Warning: this object may contain names, images, and voices of people who have died. Note: the term 'Aborigines' is a word once used and accepted in First Peoples communities, but is now deemed by many as offensive.

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 First Peoples' content offended members of First Peoples communities. 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-First Peoples' 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 Yorta Yorta 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.


This program represents an event in 1951 which brought First Peoples' 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 for the inclusion of First Peoples in a celebratory way on their own terms to mark both the Centenary of Victoria and the fiftieth anniversay of Federation.

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