William Cooper Memorial Walk

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On Sunday my family joined in the William Cooper Memorial Walk as part of the conclusion of Reconciliation week events which also recognised the 40th anniversary of the referendum that acknowledged the citizenship of indigenous inhabitants of Australia. The walk was organised by The Gathering Place, and commenced at the Living Museum of the West at Pipemakers Park . William Cooper was the founder of the Aboriginal Advancement League and although he died twenty years before the referendum he is credited as a key founding influence upon its success. His family members were present and told of how he lived in an unheated house around the corner from where my family now live. He did alot of his work wrapped in blankets because of the cold. He walked alot around Footscray because he couldnt afford a tram fare. As we walked people stood by the side of the path and read aloude some of the letters and speeches of this great man from the 1930’s which was moving and humbling.

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