The Struggle for Indigenous Rights and Freedoms

Timeline created by Melitta
  • Aboriginal people are excluded from the Census

    Aboriginal people are excluded from the Census
    Between Federation in 1901 and 1967, the Commonwealth Constitution Act, Section 127, stated that: “in reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth […], aboriginal natives shall not be counted”. During the lead up to the first national Census in 1911, the Commonwealth Attorney-General stated that persons of half or less Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent should be included in the population figures. (Endnote 2). Based on this advice, all Aboriginal and Torres S
  • Australian Aborigine's Progressive Association formed

    Australian Aborigine's Progressive Association formed
    The formation of the first politically organised and
    united Aboriginal activist group, the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association
    (AAPA) began in 1924 under the leadership of Charles Fredrick Maynard.1 This group
    proved a revelation and inspiration to Aboriginal people of their period and into the
    future. The AAPA saw, for the first time, Aborigines voicing their disapproval by holding
    street rallies, conducting meetings and conferences, utilising the power of the media
    through newspaper
  • Resistance to European invasion

    Resistance to European invasion
    The Australian frontier wars were a series of conflicts fought between Indigenous Australians and European settlers that spanned a total of 146 years. The first fighting took place several months after January 26, 1788 and the last clashes occurred as late as 1934.
  • Assimilation Policy of 1937

    Assimilation Policy of 1937
    In 1937, the Commonwealth Government held a national conference on Aboriginal affairs which agreed that Aboriginal people ‘not of full blood’ should be absorbed or ‘assimilated’ into the wider population. The aim of assimilation was to make the ‘Aboriginal problem’ gradually disappear so that Aboriginal people would lose their identity in the wider community.
  • Day of Mourning

    Day of Mourning
    The Day of Mourning was a day of protest held by Aboriginal Australians on 26 January 1938, the sesquicentenary of British colonisation of Australia. It was declared to be a protest of 150 years of callous treatment and the seizure of land, and was designed to stand in contrast to the Australia Day celebrations held by the European population on the same day.
  • Pilbara Aboriginal Pastoral Strike

    Pilbara Aboriginal Pastoral Strike
    The 1946 Pilbara strike was a landmark strike by Indigenous Australian pastoral workers in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for human rights recognition and payment of fair wages and working conditions. The strike involved at least 800 Aboriginal pastoral workers walking off the large Pastoral Stations in the Pilbara on 1 May 1946, and from employment in the two major towns of Port Hedland and Marble Bar. The strike did not end until August 1949 and even then many indigenous Australians r
  • Freedom Riders

    Freedom Riders
    In 1961, the Freedom Riders, a dedicated group of men and women, black and white, young and old (many from university and college campuses) across the country boarded buses, trains and planes bound for the deep South to challenge that region‘s outdated Jim Crow laws and the non-compliance with a US Supreme Court decision already three years old that prohibited segregation in all interstate public transportation facilities.
  • Aboriginal People given the right to vote - 1967 Referendum

    Aboriginal People given the right to vote - 1967 Referendum
    The referendum of 27 May 1967, called by the Holt Government, approved two amendments to the Australian constitution relating to Indigenous Australians. Technically it was a vote on the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal People) 1967, which became law on 10 August 1967 following the results of the referendum. The amendments were overwhelmingly endorsed, winning 90.77 percent of votes cast and carrying in all six states
  • Tent Embassy Established

    Tent Embassy Established
    The Aboriginal Tent Embassy is a controversial semi-permanent assemblage claiming to represent the political rights of Australian Aborigines. It is made up of a group of activists, signs and tents that reside on the lawn of Old Parliament House in Canberra, the Australian capital.The Embassy was established in response to the McMahon Coalition Government's refusal to recognise Aboriginal land rights.
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 passed

    Racial Discrimination Act 1975 passed
    The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 makes racial discrimination illegal. It aims to ensure everyone is treated equally, regardless of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin. The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) is a statute passed by the Australian Parliament during the Prime Ministership of Labor Gough Whitlam
  • Uluru handed back to traditional owners

    Uluru handed back to traditional owners
    In 1985, after lengthy negotiations, the Australian Government handed joint management and title of Uluru back to the Indigenous Anangu people on condition they lease it to the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service.Uluru, in many ways, has come to symbolise the struggle for Indigenous land rights.
  • Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody

    Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
    In October 1987, the Commonwealth Government established the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in response to extensive petitioning by Aboriginal advocacy groups and the families of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had died in custody. The Royal Commission investigated the deaths in custody of 99 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who died between 1 January 1980 and 31 May 1989. Of this total, 33 died in prison, 63 died in police custody and three died
  • Bicentenary protest march

     Bicentenary protest march
    On 26 January 1988, more than 40,000 people, including Aborigines from across the country and non-Indigenous supporters, staged what was the largest march in Sydney since the Vietnam moratorium. There were around a dozen buses of Victorian Aborigines among those congregated. The protesters marched through Sydney chanting for land rights
  • Period: to

    Struggle for Indigenous Rights and Freedoms

    The Day of Mourning was a day of protest held by Aboriginal Australians on 26 January 1938, the sesquicentenary of British colonisation of Australia. It was declared to be a protest of 150 years of callous treatment and the seizure of land, and was designed to stand in contrast to the Australia Day celebrations held by the European population on the same day.