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Reactions to the Petition

The sheer daring of the Petition seemed to spark interest from all quarters. The fact that Cooper was so politely asking for permission seemed to create its own publicity.

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Shadrach James warns of Annihilation

The war years saw that voices of Aboriginal dissent were silenced. But with the return of peace, a clear statement demanding justice for Australia’s first peoples. Interesting, though, that it is what you might expect to be Australia’s conservative institutions – the church and, still more shocking, the Country Women’s Association – that are hosting  Full Article…

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Shadrach James Responds to the Bleakley Report

Was it one conference or was it two? Either way, Shadrach James had the chance to talk to politicians as well as missionaries. And the Herald of Melbourne gave his talk a thorough report. And, now that he’s talking to politicians, he’s notably positive about missionaries. ABORIGINE WANTS M.P. FOR. NATIVES “My People Seek Part  Full Article…

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Shadrach Livingstone James Lectures the Missionaries

In April 1929, Shadrach Livingston James was invited to address the Australian National Missionary Council. The delicious inversion of the expected roles seems to have attracted attention of journalists. And his comments were reported in Sun on 12 April 1929. In his talk, he makes a brutal statement about white mistreatment of Aborigines. His talk seems to  Full Article…

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William Cooper Persuades a Missionary

William Cooper may have become friends with the missionary, Rev John Gribble, in the 1870s at Maloga. But he also cultivated a warm friendship with that churchman’s son, Rev E. R. B. Gribble, who also became a missionary. By the 1930s, Cooper was an ageing man in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne; Gribble a determined  Full Article…

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The Petition to the King

In September 1933, William Cooper began approaching various bodies with authority over indigenous affairs, asking if they would grant him permission to distribute a petition. The petition, once collected, would be delivered to King George V. Its main aim was to pressure the monarch, and, in turn, the Government of Australia, to introduce a new  Full Article…

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Songs of the Yorta Yorta community

One of the great distinctives of the Indigenous community around the Goulburn and upper Murray rivers is song. Daniel Matthews, the independent missionary at Maloga, writes in his journal of the beauty of Yorta Yorta voices. In the fifth annual report, published in 1880, Daniel Matthews writes: They all sing sweetly, and sometimes so softly.  Full Article…

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The Fisk Jubilee Singers

Immediately following the end of the Civil War, some very determined former slaves made up their minds to form the very first University specifically for black Americans. Fisk University was founded in 1866 in Nashville, Tennessee and it still stands today. While “Reconstruction” was meant to come to the South, the university itself was soon  Full Article…

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The lyrics to Bura Fera

Bura Fera, sometimes called Ngarra Burra Ferra, is a traditional Yorta Yorta song, the language spoken by the Indigenous peoples of the Goulburn Valley and Murray Valleys centred around modern-day Echuca. The history of Bura Fera suggests a story that stretches across several continents and thousands of years. Womriga Moses yinin walla Walla yupna yeipuch  Full Article…