Little known people

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

-- A survey by Australia's culture department last year revealed that the fight for indigenous rights in the country was unknown to most citizens of European descent. The National Museum in the Australian capital Canberra hopes its exhibition on aboriginal activism will help change the state of affairs.

Curator Jay Arthur said the exhibition is a story of struggle and triumph. "I hope the visitors face some uncomfortable truths," she said. "It wasn't governments who gave aboriginal people their civil rights. It was people who lobbied, petitioned and struggled to make governments give people their civil rights."

An item on show for the first time is a one of four petitions made on the bark of the Yirrkala tree. The Yolgnu people living near Canberra wrote this petition in 1963 to protest mining on traditional land.

The exhibition will run till October-end.

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