Skip to main content

New edition of Fight for Liberty and Freedom

Celebrating a century since the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA) was formed, John Maynard’s acclaimed history Fight for Liberty and Freedom: The origins of Australian Aboriginal activism has been revised and released as a new edition.

The Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA) was founded in 1924 as the first politically organised and united all-Aboriginal activist group. Its president, Professor Maynard's grandfather, Fred Maynard, was one of those people fighting for self-determination.

‘All the political ideals of Aboriginal Australia still carried today — including a national land rights agenda, genuine self-determination that places Aboriginal people in charge of Aboriginal affairs to protect Aboriginal family life and defend a distinct Aboriginal cultural identity — were first put forward by the AAPA during the 1920s,’ Professor Maynard said.

‘Aboriginal people were front page news in 1925 in Sydney demanding self-determination.’

Originally published in 2007, Fight for Liberty and Freedom was shortlisted for the 2008 Victorian Premier's History Award. It is one of Aboriginal Studies Press’s bestsellers, now revised and expanded.

‘New information uncovered reveals the AAPA were, unquestionably, hounded out of existence by the actions of the Aborigines Protection Board, NSW police and missionaries,’ Professor Maynard said.

Professor John Maynard is a Worimi historian, researcher and commentator from the Port Stephens region of NSW and is Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University. He is the author of 15 books including Aboriginal Stars of the Turf and Socceroos - A World Cup Odyssey Volumes 1 & 2. Professor Maynard is a member of the Australian Social Sciences Academy and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

‘The legacy and memory of the AAPA today is a source of inspiration and pride to all Aboriginal people,’ Professor Maynard said. ‘The courage, defiance and the sheer strength of will of these early Aboriginal political heroes and heroines of 100 years ago should be remembered.’

To order the book, go to the AIATSIS shop.

Launch and media appearances

Fight for Liberty and Freedom will be launched by Professor Gary Foley at NSW State Library on 12 April 2024. Reserve your spot at the Centenary Forum for the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association 1924–2024.

Professor Maynard will appear at the Bathurst Writers Festival in May 2024.

To contact Professor John Maynard:, 0408 416 886.

To request a review copy, contact Aboriginal Studies Press (ASP) at

For media enquiries, contact AIATSIS Media at


Last updated: 15 April 2024