National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) together with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) have released an updated edition of the Right Wrongs website: abc.net.au/rightwrongs/
Drawing upon the vast collections of Australia’s national, state and territory libraries alongside archival footage from the ABC, the site presents a series of powerful personal stories relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the fight for rights, recognition and constitutional change.
Compiled and curated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander journalists and library professionals in 2017, the project was originally designed to commemorate fifty years since the 1967 referendum. A majority ‘yes’ vote in 1967 removed the census prohibition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and provided the federal government with the power to create specific laws about them.
Vicki McDonald, Chair of NSLA, said: “The fact that this tremendous resource continues to be utilised six years after its creation, and 56 years after the event it was built to commemorate, tells us that these stories have not lost any of their power or relevance in public debate”.
Alongside the stories of household names such as Vincent Lingiari, Chicka Dixon and Larissa Behrendt are extraordinary local tales of Indigenous soldiers, unions and strikes, ‘dog licences’, activism and relations with police, schooling and family separation.
Damien Webb, Manager of the Indigenous Engagement Branch at the State Library of New South Wales, described the original project as a wonderful and nourishing experience.
“Bringing the stories of our Elders and our activists out of the shadows and into Australia’s collective memory was a privilege. I hope this collection of stories continues to remind us all that the fight for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights is as old as this country, and far from finished.”
Solua Middleton, one of the ABC Executive Producers of Right Wrongs said: “There are so many things we can learn from reflecting on the past and our journey so far as a nation, and our role as individuals in the future. This is a valuable resource for all Australians in understanding a slice of our nation’s history, especially as we will embark on another referendum affecting Indigenous Australians next month.”
The site is currently linked from the ABC’s Voice to Parliament Referendum information page.
For media enquiries, contact Damien Webb on 0420 907 037.