Aboriginal History

By suwavi
  • Stolen Generations - Victoria

    Victorian Board for the Protection of Aborigines is established. The Governor can order the removal of any child to a reformatory or industrial school. The Protection Board can remove children from station families to be housed in dormitories.
  • Stolen Generations - Queensland

    The Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act Queensland allows the ‘Chief Protector’ to remove local Aboriginal people onto and between reserves and hold children in dormitories. From 1939 until 1971 this power is held by the Director of Native Welfare
    all Aboriginal children, whether or not their parents are living.
  • Stolen Generation - Western Australia

    The Western Australia Aborigines Act is passed. Under this law, the Chief Protector is made the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and ‘half-caste’ child under 16 years old. Reserves are established, a local protector is appointed and rules governing Aboriginal employment are laid down.
  • Stolen Generations - South Australia

    The South Australian Aborigines Act makes the Chief Protector the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and ‘half-caste’ child under 21 years old. The Chief Protector also has control of where the child lives.
  • Federal government passes the Northern Territory Aboriginals Ordinance

    Federal government passes the Northern Territory Aboriginals Ordinance. The Chief Protector is made the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and ‘half-caste’ child under 18 years old. Any Aboriginal person can be forced onto a mission or settlement, and children can be removed by force.
  • Stolen Generations - New South Wales

    The NSW Aborigines Protection Board is given powers to remove Aboriginal children without a court hearing.
  • Stolen Generation - New South Wales (REPEALED)

    The power is repealed in 1940, when the Board is renamed the Aborigines Welfare Board.
  • Assimilation

    In 1951, the British introduced a new policy called 'Assimilation' that was used to make the Aboriginals change their way of life to one like the whites. But, this attempt did NOT work as the Aboriginals did not want to live like the whites and the whites did not want the Aboriginals to be part of their society.
  • Dictation Test Changed to Migration Act

    The revised Migration Act 1958 introduced a simpler system of entry permits and abolished the controversial dictation test. The dropping of the Dictation Test was the start of the end of the idea of a White Australia.
  • Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines

    Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines is established. The title is changed in 1964 to Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
  • The Western Australian Department of Native Affairs ceases forcefully taking Aboriginal children

    The Western Australian Department of Native Affairs ceases forcefully taking Aboriginal children from their parents and sending them to missions. Also, Aboriginal people become eligible for social service benefits.
  • Commonwealth Electoral Act Ammended

    The Commonwealth Electoral Act is amended to give franchise to all Aboriginal people, extending the right to vote to Aboriginal people in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
  • Stolen Generations - South Australia (REPEALED)

    The Chief Protector is replaced by the Aborigines Protection Board in 1939 and guardianship power is repealed in 1962.
  • Integration

    The Integration policy was another one of the Government's plans to change the Aboriginal people. But, this time they were more leanient on the Aboriginal culture. Things like their song, dance and dramtime stories were all accepted. But, although the Government was more accepting, the Aboriginals were expected to adapt and adopt to a 'white' way of life.
  • Stolen Generation - Victoria & Queensland (REPEALED)

  • South Australian Prohibition of Discrimination Act

    The South Australian Prohibition of Discrimination Act is the first of its kind in Australia and bans all types of race and colour discrimination in employment, accommodation, legal contracts and public facilities.
  • Gurinfji people obtaining the title to their Land

    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.
  • Referendum

    On the 27th of May 1967, Australia held a referendum that changed the way Aboriginals were looked upon forever. This referendum was to decide whether Aboriginals should be counted as humans and not flora/fauna when the Census was conducted. To this day, this referendum has been the only one that has been secussefully passed on via the Australian public. An overwhelming 90.77% of the population voted 'Yes' in the Referendum.
  • Tent Embassy

    The ‘Aboriginal Tent Embassy’ is pitched outside Parliament House in Canberra, demonstrating for land rights.
  • National Aborigines Day

    National Aborigines Day there are Australia wide strikes and marches by Aboriginal people.
  • Freezing of all mining and exploration on Commonwealth Aboriginal Reserves

    The Whitlam Government freezes all applications for mining and exploration on Commonwealth Aboriginal reserves.
  • First Community controlled Aboriginal Medical Centre

    Community controlled Aboriginal Medical Service is set up in Redfern, Sydney. The first in Australia.
  • White Australia Policy Dropped

    The abolishment of the White Australia policy took place over a period of 25 years and was formally dropped in 1973.
  • Mabo

    Torres Strait Islander Eddie Koiki Mabo, who is at the time working as a gardener at James Cook University in Townsville, finds out he does not own the land back on Murray Island where he grew up.
  • Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territory)

    Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act (Cwlth). 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 . It also provides for Indigenous people to make claims on reserve and vacant Crown lands to which traditional attachment can be proven.
  • Mabo

    A land rights conference is held at James Cook University where Mr Mabo makes a speech outlining the land ownership and inheritance system on Murray Island. A lawyer at the conference suggests there should be a test case on claiming land rights through the court system. Central to the case is challenging the concept of terra nullius - that land claimed by Europeans on white settlement was uninhabited.
  • Mabo

    Mr Mabo, Sam Passi, David Pass, Celuia Mapo Salee and James Rice make a legal claim for ownership of their lands on Murray Island.
  • Land Rights Act (NSW)

    Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NSW) establishes a three-tiered system of Aboriginal land councils (state, regional and local).
  • Mabo

    The High Court rejects the notion of terra nullius and recognises the Meriam people as the native title holders of traditional lands on Murray Island. The ruling finds that native title exists separate from Crown claims to the land, as long as a connection to the land for people claiming native title remains. It is hailed as a momentous victory by the Indigenous rights movement, but within the mining and pastoral sectors unease grows over the implications of the ruling.
  • Native Title Act 1993

    The federal government passes the Native Title Act 1993. This law allows Indigenous people to make land claims under certain situations. They cannot make claims on freehold land (privately-owned land).
  • Native Title Tribunal

    Native Title Tribunal is established to hear land claims. Indigenous Land Fund is established as part of federal government’s response to the Mabo decision.
  • Wik People

    The Wik Peoples make a claim for native title in the Federal Court of Australia for land on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. Native Title Act does not pass through Parliament until December 1993.
  • Cathy Freeman

    Aboriginal sprinter Cathy Freeman wins a silver medal in the 400 metres run at the Atlanta Olympics, USA, and Nova Peris-Kneebone becomes the first Aboriginal person to win a gold medal.
  • Removal of the right to refuse enrolment of Aboriginal children

    NSW Director-General of Education approved the removal of the section of the teachers’ handbook that allowed school principals the right to refuse enrolment to Aboriginal children because of home conditions or substantial opposition from the community.
  • Larrakia Petition

    1,000 Aboriginal people sign the Larrakia petition, one of the most important documents in the history of their struggle for land rights.