History

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1971

  1. Larrakia people ‘sit-in’ at Bagot Road, Darwin as a protest against theft of their land.

  2. Queensland Aborigines Act is passed, maintaining some legal restrictions for Aboriginal people living on reserves. Aboriginal cultural customs are banned and reading matter, mail, recreation, and marital and sexual relationships are censored. Their work and wage worth can be decreased and their movements recorded.

  3. NSW Aboriginal Legal Service is formed, followed by Aboriginal pre-school, Black Theatre and the Aboriginal Housing Company.

  4. Neville Bonner becomes the first Aboriginal Member of Parliament, filling a casual Senate vacancy. In 1972 he is elected on the Liberal Party ticket in Queensland. Senator Bonner continues to represent Queensland as a Liberal Senator until 1983.

  5. Aboriginal player Evonne Goolagong wins Wimbledon Women’s Singles title.

  6. Aboriginal people are counted in the national census for the first time.

  7. Aboriginal flag is designed by Luritja artist Harold Thomas and flown for the first time in Adelaide.

  8. Principals of schools in New South Wales are no longer able to exclude Aboriginal children because of home conditions or community opposition.

  9. November

    During a ‘Smash The Acts campaign’ dozens of Aboriginal people march in Sydney to protest against protectionist acts which regulate many aspects of their lives.

1972

  1. Bruce McGuinness and Martin Bartfeld shoot “Blackfire” which focuses on Aboriginal communities in Melbourne. It is the first film known to have been made by an Aboriginal Australian.

  2. After having been in effect for more than 70 years, the government announces that the White Australia policy has ended.

    When migration began here on January 26th 1788 all Australians were black and the first migrants were white and not very well selected I might say. — Al Grassby, Minister for Immigration 1972–1974 [1]

  3. Aboriginal Heritage Protection Act is proclaimed in Western Australia.

  4. The Whitlam (Labor) government abolishes the White Australia Policy and introduces a policy of self-determination. The change provides the right to cultural and linguistic maintenance and management of natural resources on Aboriginal land.

  5. Forced control over wages and savings (bank books) ceases, although people have to request to be free from financial management.

  6. Community controlled Aboriginal Medical Service is set up in Redfern, Sydney. The first in Australia.

  7. January

    Aboriginal activists pitch an Aboriginal Tent Embassy outside Parliament House in Canberra, demonstrating for land rights.

  8. 14 July

    On National Aborigines Day there are Australia wide strikes and marches by Aboriginal people.

  9. 23 August

    NSW Director-General of Education approved the removal of the section of the teachers’ handbook that allowed school principals to refuse enrolment to Aboriginal children because of home conditions or substantial opposition from the community.

  10. October

    1,000 Aboriginal people sign the Larrakia petition, one of the most important documents in the history of their struggle for land rights. Headed Gwalwa Daraniki, which means ‘our land’ in the language of the Larrakia people (the traditional owners of the Darwin area in the NT), the Larrakia petition called for land rights and political representation for the Aboriginal people of Australia.

  11. December

    The Whitlam (Labor) government establishes the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. By 1975 offices have been established in all states and only Queensland has not transferred to the department all major responsibilities for Aboriginal policy and administration.

References

View article sources (1)

[1] 'Immigration Nation', 3-part SBS series, Part 3

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=15>, retrieved 24 May 2019

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