This blog is a place where Rob Douglas reflects in writing about some of the things that impact the life of people who follow Jesus. They are intended to encourage people to think about the stuff that we come in contact with as part of the journey of life. Your thoughts and comments are appreciated. Rob believes that thinking through issues of life, faith and practice is a discipline that needs to be encouraged.

Rob Douglas is a pastor, storyteller and blogger. Rob has an extensive background in the not for profit sector, having served as Chairman of the Boards of two Not for Profits, Hope Community Services Inc and Armadale Youth Resources and vice chair of the Developmental Disability Council of WA. He has a background in regional journalism including time as the founding editor of a regional newspaper in Western Australia and has been a marketing consultant in the tourism industry. He has led significant community service projects in the fields of domestic violence, disability, mental health and counselling. Rob has a Graduate Certificate in Not for Profit Leadership and Management from Notre Dame University and has extensive experience in leading a large Not for Profit organisation in the practice of vision and mission. He also has a graduate certificate in Pastoral Supervision and is available to provide professional supervision to people in leadership.

  1. Keith Bricknell says:

    Dear Rob,

    Have just read your book about your Dad & Mum and enjoyed it greatly. We first met them when they taught us at the SIL Course at Belgrave Heights in 1961, you were a little tacker then. Both your Mum and Dad were outstanding contruibutors to the growth of the aboriginal Christian community and an influence on missos to other countries like ourselves. Thanks for the book, every blessing on your work

    • Rob Douglas says:

      Thanks for your kind words Keith. It is good to hear that people are reading the book, particularly those who have had involvement with Mum and Dad in the past. It’s good to hear from you

  2. Quinton Tucker says:

    Hello Rob,

    I have just finished reading your book, I had the pleasure of meeting both your Mum and Dad at the Peoples Church of Kalgoorlie many years ago. My mum had given me your book and I do remember having your father take us for language classes at our CAPS school in Coolgardie. We learnt a great deal from him in writing our language.
    The Wongutha People of the North Eastern Goldfields and the Aboriginal people of the central reserve have been blessed to have had your father and mum work amongst us.
    A great and pewerful service indeed.

  3. G’day Rob

    My name is Michael Collie. I am the national director of SparkLit and coordinator of the Australian Christian Literature Awards.

    HE SPEAKS OUR LANGUAGE is a likely candidate for this year’s Australian Christian Book of the Year Award.

    You will find an entry form here:



    What do you think?

    You can reach me at any time on: 0423 244 481

    Regards, Michael Collie

  4. We look forward to receiving your entry next week. Cheers, Michael Collie

  5. Ian Mitchell says:

    Mrs Joan Mitchell Dr Ian S. Mitchell

    Tel. (02) 5105 4899 48 / 15 Burnie St
    Mobile 0423 037 705 Lyons ACT 2606
    Email ian,joan.mitchell@gmail.com

    Mr Robert Douglas

    Dear Robert

    I have just l purchased and read your biography of your Dad and want to thank you for putting on the record his enormous contribution to Missions and the recording Aboriginal languages.

    Although I did not keep in touch with him over the years, we met in his Kalgoorlie home when I was on my way out to Warburton Ranges as the first headmaster after the government assumed responsibility for education on mission stations. It would have been in 1957. Somehow between alighting from the Perth-Kalgoorlie train and boarding the Kalgoorlie to Leonora line, it was suggested we visit the Douglas’s since there was a few hours to spare.

    We had hardly shaken hands when Dad gave us his books (the first illustrated dictionary and the Grammar – both of which I still have) and encouraged – no, urged, no harangued us into learning at least some of the words and sounds. Dad’s enthusiasm was boundless and convincing! It was very obvious that if one was to communicate with people of a different language, it was necessary to speak and at least partially understand the underlying cultural values that made the system work. I was staggered to know that some missionaries opposed this position but I certainly “saw it in action.” Whether it was spear fights, health issues or family, without any comprehension of tribal structure and culture, one was of no use at all.

    Once a boy of about 12 came into the mission as part of his walkabout with his family, having never set eyes on a “walpalla” Staff of the mission home had showered and dressed him and brought him into the school, which in those days was the church, community centre, meeting place and so on. Since the Education Department demanded that I use the best Queen’s English at every school, I asked the boy to “sit down.” When I said, “nina kati” he was happy to comply. The fact that he sat the wrong way round, causing raucous laughter by the others, again showed the need to understand his perception of sitting, i.e. in a circle facing one another. This parking in rows was obviously stupid!

    For me, Wilfrid Douglas was the model missionary, and his help incalculable. At the time I was studying for my first degree – in Australian History! Studying at night by kerosene lantern was certainly not ideal! But Wilf’s arguments were strong enough to convince me to change to anthropology. We caught up again when he was lecturing at W.A. Uni.

    I will never forget his occasional trips to Warbo’s and the children’s delighted screams “Mitha Douglath! Mitha Douglath!” (with an interdental “th” but no ‘s’. No other white guest was accorded such a welcome.

    Thanks again for the record

    Ian Mitchell

    • Rob Douglas says:

      Ian, thank you so much for getting in touch. It’s always a privilege to hear from people who remember Dad and tell stories of their experiences. I love the story about the boy sitting the wrong way on the seat. It is so telling of how we impose cultural standards on people and don’t understand their thinking. Thank you for making contact. Regards, Rob. 0448 473 513

  6. Doug Marmion says:

    Hello Rob, I knew your father and worked with him on Indigenous languages in WA. I’m making contact as I’m chasing up some materials I believe he collected in the 60s.

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