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Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs

Ted Noffs and Bill Geddes worked with Aboriginal activists Charles Perkins and Ken Brindle and others to create a place that was a welcoming social centre and which, through its self-help approach, encouraged Aboriginal people to take control of their lives and have a go at 'making it' in the broader society. The Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs was assimilationist in style and supported financially by the Sydney establishment. A massive fundraising appeal in 1964 helped realise the vision of meeting rooms, a gymnasium, counselling services, adult education, a hostel and short-term accommodation. Charles Perkins became the manager of the Foundation in 1965 and set about talking to businesses, seeking employment for Aboriginal men and women keen to get a job but not having the skills to necessarily find one for themselves.

By 1967 more than 400 people were using the services of the Foundation and by the end of the decade Aboriginal executive members began to push for control of the organisation.

In 1973 an all-black management was in place and, as happened in other bodies where racial coalitions gave way to Aboriginal-run bodies, the financial support from the wider community dried up. The Foundation closed its doors in 1975.

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