George Patten was born on Cumeroogunga and seems to have been living there at the point in 1939 that his older brother, Jack, urged the people to walk off the reserve.

Later, he played a prominent role in the protest in Melbourne, especially after the Aborigines’ Assistance Committee was formed as a result of the initiative of left-wing organisations. Indeed, it could be said that he became the chief spokesperson for the protest after he became the organiser for the Aborigines’ Assistance Committee. He participated in radio broadcasts; addressed meetings of trade unionists, women’s organisations and university students; spoke at public meetings on the Yarra Bank; made statements to the press; and organised a deputation to the Victorian government.