Special Panel: 75th anniversary of the Pilbara strike (Perth)

6:31pm Sunday 19 September

About this session

Note: This special Perth panel will take place at 4:30PM AWST

FEATURING SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS:

Rose Murray is a Nyangumarta woman and former Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation member. Following the Strike her family helped establish Yandeyarra and Strelley communities.

Gavin Mitchell, Nyamal Aboriginal Corporation Director and grandson of Pilbara Strike leader Ernie Mitchell.

Nick Everett is the author of a chapter in Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle on union solidarity with the 1946 Pilbara Strike.

75 years ago, on May 1 (May Day), 1946, hundreds of Aboriginal workers began walking off dozens of pastoral stations across the vast Pilbara region to fight for wages and better living conditions. The Pilbara Aboriginal strikers’ demands were straightforward: a 30 shilling per week minimum wage, the right to elect their own representatives and freedom of movement. Yet their actions directly challenged Western Australia’s Aborigines Act 1905, which controlled every aspect of Aboriginal people’s lives. Consequently, they confronted not only the wealthy station owners, but also a regime of colonial servitude enforced by police and the Department of Native Affairs.

This session will uncover the history of the longest strike in Australian history and the working class heroes like Dooley Bin Bin, Daisy Bindi and Don McLeod who made history.

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