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On this day in 1950: William Ferguson died a few weeks after standing as an independent in the Lawson (Dubbo) electorate. He was already suffering heart disease, and collapsed after his final campaign speech. Winning only 388 votes was a severe blow from which he did not recover.
On this day in 1991: Expert American geologist Dr Ronald Dorn, announced that some of the 50,000 examples of ancient rock carvings found in the outback of South Australia may be the oldest surviving examples of human artistic expression on earth.
On this day in 2012 Veteran Aboriginal country musician Uncle jimmy Little, dies after a long illness, aged 75, at his home in Dubbo in western NSW.
On this day in 1926: The birth of Dave Sands, born David Richie, near Kempsey on the NSW north-coast. He was one of Australia’s first and greatest Aboriginal boxers. He came from a large family of boxers including his father Uncle George and his five brothers Richie, George, Clem, Alfie and Russell. They changed their names from Richie to Sands and were known as the fighting Sands brothers. Dave Sands started boxing in 1943 and won his first 18 bouts by knockout, mostly in the early rounds.
On this day in 1964: Cyclone Dora destroyed Edward River and Mitchell River Mission stations in north-west Queensland.
On this day in 1999: Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal reconciliation Evelyn Scott said the Australian people were smart enough to consider two separate questions at the forthcoming referendum. Calling for a separate question on a preamble to the Constitution as part of the upcoming November referendum on the Republic, Ms Scott said the nation couldn’t wait any longer to acknowledge Indigenous people as the original inhabitants and custodians of Australia.
On this day in 2000: The National Native Title Tribunal took another step to encourage the negotiated settlement of native title issues with the launch of a new information program for indigenous people. A free audio tape explaining a new form of agreement – indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs) – was distributed toindigenous organisations, claimants and indigenous community radio stationsaround the country.
On this day in 2009 Australia supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). After 20 years of negotiations, the declaration was formally adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007 with the support of 143 member states and the opposition of four (Australia, Canada, USA, NZ). The Howard government had rejected the declaration fearing a separate customary law
On this day in 1899: The earliest recorded and most devastating cyclone along the coast of Australia hit the Torres Strait Islands. With 82 lugger boats anchored in Princess Charlotte Bay, the Islanders were hit hard. The cyclone, coming from the Coral Sea, smashed and sunk the luggers with the force of the huge waves. Over 300 crewmen were killed at sea, including 12 Europeans and 100 Aboriginal people.
On this day in 1998: Hundreds of Native Title supporters protested at Parliament House in Canberra on this day against the Government’s new legislation on Native Title and Wik. Busloads of protestors, many from Melbourne, arrived at Federal Parliament in the morning. Wearing Aboriginal colours of red, yellow and black, the protestors walked backwards at one stage of the protest to signify that they thought the Howard government’s actions were retrogressive.
On this day in 1999: Two Aboriginal men, who rescued an Australian World War II pilot in remote northern Australia after his plane burst into flames and crashed, were awarded the Civilian Service Medal 1939-1945. Senator John Herron presented the medal to Port Keats’ residents Johnny Chula, who served in the Royal Australian Air Force Aboriginal Labour Unit, and Leo Melpi who accepted the medal on behalf of his late brother Danny Melpi who served in the Australian Army Aboriginal Labour Unit.
On this day in 1999: The Northern Land Council and mining giant Rio Tinto announced the signing of a new Exploration Agreement covering 4,365 square kilometres in the southern Nicholson River region.
On this day in 1995: The NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs was formed (replacing the former Office of Aboriginal Affairs) and was recognised as the leading advocate and representative voice of Aboriginal affairs at both state and community level.
On this day in 1997: The Australian Reconciliation Convention Regional Meeting was held in Brisbane City Hall on this day. This special reconciliation forum, was designed to help find positive ways for all Queenslanders to live together.
On this day in 2002: The Wattleridge property, situated northeast of Armidale, was declared New South Wales’ first Indigenous Protected Area.
