[Abo Call, June 1938]
Calling all Aborigines
By THE EDITOR
Will ever the shackles of misery and poverty be lifted from the lowliest section of the community - the Australian Aboriginals?
As an Aboriginal in the responsible position of rebroadcasting the voice of the Aborigines themselves, so that the white people of this country will know the true conditions under which the Aborigines of Australia are forced to live, I say, “Brothers and Sisters of my race, ask yourselves How have we fared under the whiteman’s Administration?
Look at our Reserves! What is it that greets us on investigation? Starvation, poor housing and education, and general oppression. It seems that the “Protection” Board on some reserves appoints men to torture us mentally with bullying tactics.
This, with the wrecking of our physical condition through inadequate food supply, has only one object - Extermination! What have we to lose if this so-called “protection” Board is abolished?
With all the whiteman’s organisation and facilities for progress, together with his boast of fairplay and justice, the Aborigines, after 150 years of “Christian Rule”, find inhumane conditions existing against us.
We have been content in the past to wait, hoping that the dominant race would become conscious of our plight. But we find that we have been forgotten in their march to nationhood.
So all Aborigines in Australia who want the privileges and benefits of civilisation for the welfare of their wives and children should get behind this movement. Say goodbye to the damper and ashes, and to the compounds! We want to be absorbed into the Nation of Australia, and thus survive in the land of our forefathers, on equal terms.
JOIN THE ASSOCIATION TODAY!
The time has now come for all Aborigines, and persons of Aboriginal blood, to join the Aborigines Progressive Association in the coming fight for Citizen Rights.
Many Aborigines and Halfcastes joined the Australian Army (A.I.F.) in the last war “for freedom”.
Hundreds of these have died to uphold the fair name of Australia.
Yet today, Aborigines and Halfcastes, and all persons having “any admixture of Aboriginal blood”, are treated as dingoes and as outcasts in the land of their ancestors.
It is to remedy this state of affairs that the Aborigines Progressive Association has been formed.
Throughout Australia, hundreds of Aborigines are joining the Association. Soon we expect to have thousands of members. It is only by strength of numbers that we shall be able to convince White Australians of the justice of our cause.
In adjoining column is a notice convening a meeting to draw up a policy to submit to the Government of New South Wales.
If we can get our reforms in the Mother State of New South Wales, we shall then turn our atention [sic] to other States, until Aborigines are liberated in every State of the Commonwealth.
Such is our aim and we invite every [line missing] for his own sake, and for the sake of his children.
The Aborigines Progressive Association aims at the repeal of all existing legislation which restricts the freedom of Aborigines.
We demand to be treated as ordinary Australian citizens, and as ordinary human beings.
Ever since Dampier’s libel was uttered, in the year 1688, that Australia’s Aborigines are “the lowest type on earth”, we have been subjected to persecution by missionaries, scientists, and officials.
Our self-respect has been taken away from us, and we have been driven towards extermination.
Now we are making an effort to raise our own status in the community, by demanding full citizen rights, and equal opportunity, with the children of white men, to become modern Australians.
We do not wish to go back to the Stone Age, we want to join in the march to progress and civilisation.
Our people are good learners, if given the chance.
We ask the white people of Australia to give us this chance of proving that no Australians are better Australians than we!
So, all you Aborigines, join the Association without delay, and help to put an end to the cruel system of “protection” which is slowly but surely exterminating [line missing].