History

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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 [1].

  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.

1991

  1. The Upper House in Tasmania rejects land rights legislation for Aboriginal people.

  2. The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation is set up, funded by the federal government, with cross-party support. The parliament noted that there had not been a formal process of reconciliation to date, “and that it was most desirable that there be such a reconciliation” by 2001.

  3. The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody presents its ‘Report and Recommendations’ to the federal government. It finds that of the 99 deaths it investigated, 43 were of people who were separated from their families as children.

  4. Legislation providing for land rights in Queensland is passed - the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and the Torres Strait Land Act 1991. The laws are greatly inferior to the standard set by the Northern Territory legislation.

  5. 2 September

    Support for a treaty is not unanimous, but wide political support continues for reconciliation. Through 1990 and 1991, cross-party support develops for a formal process of reconciliation to be led by a council of prominent Australians, and the government establishes the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation on 2 September 1991.

References

View article sources (1)

[1] '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 May 2019

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