January Jocks

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JANUARY 1

On This Day in 2009 The NT government rules that the first four hours of  education in all NT schools will be delivered in English, putting and end to 34 years of bilingual ducation in the Northern Territory  by ending the nine remaining bilingual programs.

 On This Day in 1901: At Federation, the Commonwealth Constitution stated “in reckoning the numbers of people… Aboriginal natives shall not be counted”. It also stated that the Commonwealth would legislate for any race except Aborigines. The states retained their power over Aboriginal Affairs.

On This Day in 1978: Evonne Cawley (nee Goolagong) won her fourth Australian women’s tennis title..

On This Day in 1994: The Native Title Act 1993 became law.

On This Day in 1995: The Aboriginal Education (Supplementary Assistance) Amendment Act commenced.

On This Day in 1925: David Unaipon’s work appeared in the February edition of ‘The Home’, becoming the first piece of Aboriginal writing to be published.

On This Day in 1936: Special patrol officers were appointed to safeguard Aboriginal welfare in the Northern Territory.

On This Day in 1980: A survey of Aboriginal people found 47% of men and 37% of women over the age of 60 were blind in one or both eyes.

On This Day in 1985: The first National Aboriginal Women’s Festival was held in Adelaide.

On This Day in 1901, six colonies were joined together in one ‘indissoluble federal Commonwealth’. Much of the first legislation passed by the newly federated nation was, however, based on race and an attempt to achieve a vision of a White Australia.

JANUARY 2

On This Day in 1936: Special patrol officers were appointed to safeguard Aboriginal welfare in the Northern Territory.

On This Day in 1980: A survey of Aboriginal people found 47% of men and 37% of women over the age of 60 were blind in one or both eyes.

On This Day in 1985: The first National Aboriginal Women’s Festival was held in Adelaide.

JANUARY 3

On This Day in 1864: Land in the Northern Territory was offered for sale in Adelaide and London.

On This Day in 1997: The finalisation of a unique regional land use agreement between Hamersley Iron and Gumala Aboriginal Corporation paved the way for the Yandicoogina iron ore mine in the Pilbara, WA.

On This Day in 1997: Alcan’s Heads of Agreement with the Weipa community in Cape York approved a proposed bauxite and shipping operation.

On This Day in 2001: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Amendment Bill 2000 passed through the Senate. The Bill established a new body known as Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) by expanding the functions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commercial Development Corporation

On This Day in 2001: The Central Land Council signed nine exploration agreements, covering more than 6000 square kilometres of land in the Western Tanami region in Central Australia. The agreements between the CLC and five mining companies allowed for the granting of 27 exploration licence applications in the Tanami.

JANUARY 4

On This Day in 1877: Thursday Island in the Torres Strait became a European settlement and was set up as a coaling station for steamers.

On This Day in 1897: Resistance fighter Jandamarra was finally killed after attempting to release a group of his warriors who had been captured and chained. Jandamarra is a legend among Kimberley Aboriginal people. In 1988 a heritage trail in his home area was named after him.

On This Day in 1938: A monthly newspaper “Abo Call”, which focused on Aboriginal Land Rights issues, began publication in Sydney.

On This Day in 1970: The North Melbourne Football Club paid Aboriginal footballer Barry Cable a total of $10,000 for the season, making him the first professional Australian Rules Football player in Australia.

On This Day in 1985: The Western Desert Land Council was established at a week-long meeting at Well 22 on the Canning Stock route.

On This Day in 1998: ATSIC Chairman Gatjil Djerrkura said, “Today’s High Court decision on the validity of the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Act gives little comfort to the government. As I see it, the decision provides no basis for arguing that legislation based on the 10 Point Plan is necessarily valid. It does not affect the common law rights of Indigenous Australians in any way.”

On This Day in 1998: A Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) report found participants in an Indigenous work for the dole scheme experienced the worst of all worlds in their treatment by some Commonwealth bodies.

On This Day in 1998: The signing of a landmark Framework Agreement by the Northern Territory Government and the Central and Northern Land Councils ensured traditional Aboriginal landowners would be consulted over the proposed corridor for the Darwin to Alice Springs railway.

