‘The Buildings out the Back’ were constructed at the Tranby campus – a collaboration between Tranby and architects Cracknell and Lonergan. The design is in sympathy with the Victorian character of the suburb, with circular rooms reflecting Indigenous learning circle practices.


The Rona Tranby Trust was launched at Tranby on 2 September, to support the recording and preservation of Indigenous Australian oral history. The Rona Tranby Award and Collection were also established. Each award plants a seed that continues to grow over the years and helps to preserve stories important to all Australians, strengthening identity and community.


Tranby was involved in the Black Deaths in Custody protest march. Throughout the 1980s, following the death of Eddie Murray, John Pat and so many others, the Aboriginal community fought for change, which led to the 1988 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADC). During this time, Tranby was heavily involved in the protests. …

1989 Read More »


Tranby hosted the first National Conference on Aboriginal Controlled Community-based Education and Institutions at the Tranby campus in Glebe. Tranby had established itself as an important meeting place, supporting other organisations and sparking ideas for social change.


The centre for Blackbooks opened – the first specialist bookshop and reference library for Indigenous-related literature.


The Reverend Alf Clint passed away and Kevin Cook became the first Indigenous secretary of Tranby. Since then, all Tranby secretaries have been Indigenous. Cook built Tranby into a centre for adult learning and cultural revival, a base for land rights activists, and a hub where visitors from around Australia and from across the world could …

1980 Read More »


A protest named ‘Operation Aborigine’ was held in Martin Place, Sydney. The Gooriala (Rainbow Serpent) badge was designed by artist Dick Roughsey for the protest and was also used as a creative fundraising strategy for the Tranby Aboriginal Co-operative.


Tranby stood in solidarity with them, speaking out against the multinational mining companies who, in their words, “completely disregard peoples cultural and historical heritage in their chase for profits. If they want to mine land that happens to be Aboriginal land, they’ll go ahead and do it, unless they’re stopped”. Kevin ‘Cookie’ told Tribune “A …

1978 Read More »


The Trade Union Committee on Aboriginal Rights (TUCAR) was established to foster better relationships and communications between Aboriginal people and the trade unions. Cook was committed to working with the trade unions and Tranby was heavily engaged and supported by these groups, including for fundraising and on-the job training programs.


Tranby board member and former student Kevin ‘Cookie’ Cook, a Wandandian and Yuin​ man, first became involved with Tranby in 1975. In 1976 he represented Tranby in discussions on the Northern Territory Aboriginal Land Rights Bill and the Aboriginal and Associations Bill. Tranby was becoming more and more involved in Indigenous affairs.

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