Tjandamurra O'Shane

Last updated

Tjandamurra O'Shane
Born (1990-08-15) 15 August 1990 (age 32)
NationalityAustralian
Other namesJanda
Children1
Parent(s)Tim O'Shane
Jenni Patterson
Notes
O'Shane is of Murri people.

Tjandamurra (Jandamarra) "Janda" O'Shane (born 15 August 1990) is a Murri Aboriginal Australian who at age six was the victim of a fire attack whilst playing at a schoolyard in Cairns, Queensland on 10 October 1996. He is the nephew of New South Wales magistrate Pat O'Shane, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner Terry O'Shane. O'Shane's given name comes from the Aboriginal resistance fighter Tjandamurra, and is sometimes transliterated as 'Jandamurra'. [1]

Contents

The attack, and O'Shane's struggle to survive, captivated the Australian nation, as millions followed his plight in the Australian media. [1]

The attack

The perpetrator, Paul Wade Streeton, arrived at the school carrying a 5-litre can of petrol, and never revealed why he chose to attack O'Shane out of the group of children in the playground. Streeton drenched O'Shane in fuel, and set him alight with a cigarette lighter. O'Shane ran through the school yard with his body in flames. Hearing O'Shane's screams, school principal Michael Aitken rushed out of his office and proceeded to smother the flames with his shirt and hands.

With burns to 70 percent of his body, O'Shane was not expected to live. He required long periods recovering at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, and years of skin grafts. As most of his sweat glands were destroyed by the fire he can only sweat through his face and hands, making it difficult to play sport. [2]

Aftermath

He became a national figure in Australia, as the country sympathised and followed his progress. [1] The attack received publicity around the world.

Streeton was arrested and later convicted for the attack. He was sentenced to life in jail. [1] O'Shane and his mother Jenni Patterson say they have forgiven Streeton. [3] Pat O'Shane described Streeton's sentence as "too harsh". [4]

Support

In 1996, boxer Lionel Rose presented O'Shane with his World Title belt, hoping to speed the youngster's recovery. [5] [6]

Fundraising activities took place around Australia. The current affairs program Witness, on the Seven Network, set up an appeal, and was inundated with money, chocolates, teddy bears and toys for O'Shane. The program raised in excess of $120,000, and money kept coming during following years. [7] Australian rock band Midnight Oil played a charity concert in Townsville, Queensland in 1997, to raise money for O'Shane's recovery. [8]

In June 1999, at the age of eight, O'Shane was awarded A$75,000 in criminal compensation in the Supreme Court of Queensland. [9] Some commentators, including New South Wales Attorney-General Jeff Shaw, used the case to highlight inequities in the compensation laws, pointing out other cases where no physical harm was done, but much larger sums of money were issued. [10]

Graham Richardson of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, gave O'Shane a position on the Torch Relay of the 2000 Summer Olympics. As he was three years below the minimum age to carry the flame, O'Shane ran with his mother. [11]

In an interview given to The Courier Mail in 2008 to mark his 18th birthday, O'Shane said he was bemused by the enormous amount of national attention he had received in Australia. "Yeah, it's a bit strange," he said. "Sometimes I forget that all of Australia knows what happened. People still want to know how I'm going." [1]

In 2008 O'Shane graduated from Woree State High School after completing Year 12. He and his partner have a son, Raupena [12] and a daughter, Ava-Marie. [13]

Related Research Articles

Stolen Generations Indigenous Australian children forcibly acculturated into White Australian society

The Stolen Generations were the children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were removed from their families by the Australian federal and state government agencies and church missions, under acts of their respective parliaments. The removals of those referred to as "half-caste" children were conducted in the period between approximately 1905 and 1967, although in some places mixed-race children were still being taken into the 1970s.

Cathy Freeman Australian athlete and Olympic gold medalist (born 1973)

Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman is an Australian former sprinter, who specialised in the 400 metres event. Her personal best of 48.63 seconds currently ranks her as the ninth-fastest woman of all time, set while finishing second to Marie-José Pérec's number-four time at the 1996 Olympics. She became the Olympic champion for the women's 400 metres at the 2000 Summer Olympics, at which she lit the Olympic Flame.

<i>Wik Peoples v Queensland</i> 1996 High Court of Australia decision

Wik Peoples v The State of Queensland is a decision of the High Court of Australia delivered on 23 December 1996 on whether statutory leases extinguish native title rights. The court found that the statutory pastoral leases under consideration by the court did not bestow rights of exclusive possession on the leaseholder. As a result, native title rights could co-exist depending on the terms and nature of the particular pastoral lease. Where there was a conflict of rights, the rights under the pastoral lease would extinguish the remaining native title rights.

Adam Goodes Australian rules footballer

Adam Roy Goodes is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Sydney Swans in the Australian Football League (AFL). Goodes holds an elite place in VFL/AFL history as a dual Brownlow Medallist, dual premiership player, four-time All-Australian, member of the Indigenous Team of the Century and representative of Australia in the International Rules Series. In addition, he has held the record for the most VFL/AFL games played by an Indigenous player, surpassing Andrew McLeod's record of 340 during the 2014 AFL season before having his own record surpassed by Shaun Burgoyne during the 2019 AFL season.

Eddie Mabo Torres Strait Islander and land rights activist for indigenous Australians

Edward Koiki Mabo was an Indigenous Australian man from the Torres Strait Islands known for his role in campaigning for Indigenous land rights in Australia, in particular the landmark decision of the High Court of Australia that overturned the legal doctrine of terra nullius that had previously characterised Australian law with regard to land and title. High court judges considering the case Mabo v Queensland found in favour of Mabo, which led to the Native Title Act 1993 and established native title in Australia, officially recognising the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia to own and use the land on which their families had lived for millennia.

