Saturday, May 27, 2017

JCU Library Special Collections remembers: The 1967 Referendum

The month of May contains significant dates in our national history pertaining to Indigenous Australians.  The Eddie Koiki Mabo Library in Townsville is marking out these moments in time through it's current exhibition of artworks by Gail Mabo (daughter of Eddie Mabo) and also the accompanying displays of materials drawn from the Special Collections available for viewing on the 1st floor of the library.

On this day, 50 years ago, campaigners for the rights of Aborigines won the most decisive referendum victory in Australian history.  Over 90% of Australians voted to change the Constitution, removing negative references to Aboriginal people forever.

Make sure you know the facts and read the National Archives of Australia 1967 Referendum Fact Sheet.
Item from the Shaw Collection of Australian Art & Culture.
Title page of Human Rights for Australian Aborigines by Mary Bennett.
Preface featured in the book Human Rights for Australian Aborigines
This week check out the display cabinets on level one of the Mabo Library on the Townsville Campus.  See items from the Shaw Collection of Australian Art & Culture, often rare and of great historical importance.  This collection is listed in the Library catalogue and can be used in the special collections reading room.  The book pictured above was published a decade before the 1967 Referendum and written by Mary Bennett - a teacher and great advocate for Aboriginal rights with a strong connection to North Queensland.

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