March 18 - Happy Birthday, Martha Tucker!

Posted on March 18, 2018

This is a photo of young
Cootamundra girls.
At age 13, Margaret Tucker was forcibly taken from her family and community in southeastern Australia and set to the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls. 

And there she suffered abuse. For two years.

After getting the training (mostly in how to endure abuse, I guess), Tucker was sent to live with and work for a white family.

And there, too, she suffered abuse.

The Aborigines Protection Board did something about the abuse (thank goodness!) and removed Tucker from the abusive position. They sent her out to another home so that she could work for more white people.

But Tucker had had it. She ran away.

In 1925, when Tucker was 21 years old and deemed an adult, the Board released her from their charge, and she moved to Melbourne.

And that's where she began to work for her own and her people's rights.

As an activist for indigenous rights in Australia, Tucker was one of the founding members of the Australian Aborigines' League and of the United Council of Aboriginal and Islander Women. She became the first indigenous person to be appointed to the Victorian Aborigines Welfare Board.

Eventually Tucker was awarded the Order of the British Empire - which recognized all the good she had done for her community. 

Would it surprise you to learn that Tucker's autobiography If Everyone Cared was one of the first books every published that told the world about the terrible treatment indigenous Australians faced?

Aaaannnd this book was published in 1977! So - that DOES make it shocking right? How could it be one of the first?

During Women's History Month, it's great to learn about women from all over the world who worked hard for human rights!

I love love love!

Contemporary indigenous Australian artists are continuing some of their people's art forms, including amazing dot and pattern paintings. I really love them!

by Ada Nangala Dixon

Artist unknown

Tasman Water Dreaming, by Angelina Nampijinpa

Gecko, by Donna Lei Rioli

Artist unknown

 by Rosina Ryder

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