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  1. Politics

    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.

  2. The Whitlam government freezes all applications for mining and exploration on Commonwealth Aboriginal reserves.


  1. First national elections for Aboriginal people to elect 41 members of the National Aboriginal Consultative committee. More than 27,000 Aboriginal people vote.

  2. Mr Justice Woodward of the Aboriginal Land Commission delivers his first report, showing the way for a new approach to Aboriginal land rights.

  3. The Whitlam government introduces the first Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), employing Aboriginal people for Aboriginal issues. The DAA begins a national programme to improve health services for Aboriginal people. It also introduces the first national body elected by Aboriginal people, the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee (NACC), which has only an advisory role, however. Aboriginal people elect the members.

  4. The first Aboriginal side tours New Zealand.

    Rugby League is the first sport in Australia to appoint an Aboriginal player as its national captain: Arthur Beetson when the Kangaroos play France.

  5. Brothers Vern and Frank Daisy are institutions in Mt Isa (Queensland) football for many years.

  6. The NSW Aboriginal Lands Trust is set up with nine Aboriginal representatives elected by the Aboriginal community from regional electorates. Its aim is to set up an Aboriginal-controlled authority that controls the Aboriginal reserves. The trust receives freehold title, but not ownership, to the 56 remaining Aboriginal reserves and can lease land to Aboriginal people.


  1. Second Report of the Aboriginal Land Commission (The Woodward Report) is tabled, acknowledging Aboriginal people’s link with the land; ‘to deny Aborigines the right to prevent mining on their land is to deny the reality of their land rights’. His report is accepted in principle by all political parties and most states.

  2. A Commonwealth Act establishes the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission to buy land for Aboriginal corporate groups. Since then many properties have been acquired throughout Australia. The fund was replaced by the ADC (Aboriginal Development Council) in 1980.

  3. Eric Deeral becomes Queensland’s first Aboriginal Member of Parliament. He goes on to represent the seat of Cook in the Queensland Parliament from 1974 to 1977.

  4. Hyacinth Tungutalum (Country Liberal Party), from Bathurst Island is elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, representing the electorate of Arafura.

  5. Geologist Jim Bowler discovers the oldest remains of a First Nations man, at least 40,000 years old, in the Willandra Lakes region of New South Wales. The remains become known as "Mungo Man", referring to Lake Mungo where they were found. The historic discovery increased the age of Aboriginal culture by about 20,000 years.


  1. The National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation is set up.

  2. Gurindji people receive leasehold title to some of their traditional land (Wave Hill Station) in the Northern Territory.

  3. The Laverton Royal Commission in Western Australia investigating clashes between police and Aboriginal people at Laverton and Skull Creek in December, 1974 and January, 1975, found that police were unable to justify arrests and that some parts of the police story had been invented. The Premier, Sir Charles Court, dismissed the report as “a waste of money”.

  4. Ranger Uranium and Environmental Inquiry examines the effects of mining on Aboriginal people.

  5. White Australia immigration policy ends.

  6. The Senate unanimously passes a resolution put by Senator Bonner urging the Australian government to acknowledge prior ownership of Australia by Aboriginal peoples and to introduce legislation to compensate them for dispossession of their land.

  7. Australia ratifies the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, guaranteeing self-determination to Aboriginal Peoples.

Cite this page

Korff, J 2024, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=17>, retrieved 25 July 2024

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