History

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1987

  1. ‘Goondiwindi riot’ results in the first public inquiry for the new Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) - the Toomelah Inquiry which investigates the wider causes of racial conflict in the New South Wales and Queensland border towns of Toomelah, Boggabilla and Goondiwindi. Significant resources are allocated to meet basic housing, water, health and education needs.

  2. Aboriginal women, some as young as 13, are forcibly sterilised with the drug Depro Provera (made by Pfizer) despite serious side effects and being banned in the US. This is seen as one method by the government to control and reduce the number of Aboriginal people. [1] The UK, New Zealand and the US have similar practices. Permanent sterilisation through tubal ligation also occurred.

  3. Pat Dudgeon from the Bardi people (Kimberley area, Western Australia) graduates to become Australia’s first Aboriginal psychologist. She goes on to get her PhD in 2008.

  4. Kevin Gilbert publishes Aboriginal Sovereignty, Justice the Law and Land where he explains First Nations' sovereignty position and to educate people on what sovereignty is and its inherent rights.

  5. September

    In the lead up to the Bicentennial celebrations then Prime Minister Bob Hawke says that he would like to see the Bicentenary produce some sort of understanding or compact with Aboriginal people whereby the Australian community recognises its obligations to rectify some of the injustices of the previous 200 years.

1988

  1. Human Rights Commission reports that conditions at Toomelah and Boggabilla settlements are worse than in Third World countries.

  2. Australia’s representative to the United Nations Human Rights Committee acknowledges ‘public policy regarding the care of Aboriginal children, particularly during the postwar period, had been a serious mistake’.

  3. Justice Muirhead presents interim report on Black Deaths in Custody.

  4. Sydney activist Burnum Burnum (Harry Penrith) plants the Aboriginal flag on an English beach to claim Britain for the Aboriginal people.

  5. High Court judgment affirms power of Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act over discriminatory state based legislation. The Court hands down decision on a claim by Mer people for native title rights to the Murray Islands. It allows the original claim to be heard, which the Queensland government had attempted to block by introducing retrospective legislation abolishing land rights.

  6. Barunga Statement. Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke affirms that the government is committed to working for a negotiated treaty with Aboriginal people.

  7. Second Aboriginal cricket team tours England.

  8. 26 January

    Tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people march through the streets of Sydney on Australia Day to celebrate their survival during the previous 200 years, while non-Aboriginal Australia commemorates the bicentenary of their immigration. Aboriginal people rename the day ‘Survival Day’.

  9. June

    A statement of Aboriginal aspirations is presented to Mr Hawke at the Barunga Festival ("The Barunga Statement"). The Prime Minister responds by calling for a treaty to be negotiated between the Aboriginal people and the government of Australia.

    There shall be a treaty negotiated between the Aboriginal people and the government on behalf of all the people of Australia. — Prime Minister Bob Hawke

  10. July

    The use of the term "treaty" ignites much public interest, and Mr Hawke remarks, "It's not the word that's important, its the attitudes of the peoples, attitudes of the non-Aboriginal Australians and of the Aboriginal Australians if there is a sense of reconciliation... whether you say there's a treaty or a compact is not important, but it is important that we do it."

1989

  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) is established as main Commonwealth agency in Indigenous affairs.

  2. The government introduces the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy, the first policy of its kind to explicitly address the educational differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.

1990

  1. February

    Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland gives back the head of the great-great grandfather of Tasmanian lawyer Michael Mansell after he went to Dublin petitioning for the return of Aboriginal remains including the one of his family [2].

  2. 5 March

    Bob Hawke's Labor government establishes the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989. It allows elected regional councils and a board of commissioners to make decisions on policy and funding.

  3. 16 July

    Founding of the Aboriginal Provisional Government (APG) which sees Aboriginal people as a sovereign people and campaigns for Aboriginal self-determination and self-government, rejects assimilation into the Australian state, and maintains that Aboriginal people have the right to decide the future of their lands and lives to the exclusion of colonial interference.

References

View article sources (2)

[1] 'Biomapping Indigenous Peoples: Towards an Understanding of the Issues', Susanne Berthier-Foglar, Sheila Collingwood-Whittick, Sandrine Tolazzi (eds), 2012 p.318
[2] 'Quest for the missing dead', The Guardian, 24/2/1990, ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dingonet/questfor.htm (25/12/2008)

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=21>, retrieved 24 July 2019

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