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Native Welfare Council

The Native Welfare Council was formed in 1952 at the request of the Western Australian Minister for Native Affairs. At the time, a number of bodies representing Aboriginal interests existed in Perth and both the Minister and these bodies could see the value of having one council to negotiate with government. One of the drawbacks of this body, however, was that by the end of the 1950s when other state bodies were more adversarial in approaching governments, the Western Australian Council already had an entrenched culture of working with the government rather than being critical of it. Sixteen bodies were represented at the first meeting. Cyril Gare was, for many years, the chairman of the Council. The Council affiliated with the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement in 1958 but its membership of this parent body was sporadic.

For many years the Native Welfare Council ran the Allawah Grove Project, a community-organised scheme which provided services such as a kindergarten for Aboriginal children and encouraged social and economic initiatives among the adults. Later, the Native Welfare Council worked for the building of an Aboriginal centre in Perth.