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2018

  1. 9 April

    His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales visits Nhulunbuy, in north-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, for his first visit to the remote region. He meets with members of the Yolngu Nations Assembly and local politician Yingiya Mark Guyula who present His Royal Highness with a ‘Letter Stick’ that expressed their sovereignty and requested the Price “to acknowledge our sovereignty and promote a pathway to Treaty”. [5]

  2. 9 April

    During a visit of His Royal Highness Prince Charles a delegation of Yolŋu clan leaders lead by politician Yingiya Mark Guyula present a ‘Letter Stick’ expressing their fight for sovereignty and asking for support. It read:

    "This here is Yolngu Land, we are sovereign people and we live by Yolngu law. We have many difficulties with the Australian Governments because they do not recognise our sovereignty. We need to correct this situation, for the sake of our children and their children, for our cultural survival, – for our ancestors. We are the oldest living culture in the world. I request, on behalf of the people standing before you, and the Yolngu nations that you intervene on our behalf and take a strong position to acknowledge our sovereignty and promote a pathway to Treaty. We are the only indigenous people of a Commonwealth country that does not have the respect or dignity of a Treaty with our people. Will you advocate on our behalf for our justice? Please accept this letter stick and create a diplomatic passage for this letter stick from your highly respected position to the Prime Minister of Australia, in order to help our sovereign nations reach Treaty.” [1]

  3. 13 April

    Wiradjuri woman Dhani Gilbert wins the 2018 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year Award for her community work, academic pursuits and advocacy for Aboriginal people.

  4. 21 April

    Gurrumul’s final album Djarimirri (Child Of The Rainbow) becomes the first number one Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) album in an Aboriginal language, only a week after its release on 13 April. In August at the 2018 National Indigenous Music Awards it wins Album of the Year, Song of the Year for the title track, and Gurrumul is posthumously named Artist of the Year.

  5. 28 May

    The Australian Capital Territory becomes the first state or territory to recognise reconciliation with a public holiday by changing its Family & Community Day to become a Reconciliation Day public holiday. It will now be the first Monday on or after 27 May.

  6. 7 June

    The lower house of the Victorian government passes the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Act 2018 to create the framework for the treaty process. It is the first time legislation committing to treaty negotiations has ever been considered by an Australian parliament. [2] The framework will establish an Aboriginal representative body which in turn will help establish the process for the negotiation of a treaty, or treaties, between Aboriginal people and the state of Victoria.

  7. 8 June

    The Northern Territory government signs a memorandum of understanding (a pledge to work towards a treaty) with all four Aboriginal Land Councils in the Northern Territory, pledging to work towards a treaty. Chief Minister Michael Gunner says his government is ready to negotiate a "Northern Territory Treaty" without Commonwealth involvement. [3] After the appointment of a treaty commissioner, consultations determine the level of interest in a treaty amongst Aboriginal Territorians. This is the first time the NT government and land councils have agreed to work together in this way, and the first time in decades that the four big land councils – the Northern, Central, Anindilyakwa and Tiwi – have joined together in consensus. [4]

    At the pace communities are comfortable, the government is ceding decision-making power back to where it belongs – the communities. — Michael Gunner, chief minister of the territory [5]

  8. 8 June

    The Northern Territory government and all four of the NT’s Aboriginal land councils sign a historic agreement to begin treaty talks. The Barunga agreement commits the all parties to a 3-year process to consult all Territorians to “develop a process to negotiate a Northern Territory treaty” with the aim “to achieve real change and substantive, long-term benefits for Aboriginal people”. [6]

  9. 8 July

    The 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church of Australia endorses the observance of a "Day of Mourning" on the Sunday before Australia Day, at the request of members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). The request came as an alternative to changing the date for Australia Day. Every year, Uniting Church congregations nationwide will hold worship services that reflect on the effect of invasion and colonisation on Australia’s First Peoples.

