Pay the Rent

The History of 'Pay the Rent'
50 years ago, in 1951, Mary Clarke of Framlingham in Victoria asked why Aboriginal people should have to pay rent to white people and not the other way around. Framlingham is a former mission and still an Aboriginal community and along with Lake Tyers (in Gunai county – south east Victoria) is one of the only places in Victoria where Aboriginal people hold land rights.

But the history of Framlingham is of struggle. The government's first attempt to close it came only 1 year after it was opened (1865)! In the late 1890s, the government again tried to close Framlingham, but the people never wanted to leave, staunchly resisted sustained pressure to leave, and today, in 2011, still live there. In 1951 Mary Clarke spoke out against an upcoming eviction of a Framlingham family, famously invoking a sovereign 'pay the rent' politics:

The white people never thought of paying us rent for the whole country that they took from our ancestors. Leave us this tiny corner where our homes are. Why should we pay rent for it at all? We regard that little bit of land as ours still.

Mary was Robbie Thorpe's great-grandmother, Robbie is the Director of Treaty Republic.

Endorsement of Pay the Rent
Grassroots campaigns to convince peope to Pay the Rent to Aboriginal people have been conducted in many places in Australia and have received wide support from Aboriginal people in principle. For instance, Pay the Rent was endorsed by the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation - the national, independent, Aboriginal-run self-help organisation through which Aboriginal people around the country supported each other to establish and run Aboriginal Health Services in the heyday of their innovation and early success.

How to Pay the Rent

Bank Transfer:
Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA)
Account Name: Treaty Republic
BSB Number: 063212
Account Number: 10233934
Cheque or Money Order
Treaty Republic - Pay The Rent
P.O. Box 1684
Collingwood. Victoria. 3066

The only Mandatory fields on the form below is the Date, your Country and the Amount donated. Although we would like to know who you are, anonymous donors are welcome.

Your privacy is always respected - See our Privacy Policies

What the money will be used for?
Money dontated to Treaty Republic under 'pay the rent' will support Treaty Republic's work in achiveing its aims. This includes undertaking activities, and covering the necessary expenses. The two core activities of Treaty Republic are:

  • Legal campaigns
  • Community education