On this day in 1816: Regulations were published forbidding Aboriginal people to appear armed within a mile of a settlement, prohibiting ritual punishments among themselves, and empowering settlers to use force against Aborigines who appear hostile.
On this day in 1983: New South Wales Aboriginal Land Rights legislation was passed, providing for the establishment of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council as part of a three-tiered system of land councils – state, regional and local.
On this day in 1985: Aboriginal ancestral remains from Queen Victoria and Tasmanian Museums were cremated at Oyster Cove.
On this day in 1998: The launch of the first free comprehensive guide designed specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on caring for cultural collections.
On this day in 1868: The Queensland Government ordered an inquiry into the Native Mounted Police Force after allegations were heard that Trooper
On this day in 1933: The Canberra correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald reported that it was almost certain a punitive expedition would be dispatched to Northern Australia before the end of the month. It was thought that bloodshed would be inevitable, because local Aboriginal people had boasted that they would not allow white men to enter their territory.
On this day in 1988: Death of Aboriginal spokesperson and former Governor for South Australia,Pastor Sir Douglas Nichols aged 81.
On this day in 1997: Ipswich City Council became the first Australian council to formally apologise unconditionally to the nation’s indigenous peoples. The motion from Cr Rick Gluyas and seconded by Acting Mayor Denise Hanly, which was passed unanimously today at council’s ordinary meeting, was “Ipswich City Council unconditionally apologises to Australia’s Indigenous peoples for the wrongs that have been committed against them by previous generations and governments”.
On this day in 2000: More than 60,000 Queenslanders wrapped up a successful National Reconciliation Week with a ‘Stride for Reconciliation’ walk in Brisbane.
On this day in 1836: The Protector of Aborigines in Van Diemen’s Land, George Augustus Robinson, reported on the condition of Aboriginal people on Flinders Island. Robinson reported the number of captives on Flinders Island had declined drastically since their arrival into ‘protective custody’ in 1834, their numbers dwindling from 200 to 137 by the end of January 1836. He put the blame on poor housing, flimsy clothing and poor food, which made them subject to attacks of catarrh and pneumonia.
Born on this day in 1986 AFL player Danyle Pearce recruited to Port Power
On this day in 1906: William E (Billy) Jones died in Sydney of heart failure. He was one of the most popular characters in Australian circus in the latter half of the nineteenth century. A sought-after performer, he appeared at one time or another with nearly every Australian circus of note.
On this day in 1997: It was announced that the Gubbi Gubbi Aboriginal descendants were to celebrate a reunion of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities at Kenilworth Homestead in remembrance of the lost home place of their grandparents and ancestors dating back hundreds of years in the Mary Valley of Noosa’s Hinterland.
On this day in 1997: The Ministerial Summit on Indigenous Deaths in Custody was held on this day at Parliament House in Canberra. The summit was hosted and chaired by the Commonwealth Attorney General, the Hon Daryl Williams QC, AM, MP and the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Senator the Hon Dr John Herron MP.
On this day in 1802 French Captain Nicholas Baudin and the English navigator Matthew Flinders meet at the South Australian border near Victor Harbor. Baudin had orders to study Aboriginal people for the new science of anthropology just founded in Paris. Many such drawings are now in a collection in Le Havre, France
On this day in 1840:A man who had been missing for fourteen years re-appeared at the Brisbane settlement on this day, having survived in the wilderness by living with local Aboriginal people. John Storry Baker, known to the Aborigines as ‘Booralsha’, had escaped from the Moreton Bay penal settlement on 8th January 1826.
On this day in 1988: Establishment of National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day.
On this day in 1991: As part of National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day, the Secretariat National Aboriginal Islander Child Care (SNAICC) first called for a National Inquiry into the Removal of Aboriginal Children. Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter sang ‘Took the Children Away’ as the Day was launched at the Aborigines Advancement League in Melbourne.
