Game Changers conversation: Sovereign Rights

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Wednesday 26 August 2015

Join us for the next Game Changers conversation, discussing sovereign rights with Dr Gary Edward Foley & Dr Tony Birch.

“Native Title is NOT Land Rights”!

In 1972, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on the lawns of Old Parliament House in Canberra to demand sovereignty for Aboriginal people. Demands of the Tent Embassy included land and mineral rights to Aboriginal people of Aboriginal lands; legal and political control for Aboriginal people of Aboriginal land and compensation for land stolen.

Gary Foley is a product of the Black Power movement & the establishment of the Tent Embassy, he was a key player in a generation of Aboriginal people who abandoned a passive & submissive approach in the struggle for justice & political independence. A struggle that continues to this day.

As part of educating all people, the historical archive of the Black Power Movement is contained in the Foley Collection at VU. Foley & Tony birch understand that there is a lack of academic attention given to primary historical sources & voices of the self-determination movement as well as the lack of publicly available archival material.

The conversation will focus on the uniqueness of the Foley Collection materials and the Aboriginal activists’ personal perspective on the history of the Aboriginal self-determination movement.

Speakers: Gary Foley in conversation with Tony Birch


This is a free event. Register to attend.


Dr Gary Edward Foley

Gary Foley was born in Grafton (1950), northern NSW of Gumbainggir descent. Expelled from school aged 15, Foley came to Sydney as an apprentice draughts-person. Since then he has been at the centre of major political activities.

Foley was involved in the establishment of the first Aboriginal self-help and survival organisations, including:

  • Redfern’s Aboriginal Legal Service
  • Aboriginal Health Service in Melbourne
  • National Black Theatre.

In 1994, Foley created the first Aboriginal owned and operated Koori History website. It remains one of the most comprehensive Aboriginal education resources available today online.

Dr Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of the books Shadowboxing (2006), Father's Day (2009), Blood (2011), shortlisted for the Miles Franklin literary award, and The Promise (2014).

His new novel, Ghost River, will be released in October 2015. Both his fiction and nonfiction has been published widely in literary magazines and anthologies, both in Australia and internationally.

He is currently the inaugural Bruce McGuinness Research Fellow within the Moondani Balluk Centre at Victoria University.

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This event has already taken place.

26 August 2015, 6:30pm to 8:30pm