Percy Hobson, Australia’s first indigenous gold medallist featured on SBS Living Black


Percy Hobson, Australia’s first indigenous gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games.

Hobson cleared 2.11m to win the high jump at the Perth 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

Last night, SBS Living Black program featured Hobson.

“Didn’t sink in straight away, you know? I was just emotional. I didn’t cry or anything, I just really felt good,” said Hobson whilst reflecting on winning gold.

“Mum never had any visitors ever. And that night the whole house was packed. People wishing her good and all that.”

“They took every Australian champion except me. And then a bloke in Sydney said ‘You know why you didn’t go?’ I said no. He said ‘Because you’re Aboriginal’.”

“I’d missed out on the trip to Indonesia because of being Aboriginal.”

Commonwealth Games high jump representative, Joel Baden believes it’s a privilege to hear such a story which should continued to be remembered in history.

“I think stories like Percy’s are moments that get lost in history and that kind of especially lost on probably current athletes or event the public, so I think even for me just to see that these people have existed and, like, excelled in their times it’s good to bring up to, like re-motivate everyone at the moment.”

IMAGE | Getty Images

Known as the ‘Boy from Bourke’, his achievements of Hobson are still being celebrated in his hometown with a local author, Helen Coolican writing his biography.

“It is definitely a labour of love. I wouldn’t, you know. But always has been to me that one of the most exciting things that I can remember about my childhood because the whole town went berserk. Here am I, what, 55 years after the event… still excited by what happened and wanting to tell the story, so I think that proves something, doesn’t it?”



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