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2008

  1. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, USA. The remains of 33 Aboriginal people from the Gunbalanya and Groote Eylandt (Arnhemland, NT) return 60 years after they were taken. The remains are believed to be the first return from a major American institution. [1]

  2. Adam Giles (Country Liberal Party) is elected to represent the electorate of Braitling in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly.

  3. January

    Ngaanyatjarra Elder Mr Ward dies in the back of a prison van because the two officers failed to give him water and offer him breaks while driving 320km through 42-degree heat in Western Australia. Deaths in custody

  4. February

    Lund University, Sweden. Return of the remains of two Aboriginal people that had been in the museum's possession since the end of the 19th century. This return brings the Swedish remains returned to Australia to 32 [2].

  5. 12 February

    For the first time in government history Aboriginal people perform a Welcome to Country as the federal parliament opens after the break.

  6. 13 February

    The Australian Parliament apologises to the Stolen Generations. Both the government and the opposition support the apology and say 'sorry' to Aboriginal people who were taken away from their families from 1900 to the 1970s. The apology has no legal effect on the ability of Aboriginal people claiming compensation.

    A crowd of people viewing Kevin Rudd's apology on a big screen, Federation Square, Melbourne
    Kevin Rudd's apology viewed by a crowd on Federation Square, Melbourne. Photo: Virgina Murdoch, Flickr
  7. 14 February

    Senator Andrew Bartlett introduces the Stolen Generation Compensation Bill into the Senate. The bill calls for ex gratia payments (i.e. without any liability or legal obligation) to be made to the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal children. The Senate rejects the bill.

  8. 31 March

    Tom Calma, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, releases his Ten Point Action Plan proposal as a way forward for the Australian government's Northern Territory Emergency Response.

  9. April

    National Museums Scotland. Return of six Aboriginal skulls.

  10. 1 May

    South Australia creates the SA Aboriginal Advisory Council (SAAAC) which advises the government on programmes and policies on Aboriginal people. The council is meant to fill the void left by the abolished ATSIC.

  11. 20 May

    Patrick Dodson is the second Australian to receive Australia’s only international peace prize, the Sydney 2008 Peace Prize.

  12. June

    Aboriginal people in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) vote for Australia’s first elected Aboriginal representative body since ATSIC’s demise in 2005. Seven representatives will be elected every three years to advise the ACT government on policy that affects the lives of the ACT’s Aboriginal population.

  13. 21 June

    The Northern Territory intervention is one year old. Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA), announces a new $17.6 million trial over three years. Parents who fail to enrol their children or get them to school regularly will have their income support payments suspended until they fulfil their obligations.

  14. 27 June

    Nathan Jawai is the first Aboriginal Australian basketball player to be drafted into North America’s National Basketball Association (NBA), playing for the Toronto Raptors.

  15. July

    Edinburgh University, Scotland. Return of the last remains in its collection to members of the Ngarrindjeri people (SA).

  16. 3 July

    400 Aboriginal men take part in an Aboriginal male health summit and issue the Inteyerrkwe Statement, an apology from men to women for violence and abuse.

  17. 24 July

    The Rudd government announces a BasicsCard to manage the income of all Aboriginal Centrelink recipients in the NT.

  18. 31 July

    The High Court hands down its Blue Mud Bay decision which says that the Northern Territory government could not grant commercial fishing operators licenses for areas within the boundaries of the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act. This affects 80% of the NT’s coast and tidal rivers where revenues of licenses flow now to Aboriginal people instead of the white government.

  19. August

    The Canberra suburb of Bonner names public places and roads after prominent Aboriginal leaders and their supporters. The suburb itself was named after Neville Bonner, the first Aboriginal person to sit in federal parliament as a Senator for Queensland from 1971 to 1983.

  20. 18 August

    Medical specialists and officers make a submission to the NT Emergency Review Board detailing chronic under-funding of existing health services, a lack of consultation with health professionals and Aboriginal communities, and the inadequacy of performing child health checks, which often duplicated information that was already known, at great cost and with little benefit.

References

View article sources (2)

[1] 'Ashes to ashes...', Koori Mail 465 p.42f
[2] 'Swedish uni returns Aboriginal remains to Aust', ABC 20/2/2008, www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/20/2167340.htm

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=30>, retrieved 24 May 2019

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