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Charlie Carter

Charlie Carter

Source: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

With the death of Laurie Moffatt in 1966, Charlie Carter, one of only two Aboriginal men still living permanently at Lake Tyers in Victoria, kept alive Moffatt's dream of retaining the reserve for the residents. Charlie was in contact with Doug Nicholls and Bill and Eric Onus from the Australian Aborigines' League and Pauline Pickford from the Council for Aboriginal Rights. He attended Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) conferences in Canberra where he informed delegates of the Victorian government's attempts to close down the Reserve and the residents' resistence to this. He learned from these conferences that what was happening at Lake Tyers was a part of a pattern, as across the continent Aboriginal reserves were being closed down.

In 1971, the persistence of Charlie and others paid off when the Governor of Victoria handed the title of Lake Tyers to him, as representative of those who would become shareholders. The letters, publicity, petitions and marches had worked and the Lake Tyers Reserve would remain in the hands of Aboriginal residents.

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