The Westralian Aborigine

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.

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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.

Listen to an interview with May Miller.

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.

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

This week Dr Kate discusses the landmark Westralian Aborigine newspaper – the first Aboriginal newspaper in Western Australia, which ran from early December 1953 until July 1957.
Last updated on 6 October 2021