Artefacts about Activism & Advocacy
The Aborigines Progressive Association fought for full citizenship rights for Aboriginal peoples, including social security benefits. They organised, protested and addressed political leaders. They spread their message through the first Aboriginal-led publication, The Australian Abo Call.
Aboriginal activist and leader, Pearl Gibbs, fought for fair access to pensions and income support payments. She questioned proposed changes to social services legislation.
Aboriginal activist Shadrach Livingstone James petitioned the prime minister for federal citizenship rights for Aboriginal people. This included access to social security benefits and services.
Community leaders from South Australian missions questioned legislation that said they had to move away from missions to get government payments.
In 1949, Aboriginal railway labourers who had been denied Unemployment Benefit successfully lobbied the government for financial support.
As an Elder, Ruth Hegarty fought for justice on behalf of Aboriginal people in Queensland who had been denied access to government payments and fair wages. Her activism was spurred on by her own experiences.
In an excerpt in a book about the Aboriginal-Australian Fellowship, an Aboriginal veteran recalled the difficult fight for Aboriginal rights in New South Wales.
Joe McGinness campaigned for Aboriginal civil rights throughout his life. His autobiography shows the importance of Aboriginal voices in fighting for equal access to government payments, citizenship and equal wages.