Bill Ferguson was born at Waddai, Darlington Point, New South Wales. A generation younger than William Cooper, his life nonetheless had a similar trajectory: he was briefly educated on a mission (Warangesda), worked and travelled as a shearer, became involved in trade unions, and eventually took up the problems that Aboriginal people were experiencing on reserves in New South Wales.

In June 1937 he was instrumental in founding the Aborigines Progressive Association and in November that year went to Melbourne to attend a meeting of the Australian Aborigines’ League where he endorsed Cooper’s suggestion that a Day of Mourning be held in protest against the white man’s celebration of white settlement on 26 January 1938.

For more biographical information, see Jack Horner, ‘Ferguson, William (Bill) (1882–1950)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1981