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Artefacts about Autobiographies & Oral Histories

Doreen Kartinyeri’s life story holds details of a number of issues that her family faced in accessing government payments, including issues with living on missions, exemptions and child removal.
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.
Jack Gibbs spent years in leprosy facilities. His story reveals how receiving Invalid Pension meant he could spend time recovering instead of working.
As well as working with communities on government-run reserves in the Northern Territory, Vai Stanton Mimbinggal worked with the government to improve conditions for Aboriginal people nationally.
In the absence of government help, Aboriginal people often relied on their communities for support. Shirley Smith told her story of becoming an unofficial welfare worker while challenging stereotypes about those who got government payments.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people used government payments to gain further rights and freedoms. Activist Joyce Clague’s story reveals how payments became linked to land rights.