Andrew Laming Australian politician

Andrew Charles Laming is a former Australian politician who was a member of the House of Representatives representing the Division of Bowman, Queensland, for the Liberal National Party of Queensland from 2004 to 2022. He sat with the Liberal Party in federal parliament.

Robert William "Bob" Bellear was an Australian social activist, lawyer and judge who was the first Aboriginal Australian judge. Bellear served as a judge of the District Court of New South Wales from 1996 until his death in 2005.

Patricia June O'Shane is a retired Australian teacher, barrister, public servant, jurist, and Aboriginal activist. She was Australia's first Aboriginal magistrate, serving the Local Court in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia between 1986 until her retirement in 2013.

Frank Tenison Brennan SJ AO is an Australian Jesuit priest, human rights lawyer and academic. He is known for his 1998 involvement in the Wik debate when Paul Keating called him "the meddling priest" and the National Trust classified him as a Living National Treasure. Brennan has a longstanding reputation of advocacy in the areas of law, social justice, refugee protection, Aboriginal reconciliation and human rights activism.

The following lists events that happened during 1997 in Australia.

Jandamarra or Tjandamurra, known to European settlers as Pigeon, was an Aboriginal Australian man of the Bunuba people who led one of many organised armed insurrections against the European colonisation of Australia. Initially utilised as a tracker for the police, he became a fugitive when he was forced to capture his own people. He led a three-year campaign against police and European settlers, achieving legendary status for his hit and run tactics and his abilities to hide and disappear. Jandamarra was eventually killed by another tracker at Tunnel Creek on 1 April 1897. His body was buried by his family at the Napier Range, where it was placed inside a boab tree. Jandamarra's life has been the subject of two novels, Ion Idriess's Outlaws of the Leopold (1952) and Mudrooroo's Long Live Sandawarra (1972), a non-fiction account based on oral tradition, Jandamurra and the Bunuba Resistance, and a stage play.

Tjandamurra may refer to:

Australian native police Police units consisting of Australian Aboriginal men

Australian native police units, consisting of Aboriginal troopers under the command (usually) of at least one white officer, existed in various forms in all Australian mainland colonies during the nineteenth and, in some cases, into the twentieth centuries. The Native Mounted Police utilised horses as their transportation mode in the days before motor cars, and patrolled huge geographic areas. The introduction of a Police presence helped provide law & order to areas which were already struggling with crime issues. From established base camps they'd patrol vast areas to investigate law breaches, including alleged murders. Often armed with rifles, carbines and swords, they sometimes also escorted surveying groups, pastoralists and prospectors through country considered to be dangerous.

The trial of Lex Wotton relates to the events surrounding the Townsville, Queensland proceedings in the Federal Magistrates Court concerning the actions taken by Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council member Wotton during the 26 November 2004 Palm Island riots.

Australian frontier wars 1788–1934 conflicts between settlers and Indigenous Australians

Australian frontier wars is a term applied by some historians to describe violent conflicts between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous settlers during the colonisation of Australia. The first conflict took place several months after the landing of the First Fleet in January 1788, and the last frontier conflicts occurred into the early 20th century, with some occurring as late as 1934. An estimated minimum of 40,000 Indigenous Australians and between 2,000 and 2,500 settlers died in the conflicts. Conflicts occurred in a number of locations across Australia.

Rosella Namok is an Indigenous Australian artist from Lockhart River, Queensland. Namok was taught art at high school and learned printmaking and other techniques through a community art project in 1997 that led to the formation of a group of artists known as the Lockhart River Art Gang.

Mick Miller (Aboriginal statesman) Aboriginal Australian activist and politician

Mick Miller was a notable Aboriginal Australian activist, politician, and statesman who campaigned for most of his life seeking greater social justice, land rights, and improved life opportunities for Aboriginal Australians in North Queensland and the rest of Australia.

Ningali Josie Lawford, also known as Ningali Lawford-Wolf and Josie Ningali Lawford, was an Aboriginal Australian actress known for her roles in the films Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), Bran Nue Dae (2009), and Last Cab to Darwin (2015), for which she was nominated for the AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Stuart Phillip Pegg is an Australian burns specialist. He is credited with developing and providing life saving treatment for critically ill burns patients.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Michael, Peter (16 August 2008). "Doused with petrol, burnt, but he's 'cool'". The Courier Mail. Archived from the original on 18 August 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  2. Saurine, Angela (16 August 2008). "Jandamarra O'Shane, a warrior full of forgiveness". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 19 August 2008.
  3. Davis, Sam (15 August 2008). "A good day: Jandamurra O'Shane celebrates his 18th birthday". ABC News . Retrieved 19 August 2008.
  4. Bulletin, Indigenous Law (1997). "Indigenous Law Bulletin, Recent Happenings, May 1997". Indigenous Law Bulletin. AustLII . Retrieved 19 August 2008.
  5. Dickins, Barry (30 July 2005). "A Rose diamond, cut from the softest stone". The Age . Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  6. Nobbs, Tony. "WBC Presents Belt to Lionel Rose". eastsideboxing.comeastsideboxing.com. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  7. Freeman, Jane (4 August 1997). "Mixed Media". The Sydney Morning Herald . p. 2.
  8. Jopson, Debra (8 August 1997). "Loud and land rights; music". The Sydney Morning Herald . p. 27.
  9. AAP General News [ dead link ] Retrieved on 2008-08-19
  10. Shaw, Jeff (18 May 2000). "Libel money talks louder than free speech". The Sydney Morning Herald . p. 19.
  11. "Burns victim wins hearts". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 June 2000. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  12. Jandamarra O'Shane wants to meet attacker - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  13. "The boy who burned: 25 years on from school petrol attack". 9 October 2021.