Aboriginal Rights in the 20th centuries Timeline Project

  • 1901 Federation

    1901 Federation
    Federation started, that is when the six British colonies (Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Northern Australia, South Australia and Tasmania) unite together as a commonwealth.
    Henry Parkes is described as the father of federation because he is the one who came up with the idea to federate.
    Aboriginal people are excluded from voting,employment in post offices and maternity allowance.
  • 1901 First act of parliament.

    1901 First act of parliament.
    The first act is in Melbourn. It is the Immigration Restriction Act. That is the start of the white policy. There is a test that you have to pass if you are from Europe and if you are not, you can’t immigrate to Australia
    -Edmund Barton becomes the first prime minister of Australia.
    Edmund Barton (1849-1920), was a politician and a judge. He was the prime minister of Australia for two years (1901-1903).
  • 1902 -Vida Goldstein becomes first

    1902 -Vida Goldstein becomes first
    Australian woman to get the women to vote.
    Vida Goldstein (1869-1949), was the women who stand out for the women and said that women should be able vote too. Vida Goldstein died of breast cancer.
  • 1903 Vida Goldstein was first woman to stand for the parliament.

    1903 Vida Goldstein was first woman to stand for the parliament.
    Vida Goldstein was the first women in the British Empire to be nominated and to stand for selection to a national parliament.
  • 1904

    The Queensland Government authorize Cherbourg. It was an Aboriginal community which is about 30 km from Gympie.
  • 1905 The Western Aborigines protection Act

    1905 The Western Aborigines protection Act
    It was an act to make plan for the better protection and care of the Aboriginal citizen in Western Australia.
  • 1909 The NSW Aboriginal protection act

    1909 The NSW Aboriginal protection act
    An Act to provide for the protection and care of aborigines; to
    repeal the 'Supply of Liquors to Aborigine's Prevention Act'
  • 1910 Victoria Aboriginal act

    1910 Victoria Aboriginal act
    The Victorian Aborigines Act allowed the 'Board for Protection of Aboriginal' people to help half Aboriginal and European which are called 'Half-Castes, by grant needy people to live on stations.
  • 1911

    -Found Canberra to be where the parliament is.
    -Commonwealth Bank opens
    As the Commonwealth Bank Act.
    -Separation of Northern Territory from South Australia.
    -All states have Protection Acts allowing the removal of Aboriginal children.
  • 1912 Maternity Allowance Act

    1912 Maternity Allowance Act
    Maternity allowance is introduced for everyone else but not include Aboriginal people. There shall be payable out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is hereby appropriated accordingly, a maternity allowance of Five pound to every woman who, after the opening of this Act, gives birth to a child, either in Australia or on board a ship goes on from one port in the Commonwealth or a Territory of the Commonwealth to another port in the Commonwealth or a Territory of the Commonwealth.
  • 1914 WWI

    1914 WWI
    Aboriginal people serve in the war against the Defence Act 1909 which blocks any person that is not one of the ‘Substantially European’ origin from serving. Aboriginal soldiers are among Australian troops at Gallipoli.
  • 1915 NSW Aboriginal Protection Board

    1915 NSW Aboriginal Protection Board
    The NSW Aboriginal Protection Board gave power to take aboriginal children without a court hearing. The power has been repealed then they renamed, Aboriginal Welfare Border.
  • 1918 Northern Territory Aboriginal Ordinance Act

    1918 Northern Territory Aboriginal Ordinance Act
    The 'Northern Territory Aboriginal Ordinance Act' make sure that Aboriginal people could not drink, possess or supply alcohol or damaging spirits, could not have weapon or marry non-Aboriginal people without permission.
  • 1920 Aboriginal population

    1920 Aboriginal population
    Aboriginal population is to be at its lowest at 60,000 - 70,000. It is widely believed to be a ‘dying race’. Most Australians have no contact with Aboriginal people due to separation and social problems.
  • 1927

    Aboriginal people are denied maternity allowance and old age pension. Federal law for family endowment excludes Aboriginal people and instead payments go to Aborigines Protection Board.
  • 1928

    Aboriginal people are refused legal aid by the federal government. A court of inquiry rules the Europeans’ action ‘justified’. Europeans shoot 32 Aboriginal people after a European dingo trapper and a station owner are attacked by them.
  • 1930

    Victorian Yorta Yorta man, William Cooper asks the King to have an Aboriginal representative in the federal House of Representatives, the main chamber of the national Australian parliament. A similar attempt is made in NSW.
  • 1935

    From 1928 until 1980 the head teacher on Cape Barren is appointed as a special constable with the powers and responsibilities of a police constable, including the power to remove a child for neglect under child welfare legislation. The introduction of the Infants Welfare Act (Tasmania) is used to remove Indigenous children on Cape Barren Island from their families.
  • 1936

    Western Australia Aborigines Act is amended to permit Aboriginal people to be taken into custody without trial or appeal and to prevent them from entering guarded towns without a permit.
  • 1937

    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. 21-23 April: 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.
  • 1938

    These are the first of many Aboriginal protests against inequality, injustice, dispossession of land and protectionist policies. An Aboriginal conference is held in Sydney. 150 years after European occupation the Aboriginal Progressive Association declares a Day of Mourning.
  • 1939

