCUIT is named in commemoration of Mrs Daisy (Nawala) Florence Ruddick (nee Cusack) born on the Vestey owned Limbunya station in 1915. Her father was Jack Cusack, and her mother was a Gurindji woman named Demae.

As a small child she was removed from her family, bought to Darwin and placed in the Kahlin Compound. At the age of 12 she became nanny to Austin Asche, who later became Administrator of the Northern Territory, and who became a life-long friend. Encouraged by Dr Cecil Cook, she bought herself a house, in an era when coloured women could not do this easily, at Salonika.

In 1939 she married Joseph Ruddick, who was in the RAAF and came from Victoria, and they were to have four children. Daisy was evacuated during the War spending time in Mildura and Melbourne. It was there that she began a lasting friendship with Edward 'Weary' Dunlop (later Sir Dunlop).

All during her life Daisy set standards and expected others to maintain theirs. She completed her nursing training and was often called the 'Pied Piper' for gathering many who had fallen on hard times. Her home became a refuge for many until they could start again. Many of the children she cared for were not hers.

She complained when curfews were placed on part-Aboriginal people. She was active in the Australian Half-Castes Progressive Association, the Darwin based Sunshine Club and actively worked to improve conditions for mixed race people. After she and Joe separated, Daisy went to work at the Darwin Hospital and eventually formed a relationship with Tom Dickson that lasted to her death.

Daisy died on 23 April 2002 and her funeral was held in the former Vesteys meatworks water tank, now part of the Darwin High School, because as funeral director John McNamee said 'There wasn't a church in town big enough to hold it'. There were at least 2,000 people in attendance and Austin Asche was one of the speakers. He said in part, ?affection, tolerance, warm friendship and goodwill to all, were the marks of her life?

Register & Gazettal information

Date Gazettal Comment
04/03/2008 Date registered
12/03/2008 NTG 10
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