Clarrie Isaacs

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Clarrie Isaacs
Born (1948-09-04)4 September 1948
Died 26 November 2003(2003-11-26) (aged 55)
Dunsborough, Western Australia
Resting place Pinnaroo Cemetery
Other names Yaluritja
Ishak Mohamed
Education Perth Modern School
Known for Activism
Religion church of England
Children Graham Isaacs, Niaomi Isaacs, Amber Lancaster Isaacs

Clarence Frederick "Clarrie" Isaacs also known as Yaluritja and Ishak Mohamad Haj (9 April 1948 – 26 November 2003) was an Australian Aboriginal activist.

Life and career[edit]

Isaacs attended Perth Modern School where he studied technical drawing. He later attended the Clyde Cameron College in Albury, a union-backed training centre.[1] After converting to Islam Isaacs undertook a pilgrimage to Mecca, earning the right to use the honorific title Haj.[1]

In the early 1990s Isaacs was among a number of activists including Michael Mansell who formed the Aboriginal Provisional Government. At various times Isaacs styled himself as the President of the Aboriginal Government.[2][3][4] Isaacs, with other activists, travelled to Libya using Aboriginal passports issued by a group that later became known as the Aboriginal Provisional Government.[5] Attempting to use the passports on their re-entry to Australia, they were initially refused entry to Australia by immigration officials.[2][5][6][7]

Isaacs was a prominent figure in protests against development of the Swan Brewery site in Perth during the late 1980s.[2] He was also prominent in efforts to return the pickled head of 19th Century Noongar warrior Yagan from Britain.[8]

In 1991 Isaacs was a founding member of the short-lived New Left Party, considered a successor of the Communist Party of Australia.[9] In the 1993 Western Australian state election Isaacs stood for the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Fremantle.[10] Isaacs stood as a candidate for Racism No! in the 1996 Western Australian state election for the Legislative Council in the South Metropolitan Region.[11] At the 2001 Australian federal election Isaacs was a candidate for the Australian Senate, however he only received 260 votes.[12]

He served as chairman of the Derbal Yerrigan Health Service and was a Western Australian delegate to the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.[13] Isaacs was a Justice of the Peace.[14]

Isaacs died 26 November 2003 in Dunsborough, Western Australia. He was buried on 12 December 2003 at Pinnaroo Cemetery in Perth.[15][16]


  1. ^ a b "YALURITJA CLARRIE ISAACS (Haj) J.P.". Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Benbow, Anthony (10 December 2003). "Yaluritja Clarrie Isaacs — a lifetime of activism". Green Left Weekly. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Isaacs, Clarrie. "Media Statement for the 1996 Australian Federal Elections". Aboriginal Government of Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Details of Meetings" (PDF). Australian Senate. Parliament of Australia. p. 39. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Walker, Antony (21 June 1988). "Libya backs black passports, say Mansell". The Age. Retrieved 12 May 2010 – via Google News Archive.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "age1" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ "Desperate Times". Message Stick. yes. 14 May 2004. ABC Television. 
  7. ^ Prentis, Malcolm D. (2008). A Concise Companion to Aboriginal History. Rosenberg. pp. 17–18. ISBN 1-877058-62-9. 
  8. ^ Muecke, Stephen (2004). "Morning Coffee With Clarrie". Ancient & modern: time, culture and indigenous philosophy. Sydney: UNSW Press. pp. 41, 42. ISBN 0-86840-786-0. 
  9. ^ McDonald, Tom; McDonald, Audrey. Intimate union: sharing a revolutionary life. Pluto Press Australia. p. 358. ISBN 1-86403-051-8. 
  10. ^ "2009 Fremantle By-election". ABC Elections. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "South Metropolitan Region" (PDF). Western Australian State Election 1996. Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Senate Results - First Preference Votes by Candidate - Western Australia". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  13. ^ "Aboriginal health sector loses three great friends" (PDF). NACCHO News. National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. February 2004. p. 7. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "List of submissions received by the Committee" (PDF). Standing Committee on Legislation. Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "Aboriginal activist Clarrie Isaacs dies". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 27 November 2003. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Funeral for Indigenous activist". Department of Indigenous Affairs. 3 December 2003. Retrieved 12 May 2010. [dead link]