Timeline results for 1400 to 2020

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Year from 1400, year to 2020, month is October

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  1. Dispossession

    Governor Arthur tries unsuccessfully to drive all the remaining Aboriginal people in eastern Australia on to the Tasman Peninsula. 2,200 settlers, military, police and convicts form a ‘Black Line’. It was the largest force assembled against Aboriginal people anywhere in Australia and cost 5,000 pounds (equivalent to about AUD 1.2 million in 2008) and only two Aboriginal people are caught – an old man and a young boy.


  1. Conflict

    Governor Stirling leads a party of men to a site near present day Pinjarra, on the Swan River and attacks 80 Aboriginal people. One of Stirling’s men dies and many Aboriginal people are killed. Official reports put their number at 14 but Aboriginal accounts suggest a whole clan was wiped out in the attack. This became known as the ‘Battle of Pinjarra’. It was an attempt to punish Aboriginal people south of Perth, after conflict with settlers caused the death of a settler in April.


  1. Treaty

    John Batman attempts to make a ‘treaty’ with Aboriginal people for Port Phillip Bay, near present day Melbourne by ‘buying’ 243,000 hectares with 20 pairs of blankets, 30 tomahawks, various other articles and a yearly tribute. Governor Bourke does not recognise the ‘treaty’ and the purchase is voided. This is the only time colonists attempt to sign a treaty for land with Aboriginal owners.


  1. Massacres

    Sturt Massacre in the Kimberley: A police party is searching for an Aboriginal man named Banjo, who was thought to have murdered pastoralists Joseph Condren and Tim O’Sullivan. They shoot at a group of Aboriginal people near Sturt Creek, and when the ammunition runs out, they chain up Aboriginal men, women and children and march them to the old Denison Downs homestead where they shoot and burn them.


  1. 1,000 Aboriginal people sign the Larrakia petition, one of the most important documents in the history of their struggle for land rights. Headed Gwalwa Daraniki, which means ‘our land’ in the language of the Larrakia people (the traditional owners of the Darwin area in the NT), the Larrakia petition called for land rights and political representation for the Aboriginal people of Australia.


  1. Treaty

    The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr. Peter Baume, writes to the then Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Conference, Mr. Bill Bird, in response to a letter advising him of the 27 items that had emerged as a preliminary list of matters that were being considered for inclusion in the Makarrata/treaty.


  1. Protest

    Queensland Aboriginal people protest at the Commonwealth Games.


  1. Stolen wages

    The Queensland government pays equal wages to Aboriginal workers on missions.


  1. Skull of an Indigenous person held in a museum's collection.
    Skull of an indigenous person (Andaman Islands). Many Indigenous remains like these are still held in museums all over the world. Lack of cultural sensitivity or museum personnel impede their examination and return.

    Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, Sweden sends back 20 Aboriginal skeletons it had collected in 1910-11 from the Kimberley, Western Australia , the first voluntary repatriation undertaken by a major European museum .


  1. The first Stolen Generations compensation scheme in Australia is set up in Tasmania by the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal Children Act 2006 (Tas).


  1. Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, Sweden returns 10 Aboriginal remains which were taken from graves in the Kimberley region of Western Australia by a Swedish archaeological expedition in 1910 and 1911 .

    There was this idea at the time that Aboriginal Australians were like human fossils, of a kind that had survived longer in Australia than elsewhere.

    — Anders Björklund, director Ethnographical Museum, Stockholm, Sweden, explaining why Aboriginal remains were taken
  2. Stolen Generations

    Stolen Generations memorial is opened at Mt Annan near Campbelltown, Western Sydney. The memorial, designed by Aboriginal artist Badger Bates from Wilcannia, features original forest, boardwalks and interpretive signs.


  1. The Northern Territory Emergency Response Review Board provides independent review of the first 12 months of the NT Intervention to the Australian government.

  2. Land & land rights

    The Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) site in the Northern Territory is handed back to traditional owners after a 28-year native title battle. Its owners consider Karlu Karlu as one of the most significant sacred sites.


  1. Stolen Generations

    NSW Governor Marie Bashir launches the Kinchela Boy's Home Aboriginal Corporation Strategic Plan to help Aboriginal men who passed through Kinchela with counselling, reunions targeted at group healing, and programs for their families.


  1. The ancestral remains of an Erup (Darnley Island) child return, 161 years after they were taken to the UK. The remains were first acquired by Captain Owen Stanley in 1849 during a visit to Darnley Island, then passed on to an antiquarian who gave them to the Norwich Castle Museum in 1854. Finally, the World Museum Liverpool received the remains in 1956.

  2. Arts

    The opera Pecan Summer premieres telling the story of the Cummeragunja Aboriginal walk-off of 1939. It is the first opera to be partly sung in Yorta Yorta language.

  3. Land & land rights

    The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) announces it had purchased the Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara, near Uluru (Ayers Rock). The deal covers all resort hotels, accommodation and infrastructure. The ILC is an independent statutory authority of the Australian government, established to assist Aboriginal people to acquire and manage land to achieve economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits.


  1. Aboriginal directory service inguides.com.au launches Australia’s first Indigenous mobile application.

  2. Treaty

    In response to the NT intervention, leaders in East Arnhem Land found the Yolngu Nations Assembly (Yolŋu Makarr Dhuni) in Galiwinku to resource practical work toward a treaty for Arnhem Land by facilitating engagement between the Aboriginal Maḏayin form of tribal government and the Westminster forms of governments.


View article sources (6)

[1] 'Aboriginal massacre sites uncovered in first forensic science study', ABC News 1/10/2017
[2] 'Aboriginal remains home from Sweden', National Museum of Australia, 6/10/2004, www.nma.gov.au/media/media_releases_by_year/2004/2004_10_06
[3] 'Putting it right', Koori Mail 466 p.43f
[4] 'Sweden to return Aboriginal remains to Australia', ABC, 19/10/2007, www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/19/2064893.htm
[5] 'Sweden to return Aboriginal remains to Australia' The Local, Sweden, 19/10/2007, www.thelocal.se/20071019/8844
[6] 'An Erub child home at last', Koori Mail 486 p.11

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2020, Timeline results for 1400 to 2020, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?q=&s=&category=any&yearFrom=1400&yearTo=2020&month=10>, retrieved 6 December 2020

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