On this day in 1998: Aboriginal Elder Ken Dalton called on all Aboriginal people to enroll to vote, after he announced his Senate candidacy on this day in 1998. A former soldier, state public servant and Aboriginal and Islander consultant, the 58 year-old Undumbi elder was to run as independent senate candidate in Queensland in the October 3 Federal election.
On this day in 2003: Two Aboriginal men completed a cycle of 800km from regional Victoria to Canberra to raise awareness of suicide on this day.
On this day in 1997: Corrective Services Minister Russel Cooper officially opened the Kitchener Bligh Senior Outstation on Palm Island. The community managed outstation would help keep low-risk Indigenous offenders out of secure custody. Mr Cooper said the number of Indigenous Australians in jail was a national disgrace. “There were 890 Indigenous people in secure custody in Queensland jails at 1st June – 23% of the prison population”, he said. “At the same time, there were 70 Indigenous youth in custody – a staggering 60% of the total youth detention centre numbers”.
On this day in 2002: Queensland Minister for Disability Services Judy Spence said Palm Islander people with a disability would benefit from a Beattie Government commitment to develop new and enhanced respite and family support services across the state. Ms Spence said the Beattie Government had committed $5.1 million since 2000 for 31 new and enhanced respite and family support services and a long period of community consultation had defined the needs and an appropriate model of support for Palm Islanders.
On this day in 2003: The remains of 60 indigenous Australians were placed in the National Museum in Canberra on this day after they were returned by the Royal College of Surgeons in London.
On this day in 1830: Lieutenant Governor Arthur began his campaign on this day to capture and incarcerate the remaining Tasmanian Aborigines, whom he estimated to number about 500. The plan involved the total mobilisation of the population. The entire police, military and able-bodied civil forces were to form a dragnet and comb the island from north to south-east, forcing the Aborigines into the Tasman Peninsula where they would be captured.
On this day in 1982: The Age newspaper reported a public protest over Aboriginal land claims for Katherine Gorge, which attracts 100,000 tourists a year.
On this day in 2001: Shirley McPherson, Chairperson of the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), welcomed the appointment of David Galvin as the corporation’s CEO
On this day in 2003: Aboriginal elder Eileen Kampakuta Brown said the federal government, which honoured her on this day with an Order of Australia for preserving her culture, was about to contribute to its destruction.
On this day in 2003: Aboriginal leader and rights advocate Murrandoo Yanner was jailed for nine months after a jury found him guilty of assault.
On this day in 1981: Land title was handed to representatives of the Pitjatjatjara and Yankuntjatjara people by State Premier Tonkin at Itjinpiri, 9km north of Ernabella, on this day. The Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act, which was finally passed in March 1981, granted 103,000 sq km under inalienable freehold title to Anangu Pitjantjatjaraku.
On this day in 1988: Charles Perkins resigned as Commissioner of the Aboriginal Development Commission.
On this day in 2002: ATSIC’s national chairman Geoff Clark was re-elected to represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria. Mr Clark secured one of 24 ATSIC regional councillor positions for Victoria. The number of voters who turned out in the Victorian ATSIC poll increased by 11.3 per cent from 1,768 in 1999 to 1,968 in this year.
On this day in 2002: A personal apology was offered to the Stolen Generations from the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard. Speaking on CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) Radio in Alice Springs this morning, Mr Howard said he is “sorry as an individual” but he again ruled out a formal apology from his Federal Coalition Government.
On this day in 2003: It was announced on this day that Cathy Freeman would be the face of a campaign to get Australians to recognise the international appeal of Aboriginal culture.
On this day in 1905: Death of Aboriginal bushranger Mary Ann Baker, who partnered Captain Thunderbolt in love and crime in northern NSW, at the age of 70.
On this day in 1936: The Presbyterian Church purchased Ernabella Station in South Australia for the purpose of establishing an Aboriginal mission.
