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Authorized form of name
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- Bandler, Faith Ida Lessing, (AM,) (1918-2015)
Other form(s) of name
- Bandler, Faith (1918-2015)
- Bandler, Ida Lessing Faith (1918-2015)
- Mussing, Ida Lessing Faith (1918-2015)
- Bandler (1918-2015)
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Dates of existence
Faith Bandler was born in Tumbulgum, New South Wales on the September 27, 1918. Named Ida Lessing Mussing, she was the second child in a family of eight. Her father, Peter Mussing, was a South Sea Islander who had been taken from Ambrym Island, Vanuatu, in 1883, at the age of twelve and sent to Mackay, Queensland, before being sent to work on a sugar cane plantation. Her mother Ida Venno was an Australian-born woman of Indian-Scottish descent.
Bandler was a leading campaigner for Aboriginal rights from the 1950s through the 1980s, advocating and campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the 1967 referendum. She was also involved with the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI), formed in 1958, serving as an executive member and then secretary from 1970 until 1972.
In addition to campaigning for the rights of Indigenous Australians, Bandler campaigned for recognition for the descendants of her father’s people, Australia’s South Sea Islanders, brought to Queensland as indentured labourers, 1863-1904.
In 1977 she wrote her first novel, Wacvie, which she based on her childhood memories of her father’s stories. In 1984 she wrote her second novel Welou: My Brother about her brother Walter's life growing up in Australia as a boy torn between two different cultures. She died in Sydney, New south Wales on the February 13, 2015.
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Created, BS, 04-Feb-2021
'Bandler, Faith Ida Lessing (c. 1918 - )', The Australian Women's Register, National Foundation for Australian Women, accessed online 08-Feb-2021
‘Bandler, Ida Lessing Faith (1918–2015)’, The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia, accessed online 08-Feb-2021