1967 Referendum exhibition - Resistance, Survival and Activism

Saturday 27 May

Right Wrongs: '67 Referendum - the WA Story is an exhibition curated from Aboriginal peoples' perspectives. The exhibition focuses the story on resistance, survival and activism in WA.

  • Right Wrongs: '67 Referendum - the WA Story exhibition marks 50 years since 1967 Referendum
  • Features Western Australian stories told from Aboriginal peoples' perspectives
  • The exhibition and educational toolkit will prompt further materials related to the history of WA to be made available to the community

The 'Yes Vote' enabled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be counted in the Census and gave the Commonwealth Government, not the States, responsibility to make laws for Aboriginal peoples.

This story is reimagined in the Right Wrongs: '67 Referendum - the WA Story exhibition.

The exhibition title is drawn from the slogan used in the 1967 referendum campaign 'Right Wrongs, Write Yes'.

Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:

"It is fantastic to see so many families of those activists who fought for their rights from as early as 1830 represented in this free exhibition.

"Until that referendum, Aboriginal people weren't afforded the same rights as non-Aboriginal Australians.

"The referendum was pivotal in highlighting the inequalities faced by the Aboriginal community and in securing legislative changes. The return was the highest ever 'yes' vote recorded for a referendum.

"This is recent history. My family was part of this experience. In 50 years, we have moved to a point where Aboriginal people are now central in determining their future. It is important that this history, and the WA stories of this time, be shared.

"The stories of resilience, activism, identity and change are told through the photographs, video footage, objects, oral histories and documented materials drawn from the WA Museum and State Library collections.

"The satellite exhibitions in Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Albany and Fremantle also give local context to the 1967 Referendum, celebrating the many aspirations that have been met, and acknowledging that social disadvantage still exists."

Right Wrongs: '67 Referendum - the WA Story

Saturday, May 27 2017 to Sunday, September 3, 2017
Ground Floor Gallery, State Library of WA, Perth Cultural Centre

Right Wrongs: '67 Referendum - the WA Story is an exhibition curated from Aboriginal peoples' perspectives. The exhibition focuses the story on resistance, survival and activism in WA by following a set of themes, key people and significant actions:

Frontier Warriors - the resistance to invasion and the claims for fair treatment. Lead by Fanny Balbuk (1830-1907) and Tommy Dower (c.1853-1905);
Changing the Rules - Challenging inconsistent government regulations and racist laws, Sadie Canning (nee Corner 1930-2008);
Pushing Back - Protests, walk-offs and domestic slavery, the activism of Daisy Bindi (1904-1962);
Our Voices - advocating for equality, opposing prohibition and engaging popular culture, the Coolbaroo League (1947-1960) was a voice to be heard; and
Returning - the return of human remains and cultural material to community and the story of Yagan (c.1795 -1833).

 

Further information: State Library of Western Australia: http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au Western Australian Museum satellite exhibitions: http://www.museum.wa.gov.au Department of Aboriginal Affairs: http://www.daa.wa.gov.au/community-development/pals/

 

Last updated on: 08 Jun 2017