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On this day in 1999: Thirteen Brisbane people staged their own trial against uranium mining company, ERA, in King George Square, Brisbane. They had previously been arrested for their part in protesting against the Jabiluka uranium mine.
On this day in 1984: The New South Wales Government handed over title deeds for 230 hectares of land to the Wallaga Lake Aboriginal community. It was the first hand-over since Land Rights Legislation was passed in NSW in 1983.
On this day in 1986: Former country and western singer Ernie Bridge became the first Aboriginal Cabinet Minister to be elected by the Labour Caucus to the Burke Ministry in Western Australia.
On this day in 1994: The Aboriginal All-Stars Football Team comfortably defeated Collingwood Football Club by 20 points in Darwin. Final scores were [13.10] 88 to [10.8] 68.
On this day in 1999: In the Federal Court, Justice Drummond ratified native title agreements between the Queensland Government and the Mualgal people of Moa Island and the Saibai people of Saibai Island in the Torres Strait.
On this day in 2002: A formal settlement was reached, recognising the native title rights of the Karajarri people over an area of land south of Broome. The decision was a consent determination between the Karajarri people, the State of Western Australia and a number of other parties including the Shire of Broome, Telstra, Western Australia, Western Agricultural Industries and pearling companies.
On this day in 2002: National Aborigine of the Year and incumbent NSW West Zone Commissioner, Steve Gordon, was re-elected for an unprecedented fifth term on the national ATSIC Board of Commissioners.
On this day in 1688: William Dampier, British mariner, left King Sound for Sumatra. After anchoring in Cygnet Cove, he spent nine weeks repairing his ship and making detailed observations of the country and its inhabitants. It was here he made his notorious comment about Aborigines ‘the miserablest people in the world’. They seemed to have no tools, but constructed fish weirs and dug wells, from which Dampier’s crew replenished their own water casks.
On this day in 1993: Ancestral remains were returned to Eaglehawk Neck from the Tasmanian Museum.
On this day in 1997: The Northern Territory Government introduced a six-month trial for an Aboriginal Languages Interpreter Service.
On this day in 1999: “The time has come to examine the impact of the extinguishment of native title and the workability problems emerging from the amended Native Title Act (NTA)”, said the ATSIC Chairman, Gatjil Djerrkura. Mr Djerrkura told the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Native Title and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Fund that it should focus its efforts on these matters, along with the impairment of native title rights and the effect of the NTA on land management.
On this day in 2000: ATSIC’s full board held a historic meeting with the Prime Minister in Canberra. Commissioner Jenny Pryor described the meeting at The Lodge as “a constructive sign that ATSIC can improveits relations with the current Federal Government to advance the interests of our people.”
On this day in 2002: The Federal Government announced a range of new houses and essential services would be provided for Palm Island’s Indigenous communities atan estimated cost of more than $7 million following a decision to extend the ATSIC Army Community Assistance Program (AACAP) to the island.
On this day in2003: Pioneer Aboriginal pop star and country music singer Jimmy Little was honoured for his lifetime contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts.
On this day in 1972: Thirty Federal Labour parliamentarians promised physical action to pevent the removal of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
On this day in 1994: Prime Minister Paul Keating announced the establishment of the Aboriginal Land Fund to provide financial contribution for the acquisition and management of Indigenous land. Funds were to be administered by the Indigenous Land Corporation.
On this day in 1997: The first Aboriginal magistrate, Patricia O’Shane, announced her retirement from the bench.
On this day in 1997: Sports Minister, Mick Veivers announced a $500,000 Government initiative to employ nine Aboriginal officers within the Office of Sport and Recreation. Veivers said the role of the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation officers would be to help boost sports training programs as well as the development of facilities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
On this day in 2003: It was announced Aboriginal rock art believed to date back 11,000 years had been discovered in a cave in Tasmania’s south-west.
On this day in 1993: Paul Keating told a conference of the NSW Branch of the Labor Party:”The history and contemporary reality of Aboriginal Australia is a blight on our reputation, our traditions of fairness, social justice and inclusion, and our self esteem. It is, therefore, a true Labour cause, and I call on the entire Labour movement in Australia to get behind it.”
