Program for 'An Aboriginal Moomba: Out of the Dark' held at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne in 1951. The year 1951 was the Centenary of Victoria and the 50th anniversary of Federation in Australia. To celebrate an arts festival and a parade of floral floats through Melbourne was planned. However, the absence of any Indigenous Australian content rankled members of the Aboriginal community. Just weeks before the festival was due to begin Pastor Doug Nicholls, Secretary of the Australian Aborigines League, obtained funding to mount a theatrical production. The all-Indigenous production was received with critical and popular acclaim. Principal actors included Doug Nicholls, filmmaker Bill Onus, opera singer Harold Blair and blues singer Georgia Lee.

The Australian Aborigines League began in 1934 and grew out of discussions led by Cummeragunga man William Cooper and included Doug Nicholls, Shadrack James and Marge Tucker. In the 1957 the organisation evolved into the modern day Aborigines Advancement League.

Physical Description

Booklet printed on off white paper. The front cover has a red background and purple border and patterns on the cover consisting of 20 pages. Stapled at spine.


The significance of this program is that it illustrates the all indigenous theatre production: 'An Aboriginal Moomba: Out of the Dark' in 1951 which brought aboriginal people and issues to a broad public audience and signalled the revival of the Australian Aborigines League which had become less active during World War II. The performance was also significant in that it was a way of including aboriginal people in a celebratory way to mark both the Centenary of Victoria and the fiftieth anniversay of Federation.

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