National Library of Australia
If Everyone Cared Enough: Her Voice Reclaimed
Margaret Lilardia Tucker MBE (affectionately known as Aunty Marge) was a significant Aboriginal activist and one of the first Aboriginal women to publish for mainstream audiences. If Everyone Cared (1977) was a landmark publication.
In that first edition, her tone and draft content were significantly altered to placate non-Indigenous readers who were substantially unfamiliar with Aboriginal cultures and ignorant about the outcomes of settler invasion from a First Nations perspective. This meant changes to her tone and content to avoid confusing or offending non-Indigenous readers, and the altering of her original Aboriginal storytelling voice.
In this new edition, we publish Margaret’s story as she wrote it. Drawing on the handwritten manuscript held in the collections of the National Library of Australia, If Everyone Cared Enough reclaims Aunty Marge’s original words, reinstating what was previously omitted.
Her autobiography begins with happy early memories — swimming and fishing, listening and learning — and then follows the story after the abrupt end to her childhood when she was sent to the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls. The horror of the training, the cruelty of her first employer, the loneliness, homesickness and heartache she felt are related clearly. In 1932 she became the treasurer of one of the country’s first Aboriginal organisations — the Victorian Aborigines League. Awarded an MBE in 1968, she would continue fighting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights and opportunities for the rest of her life.
This nationally important title shares the story of a brave, dedicated woman and her perseverance through a life of hardship towards the achievement of recognition for herself and her people.