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  1. April

    Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin hands over 60 Aboriginal human remains to Aboriginal representatives, who had travelled to Ireland to collect the remains and return them to Australia [1].

  2. 10 September

    The Museum Victoria returns the remains of an Aboriginal baby girl nicknamed 'Jaara Baby' to her modern-day relatives, the Dja Dja Wurrung people of north-west Victoria, 99 years to the day after they were found in a tree trunk by a woodcutter.


  1. The government starts using Shared Responsibility Agreements (SRAs), voluntary written agreements, which set out outcomes to be achieved and the agreed roles and responsibilities of governments and Aboriginal communities in relation to particular projects or activities.

  2. The Commonwealth government establishes a memorial to the Stolen Generations at Reconciliation Place in Canberra.

  3. The National Indigenous Council is appointed to be an advisory body to the Australian government, chaired by Dr Sue Gordon, a Western Australian Magistrate. It winds up in early 2008.

  4. Michael Long, a former Australian Rules footballer of partial Aboriginal decent, sets out on foot from Melbourne to Canberra to speak to Prime Minister John Howard and raise awareness of the plight of Aboriginal Australians. His walk becomes known as The Long Walk.

  5. The Commonwealth Government establishes a memorial to the Stolen Generations at Reconciliation Place in Canberra.

  6. 461 'Sorry Books' recording the thoughts of Australians on the unfolding history of the Stolen Generations are inscribed on the Australian Memory of the World Register, part of UNESCO's programme to protect and promote documentary material with significant historical value.

  7. 11 March

    The New South Wales government apologises for the stolen wages and entitlements which occurred under the 1909 Aborigines Protection Act and subsequent laws until 1969.

    I take this opportunity to formally apologise to the Aborigines affected and offer the assurance that any individual who can establish they are owed money will have it returned. — Bob Carr, NSW Premier [2]

  8. October

    Skull of an Indigenous person held in a museum's collection.
    Skull of an indigenous person (Andaman Islands). Many Indigenous remains like these are still held in museums all over the world. Lack of cultural sensitivity or museum personnel impede their examination and return.

    Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, Sweden sends back 20 Aboriginal skeletons it had collected in 1910-11 from the Kimberley, Western Australia [3], the first voluntary repatriation undertaken by a major European museum [4].

  9. November

    Mulrunji Doomadgee dies in a police watch house on Palm Island, 70 km north of Townsville in north Queensland. His death sparks violent riots during which the police station and officers’ quarters are burnt down. Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley is found guilty of causing Mulrunji’s death, but in late 2006 Queensland’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Leanne Clare, opts not to prosecute him. In February 2007 the Premier Peter Beattie orders a judicial review of the case and Hurley is charged with manslaughter, the first time ever in Queensland
    that a police officer is charged over the death of an Aboriginal person. In June 2007 an all-white jury finds him not guilty. Hurley returns to work after having been suspended on full pay. An Aboriginal man, Lex Wotton, was found guilty on 24 October 2008 of “rioting with destruction” and sentenced to six years in prison.

  10. 21 November

    Casey Donovan, at just 16 years of age, becomes the youngest and first female winner of Australian Idol. She releases Listen to Your Heart a few days later.

  11. 15 December

    The Minister for Community Services, Carmel Tebbutt, announced that the NSW government would establish an Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme (ATFRS). It will repay wages or other money that was paid into the Trust Funds between 1900 and 1968 and never repaid.


  1. Volume two of the Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey is released. The report says that 12.3% of the carers of Indigenous children aged 0-17 in Western Australia were forcibly removed from their families. Compared with other Indigenous children, the children of members of the Stolen Generations are twice as likely to have emotional and behavioural problems, to be at high risk for hyperactivity, emotional and conduct disorders, and twice as likely to abuse alcohol and drugs.

  2. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) is dismantled by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Amendment Act 2005 and replaced by a Commonwealth government-appointed advisory board.

  3. The first official Sorry Day ceremony outside Australia is hosted in Lincoln Fields, London, on 25 May 2005.

  4. The organisation Stolen Generations Victoria is set up as a result of the 2003 report of the Stolen Generations taskforce. Its purpose is to establish a range of support and referral services that will assist Stolen Generation peoples to reconnect with their family, community, culture and land.

  5. The National Sorry Day Committee announces that this year, Sorry Day will be a 'National Day of Healing for All Australians' in an attempt to better engage the non-Indigenous Australian community with the plight of the 'Stolen Generations'.

  6. Barbara McCarthy (Territory Labor) is elected to represent the electorate of Arnhem, and Alison Anderson (Territory Labor) is elected to represent the electorate of Macdonnell.

  7. 25 May

    The first official Sorry Day ceremony outside Australia is hosted in Lincoln Fields, London, on 25 May 2005.


View article sources (4)

[1] 'Aboriginal Remains Return Home', Indigenous Law Bulletin 23/2003, www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/ILB/2003/23.html
[2] Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme information sheet, State Records Authority of New South Wales
[3] 'Aboriginal remains home from Sweden', National Museum of Australia, 6/10/2004, www.nma.gov.au/media/media_releases_by_year/2004/2004_10_06
[4] 'Putting it right', Koori Mail 466 p.43f

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=27>, retrieved 24 May 2019

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