Aboriginal Rights In The 1960s

Submitted By mattymoto
Words: 427
Pages: 2

From the time of Federation in 1901 to the late 1950’s saw aboriginal people denied basic rights and freedoms. The first half of the 20th century seen aboriginals treated differently to other Australians. Laws differed from state to state giving the government control over many aspects of aboriginal life including work, travel and even where they could live.
The 1960’s became the most important era for aboriginal people. Aboriginals became active raising awareness of their unfair status, reducing discrimination and improving their quality of life. Discrimination was clearly evident in the movie “Sapphires” when three aboriginal girls clearly were the better singers in the talent contest at the pub however the winner was a white Australian with much less talent. This was not going to be easily achieved as many attempts in the past had failed.
One of the most important events to occur was in 1965 the “Freedom Ride”. Charles Perkins, Australia’s first indigenous university graduate, aboriginal people and students travel throughout north western NSW to raise support of aboriginal rights. The ride demonstrated the extent of discrimination against aboriginals in country towns. This included refusal of service in shops, segregated cinemas, swimming pools and hotels. The tour became front page news bringing racism and discrimination to the public making them aware of their fight for equal acceptance.
The next major event to occur was in 1966 where stockmen and women “walk off Wave Hill”. A cattle station owned by a British aristocrat situated 700km south of Darwin. They were protesting about loss of traditional land, lower wages than white Australians and poor conditions. This was the beginning of a long fight by the Gurindji people to obtain back their land. The strike was supported by