On this day in 2002: A handover ceremony of a Men’s Health Centre by Minister for Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs Philip Ruddock, at the community of Yarralin situated approximately 400 kms southwest of Katherine. The Centre, costing $125,000, was constructed as part of the ATSIC/Army Community Assistance Program (AACAP) which involved major housing and infrastructure work at both Yarralin and the nearby outstation of Lingara.
On this day in 1963: National Aborigines Day was celebrated with speeches in Martin Place, Sydney.
On this day in 2002: A new resource guide, developed by the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy (DATSIP) and the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), was launched on this day. The guide was designed to help Indigenous land holders realise the potential of their land.On this day in 2002: The National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Person of the Year was presented to ATSIC Commissioner for the Western Zone NSW Steve Gordon.
On this day in 2002: The Wagiman people of the Northern Territory were handed back country by the Federal Minister for Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Mr Philip Ruddock.
On this day in 1977: A NSW Aboriginal Health Service Survey revealed that 25 percent of Sydney’s Aboriginal children were so undernourished that they could suffer permanent brain damage. The children were part of the 20,000 Aboriginal population living in poor conditions in Redfern, in the heart of Sydney’s urban wealth. The survey identified 64% of these children as anaemic, 60% as having a parasitic bowel infection and 32% as having a least one perforated eardrum.
On this day in 1987: The establishment of a Royal Commission to investigate the deaths of 44 Aboriginal people while in custody since 1980.
On this day in 2001: The first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth cricket team to tour England was named in Brisbane on this day. The 14-man squad played a three week nine game tour of England which retraced some of the footsteps of the first Australian cricket team to play in England, an all Aboriginal side in 1868. The youth team was captained by Barry Firebrace, 20, of Victoria.
On this day in 1972 the Northern Territory Lands Right Act was passed by the Frazer Government The Act was introduced on 16 October 1975 and became law in 1976. Under the act, more than 50% of the Northern Territory was returned to traditional Aboriginal owners in the following 30 years.The NT Land Rights Act gives Aboriginal people a strong say over what should happen on their land, through the principle of informed consent. It allows traditional owners to keep their culture strong and to negotiate constructively with governments and developers over mining and infrastructure projects.
On this day in 1972: The full bench of the ACT Supreme Court judged that the Trespass on Commonwealth Lands Ordinance (used to dismantle the Aboriginal Tent Embassy) had been wrongly applied.
On this day in 1997: The Australian Broadcasting Authority granted a Community Broadcast Licence to the Mount Isa Aboriginal Media Association for MOB-fm.
On this day in 2002: Torres Strait Island leaders called on Premier Peter Beattie to explain the Queensland government’s decision to abandon six Native Title determinations in the Torres Strait. Speaking on Radio 4MW on this day, Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Chairperson, Terry Waia, called on the Queensland government to take full responsibility for the cancellation of the determinations planned for later that month.
On this day in 2002: People from the remote Aboriginal community of Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia began returning to their homes in the Western Desert, 19 months after severe flooding resulted in their evacuation to other parts of the country.
On this day in 1985: Canon Arthur Malcolm was ordained as Australia’s first Aboriginal Bishop.
On this day in 1996: Close to 50,000 Indigenous Australian voters turned out for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission elections.
On this day in 1997: Women from around Australia converged on Alice Springs for the first national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Well Women’s Health Workshop.
On this day in 1997: A spectacular statement of grassroots support for native title and reconciliation materialised in the national capital on this day. The Sea of Hands comprised over 60,000 human-sized hands ‘planted’ on wire sticks in the Parliament House lawns in Canberra as a symbolic ‘show of hands’ by thousands of Australians.
On this day in 2002: South Australian Premier Mike Rann announced the State Government would hand a significant area of land in the State’s far north-west to the traditional Aboriginal owners in March 2003. Mr Rann said the handover was the single largest land rights handover in South Australia since the Maralinga lands in 1984.
On this day in 2002: Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Judy Spence announced $3.47 million funding for the Diversion from Custody Program in Queensland on this day. The funding was designed to provide culturally appropriate alternatives to detention for intoxicated and homeless Indigenous people.
On this day in 1831: Charles Rodius published the first of a series of lithographed portraitsof Aboriginal people.
