Protectionism - a separation policy/law passed in 1897 (The Aboriginal Protection and Prevention of the Sale of Opium Act) that isolated full-blooded Aboriginals from white people, their culture and lifestyle. They were placed in special reserves with inexperienced managers. Aboriginals had no right to receive a basic wage, get a pension or even vote.
Assimilation - a 1950s policy that stated that “… all Aborigines and part-Aborigines are expected eventually to live as members of a single Australian community enjoying the same rights and privileges, accepting the same responsibilities, observing the same customs and influenced by the same beliefs, hopes and loyalties as other Australians.”
Integration - a 1960s political idea that recognised the differences between the Aborigines and the white people. Their heritage and culture was recognised.
Self-Determination - a period during the 1970s which allowed more rights & freedom for Aboriginals. The Government allows the Aborigines to do what they want, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs established. However, ATSIC was disbanded, they still don’t have actual political & land rights. But they do have access to legal & medical services.
Reconciliation - a period of trying to make up for the past wrongs against Aborigines. 1990s – Present, refer to Sorry Day in May 1998
The 1967 referendum gave the government the power to make laws regarding the Aboriginals, and to count them in the census. This however came to no avail as the Vietnam War was still being fought, and the power that the government had to make laws for the Aboriginals was abandoned until Gough Whitlam came into power in the 1972 election. He set up a Department for Aboriginal Affairs, and set about to hand back the sacred lands to the Aboriginals.
For Aboriginal people
• It shows a major change in government attitudes and Australian citizens’ attitudes towards Aborigines and their rights.
• It meant uniformity of laws for Aborigines as they were no longer under the individual states’ laws which were very different on some issues.
• Having been recognised as citizens over the previous five or so years, and being counted in the census, confirmed their status as Australian citizens.
• There was an expectation that Aborigines would get equal rights and opportunities as a result of the passing of this referendum. It did not happen but it was a beginning.
• It opened the door for other advances.
• It brought representation and membership in parliament.
• It brought better employment, education and equal opportunity
• It opened up the possibility of land rights, native title and for less discrimination
• It recognised Aboriginal law.
• It was a major change in attitude and approach to Aboriginal affairs from both government and the people.
• It opened the door to multiculturalism through the acceptance and tolerance of the rights of Aborigines to retain and practise their culture being carried over into acceptance and tolerance of other races.
Native Title - The legal right of Aboriginal Australians to use and occupy the lands they traditionally own and to have title, or ownership of that land. This is recognised by the Australian legal system based on evidence from their traditional language and observed cultural responsibilities within their customary land. Native title protects traditional laws and customs which will be passed on to future generations, similar to the life they had pre settlement.
The Mabo Decision, 1992In 1982, an Eddie Mabo-led group took a case to the Supreme Court of Queensland, claiming ownership of the Murray Islands because their people had lived there for many generations. When the court case was dismissed, they group went on to appeal the case in the High Court of Australia. Importance: The group challenged the concept of terra nullius, saying that native title…