The Aboriginal Experience

The Aboriginal Experience

They have maintained their fight for land Justice against the odds, and despite a history of continued dispose session and alienation from land. Some significant areas of land and social rights ha eve now been achieved. It wasn’t until the passing of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 and the Common wealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 that Indigenous people were not included a s citizens of Australia, and could therefore not vote. When white Australia celebrated 150 years of settlement on January 26 1938, Aboriginal people in Sydney marked It as a Day of Mourning.

They_ _stated that there was little for Aboriginal people to celebrate et, and mocked the claims of white Australians to be a “civilized, progressive, kindly a d humane nation”. During 1900-1 ass’s, hardships for Aboriginals continued and their push for equal rig TTS and freedom were meaningless to the government. This was shown with the gave raiment policy to take Aboriginal children from their families and place them in miss ones. Once there they would be given new Identities and live In a harsh environment where they would be made to live in a White mans way’ and forget their past culture.

This would later be known as the Stolen Generation. The sass saw a lot of change; but most Aboriginal people In the early twenty-first entry might argue that the changes have not achieved enough nor come quickly enough, to improve the position of Aboriginal people within Australian society today. The demand for Justice and equality by Australia’s Indigenous people has been a long hard struggle. In 1965, Freedom Rides were revolutionary. Indigenous and non-lounges students from the University of Sydney drove around in a bus to country towns of New South Wales to protest against segregation and living conditions of Aboriginal people.

They were very successful In getting media attention, both International and nation, which dad to mass scrutiny of Australia’s Aboriginal affairs. The publicity generated by the freedom ride persuaded many Australians to vote for constitutional change in the ‘OFF 1966 saw the Wave Hill strike about the exploitation of Grinded people. Vincent Linear stated: _”The issue on which we are protesting is neither purely economic nor political but moral; on August, 1966 the Grinded tribe decided to cease to live like dogs”.

By camping on their traditional land at Wattle Creek the Grinded were defying the law. This strike developed into a land claim at Datagram. Cough Whittle symbolically ended back their land in 1975 when he poured the dirt into Linguini’s hand. This action is regarded as the beginning of the land rights movement. These events all contributed to the federal referendum conducted in 1967 to determine whether Aboriginal people should be included in the national census and whether the Commonwealth Government should be given the power to make laws for Aboriginal people.

The referendum was approved by 90. 77% of the population, the largest yes vote of all referendums. The Referendum was a fantastic win for the Aboriginal movement – the movement for quality. This win gave citizenship, which meant Aboriginal people were able to move around freely, have a choice in governments and finally have policies made by the Commonwealth government. Having the Council of Aboriginal Affairs meant Aboriginals had a political voice foe the first time and some influence over the policies that governed them.

In 1972, protestors erected the Aboriginal tent embassy on the front lawn of Parliament House in Canberra, to protest against the Commonwealth Government’s failure to act on behalf of Aboriginal people in terms of land rights and compensation. It inspired many indigenous Australians to stand up and get involved in Australian politics. Harold Thomas created the Aboriginal flag, which appeared as a symbol of Aboriginal resistance to dominance by white Australian governments and was first flown at the tent embassy.

In 1973, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Land Rights in Federal Territories was established. Its role under Justice Edward Woodward was to investigate appropriate ways in in which to recognize the traditional rights of Aborigines for land. After giving the report in 1974, nearly every recommendation was made and another victory for Aborigines. Over the next 20 years, further rights and freedom acts were introduced including: the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, the Reconciliation Act as well as Lure (Ares Rock) and Statute (Mount Olga) being returned to the traditional owners.

In 1992, after losing their case in the Queensland Supreme Court, Eddie Mambo and in Common Law. The Mambo decision was important and ground breaking to all Australia because legally _terra annulus _ (empty land) was overturned and now Aboriginals had land rights and could claim back some land. It recognized that Aboriginals were the original owners of Australia. In 1993, Eddie Mambo was named Australian Of The Year. In the same year, The Native Title Act was created giving indigenous people the legal right to claim Native Title on Vacant Crown land.

The High Court dealt further with the question of native title in The Wick Peoples v. The State of Queensland and Others, and recognized its continuing existence on pastoral lease-land. The Wick decision allowed co-existence with pastoral leases. In the late 20th century, Aboriginals were 29 times more likely to be put in Jail than other Australians. There was also growing concern over the high number of Aboriginal deaths whilst in police custody. An inquiry revealed that police and the legal system generally failed to cater for the cultural differences of Aboriginals.