(Smoke Signals, Vol. 6, No. 2, May 1967).
THE WORK OF THE ABORIGINES ADVANCEMENT LEAGUE
OBJECTS OF THE LEAGUE
1. To establish a general policy for the advancement of all Australian people of Aboriginal descent.
2. To provide benevolent relief to indigent people of Aboriginal descent.
3. To provide opportunity for Aboriginal children to continue their education as far as their capabilities permit, to this end to provide assistance for Aboriginal families and/or children in necessitous circumstances. A special fund shall be set up for this purpose.
4. To acquire, provide and maintain hostels for Aboriginal people who are in necessitous circumstances.
FIVE BASIC PRINCIPLES
Principle 1 - Equal citizenship rights with other Australians for Aborigines.
Principle 2 - All Aborigines to have a standard of living adequate for health and well-being, including food, clothing and medical care not less than for other Australians.
Principle 3 - All Aborigines to receive equal pay for equal work and the same industrial protection as other Australians.
Principle 4 - Education for detribalised Aborigines to be free and compulsory.
Principle 5 - The absolute retention of all remaining reserves, with native communal or individual ownership.
ACTIVITIES OF THE LEAGUE
1. Social Welfare -
(a) Two Field Officers - Pastor Doug Nicholls, M.B.E., J.P., and Mr. Alick Jackomos - attend to particular welfare needs, e.g., finding accommodation and employment, assisting in securing pensions and other social service benefits, attending courts, etc.
(b) The League undertakes responsibility to focus public and Government attention on social needs (housing, employment, health) or Aboriginal communities where there is injustice or how living conditions.
2. Public Liaison -
(a) A constant programme of lectures, distribution of literature, press statements, etc., is maintained to increase mutual understanding and appreciation between Aborigines and other Australians. Every effort is made to acquire and publicly express points of view of Aboriginal communities.
3. Hostels -
(a) At Northcote, two hostels are conducted for teenage workers; one each for young men and young women.
(b) At Nathalia, a students’ hostel is maintained for secondary and upper primary school children.
4. Education - Apart from the Nathalia hostel an Education Trust Fund has been established to assist in providing additional education facilities through the provision of bursaries for Aboriginal children attending secondary schools in Victoria.
5. Community Development - A farming project run by the Aboriginal members of the “Cummeragunga Company Pty. Ltd.” has been initiated and supported by the League on the Cumeroogunga Reserve (on the Murray River opposite Barmah).
6. Opportunity Shops - Two Opportunity Shops are run by Mrs. D. Nicholls and voluntary helpers to assist in financing various League projects.
7. Holiday Schemes -
(a) At Queenscliff a holiday site with three modern flats is maintained for Aboriginal families.
(b) During school holidays Aboriginal children from all parts of Victoria are involved in holiday schemes which bring them to live with other Australian families in Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong.
8. Recreation Centre - The “Doug Nicholls Centre”, a modern, well-equipped hall adjoining the Girls’ Hostel at Northcote, is being used as a community centre for youth clubs, women’s auxiliary, socials, dances, etc.
9. Commonwealth Activities - The League is a member of the Federal Council for Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and its members play an active part in supporting the Council financially and in the promotion of its activities. F.C.A.A. has active committees campaigning for equal wages and employment conditions, the elimination of legislation discriminating against Aborigines, the obtaining of land rights, etc.
Mr. BILL ONUS,
Monbulk Road, Belgrave.
Mr. S.F. Davey, 56 Cunningham Street, Northcote
Mr. Selwyn Briggs, 14 Tilton Street, Shepparton.
Mrs. D.A. Blackburn, 16 Louisville Avenue, Pascoe Vale South
Mr. Lloyd, 30 Mayfield Street, Mount Waverley.
PASTOR DOUG NICHOLLS, J.P., M.B.E.,
56 Cunningham Street, Northcote.
Assistant Field Officer:
Mr. ALICK JACKOMOS,
22 Lemon Road, North Balwyn
56 CUNNINGHAM STREET, NORTHCOTE