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Documents - The Warburton Ranges controversy, 1957

Doris Blackburn's parliamentary speech against weapons testing, March 1947

Doris Blackburn's parliamentary speech against weapons testing, March 1947

Commonwealth of Australia, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), House of Representatives, 6 March 1947, pp 435-439

Download Doris Blackburn's parliamentary speech against weapons testing, March 1947 [PDF 3158kb]

A black and white poster with a drawing of an Aboriginal man holding a spear and shield. The text of the poster is: Rocket range menance threatens Aboriginal life. Protest meeting. Melbourne Town Hall Monday. Mar. 31st 8pm. Speakers: Dr Chas Duguid, Mrs D. Blackburn. MHR, Mr Bill Onus. Aust. Aborigines League. Chairman: Very Rev. Dr. R. Wilson Macaulay.

Rocket range menace poster, 31 March 1947

Blackburn papers, MS 11749, box 85, State Library of Victoria

More info on Rocket range menace poster, 31 March 1947

<em>The Aborigines and the Rocket Range</em>, Donald Thomson, May 1947

The Aborigines and the Rocket Range, Donald Thomson, May 1947

Council for Aboriginal Rights, MS 12913, State Library of Victoria

Download The Aborigines and the Rocket Range, Donald Thomson, May 1947 [PDF 88kb]

Doris Blackburn's parliamentary speech against weapons testing, May 1947

Doris Blackburn's parliamentary speech against weapons testing, May 1947

Commonwealth of Australia, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), House of Representatives, 1 May 1947, pp 1826-1828

Download Doris Blackburn's parliamentary speech against weapons testing, May 1947 [PDF 4884kb]

Shirley Andrews to Lady Jessie Street, 27 August 1956

Shirley Andrews supports the Anti-Slavery Society's defence of Aboriginal rights, 27 August 1956

Jessie Street Papers, MS 2683/10/124, National Library of Australia, Canberra

More info on Shirley Andrews supports the Anti-Slavery Society's defence of Aboriginal rights, 27 August 1956

Page 1 of 16 The Report of the Select Committee appointed to enquire into Native Welfare Conditions in the Laverton-Warburton Range Area was presented by William Grayden on 12 December 1956. It was commonly referred to as the 'Grayden Report'.

Report of Conditions at Laverton and Warburton Ranges, December 1956

A452, 1957/245, National Archives of Australia, Canberra

More info on Report of Conditions at Laverton and Warburton Ranges, December 1956

Following the publication of this <em>Tribune</em> article, the daily newspapers also reported on the Western Australia Parliamentary Select Committee Report.

Western Australian Parliament's shocking report on Aborigines

Tribune, Wednesday, 9 January 1957, p. 3

More info on Western Australian Parliament's shocking report on Aborigines

Editorial comment such as this expressed 'a burning sense of shame' if the reports of starvation in the Warburton Ranges were true. A 'quick, independent enquiry' was needed, <em>The Age</em> editorialised.

The Age editorial, 21 January 1957

The Age, 21 January 1957

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Organisations such as the Australian Natives' Association, as well as individuals, wrote letters to the Commonwealth government expressing their concern for the people still living nomadically in the Warburton Ranges.

Australian Natives' Association to Minister for Territories, Paul Hasluck, 24 January 1957

A452, 1957/245, National Archives of Australia, Canberra

More info on Australian Natives' Association to Minister for Territories, Paul Hasluck, 24 January 1957

Anna Vroland was an active member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Anna Vroland, The Age, 30 January 1957

The Age, 30 January 1957

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The photo chosen to support Murdoch's argument was not a recent picture as he claimed. Rather it was taken in 1953 by Bill Grayden.

Rupert Murdoch claimed the Warburton Ranges report to be an exaggeration

The News (Adelaide), 1 February 1957, p. 3

More info on Rupert Murdoch claimed the Warburton Ranges report to be an exaggeration

Page 1 of 6 This leaflet was produced by the Women's Christian Temperance Union to refute Rupert Murdoch's misrepresentation of conditions in the Warburton Ranges in 1957 which was published in his newspaper.

