Uncle Ted Fields was born around Bangate station in northern NSW in1931. He spent his early years at Angledool mission, north of Lightning Ridge. Tedís mother died when he was quite young.
In 1936 people from Angledool mission, including Ted's father, were taken by truck to Brewarrina mission. At Brewarrina the mission policy and the number of different language groups there meant that many people stopped using their language. Tedís father later left the mission and worked on properties and as a drover. Ted was raised by his grandmother, but was eventually taken to Brewarrina Mission in 1943. In 1946 Ted and a younger sister walked and hitchhiked from the Mission back to Bangate.
Ted then spent nearly four years in Bathurst Hospital with polio, returning during the 1950 flood. Within a few days he was back on a horse, but fell off and broke his arm. After this Ted had many different positions, including stock work and working for a credit union. He was also involved in the civil rights movements.
For many years Ted was the most active elder in work to maintain Yuwaalaraay language in Walgett. He spent many hours in schools and with other groups. In recent years he has been one of the major forces behind Yuwaalaraay language revival, being the chief elder associated with revival in Walgett and Goodooga. He has also been a key part of language conferences and meetings, both at a local and state level. Ted has also worked with many other groups such as the Lands Department and archeologists.
Thanks to Uncle Ted for providing information about his life.