Aborigines Advancement League - AAL

The Aborigines Advancement League (AAL) has been providing support and services to mob for over 60 years.

The Aborigines Advancement League (AAL) is one of Victoria’s oldest continuing community controlled organisations and has been providing support to mob since 1957.


  • To administrate and initiate programs which aim to improve the social, economic, and cultural advancement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Victoria.
  • To promote self-determination, self-sufficiency and self- management throughout the aboriginal community of Victoria.
  • To determine and comment upon state and federal governments policy in Aboriginal affairs.
  • To own, operate and maintain premises at watt street, Thornbury and other locations for the purposes of furthering the aal premises.


    • Aboriginal culture and identity.
    • Enterprise and enable the AAL to generate income.
    • A sense of Aboriginal urban identity for the Aboriginal community.
    • Employment opportunities for the Aboriginal community.
    • A centre for family growth and development.
    • An advocacy/referral service to the Aboriginal community 
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Image: St George's Rd Mural. Source: Fitzroy Stars Facebook


The Aborigines Advancement League (AAL) was founded by community leaders, Sir Pastor Doug Nicholls, Doris Blackburn, Stan Davey and Gordon Bryant in 1957. The league was established as a response to issues mob in the Warburton Ranges were experiencing, witnessed by Sir Pastor Doug Nicholls during a visit in 1935.

The league’s initial purpose was:

  • to achieve citizenship rights for Aborigines throughout the Commonwealth
  • to work towards the integration of Aboriginal people with the rest of the community
  • to attempt to co-ordinate the different Aboriginal welfare organisations operating in Victoria
  • to establish a general policy of advancement for Aboriginal people
  • There were 50 branches of the league including Geelong, Greensborough, Brighton, Carlton, Blackburn, Kew, Frankston, Glen Iris, Alice Springs, St Albans, Sunshine, Alexandra, Charlton, Echuca.

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Image: Life Members Mural. Source: AAL

AAL Today

Today, the League’s head office is based at 2 Watt St, Thornbury and they deliver a range of programs and services including:

  • Victorian Aboriginal Funeral Service
  • Gurwidj Koori Neighbourhood House
  • Family Services
    • Relief funds
    • Food parcel deliveries
    • Funeral support
    • Financial support
    • Home visits 
    • Etc.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement of Country, click here.