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Artefacts about Self-determination

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 Shadrach Livingstone James petitioned the prime minister for federal citizenship rights for Aboriginal people. This included access to social security benefits and services.
In a magazine piece, an Aboriginal community leader called out an offensive article that had discussed Aboriginal rights and spread misinformation.
The Northern Territory Council for Aboriginal Rights, led by Aboriginal activists, tried to draw international attention to their cause by appealing to the United Nations.
Getting access to payments often relied on direct advocacy. Letters from the principal of an Aboriginal co-operative school provide examples.
Aboriginal workers walked off the Victoria River Downs cattle station in 1972 over pay and working conditions. The government was hesitant to pay Unemployment Benefit even though they passed the work test.
It took time and activism to establish government services for Aboriginal people in Tasmania. These DSS newsletters introduce the first Tasmanian Aboriginal Liaison Officer in 1984 and show how services expanded into the 1990s.
An influential report on government programs recommended changes to improve employment and education outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.