    It is 66km to cross the border from New South Wales into Victoria in contravention of the rules of the New South Wales Protection Board. Over 150 Aboriginal people pack-up and leave Cummeragunja Aboriginal Station in protest at the cruel treatment and exploitation of residents by the management. The first-ever mass strike of Aboriginal people in Australia occurs, called the Cummeragunja Walk-off.
  • 1940

    Responsibility for Aboriginal education is transferred to the Department for Education, which takes control of reserve buildings and starts to provide trained teachers. Amendments to the NSW Aborigines protection legislation results in the replacement of the Aborigines Protection Board with the NSW Aborigines Welfare Board.
    White Australia policy succeeds: 99% of Australia’s 7 million people are white.
  • 1942

    Evacuation of the NT missions. Indigenous children evacuated after the bombing of Darwin are transferred to Victoria, South Australia or NSW. Some never return.
  • 1943

    An Exemption Certificate is introduced, freeing certain Aboriginal people from restrictive act and allowing them to vote, drink alcohol and move freely but blocking them from agreeing with others who are not exempt.
  • 1944

    Right to receipt of maternity and sickness benefit allowances for Indigenous Australians restored under the Sickness Benefits Act 1944
  • 1949

    The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1949 allows Indigenous Australians the right to vote in federal elections only if they are enrolled in state elections or have been members of the defence force . The Convention on Genocide is ratified by Australia. It comes into force in 1951.
  • 1951

    Assimilation means that, in the course of time, it is expected that all persons of 'aboriginal blood' or 'mixed blood' in Australia will live like other white Australians do. At the Third Commonwealth-State Native Welfare Conference, Canberra formally adopts a policy of assimilation in regards to Indigenous Australians.
  • 1953

    Atomic tests carried out at Emu, and further tests at Maralinga in 1956 and 1957. Indigenous Australians describe a 'black mist' and report sight loss and skin rashes.
  • 1957

    Indigenous Australians gain the right to drink, buy and sell alcohol after changes to the Licensing Act and Police Offences Act.
  • 1958

    The Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders is formed leading to a ten year struggle for constitutional reform which resulted in the holding of the 1967 Referendum.
  • 1959

    Social Services Act allows Indigenous Australians allowances, previously held by a government official, to be paid to a third party.
  • 1960

    Social Service benefits are paid directly to Indigenous Australians for the first time.
  • 1962 The Commonwealth Electoral Act

    1962 The Commonwealth Electoral Act
    The Commonwealth Electoral Act is fixed to give freedom and allowing the Aboriginal people to vote in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
  • 1964

    Northern Territory Legislative Council passes acts removing many of the unfair practices against Indigenous Australians.
  • 1965

    As a result of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Workers' Case the Commonwealth Arbitration Commission grants equal wages to Indigenous pastoral workers. Indigenous Australians were excluded from the operation of the Northern Territory Cattle Station Worker's Award.
  • 1966

    The Gurindji people walk off Wave Hill and Newcastle Waters cattle stations, beginning the successful seven-year struggle to obtain title to their land. This is later seen by Indigenous Australians elsewhere as the birth of the land rights movement.
  • 1967 Referendum

    1967 Referendum
    The Referendum Of Australia
  • 1969

    Aborigines Act (NSW) dissolves the Welfare Board and makes a significant change in direction of government policy. Advisory Council is set up, made up of Indigenous representatives.
  • 1970

    The Aboriginal Legal Service is established at Redfern. This event is followed several years later by the establishment of a wide range of community and state groups concerned with the education, the arts, housing and medicine.
  • 1973

    Official figures indicated that the Aboriginal population was 116 000 (these figures were largely inaccurate).
  • 1974

    Aboriginal Tent Embassy set up outside Parliament House in Canberra to show the Europeans the Indigenous rights.
  • 1975

    The Racial Discrimination Act which incorporates the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination into Australian domestic law is passed .
  • 1976

    Aboriginal Land Rights Northern Territory Act. This Act establishes Land Trusts, Land Councils, Aboriginal Land Commission in the Northern Territory and provided for the leasing of Aboriginal lands as national parks .
  • 1977

    Anti-Discrimination Act (NSW) includes Indigenous Australians and relates particularly to discrimination in employment and housing.
  • 1978

    The Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Ordinance, starting prosecution for error and desecration of Aboriginal sites, is passed. The Kimberley Land Council is formed. The Northern Territory is given self-government by the Fraser Government.
  • 1980

    Link Up Aboriginal Corporation have started. Link Up provides family tracing, reunion and support for being forced, removed Indigenous children and their families.
  • 1990

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission is established.
  • 1991

    Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody presents its Report and Recommendations to the Federal Government.
  • 1992

    The High Court of Australia rules in the Mabo case that native title exists over particular kinds of land such as unalienated Crown land, national parks and reserves
  • 1993

    The Native Title Act is passed in Federal parliament and establishes the principles and processes to be used for establishing Native Title.
  • 1996

    Federal Parliamentary statement on racial tolerance: "This house reaffirms its commitment to the process of reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in the context of redressing their profound social and economic disadvantage".
  • 1997

    The reconciliation movement is said to have begun with the 1967 referendum in which 90 per cent of Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Indigenous Australians.
  • 1998

    This is when the Europeans says sorry to the Aboriginal people after taking the aboriginal children away to learn like a European and without permission.