Warning: Indigenous Australians are advised that this website includes images or names of people now deceased.


There were literally hundreds of Australians - black and white - working to create a more just society for Indigenous Australians in the post-World War II period. This section of the site also includes people from the 1930s to show that activity for Aboriginal rights predated the mass movements of the 1950s and 1960s.

People introduces almost one hundred of these dedicated activists. It includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were spokespeople for their own group and in some cases came to speak for all Indigenous Australians. It includes politicians and public servants, church people and unionists, feminists and members of women's organisations, scientists and doctors.

It's a beginning. These biographical sketches do not cover the whole of a person's life. Rather they focus on each person's contributions to the struggle for Aboriginal rights in the period covered by this site, 1957-1973. Some of these entries are significantly longer than most as they draw on interviews that were conducted as part of a FCAATSI oral history project in 1996. This project was a partnership undertaken by Sue Taffe who was supported by the School of Historical Studies at Monash University and Koorie Arts Collective Incorporated. The project was to interview people who had been members of the executive of FCAATSI in the period 1958 to 1973. Sue Taffe and Leanne Miller, representing Koori Arts Collective Ltd, were the interviewers. This oral history collection of 29 interviews (audio tapes and transcripts) is held in the library of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra.

You may know of others who are not listed here. Please let us know of the contributions of other activists so we can recognise them. Email us: indigenousrights@nma.gov.au.

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