JANUARY 5

On This Day in 1997: An agreement was finalised to allow the giant Century Zinc mine to proceed in the Gulf of Carpentaria  Country  Queensland.

On This Day in 1998: In Darwin, Senator Lyn Allison released a Democrat Private Members’ Bill to stop the Jabiluka mine. The Bill prohibited the mining or transporting of uranium in or near World Heritage properties.

On This Day in 2001: The launch of the book ‘From Digging Sticks to Writing Sticks’ at the Ngalangangpum School, Warmun (Turkey Creek). As told by the Kija women, the book’s narrative focuses on traditional life, contact with non- Aboriginal settlers, survival, the challenge of station life, the formation of the Warmun community and the establishment of the Ngalangangpum School.

On This Day in 2002: Western Australian Indigenous Affairs Minister Alan Carpenter transferred control of 2.9ha of land in Cue to the local Thoo Thoo Warinha Aboriginal Corporation. The three properties were the first in Cue to be handed over to Indigenous people under the State Government’s Land Transfer Program. Mr Carpenter said the Aboriginal Lands Trust held about 27million hectares – an area the size of Victoria – in trust for the Aboriginal people of Western Australia.

On This Day in 2002: The launch of the biography of a Victorian Koori woman who traced her family lineage back to the first contact between Indigenous Victorians and the founder of Melbourne. “Daughter of Two Worlds” by Dawn Lee begins with a tragic affair between Eliza Batman, the wife of Melbourne pioneer John Batman, and William Willoughby, Batman’s right-hand man and a pillar of Melbourne’s early Wesleyan church. The book also unearths the remarkable truth behind a family legend that Dawn Lee’s great grandfather was a mysterious white English lord who met her great grandmother, Susannah, a full tribal Gunditjmara woman.

JANUARY 6

Born on this day in 1980  in Adelaide Travis Dodd, A league soccer  player with Perth Glory transferred from Adelaide United.

On this day in 2011 The Australian Electoral Commission registers the First Nations  Political Party which now can elect an executive and pre-select  candidates.

On This Day in
1964: AIATSIS was established as the Australian National Institute of Aboriginal Studies.

On This Day in 1972: Sir Doug Nicholls, Governor of South Australia, became the first Aboriginal person to receive a knighthood. Sir Douglas, the 65-year-old champion of his people and former Fitzroy footballer, said he saw the award as a recognition of Aboriginal people: “The Knighthood is a great moment for me, my family and my people. I am the first Aborigine knighted but certainly not the last”.

On This Day in 1995: The Indigenous Land Corporation was established to assist Aboriginal people acquire and manage land in a sustainable way.

On This Day in 2000: The Queensland Government announced Indigenous Elders and community justice groups would be entitled to offer sentencing advice to judges and magistrates.

On This Day in 2001: The Federal Government announced training projects for Indigenous job seekers worth $24 million.

JANUARY 7

On This Day in 1871: This day marks the first arrival of the London Missionary Society on the shores of Erub (Darnley) Island in the Torres Strait.- and is known widely as the ‘Coming of the Light’.

On This Day in 1943: War Cabinet approved higher rates of pay for Torres Strait Islander servicemen to be back-dated from this date. This approval was finally granted in March 1944 and had met resistance because of the size of the sum involved.

On This Day in 1974: Federal Cabinet accepted recommendations from the Woodward Royal Commission report for all reserves and missions in the Northern Territory to be handed back to Aboriginal people.

On This Day in 1976: The Northern Territory Land Councils launched Land Rights News, the longest running Aboriginal newspaper in Australia.

On This Day in 1990: The first national media program to be produced entirely by Aboriginal people about Aboriginal issues – Speaking Out – went on air in prime time (6.30pm) Sundays, commencing this day, on all ABC metropolitan and regional stations across Australia.

On This Day in 1999: Aden Ridgeway, of the Gumbayynggir people in NSW, took his seat in the Senate as an Australian Democrat for NSW. He was elected at the October 3, 1998 federal election.

