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Tuckerbox used by Aboriginal activist Joe McGinness when he travelled on work as an officer bearer of FCAATSI, 1950s-1960s

2006.0045.0001

Tuckerbox used by Aboriginal activist Joe McGinness when he travelled on work as an officer bearer of FCAATSI, 1950s-1960s

Object information

Physical description

A rectangular yellow painted plywood tuckerbox. It has a flat lid attached at the rear with two hinges. A decoratively moulded metal handle is fitted to the top front of the lid. The exterior is under painted in green, which is visible in parts. The interior of the box is painted green. Two long timber feet are attached to the base.

Statement of significance

The Joe McGinness Collection comprises a wharfies' hook and a tuckerbox. Joe McGinness (1914-2003) was a significant Aboriginal Australian who fought for Indigenous rights throughout his life.

The wharfies' hook was used by McGinness in the 1950s and 1960s whilst working on the Cairns wharves in Queensland. In the 1950s the wharf industry was one of the few industries to accept Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander labour. As President of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) from 1961 to 1977, he used the political skills he had acquired on the wharves. McGinness used the tuckerbox on trips around northern Queensland and the Northern Territory in the 1960s and 1970s. It symbolises his struggle and personal commitment to welfare and political activism on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians which he and many others of his generation carried out.

Object information

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