Labour History

Health, the Law and Racism: The Campaign to Amend the Discriminatory Clauses in the Tuberculosis Act

Labour History (1999), 76, (1), 41–58.

Abstract

Dr Barry Christophers, president of the Council for Aboriginal Rights, Victoria, and secretary of the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement’s Equal Wages committee took on the work of challenging racially discriminatory clauses in a determination of the Tuberculosis Act. The campaign was a short, intense one. It began late in 1963. Eighteen months later, the clauses which prevented Aboriginal TB patients in Queensland from receiving an allowance designed to assist in recovery and prevent sufferers from returning to work when they were still infectious had been amended or removed. This was the result, mainly, of an effective letter writing campaign waged by Christophers. He also argued that one of the reasons for the non-payment of the tuberculosis allowance to eligible Aboriginal sufferers was that the receipt of such a payment would highlight the enormous discrepancy between actual Aboriginal wages in the north of the country and the basic government social service payment.

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Details

Author details

Taffe, Sue

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