Aboriginal timeline: Self-determination

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  1. Murrawarri people from the Culgoa River region of northern New South Wales declare their sovereignty of their lands under the name of the Murrawarri Republic. Along with the boundaries of their republic they also present their own flag. The Peoples Council of the Murrawarri Republic held its first meeting at Weilmoringle on 13 July 2013.

  2. The Euahlayi Nation, whose traditional lands straddle the border in upper western NSW and lower southwest Queensland,  declares independence from the Commonwealth.

  3. Australian South Sea Islanders elect their first national governing body which creates a national secretariat, board of directors and an ethics council.


  1. Traditional Owners, leaders, elders and community members from across Australia gather in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) for the Freedom Summit declaring the independence,  sovereign power and authority of their nations and peoples. The summit endorses a delegation of 20 to stand up united and reclaim the “Aboriginal Rights Struggle”. The summit’s spirits lives on in the Freedom Movement.


  1. The Coalition of Peaks enters a historic formal partnership agreement on Closing the Gap with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). It sets out shared decision making and joint actions over the next ten years to help improve the lives of Aboriginal people.

    The agreement means that for the first time Aboriginal people, through their community-controlled peak organisations and members, are sharing decisions with governments on Closing the Gap, under a formal arrangement.


  1. The cover shows the full text of the Uluru Statement From the Heart above a small representation of Uluru.
    Midnight Oil's album The Makarratha Project featured the Uluru Statement From the Heart on its cover.

    Midnight Oil, a non-Aboriginal band, releases The Makarrata Project, a mini-album of collaborations with Aboriginal artists. The album's cover shows the entire Uluru Statement From the Heart which about 250 Aboriginal delegates agreed on in 2017.

    We urge the federal government to heed the messages in the Uluru Statement From the Heart and act accordingly.

    — Midnight Oil


  1. A First Nations-led ad campaign seeks to elevate the Voice to Parliament (a demand of the Uluru Statement From the Heart) as a key issue for the May 21 federal election. It calls for a referendum, arguing that support of the Australian public would be more powerful than legislation. It it believed this is the first time the First Nations community has taken matters into their own hands in such a way during an election campaign.

    Ad transcript


    “There comes a time for everything and everyone. For our constitution and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, that time is now.

    "Only 55 years after they were first counted in the census, but tens of thousands of years since they first worked on this land. The time has come for the Australian people to decide if we do or do not wish to formally recognise Indigenous Australians as Australia’s first people. And acknowledge that any recognition is only made meaningful with a voice.

    "We could ask the government to legislate it, but we would rather the Australian people vote for it. Just think how much more powerful it would be if the recognition hoped for by Indigenous Australians was achieved with the support of all Australians.

    "The time for a referendum has come.”


View article sources (0)

[118788] Product description on JB Hi-Fi website, available at www.jbhifi.com.au/products/cd-midnight-oil-makarrata-project-the-cd
[161598] '‘Time is now’: Australia-wide campaign to call for referendum on Indigenous Voice', SMH 2/5/2022

Cite this page

Korff, J 2022, Aboriginal timeline: Self-determination, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-aboriginal-history-timeline/selfdetermination?page=2>, retrieved 24 May 2022

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