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2020

  1. Arts

    Opera Australia revives the musical Bran Nue Dae, 30 years after the original debuted in 1990. The musical achieved popular and critical acclaim for giving Aboriginal voices centre stage, tackling tough issues with humour and challenging mainstream perceptions of Aboriginal people. It tours Sydney in January, Perth (February), Brisbane (July) and Adelaide (August) among other locations. Aboriginal director Rachel Perkins made it into a movie in 2009.

  2. Sport

    The National Basketball League announces an inaugural Indigenous Round (Round 18) set to take place from January 29 to February 2. All games include a Welcome to Country and each team wears uniforms designed by local Aboriginal artists.

  3. Recognition

    Ngaragu woman Ash Barty is named Young Australian of the Year 2020. She is recognised for inspiring many Aboriginal peoples not only in her role as a National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia or her sporting career but in her down-to-earth, kind-hearted personality and resilience.

  4. Sport

    Ash Barty (ranked #1) is the first woman since 1984 to qualify for the Australian Open semi-final, but she loses to the American Sofia Kenin (ranked #14) in straight sets.

  5. Politics Prison

    The Australian High Court rules that Aboriginal people cannot be deported even though the two men in the court's case were born overseas, only had permanent residency and never applied for Australian citizenship. The government wanted to deport them because both were convicted of crimes.

    The court found that Aboriginal people have a special cultural, historic and spiritual connection to Australia which is inconsistent with them being considered "aliens" in the meaning of the Australian constitution.

  6. Sport
    Josh Addo-Carr points to the black skin of his belly.
    In an attempt to remind fans of Australia's Aboriginal history, NFL player Josh Addo-Carr replicates a gesture made famous by Nick Winmar in 1993. Photo: SMH/Getty

    NFL player Josh Addo-Carr, before the Indigenous All-Stars match with the Maori All-Stars, lifts his shirt and points to his skin in a gesture akin to Nick Winmar's in 1993 to show his pride in his Aboriginality and remind fans of the Aboriginal history of Australia.

  7. Health

    In response to the world-wide outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching Australia the Northern Land Council suspends all existing non-essential permits to visit Aboriginal lands in the Northern Territory. The decision means there won't be any tourist activities in the Top End region. The Anangu, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands put restrictions in place a week earlier, and communities of the Torres Strait on February 20.

    Remote communities lock themselves down early, and uncompromisingly. Most remain locked down well into mid-2020 to shield themselves from the virus and protect their vulnerable Elders and the sick.

  8. Arts

    The 22nd Biennale of Sydney (March – September) has ist first Aboriginal artistic director with Wiradjuri man Brook Andrew. The title, Nirin, is a Wiradjuri word for "edge".

  9. Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavin Jennings announces a new $10 million Stolen Generations Redress Scheme to support counselling services, a funeral or memorial fund and redress payments for survivors.

  10. Dispossession

    250th anniversary of Captain James Cook claiming possession of Australia for the British Crown.

  11. Politics

    For the first time in Queensland’s history, three Aboriginal MP’s hold seats in the state's Parliament: Member for Bundamba, Gubbi Gubbi man Lance McCallum, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch and backbencher Cynthia Lui.

  12. Arts Education
    A stamp showing a white hand holding symbolised atoms and a black hand holding the outline of a lizard..
    The stamp is part of a set of four designed by Jonathan Chong.

    Australia Post issues a set of four stamps to promote four recent citizen science projects from Australia. Citizen science involves public participation and collaboration in scientific research with the aim of increasing scientific knowledge.

    One stamp celebrates the Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri ("We Study the Country" in the Kriol language) biodiversity project, a cross-cultural collaboration between the remote Aboriginal community of Ngukurr in south-east Arnhem Land and Macquarie University in Sydney.

    The Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri project started in 2010, bringing together the Yugul Mangi Rangers, most of the residents of Ngukurr and children at Ngukurr School. It helps equip Aboriginal Elders and youth with the knowledge and tools to better understand and manage South East Arnhem Land environments. Through the project, the team is re-discovering a large and remote area unknown to Western science and working towards maintaining endangered Aboriginal bio-cultural knowledge.

  13. Mining company Rio Tinto legally destroys two 46,000-year-old sites in the Juukan Gorge, Pilbara, WA, to extract $135 million worth of iron ore. Experts called it "one of the worst destructions of an archaeological site in recent memory". The destruction was approved by the WA government's Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in 2013 under Section 18 of the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972), but significant archaeological discoveries were made in 2014, including the oldest example of grindstone technology in Western Australia, and oldest bone tools found in Australia.

    Rio Tinto later apologised, but stakeholder pressure forced the resignations of Rio's chief executive, Jean-Sebastian Jacques, head of corporate relations, Simone Niven, and iron ore boss, Chris Salisbury, in September. Chairman Simon Thompson announced his resignation in March the following year.

  14. The High Court upholds the Yindjibarndi people's native title rights over land in the Pilbara that includes the site of mining company Fortescue Metals Group's Solomon mine hub. The traditional custodians had first lodged a formal native title claim in 2003. The mine generates roughly $6.5 billion in revenue each year for FMG which does not pay royalties.

  15. Recognition

    The Royal Australian Navy appoints its first permanent Aboriginal adviser. The role is taken by Muluridji man Lieutenant Commander Samuel Sheppard who has served the navy for more than 20 years.

  16. Protest

    Triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis in the United States, tens of thousands of people join Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests across Australia to protest the deaths of Aboriginal people in police custody.

  17. Recognition

    TV channel ABC's Insiders program features its first-ever Aboriginal panellist with Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung woman Bridget Brennan. The program debuted in July 2001.

  18. Politics Prison

    The Western Australian parliament passes a bill to end the controversial imprisonment of people for unpaid fines. Previously a person unwilling or unable to pay their fine could be arrested and made to pay it off by serving time in prison. A disproportionate number of Aboriginal people fell victim to this policy.

  19. Politics

    Victorian Greens members elect Gunnai-Kurnai/Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe as the new (and first Aboriginal) Greens senator for Victoria, replacing the outgoing senator and former Greens leader Richard Di Natale. Thorpe is an Aboriginal leader and activist and was previously the first Aboriginal woman elected to the Victorian parliament. She formally joins the Senate on October 6.

    Thorpe’s appointment brings the number of Aboriginal politicians in the federal parliament to five: Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Ken Wyatt (Coalition), Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services and for Preventing Family Violence, Linda Burney (Labor), and Labor senators Pat Dodson and Malarndirri McCarthy.

  20. Treaty

    The Victorian government commits to create a truth and justice commission to "formally recognise historical wrongs and ongoing injustices" against Aboriginal people, the first state or territory to do so. The commission will work in parallel with the treaty process already under way, and will be designed and led by the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.

    Truth telling is critical to everything we need to move forward, to heal as a state.

    — Marcus Stewart, co-chair, Taungurung Assembly

References

View article sources (4)

[1] 'It’s no accident that Blak Australia has survived the pandemic so well. Survival is what we do', The Guardian 23/7/2020
[2] 'Rio Tinto blasting of 46,000-year-old Aboriginal sites compared to Islamic State's destruction in Palmyra', ABC News 29/5/2020
[3] 'ABC’s Insiders: Host forced to admit its failure to include Indigenous voices', News.com.au 14/6/2020
[4] [4a] 'Victoria to set up Australia's first truth and justice commission to recognise wrongs against Aboriginal people', The Guardian 11/7/2020

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2021, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=49>, retrieved 24 April 2021

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