Janelle Brown - leaving Gurehlgam
Janelle Brown - leaving Gurehlgam Adam Hourigan

POWER POINT: News for the people

Hi Everybody,

As many regular DEX readers would be aware I write a regular column Giinagay Jingglwahla every Wednesday.

I'm grateful though, that I get an additional chance this week to share knowledge on indigenous issues. Today I will be discussing Indigenous newspapers and journals.

Way back in 1938 (the year that marked 150 years of European occupation of Australia) Aboriginal people were gathering in Sydney to advocate for equal rights. Jack Patten, one of the key figures of the equal rights movement, established a newspaper as "the voice of the Aborigines” known as the Australian Abo* Call. It was the first Aboriginal newspaper in Australia.

Although there were only six editions, the monthly publication detailed in no uncertain terms the needs of Aboriginal people of the era for "education, opportunity and full citizen rights”. Although change was a long time in coming, the newspaper's importance in bringing about that change for Aboriginal people cannot be underestimated. It is therefore a very important part of Aboriginal history.

One of the articles in the April 1938 edition, outlines a 10-point policy that was presented to the then Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons. The policy included requests such as "to own land and property and to be allowed to save money in personal bank accounts, and to come under the same rules regarding intestacy and transmission of property as the white population”.

To find out more about this newspaper google AIATSIS's website https://aiatsis.gov.au/ or Trove's website https://trove.nla.gov.au/

In contrast, the Dawn which was later known as the New Dawn magazine (not to be confused with the current new age magazine of the same name), although aimed at the same audience as The Call, was a vastly different publication.

This magazine was a monthly publication of the NSW Aborigines Welfare Board (AWB) produced from 1952 until 1975. Dawn/New Dawn had little to no Aboriginal input. It was primarily an instrument the AWB used to convey its message to Aboriginal people. It contained handy home hints, recipes, photos and stories of Aboriginal people, information on the Aboriginal Protection Act and AWB policies, and stories about happenings overseas, among other items.

For many Aboriginal people, the highlight of the magazine was the opportunity to obtain news on their family and friends living in other parts of NSW.

Copies of Dawn/New Dawn can also be found on the AIAITISIS and Trove websites.

Over the years there was been many other Indigenous publications including Deadly Vibes magazine. Aboriginal and Islander Identity magazine and National Indigenous Times newspaper. However, the newspaper that continues to provide Aboriginal people and others, with indigenous focused news items from around the country, is the Koorie Mail based at Lismore. The Koorie Mail has been running since 1991 and is an all Indigenous owned business.

Each of these publications, although each unique in its delivery and purpose, were/are specifically aimed at engaging the Indigenous reader and those interested in Indigenous issues. They provide an insight into the issues facing Aboriginal people and are really worthwhile reading.

Which brings me to the exciting news, I mentioned in my column yesterday. For the first time its 160-year history, The Daily Examiner will produce a one-off all-Indigenous focused edition known as "The Deadly Examiner”. This special edition will come out on Wednesday, May 29 to coincide with Reconciliation week. It will be an entertaining mix of news items, puzzles, quizzes, sports items etc. It will contain all the items you would normally see in the DEX but with an Indigenous focus.

  • Note: this particular word is today considered to be a racist term

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