A documentary film about the 1946 Pilbara Strikes
6.30pm, 8 November 2010
New International Bookshop - Trades Hall (cnr Lygon and Victoria Sts, Carlton Sth)
WINNER! 1987 Human Rights Documentary Film Award.
NOMINATED FOR 5 AFI AWARDS
In the 1940s in the north-west of Australia, a secret congress was organized by Pilbara Elders Dooley Bin Bin and Clancy McKenna, alongside white unionist and communist Don McLeod. It was an unprecedented gathering, with over a dozen interpreters present to deal with the 23 languages of the many Aboriginal groups present.
This congress decided to organize a strike in the Pilbara region to demand better wages and conditions, and to draw attention to the treatment generally of Aboriginal people in Western Australia.
On 1 May 1946, Aboriginal workers walked off the sheep stations, marking the beginning of a carefully organized strike that was to last three years. It is considered one of the most significant (and least known) political actions in Australian history, and went on to inspire the Land Rights movement of the 1960s.
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