a multicultural Research Library

Making multicultural Australia

Search the complete site: ... Sitemap » ... Links to other sites »

multicultural Video »

Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Richard Broome outlines the role of European Australians

Richard Broome; Andrew Jakubowicz and Mara Moustafine.

Historian Richard Broome outlines the role of European Australians in the struggle for Aboriginal rights



Date Added:

12 February 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

5.8 MB




I think central Europeans and European people had a greater sympathy for the Aboriginal cause because they didn’t see themselves as settlers of conquest and Aboriginal people didn’t see them as the British who’d taken away their land. So there was a distance from them and that made sympathy a little bit easier. For instance, the Aborigines Advancement League which is now the oldest Aboriginal organisation in Australia, started in 1958, had a very strong support from the Jewish community and we know that from surveys that were done in the 1960s. This is while that organisation was a black-white organisation, later it became an all black – all Aboriginal organisation but for the first 10 years it was a coalition of anyone who wanted to support Aboriginal causes and a lot of those people were Jewish people from Melbourne. Doug Nicholls who ran it had the image that the League was like a piano, black and white playing I nharmony.

As for other people who supported the Aboriginal cause, yes with the Advancement League in the 1950s and ‘60s there was a strong support from white Victorians and there were about 40 support groups dotted across the state, not only in Melbourne but also in country areas, even Tasmania had support groups – each of those groups might have had 20 or 30 people who were prepared to meet monthly, raise money for the Aboriginal cause, help educate Aboriginal children or to create a holiday home down on the Bellarine Peninsula to give country Aboriginal kids experience of the sea. The former mission of Cummeragunja near the Barmah forest on the Murray River, was supported by the Advancement League to try and get economic development going there to give that mission a future.


End transcript