Aboriginal timeline: Education

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1976

  1. Pat O’Shane graduates from the University of New South Wales, becoming the first Aboriginal person to be admitted to the Bar.

1977

  1. Nationwide Aboriginal Education Advisory Groups are set up. National Aboriginal Education committee formed.

1978

  1. Pat O’Shane becomes the first Aboriginal law graduate and barrister.

1979

  1. The NSW Aboriginal Education Advisory Group re-forms as NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, representing communities statewide, and later recognised as a principal source of advice to the government on Aboriginal education.

1987

  1. Aboriginal Education Policy becomes mandatory for all schools.

  2. Pat Dudgeon from the Bardi people (Kimberley area, Western Australia) graduates to become Australia’s first Aboriginal psychologist. She goes on to get her PhD in 2008.

1989

  1. The government introduces the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy, the first policy of its kind to explicitly address the educational differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.

2009

  1. The NT government rules that the first four hours of education in all NT schools will be delivered in English, putting an end to 34 years of bilingual education in the Northern Territory by ending the nine remaining bilingual programs.

2016

  1. Aboriginal languages become a new HSC subject, seven years after the NSW Aboriginal Languages Policy was introduced.

2017

  1. The NSW Parliament introduces the Aboriginal Languages Bill 2017 which is designed to recognise the significance of Aboriginal languages and, for the first time in Australia’s history, how important it is to preserve them and find measures to protect and revive NSW Aboriginal languages.

2018

  1. For the first time, Year 11 HSC students can learn about pre-1788 Aboriginal history in the same way they are taught ancient Greek and Roman history, with a new ‘Ancient Australia’ unit within the Ancient History Stage 6 syllabus. Students investigate ancient artefacts and sites in their local area.

2020

  1. A stamp showing a white hand holding symbolised atoms and a black hand holding the outline of a lizard..
    The stamp is part of a set of four designed by Jonathan Chong.

    Australia Post issues a set of four stamps to promote four recent citizen science projects from Australia. Citizen science involves public participation and collaboration in scientific research with the aim of increasing scientific knowledge.

    One stamp celebrates the Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri ("We Study the Country" in the Kriol language) biodiversity project, a cross-cultural collaboration between the remote Aboriginal community of Ngukurr in south-east Arnhem Land and Macquarie University in Sydney.

    The Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri project started in 2010, bringing together the Yugul Mangi Rangers, most of the residents of Ngukurr and children at Ngukurr School. It helps equip Aboriginal Elders and youth with the knowledge and tools to better understand and manage South East Arnhem Land environments. Through the project, the team is re-discovering a large and remote area unknown to Western science and working towards maintaining endangered Aboriginal bio-cultural knowledge.

Cite this page

Korff, J 2021, Aboriginal timeline: Education, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-aboriginal-history-timeline/education?page=2&limit=all>, retrieved 21 October 2021

Creative Spirits is a starting point for everyone to learn about Aboriginal culture. Please use primary sources for academic work.

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