Australian Civil Rights Timeline

  • Australian Federation

    Australian Federation
    The Commonwealth of Australia is formed. Indigenous Australians are seen as second class citizens and are denied many things, like voting.
  • Western Australian Act

    Western Australian Act
    Western Australia passed an act were the Chief Protector became the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and ‘half-caste’ child under 16 years old. Meaning Indigenous children were legally allowed to be taken from their home forcibly.
  • WW1

    The Beginning of WW1. 400 to 500 Aboriginal children are still being removed from their families during the war, including children whose fathers are overseas fighting.
  • Indigenous Soilders

    Indigenous Soilders
    Despite the Defense Act 1909 which prohibits any person not of ‘substantially European’ origin from serving, however Indigenous soldiers are among the troops at Gallipoli.
  • Day of Mourning

    Day of Mourning
    The Day of Mourning protest was held by Indigenous Australians to mark the 150th anniversary of the First Fleet
  • Cummeragunja Walk-off

    Cummeragunja Walk-off
    The Cummeragunja Walk-off happens, the first mass strike by Aboriginal people in Australia. Over 150 indigenous people pack-up and leave Cummeragunja Aboriginal Station in protest of the cruel treatment and exploitation they faces by the management.

    the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) is formed with the support from the Government, churches and other Indigenous organizations.
  • Campaign Against Discrimination

    Campaign Against Discrimination
    The Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines begins a campaign to end the Constitution's discrimination against the natives Australians. This last's for 10 years.
  • Voting Rights

    Voting Rights
    Indigenous people gained the right to vote in federal elections in 1962. Indigenous people by 1965 gained equal voting rights as white Australians.
  • Referendum for Indigenous Rights

    Referendum for Indigenous Rights
    Over 90% of Australians vote yes to counting Indigenous Australians in the census and be subject to commonwealth law.
  • Neville Bonner

    Neville Bonner
    Neville Bonner becomes the first Indigenous member of parliament after filling a casual residency.
  • Sand Pour

    Sand Pour
    After Gurindji stockmen went on strike for nine years for their land to be handed back to them, Whitlam symbolically poured the sand of the land into Vincent Lingiari's to officially give it back.
  • Uluru

    Uluru is given back to its traditional owners.
  • Blackfella/Whitefella - Neil Murray and George Rrurrambu

    Blackfella/Whitefella - Neil Murray and George Rrurrambu
    "Blackfella/Whitefella" is arock song written by Neil Murray and George Rrurrambu. The song drew attention through its lyrics about racism and encourageed harmony and co-operation by people of all races.
  • Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil

    Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil
    "Beds Are Burning" is by rock band Midnight Oil. This song was created in protest about giving native Australian lands back to the native Pintupi people.
  • Treaty - Yothu Yindi

    Treaty - Yothu Yindi
    "Treaty" is a protest song Yothu Yindi. It was the first song by a predominantly Aboriginal band to chart in Australia. The song was created and released the group wanted to highlight the lack of progress on the treaty between Indigenous Australians and the Australian government.
  • Apology to Stolen Generations

    Apology to Stolen Generations
    AU Prime minister Kevin Rudd apologizes in Parliament to the Indigenous Australians for their children being taken forcibly from their families from the mid 1800's to the 1970's.
  • Recognition

    AU Prime Minister Julia Gillard announces change in the constitution to finally recognize Indigenous Australians.