History

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1994

  1. Native Title Tribunal is established to hear land claims. Indigenous Land Fund is established as part of federal government’s response to the Mabo decision.

  2. Going Home Conference in Darwin. Over 600 people removed as children, from every state and territory, meet to share experiences and expose the history of the removal of Aboriginal children from their families and the effects of this policy on Aboriginal people. They discuss common goals of access to archives, compensation, rights to land and social justice.

  3. 1 January

    Native Title Act 1993 becomes law.

  4. 26 January

    For the first time, Australia Day is celebrated nationally on the same day. Previously, states and territories had their own individual days.

  5. 9 August

    The UN’s General Assembly marks this day as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.

1995

  1. John Ah Kit (Australian Labor Party), from Darwin is elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly representing the electorate of Arnhem.

  2. 29 January

    Justice Drummond in the Federal Court makes a decision that the claim of the Wik and Thayorre Peoples could not succeed over the areas that were subject to pastoral leases. The judge’s reason was that he considered that the grant of pastoral leases under Queensland law extinguished any native title rights.

  3. 11 May

    The National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families is established in response to efforts made by key Aboriginal agencies and communities. It examines the effects of separation, identify what should be done in response, find justification for any compensation and look at the laws of that time affecting child separation.

    The inquiry holds hearings in all states between December 1995 and October 1996 and received 777 submissions, 69% of those from Indigenous people, 6% from churches and 1% from government.

  4. June

    The Australian Government proclaims the Aboriginal flag as an official ‘Flag of Australia’ under section 5 of the Flags Act 1953.

1996

  1. Northern Territory and Western Australia pass mandatory sentencing laws which affect particularly Aboriginal youths.

  2. Yothu Yindi release their song Treaty, which combines balanda (non-Aboriginal) and Yolngu lyrics together and is a political response to the Hawke government’s broken promise of a treaty between Aboriginal people and the Australian government by 1990. Treaty peaks at no 11 on the Australian single chart and internationally at no 6 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play singles chart. It quickly becomes a timeless protest song in the campaign for Aboriginal rights reform and remains one of Australia's most iconic rock songs.

  3. Pauline Hanson and her One Nation Party campaign against Aboriginal ‘special treatment’.

  4. Richard Frankland becomes the first Aboriginal director to win an AFI Award for his documentary No Way To Forget.

  5. Australia’s first Aboriginal judge, Robert ‘Bob’ Bellear, is sworn in as a New South Wales District Court judge. Bellear dies on 14 March 2005, aged 60.

  6. Paul Harriss (Independent) is elected to the Legislative Council in Tasmania, representing the electorate of Huon.

  7. The Council for Reconciliation starts its first National Reconciliation Week.

  8. 27 May

    The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation organises the first National Reconciliation Week.

  9. 29 July

    Aboriginal sprinter, Cathy Freeman, wins a silver medal in the 400 metres run at the Atlanta Olympics, USA, and Nova Peris-Kneebone becomes the first Aboriginal person to win a gold medal for being part of the victorious Australian women’s hockey team.

  10. September

    The Jawoyn people in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory sign on to the largest single commercial deal in Australian history involving Aboriginal interests. The signing is a major expansion of Aboriginal involvement in the Pegasus Mt Todd Gold Mine.

  11. 24 September

    Seven Palm Island settlement workers win a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission case against the Queensland government for the deliberate underpayment of wages between 1975 (the date from which it was illegal to racially discriminate; Racial Discrimination Act 1975) and 1986 (when the Queensland government finally paid equal wages). The plaintiffs each won $7,000 compensation.

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=23>, retrieved 22 September 2019

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