February 15, 2015

Fred Maynard: Aboriginal Patriot

In 1925, Fred Maynard established the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (A.A.P.A.), the first large scale Aboriginal rights movement.

The group protested against the revocation of north-coast farming reserves; they also demanded that children no longer be separated from their families, or indentured as domestics and menial labourers. The A.A.P.A. advocated that all Aboriginal families should receive inalienable grants of farming land within their traditional country, that their children should have free entry to public schools, and that Aborigines should control any administrative body affecting their lives.

The film is a biography of Fred Maynard, a significant and important historical figure, and an overview of the rise and undermining of the A.A.P.A. It also looks at Maynard’s intellectual influences and the connections the A.A.P.A. had to other significant black rights movements to show the deep philosophies that underlined this early and significant Aboriginal protest movement.

The film is narrated by historian John Maynard, Fred’s grandson.