William Cooper: An Aboriginal Life Story

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Yorta Yorta man William Cooper's passionate struggle against the dispossession of First Nations people and the denial of their rights, and his heroic fight for them to become citizens in their own country, has been widely commemorated and celebrated.

By carefully reconstructing the historical losses his people suffered and endured, William Cooper – An Aboriginal Life Story reveals how the first seventy years of Cooper's life inspired the remarkable political work he undertook in the 1930s.

The book focusses on Cooper's most important campaigns: his famous petition to King George VI for an Aboriginal representative in the Australian parliament, his call for a day of mourning after 150 years of colonisation, the walk-off of the Yorta Yorta people from Cummeragunja reserve in 1939 and his opposition to the establishment of an Aboriginal regiment in the Second World War.

This carefully researched study sheds important new light on the long struggle that First Nations peoples have fought to tell the truth about Australia's black history and to win representation in Australia's political order.

About the Author

Bain Attwood is a Professor of History at Monash University. He is the author of several books, including The Making of the Aborigines (1989), Rights for Aborigines (2003), Telling the Truth about Aboriginal History (2005), and Possession: Batmans Treaty and the Matter of History (2009).

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Korff, J 2022, William Cooper: An Aboriginal Life Story, <>, retrieved 19 June 2024

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