On This Day in 1940: Jim Brennan, from Western Australian, enlisted in the armed services on this day, and saw service in North Africa. He was taken prisoner during the battle of El Alamein and removed to a Prisoner of War camp in northern Italy. Escaping, he joined Italian partisans conducting guerrilla operations against German forces. Jim eventually returned to Australia in July 1945.

On This Day in 1997: Federal, State and Territory Governments endorsed a plan to nationally monitor health services being provided for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia. The plan required all health providers to report against a set of national performance indicators and targets to lift the health status of the Indigenous population.

On This Day in 1998: The National Native Title Tribunal revealed, in an audit of native title agreements over the previous five years, more than 1,200 agreements had been struck between Indigenous groups and miners, pastoralists, industry bodies and governments.

On This Day in 2000: The Queensland Government apologised to and compensated 747 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who suffered wage discrimination at the hands of previous National Party Governments, as part of a $25.4 million package to address past wrongs. The Government issued apologies and $7000 compensation to people who did not receive fair payment when working for Queensland Governments from 1975 to 1986.

JANUARY 8

On This Day in 1940: Jim Brennan, from Western Australian, enlisted in the armed services  and saw service in North Africa. He was taken prisoner during the battle of El Alamein and removed to a Prisoner of War camp in northern Italy. Escaping, he joined Italian partisans conducting guerrilla operations against German forces. Jim eventually returned to Australia in July 1945.

On This Day in 1997: Federal, State and Territory Governments endorsed a plan to nationally monitor health services being provided for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia. The plan required all health providers to report against a set of national performance indicators and targets to lift the health status of the Indigenous population.

On This Day in 1998: The National Native Title Tribunal revealed, in an audit of native title agreements over the previous five years, more than 1,200 agreements had been struck between Indigenous groups and miners, pastoralists, industry bodies and governments.

On This Day in 2000: The Queensland Government apologised to and compensated 747 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who suffered wage discrimination at the hands of previous National Party Governments, as part of a $25.4 million package to address past wrongs. The Government issued apologies and $7000 compensation to people who did not receive fair payment when working for Queensland Governments from 1975 to 1986.

JANUARY 9

On This day in 2009 The Western Australian government announces the formation of the Indigenous Implementation Board to improve social and economic  outcomes for Aboriginals. The nine-member board aims to ‘enhance Indigenous  involvement in local decision-making and strengthen corporate and non-government  contribution to Indigenous affairs’. Members are chosen for their expertise, not  as representatives.

Born on this day
in 1989 in Kingaroy Queensland Chris Sandow began NRL career with Gold Coast Titans, moved to the Rabbitohs, then to Paramatta Eeles

On This Day in 1970: Queensland Mines announced a rich uranium find at Nabarick in the Northern Territory.

On This Day in 1977: Australian rugby league champion Arthur Beetson retired from international rugby league after learning that Australian Rugby League officials had dumped him from the team chosen to play in New Zealand.

On This Day in 1978: Legendary Aboriginal cricketer Eddie Gilbert, who once knocked th bat from Sir Donald Bradman’s hand and so dismissed him for a duck, died aged 74 years.

On This Day in 1998: The Art and Soul Festival began in Uluru, Northern Territory and celebrated the co-existence of Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures. The festival continued around the country until September 13.

On This Day in 2002: A heads of agreement was sealed between the Kariyarra People and the Town of Port Hedland to establish a firm foundation for future native title negotiations over the area within the town’s boundaries. Representatives from both groups signed the heads of agreement in the Town Civic Centre Gardens at Port Hedland. Port Hedland Mayor Brent Rudler said that the agreement formalised the beginning of a partnership based on mutual trust and respect.

On This Day in 2003: The Queensland Government said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities would benefit from an $860,000 funding increase to improve local government services, community policing and financial administration, announced on this day.

