• Organisation

Australian Aborigines Progressive Association


The Australian Aborigines Progressive Association (AAPA) was formed in New South Wales in 1924, under the leadership of C.F. (Fred) Maynard. Mrs Elizabeth McKenzie Hatton, a non-Aboriginal woman, was secretary. The group demanded children no longer be separated from their families or indentured as domestics and menial labourers, and should have access to public schools. It protested the revocation of north-coast farming reserves; advocated that all Aboriginal families should receive inalienable grants of farming land within their traditional country and that Aborigines should control any administrative body affecting their lives.

According to the Encyclopedia of Women & Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia, Elizabeth McKenzie Hatton met Fred Maynard through her work establishing the Rehoboth Home for Aboriginal girls in Homebush in early 1924.

Members of the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association made lengthy organising trips; meetings in coastal towns attracted numerous Aborigines. With Jane Duren, an Aboriginal leader from Batemans Bay, Maynard participated in debates with missionaries and public figures who were proposing changes to the administration of Aboriginal affairs. He wrote to Aborigines throughout the State who had been injured by the board’s policies, such as young girls who had been raped while indentured.

The AAPA was dissolved in 1927, but Maynard continued to work until the Depression and was an important advocate for the rights of his people.

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