On this day in 1994: Record breaking Rugby League player, Mal Meninga, concluded his illustrious career, leading Australia to a 74-0 win over France at Beziers. Meninga was born in Bundaberg of South Sea Islands descent. As captain he played 45 Tests for Australia,
On this day in 1998: Honoring Emily Kame Kngwarreye Alhalkere – Paintings from Utopia, a Queensland Art Gallery Travelling Exhibition at Queensland Art Gallery, ended.
On this day in 1999: The Nundah Reconciliation Group presented a forum titled ‘High Cost Low Life – Aboriginal Health: issues and causes’ featuring Stanley Nangala, Director of the Queensland Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
On this day in 1969: Marcia Langton, a 17 year old first-year university student, made a bold political statement as part of an Australia-wide protest in support of land rights on this day. Langton staked out a miner’s claim in the centre of Brisbane and claimed that it was within her rights to prospect or fossick on any Crown land.
On this day in 1972: Champion Australian middleweight and heavyweight boxer Tony Mundine won the Commonwealth Middleweight boxing title.
On this day in 1997: It was announced on this day that the tribunal hearings into the future of the Century Zinc project in north west Queensland would commence in Mt Isa on May 5th, after the National Native Title Tribunal granted native title parties an additional two weeks to prepare documents relating to their argument that the Queensland State Government had failed
On this day in 1794: The head of an Aboriginal person who was shot down while trying to steal corn was taken to Sydney. Lieutenant-Governor Grose ordered that it be preserved to be sent to England for study.
On this day in 1828: The persecution of Tasmania’s Aboriginal population intensified on this day, with a government proclamation banning them from all settled areas. The Lieutenant Governor Sir George Arthur said the order was designed to reduce the incidence of violence between the Aborigines and the white settlers, which had led to death, injury and dispossession on both sides.
On this day in 1991: The report for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was tabled in Federal Parliament.
On this day in 1998: Rio Tinto announced it would continue to negotiate with Aboriginal groups in native title disputes for land access according to its policy, irrespective of amendments to the Native Title Act.
On this day in 1788: Governor Phillip and his party become the first known Europeans to see Aboriginal rock carvings at Manly Cove.
On this day in 1996: Environment Minister Senator Robert Hill stated that the Federal Government had an electoral mandate to proceed with plans for the mining of uranium at Coronation Hill within the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.
On this day in 1997: Families, Youth and Community Care Minister, Kev Lingard, said he has wanted to resolve the issues related to the Aborigines Welfare Fund since the Coalition came to government in early 1996. “The Aborigines Welfare Fund has been frozen since late 1992”, he said. “Since that time there have been no transactions on the Fund, and interest on the yearly balance is paid into the Fund account.”
On this day in 2001: The release of ‘Aboriginal Sydney’, a new book that brings to light Sydney’s hidden Aboriginal history.
On this day in 2111 Yindjibarndi woman Jodi Broun and Butchulla man Les Malezer become the first elected national Indigenous leaders since the abolition of ATSIC as they assume the positions of co-chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
Born on this day in 1990 Marion Motlop AFL Port Power
On this day in 1951: Death of welfare worker, author, journalist and social worker Daisy Bates, aged 90. She was a well known and popular social worker among Aboriginal people.
On this day in 1980: Having evicted Amax petroleum and police from an oil drill earlier in the month, Aboriginal people rallied at Noonkanbah in Western Australia to plan the next stage in a protest which had become a national symbol for the struggle for land rights. They were supported by the Kimberley Land Council, people from the Strelley community and trade unionists.
On this day in 2002: The Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Judy Spence told State Parliament that the Beattie Government was investing $1.5 million in commercial ventures in Indigenous communities in Queensland to help create long term jobs and prosperity. Ms Spence said a variety of State Government departments were also involved in the projects, as well as local councils, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, ATSIC and the Indigenous Land Corporation.
On this day in 2010 New Zealand signs the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, leaving the USA and Canada as the only remaining countries rejecting it.
On this day in 1991: The National Inquiry into Racial Violence against Aboriginal and ethnic minority groups was conducted by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. The Inquiry revealed that conscious and unconscious racist attitudes towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was endemic and very severe nationwide.
