Thanks also to former members of the Cairns League and FCAATSI and to their families for contributing interviews to this research.
Markus, The 1967 Referendum: Race, Power and the Australian Constitution, 2nd edition, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2007; Sue Taffe, Black and White Together, FCAATSI: the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, UQP, St Lucia, 2005.
See 'App.endix 1: Attendance at annual FCAATSI conferences, 1958-1972 in Taffe, Black and White Together, p.
(37.) Interview with Barry Christophers, 27 September 1996, FCAATSI Oral History Project, 1996, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra.
Taffe (historical studies, Monash U., Australia) explores the history of FCAATSI
and its precursor, the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement, whose founding members included both blacks and whites working together for social and legislative reform.
Sue Taffe's study of the rise and fall of FCAATSI is a major contribution to the historiography of race relations--and of political activism, of human rights, of left-wing campaigning and of national politics during the 1960's.
Looking back now more than a generation later we can see FCAATSI as very much a creature of its time which explains its significant but strictly ephemeral success.
Taffe spends considerable time on the centre-piece of FCAATSI campaigning: the crusade to amend the constitution resulting in the referendum of 1967.
There was an inevitability in the collapse of FCAATSI. But looking back now, it would seem that such broad coalitions of disparate activists can still play an essential part in bringing about change in a conservative and cautious community.
This is Homer's tribute (himself an active participant) in FCAATSI
, to his fellow white warriors in the Aboriginal advancement movement, but also to his many Aboriginal and Tortes Strait Islander friends and colleagues who helped him realise the full effect of dispossession on Indigenous Australians.
They show concern about many mistaken popular views of the referendum's great success, and regard the FCAATSI advocates as myth-making amateurs.
By 1963, FCAATSI was well informed of the many constitutional disadvantages of Aborigines being governed by separate states.