JANUARY10

On This Day in 2002: A heads of agreement was sealed on this day between the Kariyarra People and the Town of Port Hedland to establish a firm foundation for future native title negotiations over the area within the town’s boundaries. Representatives from both groups signed the heads of agreement in the Town Civic Centre Gardens at Port Hedland. Port Hedland Mayor Brent Rudler said that the agreement formalised the beginning of a partnership based on mutual trust and respect.

On This Day in 2003: The Queensland Government said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities would benefit from an $860,000 funding increase to improve local government services, community policing and financial administration, announced on this day.

JANUARY11

On This Day in 1951: Aboriginal people holding certificates of citizenship were given the right to vote in Western Australia.

On This Day in 1974: The Aboriginal Loans Commission was established to provide financial assistance to Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal Development Commission replaced it in 1980.

On This Day in 2002: The Federal Court rejected a Native Title claim on a South Australian cattle station – the first to be determined over SA land. Justice Maurice O’Loughlin ruled against the claim over the 1,865 sq km De Rose Hill Station in the State’s far north, six years to the day after it first came before the court.

On This Day in 2002: ATSIC announced that the number of Indigenous women regional councillors in South Australia had doubled following the official declaration today of ATSIC election results. The voluntary ATSIC elections, held across the State on October 19, saw a record number of 2,782 votes cast by Indigenous people – an increase of 2% over the 1999 election.

On This Day in 2002: Western Australian Indigenous Affairs Minister Alan Carpenter announced a major review of the Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT). Mr Carpenter said the main aim of the review was to accelerate the current process of transferring land management from the ALT to indigenous communities.

JANUARY11

On This Day in 1956: The Commonwealth Government gave 24 Aboriginal bark paintings to major galleries throughout Australia, to initiate Australia-wide collections.

On This Day in 1962: Aboriginal Boxer, Jeff Dynevor, became the first Aboriginal person to win an international competition. Jeff won a gold medal in the Bantamweight ivision at the Empire and Commonwealth Games held in Perth.

On This Day in 1966: Margaret Valadian graduated from the University of Queensland and Charles Perkins graduated from Sydney University. They were the first Aboriginal university graduates.

On This Day in 1972: The Department of Aboriginal Affairs was established, taking over the role of the Council for Aboriginal Affairs.

On This Day in 1976: Aboriginal Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls of Djadjawurung and Yorta Yorta descent became Governor for South Australia, and was recognised as the first Aboriginal person to hold a vice regal position.

On This Day in 1996: The first comprehensive Native Title claim over a capital city and surrounding areas was announced in Darwin on this day by the Larrakia people.

On This Day in 1997: Mirrar spokesperson Christine Christophersen said she was pleased although stunned at the dramatic turnaround by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Kyoto on this day. Ms Christophersen said the announcement by the Committee that it would be asking the Australian government to voluntarily stop mining activity at Jabiluka meant the Mirrar people were ‘back in the fight’.

JANUARY12

On This Day in 1999: The ‘Jabiluka 13’, known for staging their own trial against uranium mining company, ERA, travelled to Darwin to face trial for protesting at the Jabiluka mine-site in July 1998. The group pleaded Not Guilty to all of their charges.

Born on this day in 1983 AFL Eagles player Ashley Sampi

On This Day in 2000: Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Keith Hamilton, attended the ten-year anniversary celebration of an important Aboriginal cultural centre in Gariwerd (The Grampians). Mr Hamilton congratulated those associated with the Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, based at Halls Gap, for its outstanding work. Aboriginal owned and operated, the centre promotes cultural understanding and is a major tourist attraction for domestic and international visitors as well as a cultural focus for the surrounding Aboriginal Communities

JANUARY13

On This Day in 2002: The release of a new report showed Aboriginal people were responsible for a significant proportion of regional economic activity in the Kimberley. The Aboriginal Component of the Kimberley Economy report was released  by the WA Minister for the Kimberley, Tom Stephens, who welcomed it as an important new source of information on business in the Kimberley economy. “The report recognises the emergence and growth of the Aboriginal business sector and this represents the most significant development in the structure of the regional economy through the 1990s,” Mr Stephens said.

