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Key Indigenous Land Rights Events

  • Yirrkala People (Bark Petition)

    Yirrkala People (Bark Petition)
    Many petitions were sent to the Commonwealth Parliament over the March reductions of the Yolngu peoples land. The government had taken 300 square kilometres of land for the mining of bauxite. The Yolngu people argued about how they had not been involved in this decision and the impact of the mining on their land without their voices being heard. The petitions were presented to the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court but the results didn't achieve the justice they wanted.
  • Gurindji

    The Gurindji tribal leader led 200 Aboriginal workers away from their work to go on strike. This strike lasted 7 years and the issues included low wages and poor working conditions. This moved on though to land rights.
  • Tent Embassy Protest

    Tent Embassy Protest
    The protests were set up in response to the McMahon Coalition Government's refusal to recognise land rights for Aboriginals. The protestors set up on the lawn infront of Parliament House with many protests over the years around the same times of year.
  • Mabo Case

    Mabo Case
    Eddie Mabo along with four other Meriam people went up against the High Court of Australia seeking confirmation of their land rights. On 3 June 1992 the High Court rulled in favour of Mabo and the Native Title Act of 1993 was, in part, in response to this decision.
  • Native Title Act

    Native Title Act
    The Native Title Act was enacted as the result of the decision of the High Court in the Mabo Case the year before. The Act is the recognition under the law in Indiginous interest in land and waters for traditional laws and customs.
  • Wik

    The Wik people went to court against the State of Queensland over the leases on their land. The decision on whether statutory leases extinguish native title rights was given by the High Court on the 23 December 1996 and was in favour of the Wik people.
  • The Native Title Amendment Act

    The Native Title Amendment Act
    This law was created in response to the 1996 Wik Decision, by the High Court, by John Howard. It was created to make limits and restrictions to native title claims.
  • Yorta Yorta v Victoria

    Yorta Yorta v Victoria
    Many claims were made by the Yorta Yorta people against Victoria on their Native Title. Three claims were made in 1998, 2001 and 2002 but all claims were dismissed by the Federal Court and High Court of Australia. Victoria then settled in 2004 signing an agreement to give the Yorta Yorta people a say in the management of traditiional country.