Stolen Wages

'Blackfellas' Eureka', The Pilbara's Aboriginal pastoral slaves strike

Don McLeod

Between 1946 and 1949, at least 800 Aboriginal workers walked off stations across the Pilbara led by Nyamal lawman Peter Coppin. Supporting the worker's strike action was a small group of non-indigenous unionists and radicals and it's these activists, in particular Don McLeod, that supported the people in fighting for their rights for wages and freedom of movement. The Aboriginal strikers, who worked on dozens of stock and sheep stations throughout north-west Western Australia, wanted 30 shilling a week minimum wage, freedom of movement for more control over their lives. Read more about 'Blackfellas' Eureka', The Pilbara's Aboriginal pastoral slaves strike

It's about time Australia owns up to its significant history of slavery

Slavery

Some people know about the South Sea Islander slaves but most are ignorant that many thousands of First Nations people were also used as slaves right across Australia, in settlement, on pastures and in industries. Even First Nation children were used in most industries and often kidnapped by 'blackbirders' - the children received no wages and had no opportunity to attend school. The adults often died of slavery or abuse. Here is an article by Alecia Simmonds, Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Read more about It's about time Australia owns up to its significant history of slavery

Legalised slavery - another hidden reality in Australia's 'proud' history

Felicity Holt is almost 77 years old. She lives in Queensland and remembers the day she was taken away from her parents in Cherbourg. She was just 16 and hopeful of a future in nursing. 'I had enrolled in nursing at the Cherbourg Hospital because I love looking after people, and they came and took me and sent me to St Joseph's Convent in Dalby to work in the kitchen,' Mrs Holt said.

Read more about Legalised slavery - another hidden reality in Australia's 'proud' history>

New fight for Aboriginal stolen wages with petition to WA Parliament

First Nations pastoral workers seeking compensation for years of unpaid labour

Lucy Martin ABC News 13 September 2013


Retired stockman Ben Barney worked on pastoral stations and missions around the Kimberley and NT

Aboriginal workers have played a key role in establishing Western Australia's pastoral and agricultural industries. Read more about First Nations pastoral workers seeking compensation for years of unpaid labour

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