Aboriginal Rights Essay

Submitted By KrystalLiu
Words: 2168
Pages: 9

Part A: A Chronological Timeline

1770: Captain James Cook claims possession of the whole east coast of Australia for the British Crown. Many history classes and books start teaching Australian history from this point on.
1788: Captain Phillip starts a penal colony in at Sydney Cove. Aboriginal resistance flares within a few days of arrival of the tall ships. Europeans have captured the first Aboriginal this year.
1803: White people occupy Tasmania. The Black Wars of Tasmania last until 1830 and claim the lives of 600 Aboriginal people and more than 200 white settlers.
1837: The policy of protection for Aboriginal people marks the beginning of involvement of the Catholic Church in missionary work and the establishment of schools for Aboriginal children.
1897: The Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act allows the ‘chief protector’ to remove local Aboriginal people onto and between reserves and hold children in dormitories.
1914: Beginning of WW1. Approximately 400 to 500 Aboriginal children continue to be removed from their families during the period 1914 to 1918, including children whose fathers are overseas at war.
1928: Europeans shoot 32 Aboriginal people after they attack a European dingo trapper and a station owner. A court of inquiry rules the Europeans’ action ‘justified’. Aboriginal people are refused legal aid by the federal government.
1937: In April, Conference of Commonwealth and state authorities called by the federal government, decides that the official policy for some Aboriginal people is assimilation policy. In June, Dubbo, western NSW, trade unionist and Aboriginal politician William Ferguson launches the Aborigines Progressive Association, in opposition to the Aborigines Protection Board, after officials of the Board had arbitrarily used their powers to harass Aboriginal people.
1938: 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.
1953-57: The Northern Territory Welfare Ordinance makes Aboriginal people wards of the government, basically making Aboriginal adults and children, minors. Queen Elizabeth visits Australia for the first time and in Canberra signs the Aborigines Welfare Ordinance 1954 that permits the ethnic cleansing of the Australian Capital Territory, clearing it of resident Aboriginal people. The Palm Island workforce demonstrates and strikes against unfair wages and apartheid. In response, the Queensland government dispatches 20 police to put the rebellion down. At gunpoint, 7 men and their families are shipped off the island in leg irons and transported to settlements on the mainland.
1965: Integration policy is introduced, supposedly to give Aboriginal people more control over their lives and society. Besides, Charles Perkins becomes the first Aboriginal Australian to graduate from university.
1967: In the Commonwealth 1968 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.
1971: Aboriginal people are counted in the national census for the first time.
1972: Aboriginal Heritage Protection Act is proclaimed in Western Australia. 1,000 Aboriginal people sign the Larrakia petition, one of the most important documents in the history of their struggle for lad rights.
1975: Racial Discrimination Act is passed in the federal parliament. The Australian Senate unanimously endorses a resolution put up by Senator Neville Bonner acknowledging prior ownership of this country by Aboriginal people and seeking compensation for their dispossession. The National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organization are set up.
1988: Barunga Statement. Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke affirms that the government is committed to working for a negotiated treaty with