Aboriginal timeline: Politics

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2007

  1. The Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act comes into effect, aiming to strengthen governance and management of Aboriginal corporations with consistent practices and standards.

  2. 143 member states adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Along with Canada, New Zealand and the United States, Australia is one of four nations to vote against the declaration, while 11 nations abstain. After 20 years of negotiations, the declaration establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples. It is the most comprehensive international instrument on indigenous peoples’ collective rights, including the rights to self-determination, traditional lands, territories and resources, education, culture, health and development.

2008

  1. Marion Scrymgour (Australian Labor Party), in the Northern Territory Assembly becomes the first Aboriginal female deputy chief minister.

  2. Adam Giles (Country Liberal Party) is elected to represent the electorate of Braitling in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly.

  3. For the first time in government history Aboriginal people perform a Welcome to Country as the federal parliament opens after the break.

  4. South Australia creates the SA Aboriginal Advisory Council (SAAAC) which advises the government on programmes and policies on Aboriginal people. The council is meant to fill the void left by the abolished ATSIC.

  5. The Queensland government announces a new Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council. The council should provide a direct link between Indigenous people and the government. The 14 members are appointed for a two-year period.

2009

  1. The Western Australian government announces the formation of the Indigenous Implementation Board to improve social and economic outcomes for Aboriginals. The nine-member board aims to ‘enhance Indigenous involvement in local decision-making and strengthen corporate and non-government contribution to Indigenous affairs’. Members are chosen for their expertise, not as representatives.

  2. Australia supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The Howard government had rejected the declaration fearing a separate customary law.

  3. The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says sorry to the Forgotten Australians which include migrants and Indigenous people who were victims of abuse in orphanages and institutions between 1930 and 1970. The Forgotten Australians suffered abuse similar to that suffered by members of the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal peoples.

  4. Marianne Mackay and Glenn Moore found the Aboriginal Political Party, where every candidate identifies as Aboriginal.

2010

  1. The left wing Ecological, Social Justice, Aboriginal Party unites with the First Nations Original Peoples Party to form the federally registered First Nations Political Party.

  2. The Aboriginal Political Party and the Ecological and Social Justice Party unite to become the Western Australia-based Ecological, Social Justice, Aboriginal Party (ESJA) with its inaugural President Glenn Moore.

  3. New Zealand signs the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, leaving only the USA and Canada rejecting it.

  4. Aboriginal academic Megan Davis becomes the first Aboriginal person appointed to a UN body when the Australian government nominates her for the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

  5. Julia Gillard, previously Deputy Prime Minister, becomes the first female Prime Minister of Australia after Kevin Rudd lost the confidence of his party. Rudd served the shortest period of any Prime Minister so far.

  6. Noongar man Ken Wyatt becomes the first Aboriginal member of the House of Representatives in the federal parliament when he wins the Perth seat of Hasluck for the Liberal Party.

  7. The UN Committee on the Eliminiation of Racial Discrimination (CERD) delivers a damning report on Australia’s failure to meet international commitments on eliminating discrimination.

  8. The USA is the last country to sign up to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Canada joined on November 12, 2010.

2011

  1. Chris Bourke (ACT Labor) becomes the first Aboriginal person elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly, representing the seat of Ginninderra in the ACT.

Cite this page

Korff, J 2022, Aboriginal timeline: Politics, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-aboriginal-history-timeline/politics?page=6>, retrieved 10 December 2022

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

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