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Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 From Little Things Big Things Grow : Fighting For Indigenous Rights 1920-1970
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

From Little Things Big Things Grow is a travelling exhibition mounted by the National Museum of Australia which traces the fight for Indigenous civil rights in Australia from 1920 to 1970. It will tour nationally until November, 2011. 'The exhibition reveals the story of these activists as they brought unwelcome truths to Australia's attention. They battled to be believed. Their personal lives were sacrificed in the fight and some were victimised for taking a stand. A few were even spied on by ASIO (the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation). From Little Things Big Things Grow also uncovers the injustices of racism and discrimination that inspired the activists in their struggle for change by revealing what life was like for Indigenous people in this time. The exhibition features a mix of photographs, objects, personal stories and protest material to tell this largely unknown or forgotten story.' Source: (Sighted 15/09/2009)


  • Includes:

    • 'Personal Stories': Interviews with 13 Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Listen to their personal video stories of discrimination, injustice and survival from the 1940s to the 1970s.
    • 'Have Your Say': An on-line interactive where visitors can share there own stories and/or comment on the exhibition.
    • 'Behind the Scenes': The Museum worked with many people to create the exhibition Join the Museum's curators, conservators and the inspirational people who feature in the exhibition as they share stories about some of the experiences which have helped to shape the show.
  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the Canberra, Australian Capital Territory,:National Museum of Australia , 2009 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Beulah Pickwick : On Growing up and Working on the New South Wales and Queensland Border., Beulah Pickwick , website life story
Darce Cassidy : On Growing up in Sydney and Discrimination in Country New South Wales., Darce Cassidy , website life story
Debai Baira : ...On the Limitations of Moving Around and Working in the Torres Strait., Debai Baira , website life story
Professor Dennis Foley : On Discrimination and Ways Around it on Sydney's Public Transport System in the 1950s and 1960s., Dennis Foley , website life story
Dr Jan Richardson : On Injustices and Triumphs in Western Australia in the 1960s and 1970s, Jan Richardson , website life story
Joan Winch AM : On Discrimination in Western Australia in the 1940s and a Lifelong Lesson About Rising Above Injustice., Marie Joan Winch , single work life story interview
Dr John Moriarty AM : On Restrictive Laws Imposed on Aboriginal People in the 1950s and 1960s and the Fight to Overcome Them., John Moriarty , website life story
Lester Bostock : On Selective Schooling and Discimination in Sydney's Hotels in the 1950s and 1960s, Lester Bostock , website life story
Dr Linda Payi Ford : On Her Mother's Inspirational Journey to Save Her Baby Daughter From Authorities in the Northern Territory in the 1960s, Linda Payi Ford , website life story
Maureen Logan : On Discrimination at the Movies and in Shops on the New South Wales and Queensland Border in the 1950s, Maureen Logan , website life story
May O'Brien BEM : About Her Love of Education, and the Racism She Encountered at School in Western Australia, May L. O'Brien , website life story
Michael Williams on the Respect Gained by his Father After Years of Discrimination, and Overcoming Racism at School in Country Queensland., Michael Williams , website life story
Netta Tyson : On Discrimination While Driving in Brisbane, Netta Tyson , website life story
Keeping Memories of Hollywood Mission Alive With Eric Bell in Yass, New South Wales, Karolina Kilian (interviewer), website interview
'Ngunnawal elder Eric Bell shares his recollections of growing up on an Aboriginal mission. Eric met National Museum curator Karolina Kilian at the former mission site and donated a sheet of corrugated, or ripple, iron to the National Museum, to help tell his story.' Source: (Sighted 16/09/09)
Recording Real Life Stories for a Museum Exhibition, Suzanne Gibson , website life story
'The exhibition includes film displays where Indigenous Australians share their experiences of discrimination. Learn about the complexities encountered during the research and production of this project.' Source: (Sighted 16/09/09)
Mary Terszak's Story of Surviving Assimilation, Karolina Kilian , website life story
'In February 2009, Museum photographer Lannon Harley and assistant curator Karolina Kilian visited Mary Terszak (nee Woods), a Nyoongah woman from south-west Western Australia. During the visit, they recorded Mary's memories and memorabilia of institutionalisation, as well as her reflections on how being a member of the Stolen Generations has affected her life.' Source: (Sighted 16/09/09)
Programmed to be White, Karolina Kilian , website life story
A nation-wide search for an exemption certificate, a document of the government's assimilation policy , by the National Museum of Australia led curators to Mary Terszak, who not only gave them the certificate they were seeking but also her incredible story of survival as a member of the Stolen Generations.
Seats of Segregation: Uncovering the History Behind the Bowraville Theatre Seats, Troy Pickwick , website life story
National Museum of Australia curator, Troy Pickwick, 'reflects on a meeting with Gumbayngirr elder Martin Ballangarry during a visit to the Bowraville theatre in northern New South Wales in 2008.' Source: (Sighted 21/09/09)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

From Little Things... 2009 single work column
— Appears in: Reconciliation News , December no. 16 2009; (p. 14)
Exhibition Spotlight on Rights 2009 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 23 September no. 460 2009; (p. 81)
Exhibition Spotlight on Rights 2009 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 23 September no. 460 2009; (p. 81)
From Little Things... 2009 single work column
— Appears in: Reconciliation News , December no. 16 2009; (p. 14)
Last amended 18 Oct 2010 09:22:50