JANUARY14

On This Day in 1951: Two hundred Aboriginal people living on Berimah Aboriginal Reserve in the Northern Territory went on strike demanding a weekly wage of seven pounds and equal rights with non-Indigenous Australian’s. Unfortunately the strike collapsed and the strikers went back to work.

On This Day in 1955: Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira was refused permission to build a house on his own property after he refused to live on a mission.

On This Day in 1999: A group called Resistance, whom had previously organised mass high shool mobilisations against racism, spoke out against the jailing of a 14 year old Aboriginal girl in a Mackay watchhouse. The girl was the sister of an 11 year old boy who was kept in the same Mackay watchhouse in November  1998, causing outrage among civil libertarians and Aboriginal groups. At the time, the Queensland State Labour government said that the jailing of a child in an adult watchhouse would never happen again.

JANUARY 15

On This Day in 1988 Imparja television commenced broadcasting in Alice springs after gaining Australia’s first Aboriginal television license in April 1987. In February 1986 the Central Australian Aboriginal media Association (CAAMA) formed Imparja as a company with share holders from organisations the Northern Teritory.

On This Day in 2002 The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), on behalf of the Commonwealth Government, handed over the freehold title deeds of a 647ha grazing property to traditional Aboriginal owners in a ceremony near Baker’s Hill in Western Australia. The property, known as Coobabla Farm, was purchased by the ILC, which was a statutory body set up in 1995 to help address the dispossession of Indigenous people by helping them acquire land. ILC Chairperson Shirley McPherson said the property, about 80km east of Perth, would be handed over to the Woolah-Wah Land Aboriginal Corporation

On This Day in 1831: A party of five Europeans and six Aboriginal people, led by George Robinson, began walking the entire coast of Tasmania in an attempt to resettle Aboriginal people on Bruny Island.

On This Day in 1974: A group of ten Aboriginal people flew to China to embarrass the Australian Government for its stance on land rights. It was hoped to convince China to send a delegation to Australia as guests of Aboriginal people.

JANUARY 16

On This Day in 1788: Captain Arthur Phillip entered Botany Bay. Over the following three days, Aboriginal people watched a total of nine ships sailing into Botany Bay.

Born on this day in 1983 Palmer Wapau  NRL player for the Broncos

On This Day in 1815: Governor Lachlan Macquarie established and opened a school for Aboriginal children in Parramatta, New South Wales.

On This Day in 1901: Jimmy Governor, bushranger, after a two-day trial, was convicted and hanged in Darlinghurst goal, for robberies and murders he and his brother had committed. His brother,  earlier.

On This Day in 1999: Up to 118 Jabiluka protesters were arrested during the largest mass action on the Jabiluka mineral lease on 14 July 1998, were due to appear in Darwin Magistrates Court beginning on this day.

On This Day in 1999: The ATSIC Chairman, Gatjil Djerrkura, welcomed the call by the NSW Opposition Leader, Kerry Chikarovski, for a formal apology from the federal government to the Stolen Generations. “I find it very encouraging that Mrs Chikarovski, as the new Coalition leader in NSW, has recognised the strength of the growing reconciliation movement”, Mr Djerrkura said. “And I couldn’t agree more with Mrs Chikarovski that this ‘unfinished business’ needs resolution before the new millennium. …”

JANUARY17

On This Day in 1993: The first Tasmanian Native Title meeting was held on Cape Barren Island.

JANUARY18

On This Day in 1788: Local Aboriginal people greeted the arrival of the First Fleet at Botany Bay by brandishing their spears and shouting. When Governor Phillip came ashore, they were at first hostile, before directing Phillip to a source of fresh water.

On This Day in 1998: In his last public duty as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Dodson launched the national human rights community education project – ‘Tracking Your Rights’.

On This Day in 1998: The Queensland Government announced it was ready to fight the  State election on the issue of native title. Premier Bob Borbidge claimed more than half the State – including some ‘backyards’ – was under claim. He said a large chunk of the Cairns CBD, the area covering the courthouse and police station, was also under Native Title claim.

