Fight for Liberty and Freedom: The origins of Australian Aboriginal activism

liberty and freedom cover

John Maynard

Nov, 2007
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$39.95 RRP incl. GST


The Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA), began life in 1924. Although less known today, current Aboriginal political movement are drawn from these roots. In this passionate exploration of the life of founder, Fred Maynard, John Maynard reveals the commitment and sacrifices made by these Aboriginal heroes.

Decades earlier than is commonly understood, Aboriginal people organised street rallies and held well-publicised regional and metropolitan meetings. The AAPA showed incredible aptitude in using newspaper coverage, letter writing and petitions, and collaborated with the international black movement through Maynard’s connections with Marcus Garvey, first president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).

The AAPA’s demands resonate today: Aboriginal rights to land, preventing Aboriginal children being taken from their families, and defending a distinct Aboriginal cultural identity.

Professor John Maynard is Professor of Aboriginal Studies, Newcastle University. His previous publications include Aboriginal Stars of the Turf. He was also a contributor to Uncommon Ground.

Reviews and endorsements

'There are times in a nation's history when events combine to place particular moments in its collective memory. The Prime Minister's apology to the Stolen Generations on 13 February this year is likely to be one. Its timing, planning and execution moved the hearts of many Australians...Some significant events and the people who have shaped them can too easily be forgotten. The story of Fred Maynard is one.'

— Brian McCoy, Eureka, June 2008

'As a non-Indigenous historian with deep interest in histories of Indigenous rights and Indigenous political ideology, I consider this book to be a very welcome addition to a growing library of works dealing with Indigenous rights...What it offers is a personal family story and a real sense of the other side of the bureaucratic divide.'

— Alison Holland, Australian Historical Studies, 39, 2008

Last reviewed: 10 Jul 2020