Skip to content

The National Museum of Australia is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. Read more in our coronavirus statement

  • Closed
  • Free general admission
Black and white portrait of a man. - click to view larger image
Malcolm Cooper

Malcolm Cooper met Gordon Briscoe, Charles Perkins, Vince Copley and John Moriarty at St Francis House, run by Father Percy Smith.

All of these men made significant contributions to the struggle for justice for Aboriginal Australians and to make their contributions to the wider society as well.

Like the others, Malcolm was a successful footballer, playing Aussie Rules for Port Adelaide.

In the 1960s Malcolm helped John Moriarty, Laurie Bryan and others to establish the Aborigines Progress Association, which became a hub for Aboriginal activists at that time.

Malcolm was a member of the delegation that met with Prime Minister Robert Menzies in September 1963 to inform him of the living conditions experienced by Aboriginal people in each state.

A Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement (FCAA) report of this meeting states that the Prime Minister 'appeared to be hearing many of these facts for the first time and undertook to enquire further into the situation, particularly with regard to the appeal for a referendum to delete the discriminating sections from the Commonwealth Constitution'.

Malcolm was the South Australian state secretary of the FCAA in 1965.

Explore more on Collaborating for Indigenous Rights 1957–1973

Return to Top