Jimmy Munday, the protagonist, is an Aboriginal man who despises the fact he is not equal in society and is not regarded as a 'person' by the government. He has a heart condition which leads to his death after arguing with Mr Neville at the Australia Day celebrations.
Gran Munday, Jimmy's mother, a traditional Aboriginal woman, she dislikes the new 'white mans' ways and strongly believes in the importance of family. She is the matriarch of the family and supports her son and daughter and grandchildren. Gran is a supporting character.
Milly Millimurra, Jimmy's sister, who has three children. She stands up for what she believes is right and does her best to care for her children. She dislikes being treated badly, but realises there is nothing she can do.
Sam Millimurra, Milly's husband. Frequently caught with Jimmy breaking the law but is not as outgoing and vocal as his brother-in-law. He understands that they are treated unequally, but really does nothing to try and stop it. He is a supporting character.
Joe Millimurra, Mary's love interest and Milly's eldest son
Cissie Millimurra, Milly's daughter
David Millimurra - Milly's youngest son
A. O. Neville, Chief Protector of Aborigines
Miss Dunn, his secretary
Mr Neal, Superintendent of Moore River Native Settlement
Matron Neal, his wife, Matron of the hospital.
Sister Eileen, a Catholic missionary
Sergeant Carrol, sergeant of the Northam Police
Constable Kerr, member of the Northam Police
Frank Brown, an unemployed farmer, who makes friends with Jimmy Munday.
Mary Dargurru, Joe's future wife, lives at settlement
Billy Kimberley, Black tracker, an Aborigine working for Mr Neal. He enforces discipline against the other Aborigines and 'tracks' runaways. For this reason he is viewed by the Aborigines as something of a traitor or "black crow." Billy is caught between the white and black societies. His tribe was killed by whites and in order to survive he works under Mr Neal, but noticeably his policemans uniform is "ill-fitting".
Bluey, Black tracker
Topsy, Settlement girl, assisting Matron
Justice of the Peace, a farmer who sentences Frank Brown, Jimmy and Sam for alcohol abuse.