On this day in 1960: Birth of renowned Aboriginal photographer and international film maker, Tracy Moffat, at Mount Gravatt, Queensland.
On this day in 1997: A formal alliance between Aboriginal and Environmental groups was created in Alice Springs to fight new uranium mines across Australia, especially with a view to starting a network of resources for blockades.
On this day in 1997: Education Minister, Bob Quinn opened the inaugural meeting of MACATSIE, a new body designed to advise the State Government on mattersrelating to Indigenous education. Minister Quinn also announced the full membership of the ministerial Advisory Council on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education.
On this day in 1997: The Cape York Land Council’s negotiation team met in Cairns to develop a position for negotiations with Chevron surrounding the proposed gas pipeline
On this day in 1789: Colbee, who was captured with Bennelong by Captain Arthur Phillip, escaped after being held captive for 17 days.
On this day in 2012 SBS began broadcasting dedicated Aboriginal TV free to air on SBS4. The service replaces the Aboriginal run media NITV Corporation bringing Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples under the Australian flagship Special Broadcasting Services with Australia’s other racial groupings.
On this day in 1817: Governor Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office that Australia be used in future for the name of the new continent.
On this day in 2001: The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock, met with the British Minister for the Arts, the Rt Hon Baroness Blackstone, in London on this day to discuss the progress of an agreement on the repatriation of Indigenous human remains from Britain to Australia.
On this day in 2001: The ATSIC Commissioner for Women, Ms Christine Williams, called for improved services following the release of a report which revealed disturbing levels of discrimination occurring against Indigenous women in NSW. Her comments followed the release by the Anti Discrimination Board (ADB) and Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre of a report entitled: “Discrimination- have you got all day.” The document was based on interviews with 73 Indigenous women from 10 urban and rural communities in NSW.
On this day in 2002: The Beattie Government announced it would invest $2.66 million directly into 19 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to implement initiatives outlined in Meeting Challenges, Making Choices, the government’s response to the Cape York Justice Study.
On this day in 1974: A National bilingual education campaign for Aboriginal children was announced.
On this day in 1995: Jervis Bay National Park and botanic gardens were handed back to the Aboriginal community in an official ceremony in 1995.
On this day in 2001: A High Court decision in Melbourne approved the Yorta Yorta people’s application to appeal an earlier Federal Court decision on their native title claim. The application required the High Court to determine whether the Federal Court had erred in legal principle in not giving enough weight to oral evidence and, as a result, concluding that the traditional law and custom of the Yorta Yorta had been abandoned at or about 1881.
On this day in 1897: Laws were enacted in Queensland to prohibit Aboriginal people accessing liquor and opium. The 1897 Protection of Aborigines and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act was to affect Indigenous rights in Queensland for much of the 20th Century.
On this day in 1939: Charles Mene, a Torres Strait Islander, joined the armed forces on this day. He served throughout the Second World War, the occupation of Japan and the Korean War where he won the Military Medal.
On this day in 1997: The Central Land Council and traditional owners signed five new mining exploration agreements covering an area of land larger than the Australian Capital Territory. The agreements signed in Darwin with mining companies Otter Gold NL, Aberfoyle Resources Ltd and Adelaide Resources NL, covered 2,931 sq km of Aboriginal land in the western Tanami region of the Northern Territory.
On this day in 1997: On this evening, the first students to ever obtain a degree in Indigenous Australian Art graduated from Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art. The Queensland Conservatorium hosted the ceremony where five students received their Bachelor of Visual Art in Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art degrees.
On this day in 1976: The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act was passed and provided Aboriginal people with freehold title to former reserve land across the Northern Territory.
On this day in 1997: The Gundjehmi court case began in the Federal court, challenging the validity of the original Jabiluka mining lease.
On this day in 1997: Senator John Heron announced initiatives totalling $63 million for practical assistance to those affected by the Stolen Generation policies.
On this day in 1999: Geoff Clark, ATSIC commissioner for Victoria, became the first elected leader of the ATSIC Board of Commissioners.
On this day in 1999: After 13 years in court, it took 30 minutes to hand out cheques for $7000 to 235 Palm Islanders, the first of 3500 Aboriginals to be compensated after years of being under-paid and over-worked.
