Abo Call

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Front page of The Australian Abo Call April 1938

The Australian Abo Call was the first Aboriginal-focused publication printed in Australia.[1] There were a total of six issues, all published in 1938.[2] It was written and edited by John (Jack) Patten, co-founder of the Aborigines Progressive Association and featured news gathered by Patten on his travels through Eastern Australia, and from correspondents nationwide.[3] The newspaper's tagline was The Voice of the Aborigines.

William Ferguson who co-founded the Aborigines Progressive Association with Patten, was opposed to the publication of the Abo Call on the grounds that he believed it was a mouthpiece for its right wing financial backers P.R. Stephensen and J. B. Miles. Ferguson also considered the newspaper's title to be insulting towards Aborigines. In contemporary Australian use 'Abo' is considered an offensive term. Abo Call closed down after six months of publication, due to lack of funds.


Abo Call is available online through Trove a service hosted at the National Library of Australia which allows access to historic Australian periodicals and newspapers.[4] The State Library of New South Wales holds the six issues that were published, in the collection of Percy Reginald Stephenson's papers.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Meadows, Michael; Helen Molnar (2002). "Bridging the Gaps: Towards a history of Indigenous media in Australia". Media History. 8 (11): 9–20. doi:10.1080/13688800220134473. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Patten, J. T; Aborigines Progressive Association (1938), The Australian Abo call the voice of the Aborigines, J.T. Patten, ISSN 1447-9060 
  3. ^ "The Australian Abo Call: the voice of the Aborigines". Discover Collections: Indigenous Australians. State Library of NSW. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Australian Abo Call". Trove Digitised Newspapers. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "P. R. Stephensen - Papers and pictorial material, ca. 1905-1971". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Brown, Jerelynn (2011). "Tabloids in the State Library of NSW collection: A reflection of life in Australia". Australian Journal of Communication. 38 (2): 107–121. 

External links[edit]

  • Abo Call archive Purchase re-produced, full-scale replicas for each edition of Abo Call.