AA 43  Laurie Bryan  Guide to Records
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AA 43  Laurie Bryan

Laurie Bryan actively worked and lobbied for the rights of South Australian Aboriginal people for more than three decades. As Secretary of the South Australian Advancement League Inc. Bryan inspected the Port Augusta Reserve and Umeewarra Children's Home from 8 to 9 February 1964 and later published a report which is held by the State Library of South Australia. During his visit, Bryan identified the problems the Aboriginal people faced and encouraged them to form an Aboriginal Society. The Aboriginal Progress Association (APA) was later established and Mrs Mary Millar and Bryan were invited to be non-voting members.

In 1965 Bryan saw the need for Aboriginal children to have access to pre-school education so he formed the Aboriginal Education Foundation of South Australia (AEFSA). 'His aim was to preapre under-priviledged children for their later attendance at primary school and high school and to provide opportunites for Aboriginal parents to mix with white parents in the kindergarten setting.' (PRG 448/9 - OAM nomination by Colin Robert Lawton). The AEFSA later extended their charter to include child health, nutrition, fostering, school absenteeism, placing country children in boarding schools and the distribution of blankets, shoes and clothing to families in need.

Bryan's role was Honorary Secretary until his retirement on 28 November 1990. He did not receive any payment for services apart from some occasional out-of-pocket expenses for clerical work. For his voluntary work, Bryan was awarded an Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day 1981; investiture 3 April 1981.

Bryan was also involved with the return of Pitjantjatjara amd Maralinga Tjarutja Lands to their original owners as well as the Australian Labor Party.

Laurie Bryan collections can also be found at the State Library of South Australia (PRG 448) as well as Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

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