On this day in 2001: The Indigenous documentary “Trepang – a tale of discovery” was broadcast on the ABC. The TV documentary tells the story of pre-colonial contact between Macassan seafarers and the Aboriginal people of Arnhem Land.
On this day in 1901: the Federal Pacific Islanders Act became law.
On this day in 1984: Over 76,000 square kilometres of traditional land at Maralinga in western South
On this day in 1996: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister, Senator John Herron, today announced an overhaul of the Heritage Protection Act, designed to prevent another Hindmarsh Island saga. Under the changes, the Commonwealth Heritage Protection Act would be retained as an ‘Act of last resort’, to apply where State and Territory schemes do not meet national minimum standards, or where national interest considerations exist.
On this day in 1996: Queensland Health Minister, Mike Horan, announced on this day that the State Government would advertise across Queensland immediately to fill the membership of Queensland’s new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council.
On this day in 1838: A letter in the Australian newspaper attested to the racial hatred of Aboriginal people by early settlers: “I look on the blacks as a set of monkies, and the earlier they are exterminated from the face of the earth the better. I would never consent to hang a white man for a black one.”
On this day in 1943: The Army prepared instructions for personnel to be based at each of the Army-controlled Aboriginal settlements. These personnel would maintain a roll of all labourers showing their ‘European’ and Aboriginal names, clan, the names of their dependants, the number of their blood slide (used to monitor malarial infection) and any general remarks.
On this day in 1994: A replica of Captain James Cook’s ship ‘Endeavour’ arrived in Sydney to celebrate the ‘discovery’ in 1770 of the land in which Aboriginal people had lived for more than 60,000 years. Aboriginal protesters attached a banner to the fence of the Botanical Gardens reading ‘Don’t Forget White Australia has a Black History’.
On this day in 1997: The Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Senator John Herron, released the names of the 25 members of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for the Council’s final three-year term, which ended on 31st December 2000. Senator Herron confirmed the appointment of Ms Evelyn Scott as Chairperson and Sir Gus Nossal as Deputy Chairperson of the Council.
On this day in 1938: Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira had 41 watercolour paintings on exhibition at the Fine Art Society Gallery in Melbourne. All 41 paintings were sold.
On this day in 2000: The Queensland Government signed a Justice Agreement committing it to the goal of halving the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prisons and appearing before the courts.
On this day in 2002: Victorian-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner Chairman Geoff Clark was re-elected as ATSIC Chairman for a second term on this day.
Born on this day in 1990 Christopher “Chris” Yarran AFL player with Carlton Yarran played his junior years in Western Australia. He was also a member of the AIS/AFL Academy Squad
On this day in 1836: The Executive Council of NSW cleared Major Thomas Mitchell of responsibility after his expedition killed a large number of Aboriginal peopleon the Murray River.
On this day in 1889: Despite the plan of the Queensland government to outlaw the importation of Pacific Island labour after 1890, a Royal Commission reported on this day the labour was essential. It stated that ‘if all coloured labour be withdrawn from the plantations the extinction of the sugar industry must speedily follow’.
On this day in 1895: Law was enacted in South Australia to limit the use of opium by Aboriginal people for medicinal purposes.
On this day in 2001: ATSIC said Essendon AFL coach Kevin Sheedy should be commended for his forward-thinking proposal to expand the draft system and allow AFL clubs to recruit an additional two Indigenous players as rookies. MrSheedy’s proposal would allow Indigenous players recruited from remoteareas more time to adjust to the pressures and demands of a professionallifestyle and big city living.
On this day in 2001: Native title, education and law and justice issues were among the priority areas of need identified at the first historic meeting of a new body representing the heads of the major Western Australian Government departments delivering services to Aboriginal people and State ATSIC leaders on this day. WA Indigenous Affairs Minister Alan Carpenter, who chaired the Indigenous Affairs Advisory Committee (IAAC), said the group had the power to improve the lives of thousands of Aboriginal people in the State.
On this day in 1835: Protector of Aborigines George Augustus Robinson noted in his journal of the conditions for the Tasmanian Aborigines at Flinders Island: “it is cruel not to provide abundantly for this remnant of the aboriginal race… having placed them on an isolated spot. The least we ought to do is to abundantly supply their wants”.
