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2020

  1. Recognition

    Australian cheese manufacturer Saputo announces after reviewing a "sensitive situation" that it will retire the brand name 'Coon' because of its "responsibility to eliminate racism in all its forms". The decision comes after many years of campaigning by Aboriginal activists.

  2. Treaty

    The Victorian government meets with the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria for the first time to officially begin formal treaty negotiations and establish a framework for further discussions.

    We’ve never seen this before. It’s never been something so tangible that you can feel you can reach it.

    — Marcus Stewart, Taungurung assembly co-chair
  3. Arts Recognition

    18-year-old photographer Yolngu woman Siena Mayutu Wurmarri Stubbs from Arnhem Land becomes one of the youngest winners in the 37-year history of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Australia's most prestigious Aboriginal art awards. She wins the multimedia category with a poetry and video artwork she filmed while on a bullet train in Japan.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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
  7. A can of Dark Emu Dark Lager beer showing the stars associated with the celestial Emu.
    The art on the Dark Emu – Dark Lager beer can is by Yuin man Terry Hayes, who also works with Pascoe’s food company Black Duck Foods.

    Brewery Sailors Grave launches Dark Emu – Dark Lager, a beer that contains roasted seeds of mamadyang ngalluk (Dancing Grass) and burru ngalluk (Weeping Grass), harvested by Yuin people in far east NSW. The beer was named after Bruce Pascoe’s ground-breaking book on Aboriginal agriculture.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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
  2. The Israel Museum in Jerusalem returns more than 1,800 artefacts including stone tools, grindstones, and other material. Carl Shipman of Melbourne donated the collection to the Israel Museum in the 1970s.

  3. Arts

    Fists of Fire, Bruce's Lee's kung fu classic from 1972, becomes the first feature film ever to be re-voiced in an Australian Aboriginal language as Fist of Fury Noongar Daa.

  4. Reconciliation

    The Victorian government announces an inquiry into the ongoing effects of the violent dispossession and genocide of Aboriginal people during colonisation by the British empire and racist policies by Australian governments. Named the Yoo-rrook justice commission, after the Wemba Wemba/Wamba Wamba word for ‘truth’, it will investigate both historical and ongoing injustices against Aboriginal people and it part of the truth-telling process the Uluru Statement From the Heart called for.

    It’s the first commission of its kind in Australia and will be given the powers of a royal commission, meaning it will be able to compel evidence under oath.

  5. Health

    In Phase 1b of Australia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout, six million higher-risk Australians becoming eligible including Aboriginal people aged over 55. Phase 1a covered frontline workers, and Phase 2a will cover the remaining Aboriginal age groups.

  6. Arts

    Simon & Schuster publishes Anita Heiss' novel, Bila Yarrudhang-galang-dhuray (River of Dreams in Wiradjuri), believed to be the first title of any commercial Australian novel appearing solely in an Aboriginal language.

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". 

References

View article sources (6)

[1] 'Victorian government and First Peoples' Assembly to begin 'momentous' treaty negotiations', The Guardian 3/8/2020
[2] Product description on JB Hi-Fi website, available at www.jbhifi.com.au/products/cd-midnight-oil-makarrata-project-the-cd
[3] '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
[4] 'Now is the time to recognise that Australia is 'one and free'', SMH 31/12/2020
[5] '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/
[6] ''A big jump': People might have lived in Australia twice as long as we thought', The Guardian 11/3/2019

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2021, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=50>, retrieved 19 April 2021

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