On this day in 1992: The Injinoo people of Queensland purchased the very tip of Cape York Peninsula with assistance from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.
On this day in 1999: Yvonne Margarula and Jacqui Katona won an award for their continuing efforts to prevent the proposed Jabiluka uranium mine at Kakadu Nation Park. Margarula and Katona were awarded the annual Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s most prestigious environmental prize. Senator Allison said the recognition demonstrated the growth in international opposition to the mine.
On this day in 2001: The first Indigenous cricket match between the ATSIC XI and Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra.
On this day in 2002: An historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) covering the Miwatj (North East Arnhem Land) region was officially endorsed at a ceremony in Nhulunbuy on this day.
On this day in1927: Anglican Minister Reverend E Gribble stated that natives in Western Australia were the worst treated in the world at a Royal Commission into the alleged murder of Aboriginal people in the north of the State. It was also rumoured that when Aboriginal people became a nuisance, white station owners were permitted to put cyanide in meat supplies and arsenic in flour supplies to kill them off.
On this day in 1997: A meeting of Cape York residents established a working party to promote reconciliation between black and white, while asking Canberra and Brisbane to stay away and let Cape York work out its own solutions. The meeting, the first of its kind in the Peninsula region, was organised by the Cape York Peninsula Development Association (CYPDA) and attended by representatives from a diverse range of Cape York interests including the Cape York Land Council the Apunipima Cape York Health Council, the Cape York Land Defenders, the Cattleman’s Union and Cook Shire Council.
On this day in 1987: Imparja Television gained the first Aboriginal television license in Australia.
On this day in 1937 Aboriginal Welfare – Conference of Commonwealth and State Authorities called by the federal government, decides that the official policy for some Aboriginal people is assimilation policy. Aboriginal people of mixed descent are to be assimilated into white society whether they want to be or not, those not living tribally are to be educated and all others are to stay on reserves.
On this day in 1770: James Cook reached eastern Australia aboard his ship the Endeavor and the first Aborigines the ship’s company saw were probably five Yuin people, viewed distantly through a telescope on the beach near present-day Batemans Bay
On this day in 1937: It was reported that of 300,000 Aborigines at the time of European settlement, only 60,000 had survived.
On this day in 1997: A native title claim hearing expected to last ten days began on this day before Justice Olney of the Federal Court at Croker Island.On this day in 1998: Roberta Sykes, activist, academic, writer and poet, won the $20,000 1998 Kibble Literary Award for Women Writers, for her novel ‘Snake Cradle’.
On this day in 2002: The Western Australian Government announced a new service to support Aboriginal families care for their young children would be set up in the Goldfields region. Community Development Minister Sheila McHale said the State Government would provide $300,000 over three years for a new service offering short to medium-term support to Aboriginal families with children up to three years old.
On this day in 1970: Aboriginal boxer Tony Mundine won the Australian Middleweight boxing title.
On this day in 1996: Discussions were held on Masig Island, York Peninsula between Torres Strait Islanders and the Honourable John Herron, Senator for Queensland, over a proposal for the Torres Strait Islands region to become financially self managed.
On this day in 2002: Plans were announced to establish a bush food industry in North Queensland with the goal of creating new economic and employment opportunities for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. ATSIC joined Far North Queensland Employment in hosting a workshop, “Bush Tucker Opportunities”, for representatives of Indigenous communities.
On this day in 2003: The managers of a Toowoomba sports ground said they were unlikely to change the name of the controversial E S Nigger Brown stand despite a United Nations recommendation.
On this day in 1909: George Green became the first Aboriginal to play senior Rugby League, playing for Eastern Suburbs. He had 22 appearances with Easts from 1909 to 1911. He later played for North Sydney, a total of 92 games between 1912 and 1922, and played in their 1921 and 1922 premiership teams.
