A history of the Aboriginal people

Timeline created by frussic
  • Federation

    Federation - The Commonwealth Constitution states "in reckoning the numbers of people… Aboriginal natives shall not be counted". It also states that the Commonwealth would legislate for any race except Aboriginal people. This leaves the power over Aboriginal Affairs with the states.
  • NSW Aborigines Protection Act

    The NSW Aborigines Protection Act is introduced following crises in public schools.
    Aboriginal schools are established in NSW. Exclusion of Aboriginal children from public schools followed requests by the white community. In NSW there are 22 Aboriginal schools in 1910, 35 in 1920 and 40 in 1940. The syllabus stresses manual activities and the teacher is usually the reserve manager’s untrained wife.
  • Maternity Allowance

    Maternity allowance is introduced but does not include Aboriginal people.
  • WWI Aborigines

    Beginning of WWI. Approximately 400 to 500 Aboriginal children continue to be removed from their families during the period 1914 to 1918, including children whose fathers are overseas at war. Aboriginal people serve in the war despite the Defence Act 1909 which prohibits any person not of ‘substantially European’ origin from serving. Aboriginal soldiers are among Australian troops at Gallipoli.
  • Children removed from homes... with no court hearing

    The NSW Aborigines Protection Board is given powers to remove Aboriginal children without a court hearing. This power is repealed in 1940, when the Board is renamed the Aborigines Welfare Board.
  • Assimilation

    Aboriginal Welfare - Conference of Commonwealth and State Authorities called by the federal government, decides that the official policy for some Aboriginal people is assimilation policy. Aboriginal people of mixed descent are to be assimilated into white society whether they want to be or not, those not living tribally are to be educated and all others are to stay on reserves.
  • Integration Policy

    Integration policy is introduced, supposedly to give Aboriginal people more control over their lives and society.
  • The Referendum

    In the Commonwealth 1967 Referendum more than 90% vote to empower the Commonwealth to legislate for all Aboriginal people and open means for them to be counted in the census. Hopes fly high that constitutional discrimination will end. It also empowers the federal government to legislate for Aboriginal people in the states and share responsibility for Aboriginal affairs with state governments. All states except Queensland abandon laws and policies that discriminate against Aboriginal people. The
  • Mabo Land Project

    In 1981 a land rights conference was held at James Cook University and Mabo made a speech to the audience where he explained the land inheritance system on Murray Island. The significance of this in terms of Australian common law doctrine was taken note of by one of the attendees, a lawyer, who suggested there should be a test case to claim land rights through the court system.