History

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2007

  1. June

    Glasgow Museum, Scotland. Return of skulls of Torres Strait Islanders to their ancestors on Mer Island.

  2. 15 June

    Pat Anderson and Rex Wild release the Little Children are Sacred report which reports ‘widespread sex abuse’ of children throughout communities of the Northern Territory. The report makes 97 recommendations.

  3. 16 June

    Little Children Are Sacred report is presented to the NT Parliament.

  4. 21 June

    Prime Minister John Howard and Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough announce the Northern Territory intervention. Staged as a response to the ‘Little Children are Sacred’ report, the intervention is widely criticised because it also legislates to remove the permit system for access to Aboriginal land, abolish the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP), quarantine 50% of welfare payments, compulsorily acquire Aboriginal land and subject Aboriginal children to mandatory health checks.
    While the intervention receives bipartisan political support, many opponents label it an ‘invasion’ and promise a ‘Little Children are Scared’ report (a wordplay on the Report’s title).

  5. 21 June

    The Howard government introduces the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), quickly dubbed the "intervention".

  6. 1 July

    The Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act comes into effect, aiming to strengthen governance and management of Aboriginal corporations with consistent practices and standards.

  7. 13 July

    National Indigenous Television (NITV), Australia’s first national 24-hour Aboriginal television service, starts.

  8. 24 July

    Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarra’s painting Warlugulong breaks all sales records for Aboriginal paintings when it is sold at an auction for $2.4 million.

  9. 1 August

    In a landmark court case a member of the Stolen Generations has been awarded $525,000 in compensation by a South Australian court for a liftetime of sorrow and pain [1]Bruce Trevorrow was taken from his father aged 13 months. He was given to a white family where he grew up until he was ten, unaware of his Aboriginality. He then saw his mother again, but at this stage was a rebellious boy not belonging to either culture.

    Mr. Trevorrow's life followed the path of many taken children: times in and out of jail and other institutions, poor health, alcoholism, smoking, depression. His siblings who remained with the family were able to overcome life's difficulties.

    The justice's judgment established for the first time that removing a child from his family in these circumstances constituted wrongful imprisonment and was a breach of the state's duty of care. He awarded Mr Trevorrow $450,000 for injuries and losses suffered, and a further $75,000 in damages for his unlawful removal and false imprisonment.

  10. 1 August

    Bruce Trevorrow is the first person to receive Stolen Generations compensation by a court. A court awards him $525,000 for ‘pain, suffering and false imprisonment’ [2].

  11. 27 August

    ANTAR launches 'Hard Labour, Stolen Wages', a report on stolen wages, written by historian Dr Rosalind Kidd. The report gives a state by state account of the history of stolen wages.

  12. 30 August

    The High Court rejects legislation passed by the Howard government which denied all prisoners the right to vote. This law was challenged by Vickie Roach, an Aboriginal prisoner in Melbourne. But the Court upheld the validity of the law providing that prisoners serving a sentence of three years or longer are not
    entitled to vote.

  13. 13 September

    143 member states adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Along with Canada, New Zealand and the United States, Australia is one of four nations to vote against the declaration, while 11 nations abstain. After 20 years of negotiations, the declaration establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples. It is the most comprehensive international instrument on indigenous peoples’ collective rights, including the rights to self-determination, traditional lands, territories and resources, education, culture, health and development.

  14. 14 September

    The National Aboriginal Alliance (NAA) forms in Alice Springs as a response to the intervention of the government in the Northern Territory. It describes itself as completely independent of government and committed to Aboriginal people’s right to self-determination [3].

  15. 14 September

    Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States are the only countries that oppose the UN declaration for the rights of Indigenous peoples worldwide. 134 countries vote for the declaration, 11 countries abstain. The declaration has no legal bindings. Canada initially was in favour, but changed its mind after lobbying of prime minister John Howard.

  16. October

    Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, Sweden returns 10 Aboriginal remains which were taken from graves in the Kimberley region of Western Australia by a Swedish archaeological expedition in 1910 and 1911 [4].

    There was this idea at the time that Aboriginal Australians were like human fossils, of a kind that had survived longer in Australia than elsewhere. — Anders Björklund, director Ethnographical Museum, Stockholm, Sweden, explaining why Aboriginal remains were taken [5]

  17. 2 October

    Stolen Generations memorial is opened at Mt Annan near Campbelltown, Western Sydney. The memorial, designed by Aboriginal artist Badger Bates from Wilcannia, features original forest, boardwalks and interpretive signs.

  18. 24 November

    John Howard loses the federal election in a landslide (‘Ruddslide’) defeat against the Australian Labor Party’s candidate Kevin Rudd. Rudd promises to say sorry to the Stolen Generations and to consult with Aboriginal people.

  19. December

    The Victorian government appoints an officer to sift through almost 100 years of records in state and Commonwealth archives to determine whether Victorian Aboriginal people are owed wages.

    For each of my 'employment' placements, I was not asked if I wanted to accept the employment offer; nor did I know the terms and conditions of my employment (including rate of pay and hours of work). — Lesley Williams [6]

2008

  1. Marion Scrymgour (Australian Labor Party), in the Northern Territory Assembly becomes the first Aboriginal female deputy chief minister.

References

View article sources (6)

[1] National Indigenous Times, 9/8/2007
[2] National Indigenous Times 135 p.4
[3] Koori Mail 413 p.6
[4] 'Sweden to return Aboriginal remains to Australia', ABC, 19/10/2007, www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/19/2064893.htm
[5] 'Sweden to return Aboriginal remains to Australia' The Local, Sweden, 19/10/2007, www.thelocal.se/20071019/8844
[6] Stolen Wages committee submissions, loc. cit., submission #82

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=29>, retrieved 24 May 2019

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