On this day in 1998: A new scholarship announced on this day by the Federal Government encouraged Indigenous medical students to study community health issues in south east Asia. Health Minister, Michael Wooldridge, said the program would allow four Indigenous medical students to spend a summer break working in rural Asia, including with HIV/AIDS sufferers in Thailand
On this day in 2002: A group of Western Australian Aboriginal artists flew to Malaysia to exhibit their work and hold workshops in Kuala Lumpur. The artists held their exhibition in association with the WA Wine and Food Fair held over six days at the Equatorial Hotels in Bangi and Kuala Lumpur.
On this day in 2002: Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls today new legislation establishing a pilot Koori Court in Shepparton and Broadmeadows. Mr Hulls said the Magistrates’ Court (Koori Court) Bill established a Koori Court division within the Magistrates’ Court as part of a two-year pilot program designed to help address the over-representation of Kooris in our criminal justice system. He said the Koori Court would provide a more flexible approach to sentencing, based on extensive analysis of the most effective features of Indigenous courts both in Australia and overseas.
Born on this day in 1983 Jonathan Thurston Captain North Queensland CowboysDuring his NRL career he has frequently been cited as rugby league’s best player. An international and Queensland state of origin representative half-back and goal-kicker. Thurston started his career at the Bulldogs where he won the 2004 NRL premiership before moving to the Cowboys, in 2005.
On this day in 2007 Aboriginal people decided to draw attention to their history and organised Australia’s first Coloured Diggers March on Anzac Day (25th April 2007) in Redfern, Sydney, with hundreds of Indigenous veterans and their descendants marching along Redfern Street to St Saviour’s church in Sydney’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anzac Day parade.
On this day in 1902: Aboriginal people, Africans, Asians, criminals and the insane were not entitled to vote at Federal elections due to a new Bill passed in Federal Government.
On this day in 1991: Forty-six years after World War II, the Australian Government announced that 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans, known as the “Black Diggers”, were to receive $1,400,000 compensation.
On this day in 1993: This was the first day Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had ever marched on ANZAC Day as a distinct group under their own flags. As a contribution to the International Year of Indigenous People, Cec Fisher and Patricia O’Connor worked together to organise for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island servicemen and women to be recognised in the ANZAC Day celebrations in Brisbane.
On this day in 1998: Retired Aboriginal Army Sergeant Tom Slockee, a Vietnam veteran, called for a special war memorial in Canberra’s Anzac Parade to commemorate Indigenous Australians.
On this day in 2003: It was reported on this day the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was to be gutted and reduced to just 20 staff from 1300.
On this day in 1972: Three months after its establishment the Aboriginal Tent Embassy consisted of six tents and was staffed by John Newfong, Brian Marshall, Vickie Marshall, Choc Moore, Billy Harrison, Ambrose Brown and Alan Sharpley. Ambrose Brown stated: “We’ve achieved recognition, just by being here, that we’re part of the country and not just alien. We haven’t made the Government change its policy, but we’ve succeeded in embarrassing it, and we’ve made people think about the Aboriginal cause”.
On this day in 2002: ATSIC North Zone Commissioner Kim Hill supported the Mirrar people in their call for a full Senate Inquiry into the operation of the Ranger Uranium mine. The statement came on top of an announcement on this day that there had been an alarming increase in uranium levels detected in a local creek.
On this day in 1805: Following the recent spate of killings perpetrated by Aborigines on settlers in the Hawkesbury area, Governor King took strong measures to curb the violence on this day. The Governor’s Order dispatched soldiers to maintain order in the region, and forbid Aboriginal people from approaching settlers’ houses until the murderers were found.
On this day in 1971: The Yirrkala Aboriginal People lost a two-year legal land rights battle against Nabalco for bauxite mining, at Gove in the Northern Territory.
On this day in 1971: An historic move by Aboriginal people from Gove Peninsula to block a huge bauxite mining project was dismissed on this day in the Northern Territory Supreme Court. The Aboriginal group had challenged the right of the Commonwealth to take the land, to be mined by the giant Nabalco. In his judgement on the two-year case, Mr Justice Blackburn said the white races had a great deal to be ashamed of, but the Aboriginal clans belonged to the land, and it did not belong to them.
