On 1 May 1946, 800 Aboriginal station workers walked off sheep stations in the north-west of Western Australia, marking the beginning of a carefully organized strike that was to last for at least three years, but never officially ended.
The strike was more than a demand for better wages and conditions. It was, in the words of Keith Connolly in the Melbourne Herald, ‘a well- considered statement by a grievously exploited people, standing up for their rights and dignity’.
In late 1942, a secret congress was organized by Pilbara Elders Dooley Bin Bin and Clancy McKenna, with many of the tribes in Western Australia attending - over a dozen interpreters were present to deal with 23 languages. The meeting, which lasted six weeks, was also attended by a long-time supporter of the desert people, prospector Don McLeod. The congress decided to organize a strike in the Pilbara region in order to demand better wages and conditions, and to draw attention to the treatment generally of Aboriginal people in Western Australia.
A fascinating but rarely mentioned episode in Australian history.—The Age newspaper
- Release dates
- 1987 - Australia
- G - general
Dialogues are in Njangamarda, Wanmun, Injibandi and English dialogue, English subtitles
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