Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content

Exhibitions

  • Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Tucker, Margaret Elizabeth (1904 - 1996)

MBE

Born
1904
Warrangesda Mission, New South Wales, Australia
Died
1996
Occupation
Author, Campaigner and Community worker

Summary

Margaret Tucker was co-founder of the Australian Aborigines League and was the first Aboriginal woman appointed to the Aborigines Welfare Board.

Details

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.

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

Sources used to compile this entry: Horton, David (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, society and culture, Aboriginal Studies Press for AIATSIS, Canberra, 1994, 2 v. (xxxiii, 1340 p.) pp; Jackomos, Alick, 'Marge Tucker, MBE', Identity, vol. 3, no. 9, 1979, pp. 14-15.

Archival resources

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

  • The Aussie image : the language of the image makers, 1980, KIT N531.48/A1; Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • If everyone cared, 1970s, MS 8704; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • Biographical cuttings on Margaret Tucker, awarded M.B.E. for services to Aboriginal welfare in 1968.; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Clare Land

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/IMP0093b.htm

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License