On this day in 1901: The Nyoongar people gathered at the funeral of highly respected Elder George Webb. George Webb was a tireless worker on behalf of his people and an inaugural member of the South-West Regional Commission of Elders.
On this day in 1963: Comalco commenced full scale bauxite mining at Weipa on Cape York Peninsular in Queensland.
On this day in 1997: The release of Jeanie Bell’s book about community and the family memories of Celia Smith called “Talking About Celia …”. “Talking About Celia …” contained a montage of memories and pictures taking the reader inside the life of an extraordinary Murri woman and her Aboriginal community.
On this day in 1998: A report containing 26 recommendations to cut corruption and better manage the NSW Aboriginal Land Council system was released in Sydney. The report aimed to better manage the NSW Aboriginal Land Council system for the benefit of all Indigenous people through the State’s 118 local land councils.
On this day in 2000: Over 100 Indigenous young people met in Melbourne to discuss major issues of importance to them and to make recommendations to the Federal Government about its policies relating to youth. The Statewide Indigenous Youth Conference brought together 15- to 28-year-olds from across Victoria – an initiative of the Youth Pathways Action Plan Taskforce.
On this day in 2003: It was announced on this day the remains of 300 Aboriginal people taken from their graves more than a century ago would be returned to the Ngarrindjeri people in the lower Murray Lakes and Coorong area in South Australia.
On this day in 1770: The first face-to-face contact Captain Cook and his crew made with Aboriginal people occurred at Botany Bay. Two men painted with broad white bands across the face, chest and thighs made ‘threatening and menacing’ gestures with ‘pikes’ and ‘scimitars’. Cook eventually fired a musket to frighten them, peppering with light shot the legs of one man, who then picked up a shield to defend himself. ‘All they seemed to want was for us to be gone’, Cook wrote.
On this day in 1848: Edmund Kennedy left Sydney for an exploration expedition of country between Rockingham Bay and Cape York. Only three people survived, including Aboriginal expedition member Jacky Jacky.On this day in 1997: The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission released the Bringing Them Home report. The report concluded that, in the period from 1910 to 1970, between 10 and 30 per cent of Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and communities. More than 60,000 copies of the report were sold, far more than any comparable report.
On this day in 1998: Working With Native Title and Reaching Agreement – a three-day national forum for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people commenced on this day at the Sheraton Hotel, Brisbane.
On this day in 2000: The launch of the Yawulyu Mungamunga CD, produced by Papulu Apparr-Kari Aboriginal Language and Culture Centre in Tennant Creek.
On this day in 1892: The Queensland Government announced it would lift the restriction on the importation of South Sea Island labour, a move overwhelmingly endorsed by parliament. The Premier, Sir Samuel Griffith, said thousands of Queenslanders were facing ruin for want of labour, while such labour was freely available in the Pacific Islands.
On this day in 1954: George Howard broke the law which prohibited Aboriginal people from being on hotel premises. Howard, a welfare officer with the Native Affairs Department, was invited to the Savoy Hotel as a guest speaker at a Rotary Club luncheon. Howard told his audience, which included some of Perth’s leading businessmen, that to be classified as an Aborigine meant ‘heartbreak, frustration and despair’.”
On this day in 1976: A closed service for Truganini was held at the Cornelian Bay crematorium. Her ashes were spread on the waters of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel the following day. Truganini was the last of her people, daughter of Mangana, chief of the Bruny Island tribe.
On this day in 1998: An Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RACOG) was confered upon Sister Alison Bush on this day, at the College’s Annual Scientific Meeting at the National Convention Centre, Canberra. This was the first occasion that an Indigenous nursing sister had been the recipient of such an award from a medical college in Australia.
On this day in 2003: Queensland Parliament heard that Aboriginal rock art more than 19,000 years old had been vandalised in a central Queensland national park.