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2018

  1. 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.[1]

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 23 November

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

  5. 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.

  2. 20 January

    The Uniting Church of Australia holds the first "Day of Mourning" (each Sunday before Australia Day). Congregations nationwide should "acknowledge the dispossession, violence and murder of First Peoples, lament the fact that as a Church and as Second Peoples we were and remain complicit", reflect on the effect of invasion and colonisation and honour Australia’s First Peoples. [2]

  3. 11 March

    The German state of Baden-Württemberg intends to return ten identified Aboriginal skulls stored at the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg.

  4. 13 March

    The high court delivers a landmark ruling recognising 'customary value' as a major component of compensation under the Native Title Act for the first time. It orders the Northern Territory government to pay $2.53m in compensation to a group of native title holders. It is the first time the high court has considered the monetary value of native title and associated compensation for the removal of land rights. The case is considered one of the most significant land rights cases since the Mabo ruling that could pave the way for billions of dollars in liability payouts by Australian governments. [3]

  5. 9 April

    50c coin showing 14 different words for 'money' separated with different patterns.
    The Royal Australian Mint issues a 50 cents coin to commemorate the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

    The Royal Australian Mint issues a new 50 cents coin that shows the word "money" in 14 Aboriginal languages, a tribute to the International Year of Indigenous Languages. As there hasn't been a traditional Aboriginal word for "money", new words were used often related the look and feel of coins: piece, pebble, stone, rock, grey.

  6. 11 April

    Victoria sets up the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, an independent body that will be the voice of Aboriginal people in Victoria in the future treaty process and tasked to negotiate a framework for a treaty. It is a not-for-profit company with 33 elected representatives from 5 voting areas (four in regional Victoria and the fifth in metropolitan Melbourne) and 12 nominated representatives, one from each of the 12 formally recognised traditional owner groups in the state.

  7. 15 April

    Greg Inglis, captain of South Sydney, announces his retirement from rugby league after 14 seasons for health reasons.

  8. 4 May

    The Federal Court approves a native title claim of the Bundjalung nation for areas of land and sea around Byron Bay in northern New South Wales, almost 20 years after they lodged it. The claim covers 800 hectares stretching from Broken Head to Brunswick Heads, including Australia's most easterly point at Cape Byron. It is the first positive native title determination in an area of NSW with a dense population.

  9. 19 May

    federal election confirms the Liberal/National Coalition and Prime Minister Scott Morrison for another term.

  10. 21 May

    The International Council on Monuments and Sites, which works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world, officially recommends world heritage status for the Budj Bim cultural landscape, a 6,600-year-old, highly sophisticated aquaculture system developed by the Gunditjmara people in south-west Victoria. If successful, it would become the first Australian site listed exclusively for its Aboriginal cultural value.

  11. 25 May

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison appoints Ken Wyatt as Australia's first-ever Minister for Indigenous Australians who is actually Aboriginal.

  12. 8 June

    Ashley Barty wins the French Open tennis Grand Slam singles title in Paris as only the second Aboriginal woman (after Evonne Goolagong-Cawley) and is ranked World Number 2.

  13. 24 June

    After defeating German Julia Görges in the the Birmingham Classic, Ngaragu woman Ash Barty becomes the first Australian woman in 43 years to reach the top of the tennis singles rankings, after Wiradjuri woman Evonne Goolagong's triumph in 1976.

  14. 6 July

    After a 17-year campaign, the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape near Portland, a 6,600-year-old Aboriginal aquaculture site in south-west Victoria, is added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Older than the pyramids, the site proves that Aboriginal people built channels and pools to harvest eels, and also permanent stone houses. The site is considered one of the largest and oldest aquaculture sites in the world and became the first Australian World Heritage site to be nominated exclusively for Aboriginal cultural values.

  15. 9 July

    A class action Hans Pearson took to the federal court in September 2016 on behalf of an estimated 10,000 Aboriginal workers in Queensland who had their wages stolen last century is settled with the state government for $190m. His class action covered 1939 to 1972, when he and his fellow Aboriginal workers had their pay given to the state under the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897. It is Australia’s fifth-largest class action settlement.

References

View article sources (3)

[1] ''They can't bring back what they took away': Indigenous victims' emotional response to national apology', SBS News, 22/10/2018
[2] 'Uniting Churches to observe Day of Mourning', Insights magazine of the Uniting Church, 9/1/2019
[3] 'High court native title award of $2.53m may open floodgates', The Guardian 13/3/2019

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=46>, retrieved 24 July 2019

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