The Westralian Aborigine The first Aboriginal newspaper in Western Australia

Proudly brought to you by the State Library of Western Australia in celebration of NAIDOC 2016. Please be aware that this material contains images and names of people who are now deceased.

The Westralian Aborigine newspaper was published by the Coolbaroo League - a Perth-based Aboriginal civil rights and social organisation. Though known for their dances held at the Coolbaroo Club the league published the Westralian Aborigine in 1954 to connect, empower and celebrate Aboriginal Western Australians.

May Miller at Mt Margaret in 1956

The front cover of the first issue featured a portrait and profile of a young May Miller. May Miller (later O'Brien) would go on to become one of the first Aboriginal teachers in the state and helped to shape Aboriginal education throughout her life.

The Westralian Aborigine, January 1954

Despite being published more than a decade before Australia would vote at the historic 1967 referendum, Aboriginal activists and civil rights protesters in WA formed organisations such as the Coolbaroo League to create awareness for the rights of Aboriginal peoples.

The Westralian Aborigine, January 1954
The Westralian Aborigine, January 1954

The Westralian Aborigine was one of only a handful of Aboriginal run newspapers in Australia between the years of 1778 and 1978 - and is one of the only examples which provided community news in addition to political views.

Discover more at the State Library of Western Australia or online with Storylines.

Photographs, articles and content have been drawn from the State Library of Western Australia collections [Westralian Aborigine: 300WES]

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