JANUARY19

On This Day in 1842: The first public execution in Melbourne took place on this day when two Aboriginal men were hanged for the murder of two European whalers. The accused were both survivors of the conflict between the white settlers and the traditional owners of  Van Diemen’s Land now (Tasmana)and the virtual destruction of the Aboriginal people there. Both of them had been relocated since 1839 in the Port Phillip district under the so called “care” of George Augustus Robinson, Chief Protector of Aborigines.

Born on this day in 1979 Rod Jensen NRL for Cowboys began carer with the Northern pride

On This Day in 1988: The passing away of Vincent Lingiari, elder of the Gurindji tribe and leader of the Wave Hill Station walkout in 1966. The strike lasted seven years, and in 1975 Prime Minister Gough Whitlam handed Vincent the rights to some of the Gurindji traditional lands.

JANUARY20

On This Day in 1953: Northern Territory Aborigines were promised citizenship rights under a new deal announced on this day by the Minister for Territories, Mr Hasluck. Legislation before the Northern Territory Legislative Council proposed to make citizenship the right of all Aboriginal people, except those formally committed to the care of the State and in need of special care and assistance.

JANUARY21

On This Day in 1788: The beginnings of earnest interaction between European settlers and the local Aboriginal population at Botany Bay, with Governor Phillip’s officers warned away from the southern side of the bay by warriors with spears. Later in the day, one of Phillip’s men is ordered to expose himself to the Aboriginal people gathered in the area in response to their questions aboutthe sex of the strange invaders.

On This Day in 1788: The town of Manly in New South Wales was named by Governor Phillip due to the “manly” appearance of the Aboriginal people living there.

On This Day in 2002: ATSIC Commissioner for the Northern Territory Central Zone Alison Anderson gave evidence to the Senate Inquiry into the Human Rights (Mandatory Sentencing for Property Offences) Bill 2000 on behalf ATSIC’s NT elected representatives.

On This Day in 2003: ATSIC Commissioner Robbie Williams welcomed the decision by the Queensland Government to include the Aboriginal flag in the Australia Day flag-raising ceremony.

JANUARY22

On This Day in 1883: The officer in charge of Native Police at Cloncurry in Queensland, and four police officers, were ambushed and killed by Aboriginal people. This incident saw the beginning of more than a year of battles between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

On This Day in 1941: Cabinet approved an amendment to the Commonwealth Electoral Act to give voting rightsto  any Aboriginal person who had ‘enlisted and done honourable service in the Australian Imperial Forces abroad’. Aboriginal people who had served overseas and who had been honourably discharged or were still serving were to be included in the amendment. This proposed extension of the vote to Aboriginal servicemen was never enacted.

On This Day in 2002: The Queensland Minister for Families and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Judy Spence announced a new strategy to address homelessness and associated problems among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the appointment of staff to work on homelessness action plans in Townsville and Cairns.

On This Day in 2003: The Aboriginal contribution to Australian country music was acknowledged with the presentation of the career-launching Star Maker Award to Todd Williams at the Tamworth Music Festival.

JANUARY23

On This Day in 1832: The remaining Tasmanian Aboriginal people in captivity were shipped from Gun Carriage Island to Flinders Island.

On This Day in 1863: A survivor from a ship wrecked 17 years ago off the Queensland coast was found living with Aboriginal people near the Burdekin River. Jimmy Murrell said the Aboriginal people who found him treated him kindly, but some of them were shot when they tried to tell a group of white men who landed nearby that another white man was with them.

On This Day in 1935: First cousins Edna and Mabel Crouch left Brisbane and became the first female Aboriginal representatives to play in the Australian Women’s Cricket carnival in Melbourne.

On This Day in 1972: Prime Minister William McMahon outlined the Government’s long awaited statement on Aboriginal land rights. Freehold land rights were rejected in favour of fifty-year general purpose leases to Aboriginal communities for social and economic purposes.

JANUARY24

On This Day in 1938: An Australia Day Protest known as the Day of Mourning was held in Sydney. As white Australians celebrated the sesquicentenary, approximately 100 Aboriginal men, women and children defiantly gathered in a Sydney hall, then known as the Australian Hall, to call for citizen’s rights.

