The Australian Electoral Commission ‘unanimously agreed’ to rename the federal seat of Batman in honour of Aboriginal rights campaigner William Cooper.

Read more about the move to change the name of the Federal seat of Batman in Nakari Thorpe’s story on NITV News on 20 June 2018 at:

Activist and community leader, William Cooper (1861–1941), as Secretary of the Australian Aborigines’ League, called for land rights, enfranchisement of, and direct representation of, Aboriginal people in parliament. In 1935 he led the first deputation of Aboriginal people to a Federal government Minister. On 31 January 1938, Cooper led a deputation to Prime  Minister, Joseph Lyons, seeking federal control of Aboriginal Affairs. Cooper was also instrumental in establishing a National Aborigines’ Day, that developed into NAIDOC Week, first celebrated in 1940. A statue celebrating William Cooper’s life was unveiled in Shepparton, Victoria in April 2018. Read Madeline Hayman-Reber’s story on NTIV News on 4 April 2018 about the unveiling at:

Grazier, entrepreneur and explorer, John Batman (1801–1939), was a controversial figure involved in the founding of a settlement, that eventually became Melbourne, Victoria, of colonists on the Yarra River in 1835. In Tasmania he murdered Aboriginal people. In Victoria he negotiated a ‘treaty’, found to be invalid, with the Kulin people to rent their land.

NOTE: 5 October 2022: For the 2019 Australian Federal Election, the seat of Batman was renamed Cooper in honour of First Nations Rights campaigner William Cooper (1861–1941). Read more:

A book about his life: William Cooper: An Aboriginal Life Story, by Bain Attwood, Melbourne University Press was published in November 2021.