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A new treasure released on Mabo Day - 'Black Voices'

In honour of Mabo Day, we have released another treasure from our Special Collections. It's the first ever issue of the journal Black Voices. You can now read the whole issue in our NQHeritage repository!

Cover image of Black Voices, Vol. 1, No. 1., from the North Queensland Collection.

Black Voices, a journal published by the Department of Social and Cultural Studies in Education at James Cook University, emerged from the Aboriginal and Islander Teacher Education Program (AITEP) at JCU. The aim of the journal was to provide an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students at JCU (and other universities) to publish their work to a wide audience.  

Edited by Ann-Marie Cass and David King, the first edition, Vol. 1, No. 1, was published in April 1984. This edition features contributions that address a variety of topics, including:  a personal perspective of teaching in an Aboriginal community, family and labour histories, childhood reflections, and poetry. Significantly, this journal also includes an article by Koiki (Eddie) Mabo, entitled ‘Music of the Torres Strait’. When the article was written, Dr Mabo was studying a Diploma of Teaching at James Cook University.

Eddie Koiki Mabo. Photo: James Cook University Corporate Archives.

In the Foreword, Noel Loos wrote: “members of staff thought that much interesting writing, produced in courses or as individual projects, deserved a wider audience. We also expected that some of the students would want to see themselves in print – which they did. We hope that, in subsequent issues, more and more students will realise that they have an opportunity to express themselves on any subjects they feel moved to write about.”    


Black Voices ran for more than five years, with the final edition – Vol. 5, No. 1, published in December 1989.

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the documents attached to this record may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


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