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Society of Friends (Quakers)

The Society of Friends has a very long history of active opposition to race-based thinking. At the Quakers' April 1963 seminar in Melbourne, Aboriginal land tenure was the main issue of debate. A policy statement on land drew attention to the complete lack of Aboriginal rights to land, the individualist approach to assimilation which effectively worked against the development of Aboriginal pressure groups, and the moral and economic bases of arguments for land. Recommendations included a statement that trained personnel 'should be involved in making future plans with Aboriginal people, rather than for them', and that 'group self-determination must be encouraged and recognised'.

The Society of Friends was affiliated with the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and had active members in all mainland states working for Aboriginal rights. Barrie Pittock was one of its most outspoken members on Aboriginal issues, particularly concerning land rights and self determination.

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