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2002

  1. 1 July

    Australia joins the International Criminal Court which means that genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity are now offences under Australian law. Before that they were not.

    Believe it or not, [before 2002] genocide was not an offence under Australian criminal law. — Julian Burnside, Melbourne lawyer [1]

2003

  1. The Edinburgh Museum, Scotland returns remains that were dug up from burial grounds in South Australia.

  2. The Ministerial Council for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (MCATSIA) commissions and releases an independent evaluation of government and non-government responses to the Bringing Them Home Report.

  3. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner publicly criticises the failure of governments to provide financial and social reparations for members of the Stolen Generation, a national apology, or the appropriate mechanisms for individuals that were forcibly removed to reconnect with their culture.

  4. Linda Burney (Australian Labor Party), is the first Aboriginal person elected to the New South Wales Parliament. She represents the electorate of Canterbury.

  5. 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 [2].

  6. 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.

2004

  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 [3]

  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 [4], the first voluntary repatriation undertaken by a major European museum [5].

  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.

2005

  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.

References

View article sources (5)

[1] 'Senior politicians in Australia have committed crimes, says top lawyer', SMH 8/6/2018
[2] 'Aboriginal Remains Return Home', Indigenous Law Bulletin 23/2003, www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/ILB/2003/23.html
[3] Aboriginal Trust Fund Repayment Scheme information sheet, State Records Authority of New South Wales
[4] '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
[5] '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 July 2019

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