Analysis of Rupert Murdoch's article denying starvation in the desert, February 1957

Box 82, Vroland Papers, MS 11749, State Library of Victoria

More info on Analysis of Rupert Murdoch's article denying starvation in the desert, February 1957

The Victorian division of this professional association took an active part over a number of years in pressuring the federal government to take a more active role in addressing Aboriginal disadvantage.

Association of Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Draftsmen of Australia, 3 February 1957

The Age, 3 February 1957

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This meeting marked a step forward in stimulating a community conscience over the plight of Aboriginal nomads whose lives were made more difficult by incursions into the desert such as weapons' testing and mining in the 1950s.

Save the Aborigines Committee plans to help Warburton Ranges people

The Age, 6 February 1957

More info on Save the Aborigines Committee plans to help Warburton Ranges people

Missions such as the United Aborigines Mission at Warburton were the only places providing assistance for the desert nomads when times were tough.

Pastor Wiltshire, United Aborigines Mission, 8 February 1957

The Age, 8 February 1957

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'READ THIS AND THEN SEE IF YOU'RE STILL PROUD TO BE AN AUSTRALIAN. IF YOU'RE NOT, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT', the paper editorialised.

The Mercury described the Warburton Ranges film as 'the most horrible film made in Australia'

Mercury, Melbourne, 28 March 1957

More info on The Mercury described the Warburton Ranges film as 'the most horrible film made in Australia'

Page 1 of 2 One of many reactions to the filming of the Warburton Ranges film, under the title <em>Manslaughter</em>, on channel GTV 9.

Letter signed by voters in Prime Minister Menzies' electorate, 14 April 1957

A452, 1957/245, National Archives of Australia, Canberra

More info on Letter signed by voters in Prime Minister Menzies' electorate, 14 April 1957

Page 1 of 2 Following the telecast of the Warburton Ranges film under the title <em>Manslaughter</em>, shocked viewers wrote letters such as this one to the Prime Minister and to their local members.

Letter to Prime Minister Menzies from a shocked voter, 14 April 1957

A452, 1957/245, National Archives of Australia, Canberra

More info on Letter to Prime Minister Menzies from a shocked voter, 14 April 1957

The petition was launched at a meeting in Sydney Town Hall, 1 May 1957.

Tribune reports launch of the Aboriginal-Australian Fellowship petition, 1 May 1957

Tribune, 1 May 1957

More info on Tribune reports launch of the Aboriginal-Australian Fellowship petition, 1 May 1957

Page 1 of 2 One of many examples of individuals expressing their concern to the Prime Minister after seeing the film <em>Manslaughter</em>.

A voter writes in disgust to Prime Minister Menzies, 2 May 1957

A452, 1957/245, National Archives of Australia, Canberra

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Image of the title page of the report.

The 'Warburton Range' controversy, by anthropologist Ronald Berndt

Australian Quarterly, June 1957

Download The 'Warburton Range' controversy, by anthropologist Ronald Berndt [PDF 1789kb]

Page 1 of 2 This is one of many examples of letters responding to citizen concern.

Acting Prime Minister replies to letter from Prime Minister Menzies' constituents, 13 June 1957

A452, 1957/245, National Archives of Australia, Canberra

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One of many examples of letters from organisations and individuals asking the Commonwealth government to respond to nomadic Aboriginal people suffering from malnutrition in the desert.

Letter from Kings Cross Film Club to Prime Minister Menzies, 3 September 1957

A452, 1957/245, National Archives of Australia, Canberra

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Page 1 of 2 Public servants were kept busy replying to letters from organisations and individuals.

Prime Minister's Department to Kings Cross Film Club, 23 September 1957

A452, 1957/245, National Archives of Australia, Canberra

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'The Central Aborigines Reserve', Charles Duguid, October 1957

'The Central Aborigines Reserve', Charles Duguid, October 1957

Council for Aboriginal Rights, MS 12913/26/4, State Library of Victoria

Download 'The Central Aborigines Reserve', Charles Duguid, October 1957 [PDF 3762kb]

Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement formed at Adelaide conference, February 1958

Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement formed at Adelaide conference, February 1958

Courtesy Len Fox

Download Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement formed at Adelaide conference, February 1958 [PDF 380kb]



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