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Gibbs, Pearl (1901 - 1983)



Aboriginal leader, Political activist and Social activist

Pearl Gibbs was a major figure in Aboriginal political activism from the late 1920s to the 1970s. She was involved in organising the Day of Mourning on 26 January 1938 to protest the invasion; spoke for the Committee for Aboriginal Citizen Rights; supported Northern Territory Aborigines in their conflicts with a frontier 'justice' system; called for Aboriginal representation on the New South Wales Board; set up the Dubbo branch of the Australian Aborigines' League with Bill Ferguson in 1946; became the organising secretary for a new Melbourne-based Council for Aboriginal Rights in 1953; was elected as the Aboriginal member of the Aborigines Welfare Board in 1954 and its only woman member; established the Australian Aboriginal Fellowship (with Faith Bandler) in 1956 and the first hostel for Aboriginal hospital patients and their families in Dubbo in 1960; and continued contributing to Aboriginal conferences throughout the 1970s.
See Australian Women's Archives Project for information including career highlights.