On This Day in 1968: Lionel Rose MBE, one of Australia’s best boxers, was the first Aboriginal person to be named Australian of the Year.

On This Day in 1971: Evonne Goolagong, who won Wimbledon twice and was a top ranked player for more than 10 years, was named Australian of the Year.

On This Day in 1979: Aboriginal Chairman of the Northern Land Council, Galarrwuy Yunupingu, was named Australian of the Year.

On This Day in 1982: Mark Ella, former captain of the Australian Rugby Union Team, was named Young Australian of the Year. He was the first Aboriginal person to

captain the Wallabies, and was one of Australia’s great Rugby Union footballers.

On This Day in 1984: Dr Lois O’Donoghue CBE, was awarded the title of Australian of the Year.

On This Day in 1988: An Australia Day protest was held by Aboriginal people from across the continent at the Australian Bicentenary celebrations held in Sydney. Tens

of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people marched through the streets of Sydney to celebrate their survival during the previous 200 years, while non-Indigenous Australia commemorated the bicentenary.

On This Day in 1992: Mandawuy Yunupingu was awarded the title of Australian of the Year.

On This Day in 1998: Cathy Freeman was awarded the title of Australian of the Year, and is the only Australian to be awarded both Junior and Senior Awards.

JANUARY25

On This Day in 1830: George Robinson, the Superintendent of Aborigines, left Hobart to study and work with the Port Davey tribe, as part of his plan to ‘pacify and civilise the native peoples’.

On This Day in 1988: Burnum Burnum, actor and Aboriginal activist, claimed Britain at Dover on behalf of Aboriginal people in Australia.

On This Day in 1992: Nearly 100 Aboriginal people and supporters occupied Old Parliament House. They called on the Federal Government and the United Nations to recognise Aboriginal sovereignty over Australia. The majority voluntarily left the building the next day, with the exception of four who were arrested.

On This Day in 1999: Indigenous Australians had private health insurance at only onequarter the rate of other Australians in 1995 and were more likely to have used hospital facilities, a new publication released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed.

JANUARY26

On This Day 1788  Captain Arthur Phillip took formal  possession of the colony of New South Wales and raised the British flag for the first time raised  the British flag for the first time  in Sydney Cove. In the early 1880s the day was known as ‘First Landing’, ‘Anniversary Day’ or ‘Foundation Day’.

In 1946 the Commonwealth and state governments agreed to unify the  celebrations on January 26 and call it ‘Australia Day’. The day became a public  holiday in 1818 (its 30th anniversary). Since 1994 all states and territories celebrate Australia Day together on the  actual day. On this day ceremonies welcome new citizens or honour people who did  a great service. On the fun side are BBQs, contests, parades, performances,  fireworks and more. A National Australia Day Council, founded in 1979, views  Australia Day as “a day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be  proud of in our great nation,” and a “day for us to re-commit to making  Australia an even better place for the generations to come.

To many Aboriginal people there is little to celebrate and it is a  commemoration of a deep loss. Loss of their sovereign rights to their land, loss  of family, loss of the right to practice their culture.

Aboriginal people call it ‘Invasion Day’, ‘Day of  Mourning’, ‘Survival Day’ or, since 2006, ‘Aboriginal Sovereignty Day’. The latter name reflects that all  Aboriginal nations are sovereign and should be united in the continuous fight  for their rights.

“Australia is the only country in the world that celebrates the coming of one  race at the expense of another—not even the Americans do it,” says Michael  Mansell, legal director of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

On This Day in 1988 Tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people march through  the streets of Sydney on Australia Day to celebrate their survival during the  previous 200 years, while non-indigineous Australia commerates the bicentenary  of their immigration. Aboriginal people rename the day to ‘Survival  Day’.

On This day in 1938 150 years after European occupation the Aboriginal Progressive Association  declares a Day of Mourning. An Aboriginal conference is held in  Sydney. These are the first of many Aboriginal protests against inequality,  injustice, dispossession of land and protectionist policies.

