July [-0-] CELEBRATING BLAK HISTORY MONTH

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised this article may contain images and references to the deceased.

#1 July 2011

Australian Aborigines Progressive Association

The Australian Aborigines Progressive Association (AAPA) – Originally formed in 1924 by Fred Maynard, a prolific member of the Australian Chapter of the Colored Progressive Association (1903-08). The AAPA was launched in April 1925 with a conference at St David’s Hall in Surry Hills NSW. It operated out of Addison’s Hall at 460 Crown Street, Surry Hills.

The AAPA held four major landmark conferences, amongst the many other undertakings Their activities culminated in a petition addressed to Jack Lang, the Premier of New South Wales, in May 1927, which called for the restitution of Aboriginal land. Their members had also written an appeal to King George V, which contested the power of the Aborigines Protection Board to withdraw Aboriginal control of reserves on the grounds that they had been granted by Queen Victoria.

The association grew to have eleven branches throughout New South Wales and over 500 active members. However the broad reach and vocal approach of the organisation alerted the Aborigines Protection Board to the threat that it posed. They set about a campaign to discredit the leaders of the association, attacking the credibility of Fred Maynard through a series of public statements. The association was also subject to frequent police harassment. Due to this harassment, by the end of 1927, the AAPA had been dissolved.

Today, the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association is recognised as the first United politically organised Aboriginal activist group in Australia.

Would you like to read more about this Great Moment in Blakistory …
· http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/australian_aborigines_progressive_association
· asset0.aiatsis.gov.au:1801/webclient/DeliveryManager?&pid=18787

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