Lloyd McDermott Bio
Lloyd Clive McDermott was Australia’s first indigenous barrister, and also the second Aboriginal person to represent his country in rugby union, playing for the Wallabies against the New Zealand All Blacks in 1962.
Born: November 11, 1939, Eidsvold, Australia
Died: April 6, 2019, Sydney, Australia
Education: The University of Sydney
Lloyd McDermott was born on 11 November 1939 and died on 6 April 2019. He has died at the age of 79. Lloyd McDermott was Born at Eidsvold, Queensland, son of a farm labourer, Lloyd Clive McDermott’s academic and sporting prowess won him a scholarship to attend the Anglican Church Grammar School at East Brisbane.
He was Australia’s first indigenous barrister, and also the second Aboriginal person to represent his country in rugby union (after Cec Ramalli), playing for the Wallabies against the New Zealand All Blacks in 1962.
During South Africa’s era of apartheid, McDermott made a principled decision to withdraw from the squad rather than play as an “honorary white” on a subsequent South African tour. He inspired many through his sporting, professional and personal life. In 2016, McDermott was a recipient of the Queensland Greats Awards.
An outstanding schoolboy athlete, he went on to play on the wing for the Australia national rugby union team, commonly known as the Wallabies.
Thus, he became the second Indigenous player to represent Australia. He played 10 rugby union matches for Queensland against Fiji, France and the New Zealand “All Blacks” while studying Law at the University of Queensland. He then played two Test matches for the Wallabies against the All Blacks in 1962.
He refused to participate in a 1963 tour to South Africa, objecting to being classified by the host as an “honorary white” (the only basis on which he could compete against the all-white South African Springbok team under South Africa’s apartheid regime).
He returned briefly to rugby league, playing for the Wynnum Manly club in 1964.
Australian rugby is mourning the passing of trailblazer Lloyd McDermott, who has died at his Sydney home aged 79.
Australia’s first indigenous barrister, McDermott was also one of the first indigenous Wallabies and made a notable stand against apartheid in South Africa by making himself unavailable for the 1963 tour there.
“The Rugby community is deeply saddened by the news of Lloyd’s passing, however, his impact on the sport will never be lost and his name will never fade. He was an extraordinary man,” RA chief executive officer Raelene Castle said.
“Through his exploits on the field and in particular for what he did for First Nations people both during his playing career and beyond, he has enriched the lives of so many and provided inspiration and opportunity for thousands of Indigenous Australians.”