  10. 12 July

    In a “historic apology”, Western Australia’s Police Commissioner Chris Dawson formally apologises for the mistreatment of the state’s Aboriginal people at the hands of police, acknowledging the “significant role” police played in contributing to a traumatic history. (full transcript)

    Today, on behalf of the Western Australia Police Force, I would like to say sorry to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for our participation in past wrongful actions that have caused immeasurable pain and suffering. — Chris Dawson, Police Commissioner, Western Australia [7]

  11. 15 August

    A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Healing Foundation reveals for the first time the direct link between the forced removal of tens of thousands of Aboriginal children from their families and the real-life symptoms of intergenerational trauma. It finds that Stolen Generations members are almost twice as likely as other Aboriginal people to rely on welfare payments and experience violence.[8]

  12. 24 August

    Northern Territory Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw apologises for the for state-sanctioned massacre of Aboriginal people at Coniston (200 kilometres north of Alice Springs). "As a police officer and commissioner I'm sorry for what has occurred." he says in a speech.

  13. 24 August

    Scott 'ScoMo' Morrison becomes Australia's 30th Prime Minister.

  14. 22 September

    A team of marine archaeologists from the US and Australia announce that they have found the final resting place of the Endeavour, the ship used by Captain Cook to sail to Australia in 1770. She lies at Newport Harbour, Rhode Island, on the east coast of the USA, 270 kilometres north-east of New York.

  15. 22 October

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologises to child sexual abuse victims and survivors at Parliament House. The apology follows a 5-year Royal Commission which exposed horrific abuse of children at institutions around Australia, and systematic attempts to cover it up. The inquiry heard from 17,000 survivors, of which 8,000 recalled their abuse in private sessions. More than 14% of respondents came from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.[9]

  16. 18 November

    The New South Wales government buys 25 Watson Street in Putney, in Sydney’s north-west, from a developer for $2.9m. The property sits on the last resting place of 18th century Aboriginal interpreter Woollarawarre Bennelong. The government plans to turn it into a public memorial site.

  17. 22 November

    The government passes the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment Bill, granting the Children’s Court the power to decide whether a child who has stayed with foster parents for up to two years should be restored to their family or be adopted by the foster parents. Aboriginal people worry the new law leads to a new generation of stolen Aboriginal children.

  18. 23 November

    Western Australia establishes the Custody Notification Service, 27 years after it was recommended by the Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

  19. 21 December

    Gamilaroi woman Brooke Boney joins Channel Nine as the entertainment correspondent of the Today breakfast show to become one of the few Aboriginal faces on television. She was previously working for radio station Triple-J.

2019

  1. 8 January

    Queensland writer and Kokomini man, Graham Akhurst, becomes the first Aboriginal Australian recipient of the two-year Fulbright W.G. Walker scholarship. It is awarded annually to the highest-ranked postgraduate applicant.

References

View article sources (9)

[1] 'Yolŋu Leader Gives Prince Charles A Treaty Letter Stick… And A Diplomatic ‘Middle Finger’', New Matilda 9/4/2018
[2] 'Victorian lower house passes treaty legislation after Greens accept Labor deal', The Guardian 7/6/2018
[3] 'Aboriginal treaty with Northern Territory one step closer with historic signing', ABC News 7/6/2018
[4] 'NT signs historic Barunga agreement to begin Indigenous treaty talks', The Guardian 8/6/2018
[5] 'Historic Northern Territory treaty agreement means 'the old way is finished'', The Guardian 9/6/2018
[6] 'NT signs historic Barunga agreement to begin Indigenous treaty talks', The Guardian 8/6/2018
[7] 'Commissioner's NAIDOC Week Speech', Western Australia Police Force 12/7/2018
[8] Reconciliation News, Issue 40, October 2018
[9] ''They can't bring back what they took away': Indigenous victims' emotional response to national apology', SBS News, 22/10/2018

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=45>, retrieved 23 May 2019

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