"There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one's native land." - Euripides 431 B.C.
Warning! This site contains images of indigenous people now deceased!
The Aboriginal Embassy January - July 1972

On Australia Day / Invasion Day in January 1972, the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr William McMahon made his ill-fated statement on Aboriginal Rights. The reaction was instant and dramatic as Redfern-based Aboriginal activists moved quickly to establish a protest camp on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra.

The group accidently exposed a flaw in Canberra ordinances when it was discovered that there was no actual prohibition on camping on the Parliamentary lawn. This enabled the activists to establish a permanent office/camp/protest on the lawns.

In the six months it stood the "Aboriginal Embassy" protest put the Australian Indigenous struggle for justice onto the the international political stage. Indeed, it was so successful that a desperate McMahon Government covertly rushed through Parliament a special law to make it illegal to camp on the lawns of Parliament and ACT Police demolished the "Embassy" in a series of violent demonstrations in July 1972.

The "Aboriginal Embassy" protest was the most effective political action in the history of the Aboriginal struggle.

Resources on the Aboriginal Embassy 1972
Eight Indexes of rare Aboriginal Embassy Images
Index of more than 100 Newspaper Reports on the Aboriginal Embassy
Index of Government Documents related to the Aboriginal Embassy
Related reading on the Aboriginal Embassy
Video clips of Aboriginal Embassy 1972
click here to go back to 1970s index
This site designed and maintained by Gary Foley