Artefacts about Health & Disability
Aboriginal activist and leader, Pearl Gibbs, fought for fair access to pensions and income support payments. She questioned proposed changes to social services legislation.
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.
Even when the government agreed to pay Aboriginal leprosy patients Invalid Pension, the payments were delayed by discussions about how much of the payment should go to patients and how much should be managed on their behalf.
Jack Gibbs spent years in leprosy facilities. His story reveals how receiving Invalid Pension meant he could spend time recovering instead of working.
Believing Aboriginal people couldn’t manage their own money, the New South Wales Government monitored and reported on how Aboriginal people spent federal government payments once they started receiving them.
For a long time, Aboriginal people weren’t given birth certificates. Walaru’s experience is an example of how difficult it was to prove age and show eligibility for Old-age Pension.
With many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people missing out on payments, the Federal Council of Aboriginal Advancement wrote a leaflet to provide guidance about accessing payments.
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.