Hyllus Briggs was born at Cumeroogunga and spent some of her early life at Warangesda Mission. In 1933-34 she became one of the youngest members of the Australian Aborigines’ League. Helen Baillie might have had some part in recruiting her as she seems to have taken her under her wing but family networks were probably more important as she had been mentored by Thomas Shadrach James.
Briggs was also a member of the League’s executive when the organisation was re-formed in 1935, and played an important role in the walk-off from Cumeroogunga [hyperlink to Collection 11] in 1939 as she established a school on the riverbank for the children.
In the early 1980s her namesake, Hyllus Maris, would co-author the script for a compelling television series, Women of the Sun, the third episode of which told the story of the Cumeroogunga walk-off, and found the first registered Aboriginal school in Victoria, Worowa Aboriginal College, which is located near Healesville on land that once formed part of the Coranderrk reserve.