Survival Day, Invasion Day

 On This Day In 1992 the first Survival Day concert was held in Sydney. These concerts are  often staged at places with great Aboriginal significance, for example La  Perouse or Redgfern.  

Survival Day has become one of the biggest Aboriginal cultural  events that is staged throughout Australia. In all major cities you can  visit alternative concerts where mainly Aboriginal people gather.

On This Day in 2009 Aboriginal law professor Mick  Dodson receives the 2009 Australian of the Year award  for his lifetime commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal people and in  helping to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, saying Australia Day should be inclusive of Aboriginal and  Torres Strait Islander cultures.  I firmly believe that some day we will choose  a date that is a comprehensive and inclusive date for all  Australians.

On This Day in 2012 The Aboriginal Tent Embassy in  Canberra celebrates its 40th anniversary. An incident where the Prime Minister  was disturbed by around 50 protesters outside a restaurant makes security guards  drag her hurriedly into a car. She loses a shoe, gaining her the nickname ‘Gingerella’ (alluding to Cinderella and PM Julia Gillard’s red hair). Media  reports grossly exaggerate the events.

JANUARY27

On This Day in 1830: George Augustus Robinson took up the post of ‘Protector of Aborigines’ in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).

On This Day in 1944: The National Missionary Council of Australia designated the last Sunday of January as Aboriginal Sunday.

On This Day in 1995: Justice Drummond, in the Federal Court, made a decision that the claim of the Wik and Thayorre Peoples could not succeed over the areas that were subject to pastoral leases. The Judge’s reason was that he considered that the grant of pastoral leases under Queensland law extinguished any native title rights.

On This Day in 2003: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission strongly supported a call by former captain of the Australian cricket team, Ian Chappell, for official recognition of the 1868 Aboriginal team as the first Australian representative team to tour England.

JANUARY28

On This Day in 1856: William Buckley, known as the “Wild White Man” who lived with the Kulin people of Port Philip region in what is now know as Victoria for thirty one years,
died in Hobart in Tasmania. It was estimated that he was about seventy six years of age.

On This Day in 1883: Marcus de la Poer Beresford, the nephew of nobleman Marquess of Waterford, died at the hands of members of the Kalkadoon tribe. The Kalkadoon Aboriginal people had suffered harassment, imprisonment and death at the hands of the Native Police over a long period.

On This Day in 2001: The Queensland South Native Title Representative Body Aboriginal Corporation was advised that it had been approved as the native title representative body for the southern region of Queensland by the Federal Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Senator John Herron.

On This Day in 2003: Community patrols, individual case management of homeless Indigenous people and improved coordination of existing services and resources in Cairns, Townsville and Mount Isa featured in the Beattie Government’s Blueprint for Strategic Action on Regional Indigenous homelessness.

JANUARY29

On This Day in 1838: It was announced that a Chief Protector of Aborigines, based at Port Phillip, was to be appointed. The appointment was the result of ongoing concern over the plight of Aboriginal people following on from the tabling of the Report of the Select Committee on Aborigines before the House of Commons.

On This Day in 1938: William Cooper lead an Aboriginal deputation to Prime Minister Lyons seeking Federal control of Aboriginal Affairs. He collected 1814 signatures in October 1937, on a petition to the King calling for Aboriginal representatives in Parliament. Unfortunately the petition was never forwarded.

On This Day in 1972: The Minister for Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, Mr Peter Howson said “there was a disturbing undertone in the use of the term ‘Aboriginal Embassy’. The term implied a sovereign state and cut across the Government’s expressed objection to separate development and was kindred to apartheid”.

On This Day in 1972: An Aboriginal couple were refused service in the lounge bar of the Terminus Hotel in South Brisbane. A few weeks later a group of 35 demonstrators staged a sit-in and demanded service. The hotel management responded by calling the police, turning off the lights and declaring the lounge bar closed.

JANUARY 30

The Northern Territory government and traditional owners settle one of the  longest native title claims over the Cox Peninsula, about 30  kms west of Darwin. 80% of the area will be designated Aboriginal land for the  Larrakia people.

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