Aboriginal Teaching Assistants from La Perouse begin training courses at the Aboriginal Education Centre at the University of Sydney. Joyce Woodberry is one of the most successful AEAs, she becomes the director of the AEC for one year.

  • Joyce Woodberry AEA at La Perouse School

Matraville High school has many Koori and Murri students attending who live at the local Aboriginal Hostel.

Delma Davison is living in La Perouse and is active as an AEA, she then works for the NSW State AECG as an Aboriginal Liaison Officer. Her father, Ben Cruz was a minister at Colebrook Church. Her brother is Ozzie Cruz and is a well known Aboriginal pastor.

The Aboriginal Medical Service begins in Yarra Bay House.


The 1983 Land Rights Act enables Local Aboriginal Land Councils to claim vacant Crown land if unwanted for a later public purpose. The La Perouse LALC is established. But no Joint Management Agreement exists between National Parks and the Koori stakeholders.

Pearl Gibbs, the outspoken Aboriginal political activist, dies.


The La Perouse LALC receives title deeds to the reserve and former government station.


La Perouse LALC receives title deeds to Yarra Bay House. Bruce and Betty Stewart organize the holiday centre at Yarra Bay House, it caters for all local children. They go horse riding and have outings to the beach. The program started with Shane Patrick to enable Koori and other children to have a holiday program.


Women of the La Perouse community work with Maria Nugent to produce:  La Perouse, the people, the place and the sea (AIAS 1988).

John Dixon makes boomerangs by decorating them with hot poker work. He sells them on saturday and sunday at La Perouse.


A massive protest against the Bicentennial celebrations is staged by Koori people and their supporters. It culminates at Kurnell at Cook’s landing place. The Chair of the Central Australian Land Council, Wenten Rabuntja explains: "The Aboriginal people living along the coast where the white people took over first, they might not know their language any more, but the emu story and the snake story goes all over Australia… When they see us dance we celebrate that we all belong to the songs that go across the whole for this country". Goodall, p 359

The Survival Concerts, are organised by Aboriginal committees. La Perouse hosts the concerts for many years. This is the first place of European contact. Regionally across New South Wales, an increasing number of Indigenous communities are participating in their local Australia/Survival Day ceremonies and celebrations. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are raised alongside the Australian flag.

Schemes for employment such as the Wage Pause and Commonwealth Employment Program (CEP) provide jobs for workers such as Mervyn Ryan, Bobbo Simms and David McKenzie. They go on to permanent employment with Randwick Council.

Bert Longbottom is chairman of the Eastern Zone Aboriginal Housing and Community Association, the organization responds to a housing crisis and finds housing for nine families.. the relationship between local Aborigines and the larger community has been an odd and neglected one. "We often let the Gubs (non Aborigines) do our work for us, speak for us. I certainly resent that..” (After 200 Years, Ed Penny Taylor 1988)


La Perouse residents recall a continuing distance between themselves and the Redfern and other inner-city communities. "They got on with their lives and we got on with ours".

Athol Dixon is a Field Officer and runs successful Aboriginal programs at La Perouse for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. There is a pre school where Shirley Ingray works and a half way house. Employment for local Aboriginal people is growing. Yarra Bay House becomes a centre for youth programs and a Homework centre. Delma Davison and Karen Cooley are prominent members of the Guriwal Aboriginal Corporation. Barbara Keeley manages transport for the aged.