The Indigenous civil rights movement in Australia The fight for self-determination. International law defines self-determination as the right of all peoples to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
The Aboriginal struggle for justice and land rights January 23, By Kim Bullimore One hundred years ago the Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed, heralding in a supposedly new era of prosperity for the "lucky country" and its inhabitants.
For Aborigines, however, marked year of resistance to dispossession and racial oppression. One hundred years later, indigenous Australia continues this fight.
The modern movement for indigenous rights began in the s when the first Aboriginal political organisations were formed including the Australian Aborigines Protection Association, the Association for the Protection of the Native Races of Australia and Polynesia and the Aboriginal Union.
These early 20th century organisations played an important role in laying the foundations for the independent Aboriginal movement of the s and '70s. Within several years of their formation it became plain to both the APA and the AAL that government "protection" polices did not work.
Rather than promoting the welfare and independence of the people under their control, state governments and their agencies were effectively destroying Aboriginal communities and cultures.
As a result inthe AAL's William Cooper circulated a petition which he tried to present to the English king which demanded the creation of an Aboriginal seat in the Australian House of Representatives.
On January 26,the th anniversary of the British colonisation of Australia, a conference called by the APA declared January 26 a "day of mourning" and protest, issuing a manifesto attacking the myth of white benevolence and saying, "You came here only recently, and you took our land away from us by force.
You have almost exterminated our people, but there are enough of us remaining to expose the humbug of your claim as white Australians, to be a civilised, progressive, kindly and humane nation. By your cruelty and callousness towards the Aborigines you stand condemned in the eyes of the civilised world.
The APA's William Ferguson went on to tell the media of the day, "we want the right to own land that our fathers and mothers have owned from time immemorial". Reconciliation and the Aboriginal rights movement Five days after the conference, Ferguson and other members of the APA met with prime minister Joseph Lyons and presented a point plan for achieving Aboriginal equality with white Australians.
The plan called for the federal government to take over Aboriginal affairs from the individual states, positive aid in the areas of education, housing, working conditions, land purchases and social welfare non-existent in for Aborigines. All of these proposals were ignored by the Lyons government.
Inafter a visit by William Cooper, who along with other radical activists who was touring NSW reserves to collect evidence against the Aboriginal protection board and to campaign for citizenship rights, residents of the Cumeroogunga reserve in NSW walked off the reserve protesting their living conditions.
For several months they weathered the wintry conditions, supported only by provisions supplied by the APA and one or two other progressive groups.
The agitation by these radical groups did succeed in bringing about a number of changes. These included availability of commonwealth child endowment payments to Aboriginal families, but only if these families were not nomadic. The following year this was extended to those on missions or government reserves, but the payment was to be administered not by Aborigines but by the white staff of the reserves and missions.
Inthe old age pension began to be paid to those Aborigines outside the operation of the Aborigines acts. However, while these reforms were important, discrimination against Aborigines was still massive.
For example, only those Aborigines who met the criteria laid out in the Aborigines acts were able to access the services and citizenship rights afforded to white Australians. Under the Aborigines acts some Aborigines were able to "pass" as whites, that is, they could become nominal whites and enjoy the rights accorded whites if they carried a certificate which testified to their "good character".
To receive such a certificate, Aborigines generally had to be light skinned, have a number of references from good white citizens, not mix with other Aborigines other than familynot live on the reserves, be free of disease, speak English and be "industrious". The certificate, however, could be revoked if the applicant was convicted twice of drunkenness or had contracted any diseases.
Aboriginal organisations were formed in all states in the s to press for civil rights as well as land rights.Aboriginal Civil Rights Essay.
Aboriginal Civil Rights Find out who Eddie Mabo, Vincent Lingiari and Albert Namatjra was - Aboriginal Civil Rights Essay introduction. What was their contribution to civil rights, equality and indigenous welfare in Australia? This group brings together a number of civil rights and Aboriginal welfare organisations.
Its work plays a large part in bringing about the referendum.
Formation of the NADOC - National Aboriginal Day Observance Committee (later: NAIDOC, with the ‘I’ . campaign for equal rights for Indigenous Australians, and to bring about the repeal of laws which deprived Indigenous Australians of civil liberties.
'Fights for Civil Rights' is an account of seven key civil rights campaigns and the activists and organisations that participated in them. Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Obama held a historic White House Tribal Nations Conference on November 5 and made it clear that he is committed to ensuring that the needs and concerns of Tribal Nations are addressed by the federal government.
This group brings together a number of civil rights and Aboriginal welfare organisations. Its work plays a large part in bringing about the referendum. Formation of the NADOC - National Aboriginal Day Observance Committee (later: NAIDOC, with the ‘I’ for ‘Islanders’).
Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Obama held a historic White House Tribal Nations Conference on November 5 and made it clear that he is committed to ensuring that the needs and concerns of Tribal Nations are addressed by the federal government.