History of Australi's Indigneous People

  • Federation

    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. This leaves the power over Aboriginal Affairs with the states. Aboriginal people are excluded from the vote, pensions, employment in post offices, enlistment in armed forces and maternity allowance.
  • Western Australia Aborigines Act

    The Western Australia Aborigines Act is passed, making the Chief Protector 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.
  • NSW Aborigines Protection Act

    Aboriginal schools are established in NSW. Exclusion of Aboriginal children from public schools followed requests by the white community. In NSW there are 22 Aboriginal schools in 1910. The Act also made it illegal for ‘half-castes’ to live on reserves.
  • Victorian Aborigines Act

    The Victorian Aborigines Act permitted the Board for Protection of Aborigines to help ‘half-castes’ by licensing needy persons to live on stations.
  • South Australian Aborigines Act

    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.
  • Maternity Allowance

    Maternity allowance is introduced but does not include Aboriginal people.
  • Aboriginal people serve in the war

    Aboriginal people serve in the war despite the Defence Act 1909 which prohibits any person not of ‘substantially European’ origin from serving. Aboriginal soldiers are among Australian troops at Gallipoli.
  • Aboriginal Children

    The NSW Aborigines Protection Board is given powers to remove Aboriginal children without a court hearing.
  • Aboriginal population

    Aboriginal population is estimated 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 segregation and social conventions.
  • Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association

    Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association is formed in Sydney to oppose New South Wales Aborigines Protection Board.
  • Conniston Massacre

    Conniston Massacre in the Northern Territory. Europeans shoot 32 Aboriginal people after a European dingo trapper and a station owner are attacked by them.A court of inquiry rules the Europeans’ action ‘justified’. Aboriginal people are refused legal aid by the federal government
  • Blacks can be white

    Under the Aborigines Act, Aboriginal people can apply to ‘cease being Aboriginal’ and have access to the same rights as ‘whites’
  • Western Australia Aborigines Act is amended

    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 prescribed towns without a permit.
  • Assimilation

    The federal government, decides that the official policy for some Aboriginal people is assimilation policy. 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.
  • 150 years after European occupation

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

    Although Aboriginal people are not recognised as citizens, two Aboriginal military units are established and some Aboriginal people serve in other sections of the armed forces as formally enlisted soldiers, sailors or airmen. Aboriginal people serve in Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific and New Guinea.
  • Removal of Aboriginal children

    Aboriginal children continue to be removed from their families during the period 1939 to 1945, including children whose fathers are at war overseas.
  • Social Security Benefits

    In the 1940s most federal social security benefits are extended to Aboriginal people.
  • White Australia policy succeeds

    99% of Australia’s 7 million people are white.
  • Voting

    Aboriginal people are given the right to enrol and vote at federal elections provided they are entitled to enrol for state elections or have served in the armed forces.
  • Integration Policy

    Integration policy is introduced, supposedly to give Aboriginal people more control over their lives and society. They still had to act like white people but could also keep and continue to carry out their own aboriginal traditions
  • 1967 Referendum

    more than 90% vote to empower the Commonwealth to legislate for all Aboriginal people and open means for them to be counted in the census. It also empowers the federal government to legislate for Aboriginal people in the states and share responsibility for Aboriginal affairs with state governments. All states except Queensland abandon laws and policies that discriminate against Aboriginal people.
  • Self-determination

    The Whitlam Government abolishes White Australia Policy and introduces a policy of self-determination. The change means having the right to cultural and linguistic maintenance and management of natural resources on Aboriginal land.
  • White Australia immigration policy ends

    White Australia immigration policy ends
  • Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NSW)

    Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NSW) recognises dispossesssion and dislocation of NSW Aboriginal people, sets up local-regional-State land council network with land tax funding as compensation.
  • Native Title Act

    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).
  • Shared ResponsibilitY

    The government starts using Shared Responsibility Agreements (SRAs), voluntary written agreements, which set out what outcomes are to be achieved, and the agreed roles and responsibilities of governments and Aboriginal communities in relation to particular projects or activities.
  • I'm Sorry

    The Australian Parliament apologises to the Stolen Generations. Both the government and the opposition support the apology and say ‘sorry’ to Aboriginal people who were taken away from their families from 1900 to the 1970s.
  • First Aboriginal NBA player

    Nathan Jawai is the first Indigenous Australian basketball player to be drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA). He will play for the Toronto Raptors.
  • Kevin says sorry

    The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says sorry to the Forgotten Australians which include migrants and Indigenous people who were victims of abuse in orphanages and institutions between 1930 and 1970. The Forgotten Australians suffered similar abuse as the members of the Stolen Generations.