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Poet and author Dr Roberta ‘Bobbi’ Sykes dies aged 67. In the 1980s she became the first Aboriginal Australian to attend Harvard University, gaining a PhD in education, and in 1994 was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal. Sykes also was the executive secretary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
Aboriginal author and lawyer Larissa Behrendt is named NSW Australian of the Year in “recognition of her passionate and articulate advocacy for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders”.
The Salvation Army apologises to survivors of Salvation Army Girls and Boys Homes of Australia, the “forgotten children”. They lived in orphanages and homes until the early 1990s, and many were abused. 40% of them were Aboriginal. 
The USA is the last country to sign up to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Canada joined on November 12, 2010.
The Racial Discrimination Act is partially reinstated. Activist groups pledge the full reinstatement of the RDA.
Chris Bourke (ACT Labor) becomes the first Aboriginal person elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly, representing the seat of Ginninderra in the ACT.
The government introduces new legislation to extend key Northern Territory Emergency Response measures for a further 10 years. ⇒ The NT Intervention
Australia experiences its worst flooding on record affecting Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. The floods claim the life of at least one Aboriginal person, delay land claim hearings and put further pressure on people on housing waiting lists. Many don’t accept help or play down their loss. Aboriginal musician Troy Cassar-Daley loses his farm near Brisbane.
Golden Guitars are pretty sturdy, like the artists that get them. — Troy Cassar-Daley, commenting about the Golden Guitars he won which were muddied by the floods 
Australia’s First Nations Political Party (AFNPP) is registered with the Australian Electoral Commission, entitling it to elect an executive and pre-select candidates for parliamentary elections. The party was founded by Maurie Japarta Ryan, grandson of Vincent Lingiari.
Australia appears before the United Nations Human Rights Council’s first Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review. It receives 145 recommendations covering a wide range of human rights issues including the treatment of asylum seekers, Aboriginal peoples, multiculturalism and racism, and the status of Australia’s obligations under international human rights law.
Australia Post becomes the first government business enterprise to create a Reconciliaton Action Plan (RAP). It celebrates it with the release of an invitation-only commemorative stamp featuring Ellen Pangerian (1847-1877), also known as Helen Mary Cuper, who was the first Aboriginal post mistress in Australia.
Cyclone Yasi crosses over north Queensland causing billions of dollars of damage. Palm Island loses its over 100-year-old Old Fig Tree, a story place of the community. People as far as 700 km away feel the force of the storm which triggers the biggest domestic deployment of the defence forces.
Respected elders, a former prime minister and other non-Aboriginal 'elders' sign a statement against the ongoing Northern Territory intervention criticising its "discriminatory" nature and the "failure of democratic processes".
We have had enough! We need our independence to live our lives and plan our futures without the constant oppression and threats which have become central to the relationship between government and Aboriginal communities. — NT elders in their statement 
The Natural History Museum, London, UK announces to return remains to the Torres Strait which it had bought from a dealer in 1884 but could not date. This return would be the largest repatriation of remains to Australia .
Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation releases the video FMG’s Great Native Title Swindle showing Fortescue Metals Group head Andrew Forrest addressing a remote Pilbara community meeting. The video shows how powerless and unsupported Aboriginal people are when negotiating with a multibillion-dollar corporation. The video causes big waves in the media.
The Lowitja Institute opens in Melbourne, the first national body solely committed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. Its naming patron is Aboriginal woman Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue from the Luritja clan of Central Australia.
Benson Saulo from the Wemba Wemba people and raised in Tamworth, is the first Aboriginal person to become Australia’s Youth Representative to the United Nations.
Yindjibarndi woman Jodi Broun and Butchulla man Les Malezer become the first elected national Indigenous leaders since the abolition of ATSIC as they assume the positions of co-chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
For the first time, Aboriginal people join on behind the Anzac Day march in Canberra with a banner ‘Lest We Forget the Frontier Wars’.
Aboriginal boxer Lionel Rose dies aged 62. He was the first Aboriginal boxer to win a world title. ⇒ Famous Aboriginal sports people
View article sources (6)
'Apology by Salvation Army is welcomed, Koori Mail 491 p.8
 'Troy tells of heartbreak', Koori Mail 493 p.10
 'No More! Enough is enough! - Statement by Northern Territory Elders and Community Representatives', 4/11/2011
 'NT Elders demand end to 'nightmare'', Koori Mail 495 p.11
 'Remains coming home', Koori Mail 497 p.9
 'Etchings talks begin in UK', NIT 6/8/2009 p.12