Daniel Matthews, a Cornishman, and Janet Johnston, a Scotch girl, both migrated to Victoria in 1853. Their families had much in common. They belonged to the British mercantile middle class and nonconformist churches, and stressed the importance of individual communion with Christ. After Daniel and Janet married, they joined forces in founding Maloga Mission.

The Matthews had a profound influence at the mission on those such as William Cooper, not least because they gave the Yorta Yorta people a powerful framework to make sense of their oppression and raise their voices against it. This held that all peoples were God’s children and thus potentially equal, and they presented God as a higher form of authority than secular government. The Matthews also provided what can be called a prophetic or predictive history, a vision of historical time that promised salvation in the future for the downtrodden of the earth.

For more biographical information, see Nancy Cato, ‘Matthews, Daniel (1837–1902)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/matthews-daniel-4170/text6695, published first in hardcopy 1974