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1963

  1. November

    Police evict residents at Mapoon, an Aboriginal community in far north Queensland. The people are forcibly taken to other reserves and their settlement is burned down, to allow Comalco mine the biggest bauxite deposit in the world.

1964

  1. The Northern Territory Social Welfare Ordinance replaces the Welfare Ordinance, supposedly putting Aboriginal people on the same level as other Australians. But the Ward’s Employment Ordinance remains in force, leaving Aboriginal people on Christian missions and government settlements, about two-thirds of the Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, unequal in employment, wages, vocational training and housing.

  2. Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) becomes the first Aboriginal Australian to publish a book of verse. She goes on to become one of the best known and most respected authors in Australia and overseas.

  3. The Legends of Moonie Jarl is the first Aboriginal children’s book published in Australia. It is also the first Aboriginal children’s book in schools. It is republished more than 50 years later, in 2015.

  4. A NSW Teachers Federation survey finds that 9% of Aboriginal students progressed beyond Year 9 and classifies 58% as ‘Slow Learners’.

1965

  1. The North Australian Workers' Union applies to the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to remove clauses which discriminate against Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory's pastoral award. Pastoralists meet this proposal with stiff opposition and manage to have a gradual wage adjustment implemented.

    They argue a gradual increase would help Aboriginal people to 'adjust', but in fact it saves pastoralists an estimated 6 million dollars [1] over three years. The pastoralists also manage to convince the Commission to implement a 'slow worker clause' which would empower them to pay Aboriginal employees less than the standard wage when they were deemed to work less efficiently—which subsequently led to a lot of abuse of this clause.

  2. Eric Simms plays eight World Cup games and 206 games for Souths and in 1965 scores 265 points in a season, breaking a long-standing record.

  3. Queensland allows Aboriginal people to vote in state elections, becoming the last State to grant this right.

  4. Integration policy is introduced, supposedly to give Aboriginal people more control over their lives and society.

  5. Northern Territory patrol officers ‘bring in’ the last group of Aboriginal people - the Pintubi people - living independently in the desert. They are relocated to Papunya and Yuendumu, about 300 kms north-west of Alice Springs.

  6. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ Affairs Act, passed in Queensland, gives the Director of Aboriginal Affairs considerable power over ‘assisted Aborigines’. For example, an assisted Aboriginal person could be detained for up to a year for behaving in an ‘offensive, threatening, insolent, insulting, disorderly, obscene or indecent manner’ or ‘leaving, escaping or attempting to leave or escape from the reserve’.

  7. The Northern Territory’s Supreme Court rejects the application by Frank Ganngu and Elsie Darbuma for the return of their three children, who were taken from the leprosarium at the Oenpelli mission (about 220 kms east of Darwin) and fostered out.

  8. 12 February

    From 12 to 26 February, Charles Perkins leads a freedom ride by Aboriginal people and students through north-western New South Wales in support of Aboriginal rights. The protesters want to draw attention to segregation (places of leisure in country towns – swimming pools, picture theatres, hotels and RSL clubs), refusal of service in shops,  and the appalling conditions under which Aboriginal people live. The ride exposes the extent of discrimination against Aboriginal people.

  9. May

    After entering in 1963, Charles Perkins becomes the first Aboriginal university graduate at University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts. He is also the first Aboriginal Australian to graduate from university.

1966

  1. The South Australian Prohibition of Discrimination Act is the first of its kind in Australia and bans all types of race and colour discrimination in employment, accommodation, legal contracts and public facilities.

  2. Margaret Valadian becomes the first Aboriginal university graduates at Queensland University. She goes on to also become the first postgraduate student.

  3. South Australia passes an Aboriginal Lands Trust Bill and the Prohibition of Discrimination Bill, the first state act prohibiting discrimination on grounds of race, colour or country of origin.

  4. The Conciliation and Arbitration Commission finds in favour of an application from the North Australian Workers’ Union for award wages for Aboriginal pastoral workers. The cattle industry reacts by phasing out Aboriginal labour and progressively evicting Aboriginal communities off the properties which are their traditional lands.

  5. Stockmen and women walk off Wave Hill cattle station owned by British aristocrat Lord Vestey, about 700 kms south of Darwin in the Northern Territory, in protest against intolerable working conditions and inadequate wages. They establish a camp at Watti Creek and demand the return of some of their traditional lands. This begins a seven-year fight by the Gurindji people to obtain title to their land.

  6. 8 December

    The South Australian Lands Trust Act is the first-ever Act in Australia to recognise Aboriginal land rights and provide land ownership and compensation to dispossessed Aboriginal people. The Act set up a trust composed of Aboriginal people. It enabled them to obtain specific title to reserves, where reserves existed.

References

View article sources (1)

[1] 'Black Words, White Page: Aboriginal Literature 1929-1988', Adam Shoemaker, 2004, p.106

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=13>, retrieved 24 July 2019

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