Please see some photographs below taken by David Jack on the opening of the William Cooper Footbridge.
The following is a recent article published by The Age Newspaper (Oct 4th 2014) about the news of the Queen accepting the petition for Aboriginal rights, 80 years on. To read the full article please head over to the site.
It has been an 80-year struggle, but a petition from a Victorian Aboriginal family has finally arrived at the doorstep of Buckingham Palace.
In 1934, Yorta Yorta man William Cooper wrote a petition rallying King George V for a representative for indigenous people in Federal Parliament to help address injustices.
Works to conservce and restore historic buildings at Footscray Station are now complete.
You are cordially invited to tour the heritage-listed buildings and inspect new information panels, which tell the vibrant story of the station and celebrates the life of William Cooper, former Footscray resident and a leading campaigner for the rights of Aboriginal and Jewish people during the 1930s, after whom the station footbridge is named.
Alfred Turner (“Uncle Boydie”), grandson of William Cooper, will unveil information at the station recognising William Cooper’s legacy of building bridges across communities.
Photos by Paul Williams
14.9.14 at the Cairns Tropical Writers Festival 12-14 Sept at Rydges Tradewinds, 137 Esplanade Cairns.
Videographer: Norman Miller
Queen receives Cooper petition from Governor-General
On 5 August 14, the Australian Governor-General had a private audience with Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral, England and handed her the replica of William Cooper’s 1930s petition. She was able to receive it as it was not a live petition but a historical document. Prime Minister Tony Abbott was supportive of the handover. Uncle Boydie had presented it to Sir Peter Cosgrove in Canberra in May this year. Cooper had tried to have it forwarded to the Queen’s grandfather King George V in the 1930’s. For Uncle Boydie it was mission accomplished to fulfill his grandfather’s unfinished business. The Governor-General, accompanied by Lady Cosgrove, was invested as a Knight in the Order of Australia by Her Majesty the Queen at the same meeting.
The great granddaughter of William Cooper, Cheryl Russell visited us (Norman and Barbara Miller) in Cairns recently. Here is a photo of Cheryl (front row, left side with headscarf). The photo of the Cooper family with the Millers was taken at Yatir Forest in Israel in Dec 2010 beside a plaque dedicated to William Cooper. We were in Israel for the honouring of William Cooper by having an Academic Chair of Resistance to the Holocaust named after him at Yad Vashem.
Click the link below to play the podcast from the Vision Radio Network 20Twenty Podcast
7 July 2014 radio interview with Barbara and Norman Miller from Adelaide for NAIDOC Week re William Cooper. Barbara did an interview with them in 2013 on William Cooper as well.
Videographer: David Jack
July 2014 The Journal, VOC Historical Society, Volume 15 Issue 7