"There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one's native land." - Euripides 431 B.C.

Martyrs in The Struggle for Justice

A Gallery in Tribute to Heroes of the Political Struggle for Aboriginal Rights: 1900 - 2000

Margaret Elizabeth (Marge) Tucker
1904 - 1996
1904 born Warrangesda Mission, New South Wales
1917 removed from family and sent to Cootamundra Girls Home
1930s campaigns with William Cooper, Doug Nicholls and Bill Onus
1932 co-founder of Australian Aborigines League
1938 on Victorian woman at "Day of Mourning" protest in Sydney
1963 co-founder United Aboriginal & Islander Womens Council
1964 first woman appointed to Victorian Aborigines Welfare Board
1968 awarded and OBE
1996 died
Margaret Tucker
Author, Campaigner and Community worker
Born: 1904 Warrangesda Mission, New South Wales. Died: 1996.

Margaret (Lilardia) Elizabeth Tucker was born on Warrangesda Mission and spent her early childhood on the Cummeragunja and Moonaculla Missions in New South Wales. Her father, William Clements, was Wiradjuri and her mother Teresa (Yarmuk) Clements, née Middleton, was Yulupna. At the age of thirteen, Tucker and her sister May were separated from their mother against her wishes and taken to the Cootamundra Girls' Home. Tucker has written of her harrowing experiences under the care and training of the Aborigines Protection Board and in domestic service for white families in Sydney in her 1977 autobiography, If everyone cared.

By the 1930s, Tucker had begun to campaign for Aboriginal rights alongside other legendary Koori campaigners including William Cooper, Bill and Eric Onus, and Doug Nicholls. In 1932, she was co-founder of the Australian Aborigines League and on 26 January 1938 was one of the Victorian representatives observing the first national Day of Mourning. She was also instrumental in founding the United Council of Aboriginal and Islander Women in the 1960s. Tucker was the first Aboriginal woman appointed to the Aborigines Welfare Board (Victoria), 1964, and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 1968.

Tucker was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Civil) on 1 January 1968 for services to the Aboriginal community.

Source:National Foundation for Australian Women on Australian Women's Archives Project Web Site

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