The Aborigines Progressive Association (APA) was established in 1937 by William Ferguson and Jack Patten in Dubbo, New South Wales. Ferguson led a group in the western part of the state, while Patten assembled an alliance of activists in the north-east. Both wings of the APA were involved in political organisation, rallies, and protests in both Aboriginal communities and reserves and major NSW centres such as Sydney.
In 1938 the APA organised the Day of Mourning on Australia Day (26 January) of that year to protest the lack of basic human rights available to Aborigines.It was held at the Australian Hall, Sydney. The APA was joined by the Melbourne-based Australian Aborigines' League in staging the Day of Mourning to draw attention to the treatment of Aborigines and to demand full citizenship and equal rights. Mr Ferguson, APA’s organising secretary, said of the planned national day of mourning: "The aborigines do not want protection... We have been protected for 150 years, and look what has become of us. Scientists have studied us and written books about us as though we were some strange curiosities, but they have not prevented us from contracting tuberculosis and other diseases, which have wiped us out in thousands."
The APA ceased to exist in 1944, but was revived in 1963-1966.
The Stolen Generations were the children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were removed from their families by the Australian federal and state government agencies and church missions, under acts of their respective parliaments. The removals of those referred to as "half-caste" children were conducted in the period between approximately 1905 and 1967, although in some places mixed-race children were still being taken into the 1970s.
Roberta "Bobbi" Sykes was an Australian poet and author. She was a lifelong campaigner for indigenous land rights, as well as human rights and women's rights.
The Myall Creek massacre involved the killing of at least twenty-eight unarmed Indigenous Australians by twelve colonists on 10 June 1838 at the Myall Creek near the Gwydir River, in northern New South Wales. After two trials, seven of the twelve colonists were found guilty of murder and hanged. One—the leader and free settler John Fleming—evaded arrest and was never tried. Four were never retried following the not guilty verdict of the first trial.
NAIDOC Week is an Australian observance lasting from the first Sunday in July until the following Sunday. The acronym NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It has its roots in the 1938 Day of Mourning, becoming a week-long event in 1975.
The Day of Mourning was a protest held by Aboriginal Australians on 26 January 1938, the 150th anniversary of the British colonisation of Australia. It was declared to be a protest of 150 years of callous treatment and the seizure of land and purposefully coincided with the Australia Day celebrations held by the European population on the same day. The protest became a tradition, and annual Days of Mourning have been held to this day.
Pearl Gibbs (Gambanyi) was an Indigenous Australian activist, and the most prominent female activist within the Aboriginal movement in the early 20th century. She was a member of the Aborigines Progressive Association (APA), and was involved with various protest events such as the 1938 Day of Mourning.
Faith Bandler was an Australian civil rights activist of South Sea Islander and Scottish-Indian heritage. She was a campaigner for the rights of Indigenous Australians and South Sea Islanders. Bandler was best known for her leadership in the campaign for the 1967 referendum on Aboriginal Australians.
Coranderrk was an Aboriginal reserve run by the Victorian government between 1863 and 1924, located around 50 kilometres (31 mi) north-east of Melbourne. The residents were mainly of the Woiwurrung, Bunurong and Taungurong peoples, and the first inhabitants chose the site of the reserve.
Charles "Chicka" Dixon was an Australian Aboriginal activist and leader.
John Thomas "Jack" Patten was an Aboriginal Australian civil rights activist and journalist.
The Yorta Yorta, also known as Jotijota, are an Aboriginal Australian people who have traditionally inhabited the area surrounding the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers in present-day north-eastern Victoria and southern New South Wales.
Cummeragunja Reserve or Cummeragunja Station, alternatively spelt Coomeroogunja, Coomeragunja, Cumeroogunga and Cummerguja, was a settlement on the New South Wales side of the Murray River, on the Victorian border near Barmah. It was also referred to as Cumeroogunga Mission, although it was not run by missionaries. The people were mostly Yorta Yorta.
William Cooper was an Australian Aboriginal political activist and community leader; the first to lead a national movement recognised by the Australian Government.
Charles Duguid was a Scottish-born medical practitioner, social reformer, Presbyterian lay leader and Aboriginal rights campaigner who lived in Adelaide, South Australia for most of his adult life, and recorded his experience working among the Aboriginal Australians in a number of books. He founded the Ernabella mission station in the far north of South Australia. The Pitjantjatjara people gave him the honorific Tjilpi, meaning "respected old man". He and his wife Phyllis Duguid, also an Aboriginal rights campaigner as well as women's rights activist, led much of the work on improving the lives of Aboriginal people in South Australia in the mid-twentieth century.
William Ferguson was an Aboriginal Australian leader.
The Australian Aborigines' League was established in Melbourne, Australia, in 1933 by William Cooper and others, including Margaret Tucker, Eric Onus, Anna and Caleb Morgan, and Shadrach James. Cooper was secretary of the League.
Maloga Aboriginal Mission Station also known as Maloga Mission or Mologa Mission was established about 15 miles from the township of Moama, on the banks of the Murray River in New South Wales, Australia. It was on the edge of an extensive forest reserve. Maloga Mission was a private venture established by Daniel Matthews, a Christian missionary and school teacher, and his brother William. The mission station operated intermittently in 1874, becoming permanent in 1876. The Mission closed in 1888, after dissatified residents moved about 5 miles (8.0 km) upriver to Cummeragunja Reserve, with all of the buildings being re-built there.
The Australian Hall is a heritage-listed community building located at 150-152 Elizabeth Street, in the Sydney central business district, in the City of Sydney local government area of New South Wales, Australia. It was the site of the Day of Mourning protests by Aboriginal Australians on 26 January 1938. It was also known as the Cyprus Hellene Club. The property is owned by the Indigenous Land Corporation, a statutory corporation of the Australian Government. It was added to the Australian National Heritage List on 20 May 2008 and was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
Grace Bardsley (1920–1972) was an Australian Aboriginal rights activist and political activist. She was a founding member of Aboriginal-Australian Fellowship (AAF) and a member of the Aborigines Advancement League (AAL). She authored a book Aborigines and the Law covering assimilation problems mainly in the Sydney area. The Grace Bardsley Aboriginal Fund was established in her name by the AAF to help fund publications and other Aboriginal rights supporting projects.
Ellen Campbell Atkinson was an Australian Aboriginal community leader. Born in Madowla Park, near Echuca in Victoria, Atkinson and her family were forced to move frequently, either through the necessity of finding work, or forcibly by authorities. She converted to Christianity when the Aborigines' Inland Mission (AIM) visited the Cummeragunja Reserve, where she was living, and served the mission for many years in roles such as organist and deacon.