Spirituality in the Pub – William Cooper, Aboriginal Activist

sipGoulburn Valley Spirituality in the Pub will host an evening discussing the life and works of William Cooper – and his continuing influence – at the Terminus Hotel, Shepparton on Monday 29th February 2016 from 7.30 – 9.00pm

Spirituality in the Pub is one of the forums for conversation instituted by Catalyst. The first SIP event was held at Paddington (Sydney) in May 1995. The number of venues continues to grow – in 2008 there were approximately 30 venues at various places throughout Australia .

William Cooper

William Cooper, of Yorta Yorta descent, spent most of his life in the Cummeragunja community where he was a spokesman for the Yorta Yorta in their ongoing battles for land justice against the New South Wales government. His influence was far and wide, and his thought and action continue to shape the directions for Recognition in this day.

William Cooper also contributed to a strategy which challenged the colonial view of the settlement of Australia. In 1938, celebrations were planned to mark the sesqui-centenary of the arrival of the British. In response, William Cooper with Bill Ferguson of the Aborigines Progressive Association, planned a ‘Day of Mourning‘ so that Aboriginal people could draw attention to the destructive effects of the invasion. This powerful symbolic gesture, along with the petition to the King and the formation of the Australian Aborigines’ League, mark the beginning of political organisation for Aboriginal Australians and have inspired the following generations of activists working for justice for Indigenous Australians.


Leonie Drummond: great-grand-daughter of William Cooper. Leonie worked as an Aboriginal Support Worker with Sandhurst Catholic Education for approx 7 years and continues to assist as a Cultural Officer.

Julie Ferguson: great-great-grand-daughter of William Cooper. Julie is the Koorie Education Worker at St Mel’s, St Brendan’s, St Luke’s and St Mary’s Schools in Shepparton and Mooroopna.

Louise Levy is the Education Officer/Aboriginal Education Sandhurst Catholic Education Office, Wangaratta. Louise will also join the conversation.

Join the conversation as his descendants tell the story of this amazing 1930’s activist, and share what continues to matter to aboriginal people today.

Bookings not required – just come along to the pub. Counter meals are available from 6pm.

Download a Flyer for this Event

Further Information: Kerry 0408 579904; Frank 58214362; Fran 58290301



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