Information used in this story comes from research carried out by Chester Schultz, taken substantially from his most recent book “Feet on the Fleurieu”.*
Most likely born near Yankalilla, sometime in the early 1800s, Kalinga (or Sally as she was later known) grew up just as European sealers, settlers and explorers were first appearing in Kaurna country.
Sally and her father Condoy developed a close working relationship with the sealers on Kangaroo Island, trading with them and accompanying them on treks through the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. Sally also took part in sealing expeditions, and sailed as far afield as Sydney and Western Australia.
Sally became quite proficient in the English language, and often acted as a translator and spokesperson for her people.
Sally and her father were involved with the search for the missing Captain Barker, who was speared to death by Aboriginals while exploring the mouth of the River Murray at Hindmarsh Island in 1831, and after whom Mt Barker is named.
In 1835, Sally married an English sailor, Willian Walker, and spent the rest of her life with him at Hog Bay on Kangaroo Island. Several children were born of the marriage, including two sons, George and Joseph, who are ancestors of Aboriginal people still living locally today.
Sally and William were farmers and gardeners, growing wheat and vegetables.
They supplied provisions to the surveyors and new colonists who arrived on HMS Cygnet in 1836. It is said that William Walker, after colonisation, had the distinction of being the first sheep owner in the Hundred of Dudley on Kangaroo Island.
William Walker is the only pre-colonial Kangaroo Islander known to have built and operated a small ship, and traded in it. He and his wife were often on the spot when colonists needed help in search and rescue, most notably in 1836 when Sally Walker put her tracking skills to good use as part of a search party looking for eight Colonists lost on Kangaroo Island.
Sally Walker passed away in Adelaide Hospital in 1876, and was buried in West Terrace Cemetery.
*FEET ON THE FLEURIEU
by Chester Schultz
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