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Australian aboriginal protests

Gary Foley

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Oceania » Australasia

Period 2000 - present
1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics indigenous, indigenous rights, resistance, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00153.x


Australian indigenous political resistance of the modern era can be traced to the first aboriginal political organization, the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA), established in 1924 by aboriginal wharfies (members of the Maritime Union of Australia) Fred Maynard and Tom Lacey. The AAPA had in part been inspired by Jamaican Marcus Garvey and shared the motto of Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association: “One God, One Aim, One Destiny.” The AAPA stood for self-determination, economic independence, and land rights for aboriginal people, and its adaptation and incorporation of the ideas of Garvey demonstrates a far higher level of political sophistication than white Australian historians have ever acknowledged. Operations of the AAPA were largely restricted to the north coast of New South Wales (NSW). It managed to last only four years due to intense police and Aborigines Protection Board harassment, but the AAPA nurtured the flame of resistance, embedded ideas of self-reliance and independence, and was to have a powerful influence on the next generation of NSW indigenous activists in the 1930s. Between the late 1920s and mid-1930s, Salt Pan Creek, an aboriginal squatters' camp southwest of Sydney containing dispossessed refugee families of NSW and people seeking to escape the harsh and brutal policies of the Aborigines Protection Board, became a focal point ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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