Frank Fisher (detail) c1935
Born in Townsville, the son of Frank Fisher snr and his wife Esme.
In the 1930s Frank Fisher is captain of the Cherbourg Rugby League team.
“He used to tell us that we weren’t playing for ourselves but for Cherbourg.”
— Livingston Chambers, about Frank Fisher
In 1935, Frank Fisher plays half-back for Wide Bay against the England touring team. The English captain, Jim Brough, describes Fisher as “the best country footballer I had played against”. On Brough’s recommendation, Fisher was offered a contract to play club Rugby League in Salford, England but the Queensland Government refused his application to travel under the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of Sale of Opium Act 1897 (Qld).
He has been described as fast, with a distinctive side-step, playing either at fly-half or centre three-quarter. In 1946 he was still leading the Cherbourg Magpies Rugby League team as captain to victory.
Fisher further displayed his athletic ability in cricket. On one occasion, playing for the Cherbourgh A Grade side against Goomeri, he struck 105 (retired) in 32 minutes including 11 sixes and 5 fours. His side won by 294 on the first innings on a day when the Cherbourg side was without the usual services of fast bowler Eddie Gilbert. Fisher’s feat was reported nationally.
His father had served with the 11th Light Horse Regiment but Fisher’s attempt to follow in his father’s footsteps in 1940 was blocked on racial grounds.
On the 8th June 1996 a bridge over Barambah Creek, Cherbourg and named in his honour was opened. In 2010 Fisher was named as a member of Australian rugby league’s Indigenous Team of the Century. He is the paternal grandfather of Australian athlete and Olympic gold medalist Cathy Freeman.