“They were afraid to speak”: Testimonies of Aboriginal women at the 1934 Moseley Royal Commission

Elfie Shiosaki


Archival traces of early discursive advocacy by Noongar people in the southwest region of Australia contribute to emerging narratives of Indigenous political autonomy. This paper is a case study of archival traces of a royal commission into the state government’s policies towards Aboriginal people in Western Australia in 1934, known as the Moseley Royal Commission. These traces reveal how many Noongar women contributed to this commission by writing letters or testifying. These letters and testimonies represent discursive advocacy by Noongar women for Indigenous human rights—around seventy years before these rights were recognised in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.


Indigenous human rights; Indigenous history

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/co201824&25159-167


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