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2020

  1. Health

    MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo's Orana Foundation unveils a database of more than 1,400 Aboriginal ingredients, detailed with their nutritional value, taste profile and potential commercial application. Designed to help make Aboriginal foods commonplace in Australian homes, the Foundation plans to hand over the database to an Aboriginal organisation to use and manage it.

  2. The Yindjibarndi people of Roebourne, WA, celebrate the unconditional return of eight secular items from Andover, United Kingdom (UK), where the family of a private collector had held them for more than 100 years. The items include a shield, spear thrower, two boomerangs and four wooden spear heads.

  3. The cover shows the full text of the Uluru Statement From the Heart above a small representation of Uluru.
    Midnight Oil's album The Makarratha Project featured the Uluru Statement From the Heart on its cover.

    Midnight Oil, a non-Aboriginal band, releases The Makarrata Project, a mini-album of collaborations with Aboriginal artists. The album's cover shows the entire Uluru Statement From the Heart which about 250 Aboriginal delegates agreed on in 2017.

    We urge the federal government to heed the messages in the Uluru Statement From the Heart and act accordingly.

    — Midnight Oil
  4. Arts Recognition
    A coin showing a semi circle of black and red to represent two colours of the Aboriginal flag.
    A two-dollar coin commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal flag.

    The Royal Australian Mint (RAM) issues a 6-coin 2021 year set that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Australian Aboriginal flag. The set includes a collector version of the coloured two dollar coin produced for circulation in 2021 (possibly around the 12 July) to commemorate the anniversary.

    The coin represents the flag with black and red fields printed over a relief pattern of miniature flags. The centre of the coin is not printed so that the gold of the coin’s alloy shines through, acting as the yellow colour representing the sun.

    It's the first time the RAM includes a coloured 2-dollar coin in a year set of coins.

  5. Recognition

    After Gomeroi woman Rachael McPhail campaigned for Aboriginal place names to be included in postal addresses, Australia Post updated their addressing guidelines "to educate customers on how they can include Traditional Place names in addresses as a way of acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land an item is being sent from or delivered to". Other courier companies follow their example.

  6. Arts Recognition

    Archie Roach is inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2020 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards. He also wins Best Male Artist and Best Adult Contemporary Album for Tell Me Why.

  7. Sport Recognition

    For the first time at an international sports event in Australia, the Australian anthem was sung in an Aboriginal language. Olivia Fox, a 17-year-old Wiradjuri woman and student at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, sang the national anthem in the Eora language at a rugby game (Wallabies vs Los Pumas from Argentina).

2021

  1. Prime Minister Scott Morrison changes the words of the national anthem. The second line of the national song is now "for we are one and free" instead of "young and free". The change recognises Australia's long Aboriginal history but also the waves of migration and how Australians have united in times of crisis. However, the PM did not consult with Aboriginal people. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had raised the idea for the wording change about a year ago. It is the first change to the anthem since 1984.

    Australia as a modern nation may be relatively young, but our country’s story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples.

    — Scott Morrison, Prime Minister

10,000

  1. Present day Australian climate establishes.

  2. Aboriginal people at Wyrie Swamp near Millicent, 340 kms south-east of Adelaide, South Australia, use returning boomerangs to hunt waterfowl.

120,000

  1. Analysis of pollen and charcoal giving a date of 120,000 BP suggests that people were using fire to clear land in the Lake George basin in the Southern Tablelands of NSW, about 30 kms north-east of Canberra. Experts also found signs of human disturbance in rainforest pollen patterns in a drill core from the edge of the continental shelf, 80 kilometres east of Cairns.

    Similarly, research presented to the Royal Society of Victoria in 2019 by a group of academics found that blackened stones at Moyjil (Point Ritchie, Victoria), were between 100,000 and 130,000 years old. While cautious, the authors concluded that human habitation was the most likely explanation for "marine shells, stones in unexplained depositional context and fire resemblance to hearth". 

125

  1. Archaeologists in 2020 found ancient banana farms on Mabuyag Island, once managed by Torres Strait Islanders, dating back 2,145 years. They unearthed banana microfossils, stone tools, charcoal and a series of retaining walls. The findings strengthen the theory that the Islanders engaged in complex and diverse cultivation and horticultural practices.

13,000

  1. Land bridges between mainland Australia and Tasmania are flooded. Tasmanian Aboriginal people become isolated for the next 12,000 - 13,000 years.

  2. At Kow Swamp near Cohuna, 230 kms north of Melbourne, Victoria, Aboriginal people weare kangaroo teeth headbands similar to those worn by men and women in the Central Desert in the 19th century.

16,000

  1. Hearths, stone and bone tools, Shaws Creek near Yarramundi (60 kms north-west from Sydney), NSW.

  2. Sea levels begin to rise as ice caps melt. Inland lakes such as Lake Mungo have dried up.

18,000

  1. Art at Ubirr in Kakadu National Park (Northern Territory, 300 kms east of Darwin) depicts now extinct animals, the Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger), and Zaglossus (the long-beaked echidna).

  2. Harvesting grass seeds is integral to Aboriginal socio-economic life on the large grasslands. The seeds were ground and baked or roasted and eaten whole.

20,000

  1. Aboriginal people were dispersed across the entire continent, occupying places as remote as rock shelters on the Franklin River in south-west Tasmania and at Birrigai in the ranges of the Australian Capital Territory, which surrounds Canberra, the national capital.

  2. Some 10% of Tasmania is covered by glacial ice. Kutikina Cave on the Franklin River is occupied by Tasmanian Aboriginal people at the height of the last ice age.

References

View article sources (6)

[1] Product description on JB Hi-Fi website, available at www.jbhifi.com.au/products/cd-midnight-oil-makarrata-project-the-cd
[2] 'Acknowledging Traditional Place names in addresses', Australia Post, media release, 17/11/2020, available at ourpost.com.au/news/latest-news/acknowledging-traditional-place-names-in-addresses
[3] 'Now is the time to recognise that Australia is 'one and free'', SMH 31/12/2020
[4] 'A history and interpretation of fire frequency in dry eucalypt forests and woodlands of Eastern Tasmania', J. von Platen, PhD thesis, University of Tasmania, 2008 p.15, http://eprints.utas.edu.au/7812/
[5] ''A big jump': People might have lived in Australia twice as long as we thought', The Guardian 11/3/2019
[6] 'Indigenous Australians 'farmed bananas 2,000 years ago'', BBC News 12/8/2020

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2021, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=50>, retrieved 16 January 2021

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