History

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1945

  1. An investigation shows Aboriginal people on Lord Vestey’s Northern Territory cattle station are getting poor rations, inadequate housing, water and sanitation facilities and are paid less than the five shillings a day minimum wage, which was set for Aboriginal people in a 1918 ordinance. European males receive two pounds and eight shillings (equal to 48 shillings) a week in 1945.

  2. Bill Onus, organising in Redfern, co-founds the Redfern All Blacks Rugby League team which would become a community and political organisation throughout the 50s and 60s.

  3. Aboriginal cattle station workers in the Port Hedland district of Western Australia strike for a pay increase. They are getting 10 shillings a week and are supplied with blankets. Aboriginal people then form a co-operative to mine alluvial wolfram which was successful.

1946

  1. Aboriginal children need a medical certificate to attend public schools.

  2. Aboriginal pastoral workers initiate the Pilbara strike in Western Australia over pay, conditions and ill treatment.

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.

  3. Melbourne’s first Moomba festival is staged. Approached about naming the festival, Aboriginal people suggest “Moomba”, telling the officials it means “Let’s get together and have fun!” Actually meaning “up your bum” the name was adopted and is still used.

1949

  1. Aboriginal people are given the right to enrol and vote at federal elections provided they are entitled to enrol for state elections or have served in the armed forces.

  2. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is ratified by Australia. It comes into force in 1951.

  3. February

    A group of Aboriginal stockmen including Ampilatwatja man Banjo Morton walk off from the Lake Nash Cattle Station demanding wages instead of rations. After a short period they are paid one pound a week. It is the first time Aboriginal stockmen walked off disputing labour conditions in the NT.

1950

  1. Aboriginal children assimilate into NSW local schools, if all other parents agree. This right of veto is removed in 1960.

  2. Stamp: 8 1/2d Gwoya Jungarai, often known as 'One Pound Jimmy'.
    Gwoya Jungarai

    The portrait of Gwoya Jungarai (ca.1895-1965) of the Warlpiri people, Central Australia, appears on the 8 1/2 pence (8 1/2d) and two shillings and sixpence (2s.6d, issued 1952) definitive stamps. The stamps become widely known as “One Pound Jimmy” because when asked the price of his artefacts for sale he always replied “One Pound”.

  3. The first formal schooling for Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory is provided. Lack of facilities is rationalised by the claim that children “beyond the age of 10 couldn’t keep up with white children anyway”.

1951

  1. The federal government convenes the Australian Conference for Native Welfare, with all states and territories represented except Victoria and Tasmania, which claim to have no Aboriginal ‘problem’. The conference officially adopts a policy of ‘assimilation’ for Aboriginal people.

    "Assimilation means, in practical terms, that it is expected that all persons of Aboriginal birth or mixed blood in Australia will live like white Australians do.[1]

1952

  1. In a progressive decision, the Minister for Territories, Paul Hasluck, earmarks all statutory royalties raised on Aboriginal reserves to be held in trust for Aboriginal people. All royalties raised on Aboriginal land are foregone by the Commonwealth and paid to a new institution, the Aboriginals Benefit Trust Account (ABTA).

1953

  1. The Northern Territory Welfare Ordinance makes Aboriginal people wards of the government, basically making Aboriginal adults and children, minors.

  2. Atomic tests are conducted on Maralinga lands at Emu Field, South Australia. They are code named Operation Totem. A black cloud passes and hundreds of families are forced to leave their homelands because of severe contamination. Further atom tests followed in 1956 at Maralinga, South Australia - Operation Buffalo.
    10 years after the Australian government declared the clean-up of Maralinga as completed (in 2001) erosion continues to expose radioactive waste repositories.

    The remarkable thing really, is how little [radioactive material] we buried. — Alan Parkinson, retired nuclear engineer [2]

1954

  1. Queen Elizabeth visits Australia for the first time and in Canberra signs the Aborigines Welfare Ordinance 1954 that permits the ethnic cleansing of the Australian Capital Territory, clearing it of resident Aboriginal people.

1957

  1. Atomic testing (Operation Antler) at Maralinga, South Australia. The presence of Aboriginal people on the test site is documented.

References

View article sources (2)

[1] 'Timeline of legislation affecting Aboriginal people', DECS Curriculum Services, www.aboriginaleducation.sa.edu.au
[2] 'Ten years after the all-clear, Maralinga is still toxic', SMH 12/11/2011

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=11>, retrieved 23 May 2019

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