Australian aboriginal flag

Aboriginal people lost most of their rights before slowly regaining them over the past 70 years

By ShasGad
  • Aborignal Protection Act

    Aborignal Protection Act
    Official Government Document• Victoria was the first to introduce this
    • Excludes half-castes from the definition of Aboriginal
    • Half of the residents of missions and reserves forced to leave homes
    • The Victorian Board for the Protection of Aborigines was empowered to apprentice Abor. children when they reached 13 yrs of age. - the children required permission to visit their families on the stations.
    • This was a major step in taking away the rights of Abor. people.
    *Note: The date above is a placeholder
  • Period: to

    Loss of Rights

    This period is essentially where Aboriginal people lost many of their rights and freedoms due to the actions of the government. Towards the end of this period, however, Aboriginal people started to stand up for themselves and they did receive some backing from officials. This signified start of gradual improvement in their liviing conditions.
  • Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act (Qld)

    Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act (Qld)
    Official Government Document• 'Chief protectors' are installed and have power to remove local Abor. people onto reserves and hold children in dormitories
    • Abor. people were essentially prohibited from exiting the reserves (THEY WERE CAPTIVES)
    * All aspects of their lives were controlled including marriage and guardianship of children.
    • The other states soon followed with variations of the same Act. *Note: Placeholder date
  • Federation of Australia

    Federation of Australia
    Australian Museum• Abor. people were excluded from the rights of other Australians
    • Abor. people were excluded from voting, pensions, employment in Post Offices, enlistment in the army and maternity allowance.
    • In September of this year, the White Australia Policy was introduced which further took away Abor. rights and greatly contributes to reduction of Abor. population.
  • Assimilation Policy

    Assimilation Policy
    Aboriginal History Timeline• Aim was to assimilate some Aboriginal people and all Aboriginal people of mixed descent.
    • Those living tribally were to stay on reserves while others were to be educated.
    • Ultimately destroyed Aboriginal identity and culture.
  • Many Rights are Extended to Aboriginal People

    • Dept of Education took control of Aboriginal education, they trained more teachers
    • In the 1940s most federal social security benefits were extended to Aboriginal people
    • People became less accepting of discrimination against Abor. people and the SA Premier requested the Govt. to pay maternity allowance and old age pension to Abor. people. This signifies the beginning of the regaining of rights by the Abor. people.
  • Period: to

    Assistance with Assimilation and Right to Vote

    In this period, the government decided to focus on assimilating Aboriginal people into white culture. Aboriginal people were also given the right to vote. The Aboriginal ban on alcohol is also lifted.
  • Government Focuses on Assimilation

    • The Native Welfare Conference ministers decided to assimilate Abor. people into white culture.
    • They removed discriminatory legislation and restrictive practices.
    • They planned to educate non-indigenous Australians about Abor. culture and history.
    • People started to realise the injustice towards Abor. and TSI people, with SA Premier Sir Thomas Playford arguing for Integration instead.
    • Shows beginning of acceptance for Abor. culture
  • Right to Vote for Aboriginal People

    • The Commonwealth Electoral Act is amended to give Abor. people the right to vote in WA, QLD and NT.
    • The ban on alchol for Abor. people is also lifted. Abor. people are finally accepted as citizens of the country and are able to enact change by being able to vote. This means that their voices no longer have to go unheard because politicians will have been wanting the vote of the Abor. people as well.
  • Integration Policy

    • This policy was supposedly to give Abor. people more control over their lives and society
    • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ Affairs Act was passed in QLD and gave the Director of Aboriginal Affairs power to detain Abor. people if they deemed them to be acting in a socially unacceptable manner or if they escaped or attempted to escape the reserves. • This shows that despite claiming to have given Abor. people more control, not much really changed.
  • Period: to

    Integration and Increase in Famous Aboriginal People

    The Integration policy was introduced right at the start of this period and the Aboriginal people were able to bring some of their culture with them. This period showed an increase in famous Aboriginal athletes and sports people, showing that Aboriginal people were starting to become more accepted into society.
  • Freedom Ride

    • Charles Perkins led a freedom ride by Abor. people and students through north-western NSW in support of Abor. rights.
    •This ride showed the extent of the discrimination, with many shops and public facilitie refusing them service.
    • In May of this year, Perkins became the first Aboriginal man to graduate from University. This presented to the white society that Abor. people were perfectly capable of achieving high standards, if they were given the chance.
  • Increase in Famous Aboriginal Sportsmen and Athletes

    • A few years prior, Lionel Rose became the first Aboriginal Boxing Champion.
    • In this year, Evonne Cawley, a tennis player, won the Australian of the Year Award.
    • Another tennis player, Evonne Woolagong, won the Wimbledon Women's Singles Title.
    • This shows that conditions had gotten better for Abor. people as they had reached a point where they were allowed to play sports and were even able to win the Young Australian of the Year Award. (They were becoming accepted as Australians)
  • Self-Determination Policy

    Self-Determination Policy
    • Following a series of strikes, marches and demonstrations for rights by the Abor. people, the third quarter of the year saw the abolition of the White Australia Policy
    • Gough Whitlam's government introduced the Self-Determination policy, giving Abor. people the right to follow their own traditions and cultures and speak their own languages.This was arguably the biggest step in regaining rights for Abor. people.
  • Period: to

    Acceptance of Aboriginal People as Australian Citizens + Apologies

    The country as a whole began to become less racist and began to accept Aboriginal people as just another group of human beings. This period shows the greatest advancements in Aboriginal rights as society has become more self-aware and has made efforts to right the wrongs made by the people of the past.
  • Racial Discrimination Act

    The introduction of the Racial Discrimination Act meant that Abor. people could no longer be discriminated against. After the abolition of the White Australia Policy, Abor. people were able to be classified as Australians and as such, they were in theory on equal footing with White Australians, although it is a lot harder for that to be implemented into practise because society will have been used to the old ways for so long.
  • Official Apology from the Australian Government to the Aboriginal People

    The official apology from the Australian Government to the Aboriginal people is finally made. The former Prime Minister John Howard had refused to do so, because it would supposedly taint Australia's image, but this wrong was corrected by the Rudd government. Though this doesn't change any of the atrocities done to the Abor. people for 70 years, it acknowledges the fact that they occured and the country is ready to move on.