Aboriginal flag

Australian Civil Right

By jcamil
  • Federation

    1st January - Federation. The six self-governing colonies collectively become the states of the Commonwealth of Australia. 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. The states therefore retain their power over Aboriginal Affairs.
  • Period: to

    Australian Civil Rights

  • Cherboug

    The Queensland Government establishes Cherbourg, an Aboriginal community, about 30 km from Gympie.
  • Western Australia Aborigines Act

    Western Australia Aborigines Act
    The Western Australia Aborigines Act is passed. Reserves are established, a local protector is appointed and rules governing Aboriginal employment are laid down. -
  • Social Security

    Social Security
    The Invalid and Old Age Pension Act provides social security for all Australians except Aboriginal people.
  • NSW Aborigines Act

    NSW Aborigines Act
    NSW introduces The NSW Aborigines Act following crises in public schools. Aboriginal schools are established in NSW during the early part of the 20th century. Exclusion of Aboriginal children from public schools followed requests by the European 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.
  • Victorian Aborigines Act

    Victorian Aborigines Act
    The Victorian Aborigines Act permitted the Board for Protection of Aboriginal people to help 'half castes' by licensing needy persons to live on stations. An inquiry is held into the Forest River Massacre in the Kimberley. The Aborigines Protection Board Act is passed which gives the Protection Board 'legal' control over Aboriginal people on stations and reserves but not missions, in the Northern Territory.
  • Gulf of Carpentaria

    Gulf of Carpentaria
    Groote Eylandt, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, is named an Aboriginal Reserve.
  • Europeans shoot 32 Aboriginal

     Europeans shoot 32 Aboriginal
    Europeans shoot 32 Aboriginal people after a European Dingo trapper, and a station holder are attacked by Aboriginal people. Some reserves are leased to non-Aboriginal settlers in Victoria.
  • Victorian William Cooper

    Victorian William Cooper
    Mr.Cooper petitions the King to have an Aboriginal representative in the Lower House of Federal Parliament. A similar attempt is made in NSW. They are unsuccessful.
  • Assimilation for some Aboriginal people

    Assimilation for some Aboriginal people
    Part Aboriginal people are to be assimilated into white society whether they want to be or not. Aboriginal people not living a tribal life are to be educated and all others are to stay on reserves.
  • 50 years after European occupation

    50 years after European occupation
    For the Europeans 'celebration' of 150 years of "settlement" in NSW, Aborigines are trucked to Sydney to take part in the re-enactment of the British landing on 26 January 1788. Aboriginal people are threatened with starvation if they do not play their role.
  • Protest at Cumeroogunga

    Protest at Cumeroogunga
    As a result of the 1937 conference Queensland passes legislation allowing Aboriginal people to receive workers' compensation.
  • 1940

    Amendments to the NSW protection legislation results in the replacement of the Aborigines Protection Board with the NSW Aborigines Welfare Board. Responsibility for the education of Aboriginal people is transferred to the Department for Education, which takes control of reserve buildings and starts to provide trained teachers. The Aborigines Progressive Association campaigns to bring about reforms to the NSW Protection Board.
  • 1942

    Darwin is bombed by the Japanese. Many Aboriginal people are relocated to 'control camps' and restrictions are places on Aboriginal movement, especially women. In Arnhem Land Aboriginal people make up special reconnaissance unit in defence against the Japanese.
    The United Church in North Australia set up an Aboriginal mission on Elcho Island, Northern Territory
  • 1943

    A further amendment to the Aboriginal protection legislation in NSW, gives two Aboriginal people, one 'full-blood' and one 'half caste', representation on the Aboriginal Welfare Board. Walter Page and William Ferguson, both Aboriginal Progressive Association members, take up the positions.
  • 1945

    Aboriginal cattle station workers in the Port Hedland district, Western Australia, strike for a pay increase. They are getting 10 shillings a week and are supplied with blankets. The Aboriginal people then formed a co-operative to mine alluvial wolfram which was successful.
  • 1946

    Aboriginal children need a medical certificate to attend public schools. Aboriginal pastoral workers in the Pilbara, Western Australia, strike over pay, conditions and ill treatment.
  • 1948

    The Commonwealth Citizenship and Nationality Act for the first time gives a category of "Australian Citizenship" to all Australians, including all Aboriginal people. However, at state level Aboriginal people still suffer legal discrimination. The Coranderrk Lands Act alienates Victoria's only 'permanent reservation'. In 1951 the remainder of Lake Condah reserve is revoked despite Aboriginal resistance
  • 1949

    The Commonwealth Electoral Act extends the franchise to Aboriginal ex-service men only. Douglas Nicholls, an Aboriginal pastor is unsuccessful in petitioning the King to have an Aboriginal representative in the Victorian Parliament.
  • Commenwealth Electoral Act

    The Commonwealth Electoral Act is amended to give the vote to all Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal Affairs Act in South Australia reconstituted the Aborigines Protection Board and South Australian Department of Aboriginal Affairs. The Act also limited mining on reserves by people other than Aboriginal people.
  • Bark Petition

    Bark Petition
    In July a bark petition against mining on the Gove Peninsula is drawn up by the senior men of the affected clans. On 28 August the petition is presented to the Governor General. Although it is signed by more senior clan members, the Federal Government fails to recognise Aboriginal political structure and rejects the petition because of insufficient signatures.
  • Integration Policy is introduced, meaning Aboriginal people are supposed to have more control over their life and society

    Integration Policy is introduced, meaning Aboriginal people are supposed to have more control over their life and society
    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders' Affairs Act, passed in Queensland, gives the Director of Aboriginal Affairs considerable power over 'assisted' Aboriginal people. For example, an assisted Aboriginal person could be detained for up to a year for behaving in an 'offensive, threatening, insolent, insulting, disorderly, obscene or indecent manner', or 'leaving, escaping or attempting to leave or escape for the reserve'. - See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Indigenous-Australia-Ti
  • The Commonwealth Referendum passes

    The Commonwealth Referendum passes
    This ends constitutional discrimination and all Aboriginal people are now counted in the national census. It also means that the Federal Government can now legislate for Aboriginal people in the states and share the responsibility for Aboriginal Affairs with state governments. All states except Queensland, abandon laws and policies that discriminate against Aboriginal people. The first census fully including Aboriginal people is in 1971.
  • 1968

    Aboriginal workers are included in the Northern Territory Cattle Industries Award. Nabalco and the Federal Government sign an agreement giving Nabalco a 42 year special lease to mine bauxite near Yirrkala in the Arnhem Land reserve. Desecration of the Weebo Site in Western Australia eventually led to the Western Australian Heritage Act being proclaimed in 1972. The Commonwealth Office of Aboriginal Affairs is established and in 1972 becomes the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.
  • Aborigines Welfare Board in NSW is abolished

    Aborigines Welfare Board in NSW is abolished
    The Federal Government establishes the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation to help finance sports activities. An Aboriginal delegation goes to New York and presents a statement on Australian Aborigines to the Office of the UN Secretary-General. The NSW Aborigines Act transfers control to the directorate within the NSW Department of Youth and Community Services. An Aboriginal Advisory Council is set up. The directorate is abolished in 1975 .