Family history

With artist Mazie Karen Turner (1954-2014) Richard Kelly Tipping has three children and three grandchildren.

Tipping's father Richard Michael Tipping (1922-1979) was a doctor, practicing as a general practitioner until becoming a dermatologist in the late 1950s. Michael practised for many years in Adelaide, and later in Nambour, Queensland. In the Second World War he served in the air force for four years in Malaya and Borneo, flying in Beaufort Fighters. He played flute.

Tipping's mother Barbara Gertrude Tipping nee Kelly (1921-2001) was a social worker, later specialising in mastectomy and multiple sclerosis. She played piano.

Tipping's sister Susan Christine Macnamara nee Tipping (1946-2005) worked as a gerontologist, and helped to develop the 'mens' shed' movement in Victoria. Tipping's brother Nicholas Michael Tipping practiced as both a general nurse and as a specialist psychiatric nurse. His half-sister Melissa Pearce nee Tipping was a senior nurse for many years. Tipping commented in the poem Family Days that" there's not a medical bone in this body / not stuck in a limbo / of unnamable doubt".

Richard Tipping's grandparents each lived in Adelaide. Two were direct immigrants, one the daughter of a Scottish immigrant, and one from a family which migrated to South Australia in the 1850s. Is a hundred and sixty years a long time? We think so.


James Stanley Kelly (1890-1971) migrated from the Isle of Man, where two of his grandparents were Danish with the surname Christian. Family lore says they were related to the family of Fletcher Christian. James Kelly became a senior manager with the Bank of Adelaide, and an ace golfer.


Gertrude Muriel Kelly nee Parnell (1889-1975) - her family came to South Australia from England in the 1850s. Family lore says related to Charles Parnell the Irish statesman. Her father died young after falling from a horse which was scared by a snake at their property near Gawler. Gertrude's mother remarried, to a cad who gambled away everything leaving the family in poverty.

English via India

Oswald Samuel Tipping (1875-1947) grew up in Coorg in south-west India, where his father Samuel Tipping was born on the family's coffee plantation. Oswald became manager of Elders Trustees, Adelaide, and grew the company. Died of tuberculosis. He played clarinet.

The Tipping's family background was in Lancashire. One of Oswald's brothers, Llewellyn, worked in Kenya as a park ranger. Richard Tipping's great uncle Percy Glover Tipping sold the plantation in Coorg in around 1926.


Esther Abercrombie (c 1882-1962) was born in Melbourne to a mother from Dundee. She played viola in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra before marrying Oswald Tipping.

Oswald Tipping circa 1903

Seal showing Tipping family crest: a T composed of a mailed arm and hand holding a scroll of paper. Pressed wax from a seal ring, belonging to Michael Tipping, now lost. Scanned and enhanced.

This part of the site is personal family history, not assumed to be of general interest. Thinking about what it means being Australian, as part of a nation of immigrants alongside the original people. I am a hybrid. Humans have rolled over each others' turf for countless yonks, interacted and sparked. There is no single history or herstory except that which invention furnishes.

Medals of Michael Tipping, from service in the RAAF (Air Force) in the Pacific War of WW2, flying in Beaufort Fighters in Malaya and Borneo. Michael survived a jungle crash, but suffered from diseases including malaria and beri-beri. Like many men fighting in the tropics, this shortened his life. Richard's mother Barbara had previously been engaged to John Walters, whose fighter plane was shot down during the first Japanese aerial attacks in the Pacific near Australia.

Richard Kelly Tipping 2003









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