History

Timeline results for 1900 to 1969

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1961

  1. Non-Aboriginal women Muriel Langford, Joyce Wilding and Daisy Marchisotti set up the One People of Australia League (OPAL), a moderate Aboriginal rights organisation, in Brisbane. Branches are set up all over Queensland. The party brings together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and aims to support Aboriginal people in Brisbane and QLD so that they and non-Aboriginal people could become "one people". This aim, and because it received funding from the Queensland government, led to criticism that OPAL supported assimilationist policies. Its main focus was on welfare and housing, and it owned two hostels.

    In 1960 Aboriginal man Neville Bonner became associated with OPAL. He served as one of the league’s directors for several years and was the Queensland president in 1968-74.

1962

  1. The Aboriginal Affairs Act in South Australia reconstitutes the Aborigines Protection Board and South Australian Department of Aboriginal Affairs. The Act also limits mining on reserves by non-Indigenous people.

  2. In NSW the prohibition on Aboriginal access to alcohol is removed.

  3. Aboriginal right to vote: Federal elections 2007
    Aboriginal right to vote. A lot of Aboriginal people exercised their right to vote in the 2007 federal elections which kicked the Howard government out of parliament.

    The Commonwealth Electoral Act is amended to give Aboriginal people in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory the right to vote in federal elections. Aboriginal people are not made to register, but once they have, voting is compulsory for them, as it is for every Australian. Compulsory enrolment is not required until 1984.

1963

  1. Mining company BHP and the Church Missionary Society at Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory sign an agreement providing lump sum payments and royalties for use of land by BHP.

  2. The Yolngu people of Yirrkala in Australia’s Northern Territory (about 700 kms east of Darwin) sent a bark petition to the House of Representatives to protest against mining on the Gove Peninsula. On 28 August the petition is presented to the Governor General William De L’Isle. Although it is signed by more senior clan members, the federal government fails to recognise Aboriginal political structure and rejects the petition because of insufficient signatures.

  3. Police evict residents at Mapoon, an Aboriginal community in far north Queensland. The people are forcibly taken to other reserves and their settlement is burned down, to allow Comalco mine the biggest bauxite deposit in the world.

1964

  1. The Northern Territory Social Welfare Ordinance replaces the Welfare Ordinance, supposedly putting Aboriginal people on the same level as other Australians. But the Ward’s Employment Ordinance remains in force, leaving Aboriginal people on Christian missions and government settlements, about two-thirds of the Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, unequal in employment, wages, vocational training and housing.

  2. Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) becomes the first Aboriginal Australian to publish a book of verse. She goes on to become one of the best known and most respected authors in Australia and overseas.

  3. The Legends of Moonie Jarl is the first Aboriginal children’s book published in Australia. It is also the first Aboriginal children’s book in schools. It is republished more than 50 years later, in 2015.

  4. A NSW Teachers Federation survey finds that 9% of Aboriginal students progressed beyond Year 9 and classifies 58% as ‘Slow Learners’.

1965

  1. The North Australian Workers' Union applies to the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to remove clauses which discriminate against Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory's pastoral award. Pastoralists meet this proposal with stiff opposition and manage to have a gradual wage adjustment implemented.

    They argue a gradual increase would help Aboriginal people to 'adjust', but in fact it saves pastoralists an estimated 6 million dollars  over three years. The pastoralists also manage to convince the Commission to implement a 'slow worker clause' which would empower them to pay Aboriginal employees less than the standard wage when they were deemed to work less efficiently—which subsequently led to a lot of abuse of this clause.

  2. Integration policy is introduced, supposedly to give Aboriginal people more control over their lives and society.

  3. Northern Territory patrol officers ‘bring in’ the last group of Aboriginal people - the Pintubi people - living independently in the desert. They are relocated to Papunya and Yuendumu, about 300 kms north-west of Alice Springs.

  4. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ Affairs Act, passed in Queensland, gives the Director of Aboriginal Affairs considerable power over ‘assisted Aborigines’. For example, an assisted Aboriginal person could be detained for up to a year for behaving in an ‘offensive, threatening, insolent, insulting, disorderly, obscene or indecent manner’ or ‘leaving, escaping or attempting to leave or escape from the reserve’.

  5. The Northern Territory’s Supreme Court rejects the application by Frank Ganngu and Elsie Darbuma for the return of their three children, who were taken from the leprosarium at the Oenpelli mission (about 220 kms east of Darwin) and fostered out.

  6. Eric Simms plays eight World Cup games and 206 games for Souths and in 1965 scores 265 points in a season, breaking a long-standing record.

  7. Queensland allows Aboriginal people to vote in state elections, becoming the last State to grant this right.

  8. Protest

    From 12 to 26 February, Charles Perkins leads a freedom ride by Aboriginal people and students through north-western New South Wales in support of Aboriginal rights. The protesters want to draw attention to segregation (places of leisure in country towns – swimming pools, picture theatres, hotels and RSL clubs), refusal of service in shops,  and the appalling conditions under which Aboriginal people live. The ride exposes the extent of discrimination against Aboriginal people.

  9. Education

    After entering in 1963, Charles Perkins becomes the first Aboriginal university graduate at University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts. He is also the first Aboriginal Australian to graduate from university.

References

View article sources (1)

[1] 'Black Words, White Page: Aboriginal Literature 1929-1988', Adam Shoemaker, 2004, p.106

Cite this page

Korff, J 2022, Timeline results for 1900 to 1969, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=7&q=&category=any&yearFrom=1900&yearTo=1969>, retrieved 12 August 2022

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