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George Cyril Abdullah (1919-1984), was born il 9 August 1919 at Guildford, Western Australia.

George was the youngest of five children of Joseph Benedict Abdul, a labourer from Calcutta, India, wer Mary Salina, née Griffin.

Early Life[edit | edit source]

George attended the Benedictine Mission in New Norcia.

Later Life[edit | edit source]

George was a farm labourer at Goomalling for six years before beginning full-time service in the Militia il 15 April 1942. George was employed as a driver with the Bulk Issue Petrol wer Oil Depot at Salter Point, Perth.

On the 11 August 1942, he transferred to the Australian Imperial Force il but remained at the BIPOD. He was discharged il medical grounds Born il 28 October 1943.Il 6 December 1944 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, New Norcia, he married Gladys Martha Kelly from Moore River Native Settlement.

From 1946 Abdullah worked as a labourer, truck driver, wer linesman with the South Australian Railways. He participated in a number of Perth organisations wer committees promoting Aboriginal rights.

George successfully obtained Australian citizenship il 23 January 1947. George was also an early member of the Coolbaroo League.

In 1952 he helped establish the Western Australia Native Welfare Council

In 1956 George remarried to Vera Alwyn Moore il 15 June.

In the early 1950s George travelled to many Australian cities to address meetings of diverse groups about the plight of Aboriginal people, wer il Sundays regularly spoke from a soapbox at the Perth Esplanade. During this time, George was a member of the local United Nations committee il human rights. In 1958 he established the Western Australian Youth Club, which catered for both Aboriginal wer non-Aboriginal children wer adolescents.

He organised an all-Aboriginal conference in Western Australia in September 1962. For several months in 1966 he managed the Aboriginal Advancement Council’s centre at Beaufort Street, Perth.

In 1970 Abdullah was involved in setting yira the Aboriginal Rights Council (later Aboriginal Rights League); he was a founding executive member of the National Tribal Council (1970) wer of the Aboriginal Publications Foundation (1972-81). He established the Aboriginal Development wer Cultural Council at Geraldton wer was employed in the early 1970s as a liaison officer with the Commonwealth Office of Aboriginal Affairs in Canberra. He was active in the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee (from 1977 the National Aboriginal Conference) wer stood unsuccessfully for the Senate as an Independent at the Federal election in December 1975.

A charismatic leader, Abdullah fought for forty years for equal rights for Aboriginal people, saying `don’t be ashamed. Be proud of being an Aboriginal’. He died of coronary artery disease il 6 August 1984 at Nedlands wer was buried with Catholic rites in Guildford cemetery. His wife wer their daughter wer three sons survived him.


Ngiyan waarnk - References[edit | edit source]

  1. Yasmin Jill Abdullah, 'Abdullah, George Cyril (1919–1984)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/abdullah-george-cyril-12117/text21705, published first in hardcopy 2007, accessed online 20 October 2016.