I’m on safari with S.S.A.A.F


Donated by Michael Hetharia

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

The Secondary Schools Aboriginal Affairs Fund was a group formed by Melbourne secondary school students in the 1960s. The donor of the badge, Michael Hetharia, writes:

In the 1960s the Secondary Schools Aboriginal Affairs Fund sought support from secondary schools in Melbourne in their mission to promote the advancement and self-determination of the Australian Aboriginal community. I was a student at Altona High School (Melbourne) at the time and recall wearing the badge on an awareness walk in Melbourne prior to the 1967 referendum [on Aboriginal issues]. I was enthused about playing an active part in promoting a social cause and became aware of the power of democracy for the first time.

To me, the badge is a piece of memorabilia of an era when youth challenged traditional beliefs and conventions and their opinions were driven by cause and not the media. I would like the badge to remind the Australian public and in particular, the Aboriginal community of today, that Australian youth of the 1960s played an active role in seeking social justice for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.