Aboriginal timeline: Politics

Search again Found 117 results for your search. Showing page 1 of 6.

1901

  1. 1 January

    Federation - The Commonwealth Constitution states "in reckoning the numbers of people… Aboriginal natives shall not be counted". It also states that the Commonwealth would legislate for any race except Aboriginal people. This leaves the power over Aboriginal Affairs with the states.

  2. September

    The government introduces the white Australia policy, trying to ban all non-Caucasian people from entering the country.

1904

  1. Torres Strait Islanders become subject to the Queensland Aboriginal Protection Act.

1908

  1. The Invalid and Old Age Pensioner Act provides social security for some but not for Aboriginal people.

1910

  1. The Victorian Aborigines Act permitted the Board for Protection of Aborigines to help ‘half-castes’ by licensing needy persons to live on stations.

  2. The Aborigines Protection Board Act is passed, giving the Board ‘legal’ control over Aboriginal people on stations and reserves but not missions, in the Northern Territory.

1912

  1. Maternity allowance is introduced but does not include Aboriginal people.

1918

  1. The Northern Territory Aboriginal Ordinance Act "ensured that Aboriginal people could not drink or possess or supply alcohol or methylated spirits, could not come within two chains of licensed premises, have firearms, marry non-Aboriginal people without permission or have sex across the colour line" [2].

    The Ordinance also forbids mining on Aboriginal Reserve Land.

1934

  1. Under the Aborigines Act, Aboriginal people can apply to ‘cease being Aboriginal’ and have access to the same rights as ‘whites’.

1936

  1. Western Australia Aborigines Act is amended to permit Aboriginal people to be taken into custody without trial or appeal and to prevent them from entering prescribed towns without a permit.

1937

  1. 21 April

    Title page of Aboriginal Welfare Conference paper

    Aboriginal Welfare - Conference of Commonwealth and State Authorities called by the federal government, decides that the official policy for some Aboriginal people is assimilation policy. Aboriginal people of mixed descent are to be assimilated into white society whether they want to be or not, those not living tribally are to be educated and all others are to stay on reserves. The minutes of the meeting say:

    The destiny of the natives of aboriginal origin, but not of the full blood, lies in their ultimate absorption… with a view to their taking their place in the white community on an equal footing with the whites.” [3]

    In practice, assimilation policies lead to the destruction of Aboriginal identity and culture, justification of dispossession and the removal of Aboriginal children.

    In 50 years we should forget that there were any Aborigines in this country. — A.O. Neville, Western Australian Chief Aboriginal Protector [10]

1938

  1. The NSW government changes Aboriginal policy from ‘protection’ to assimilation following the 1937 conference.

1939

  1. As a result of the 1937 conference Queensland passes legislation allowing Aboriginal people to receive workers’ compensation, and the Northern Territory government sets up a Native Affairs Branch.

1940

  1. Amendments to the NSW Aborigines protection legislation results in the replacement of the Aborigines Protection Board with the NSW Aborigines Welfare Board. Responsibility for Aboriginal education is transferred to the Department for Education, which takes control of reserve buildings and starts to provide trained teachers. ‘Aboriginal’ schools provide education beyond Grade 3.

  2. In the 1940s most federal social security benefits are extended to Aboriginal people.

  3. White Australia policy succeeds: 99% of Australia’s 7 million people are white.

1943

  1. A further amendment to the Aboriginal protection legislation in NSW gives two Aboriginal people - one ‘full-blood’ and one ‘half-caste’ - representation on the Aboriginal Welfare Board. Walter Page and William Ferguson, both Aboriginal Progressive Association members, take up the positions.

  2. An Exemption Certificate is introduced, exempting certain Aboriginal people from restrictive legislation and entitling them to vote, drink alcohol and move freely but prohibiting them from consorting with others who are not exempt. Their children are allowed to be admitted to ordinary public schools.

    Aboriginal people use the derogatory terms ‘dog tags’ or ‘dog licences’ to refer to the certificates. For many Aboriginal people this renunciation of their traditional lifestyle is promoted as the only opportunity to overcome poverty, gain work and access to education and social welfare benefits.

1948

  1. The Commonwealth Citizenship and Nationality Act for the first time makes all Australians, including all Aboriginal people, Australian citizens. But at state level they still suffer legal discrimination.

  2. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is adopted by the newly-formed United Nations and supported by Australia.

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Aboriginal timeline: Politics, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-aboriginal-history-timeline/politics>, retrieved 23 February 2019

Knowledge is better when your friends know too.
Who can you help today?

"Alchemists turned into chemists when they stopped keeping secrets." — Eric Raymond

Join more than 12,040 Smart Owls who know more!