On this day in 1840: Four Aboriginal people were shot by J.F. Francis in the Pyrenes, according to George Robertson’s listing of ‘Aborigines – Outrages Against’ in the 1879 Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time.
On this day in 1974: An adult male skeleton believed to be some 30,000 years old was discovered at Lake Mungo in NSW. The skeleton was named Mungo Man.
Born on this day in 1989 Jharl Yow Yeh Brisbale Broncos NRL player
On this day in 1993: Native Title legislation was passed in Federal Parliament and came into effect on 1st December 1994.
Born on this day Beau Champion Melbourne Storm NRL player On this day in 1867: An Act was passed prohibiting the sale or supply of liquor to Aboriginal people in New South Wales.
On this day in 1901: A new test was devised which seems sure to keep Australia as white as its population clearly wanted it to be. Under the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, immigrants were to be requested to sit for a dictation test of 50 words in any European language.
On this day in 1996: The Australian High Court handed down its decision on the Wik Native Title claim. This process resulted in the Federal Government establishing theWik Ten Point Plan on Native Title. The High Court found by a majority of fourto three that the grant of particular pastoral leases under Queensland legislation did not confer exclusive possession on the leases and that any native title held by the Wik and Thayorre peoples over the land was not necessarily extinguished.
On this day in 1998: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister, John Herron, announced the government would protect Boobera Lagoon – a significant Aboriginal sacred site near the NSW/ Queensland border.
On this day in 1861: A troop of native police under the command of Lieutenant Cave carried out a grim reprisal for the deaths of Horatio Wills and 17 others on the Comet River in Queensland. The troopers drove a large group of Aboriginal people to the edge of a precipice and shot about 60 or 70 of them.
On this day in 1866: A team of Aboriginal cricketers played a match against Melbourne Cricket Club on this day.
On this day in 1877: Over 1,000 people saw Aboriginal athlete Frank Clark win running and vaulting events at a Mortlake sports meeting.
On this day in 1998: In a unique bid to encourage Indigenous participation in the Queensland Justice system, Kowanyama residents were urged to play a major role in the construction of a new courthouse in the community. Attorney General Matt Foley said residents would be encouraged to take ownership of the project by contributing to its final design through the provision of public art.
On this day in 1803: A convict by the name of William Buckley, escaped from Port Phillip and lived with a group of Aboriginal people for the following 32 years.
On this day in 1938: Aboriginal people protested against the Australian March to Nationhood rally marking Sydney’s 150th anniversary.
On this day in 1816: Ten Aboriginal people were blacklisted from actions arising from the killing of five settlers on the Nepean River area earlier in 1816.
On this day in 1816: Governor Macquarie announced that there would be a ‘congress of friendly natives’ every year on this day. The first of these took place at theParramatta market place on this day and the 170 Aboriginal people who attended enjoyed a feast of roast beef, potatoes and bread.
On this day in 1824: After witnessing the massacre of his Wiradjuri people, warrior Windradyne lead his family and surviving members of the tribe to Parramatta, where they pay their respects to Governor Brisbane.
On this day in 1834: After a miserable journey through the snowy plateaus and passes of western Van Diemen’s Land, George Augustus Robinson located what was thought to be the ‘last party’ of Aborigines. They were to join the remaining members of the Van Diemen’s Land tribes on Flinders Island.
On this day in 2001: WA Premier Geoff Gallop announced the terms of reference of a State Government Inquiry into domestic violence in Aboriginal communities. The Premier said the physical and sexual abuse of children in Aboriginal communities needed to be tackled head on.
On this day in 1788: Captain Arthur Phillip secured the capture of an Aboriginal person named Arabanoo to train as an interpreter.
On this day in 1834: Reverend Lancelot Threlkeld published ‘An Australian Grammar of the Language Spoken by the Aborigines of the Hunter River’. Threlkeldhad lived among with Aboriginal people since 1826, and had mastered theirdialect with the help of the tribal leader, Biraban.
On this day in 1970: Evonne Goolagong led the way at Kings Park Tennis Club in Perth by thrashing Britain’s Virginia Wade in the opening match as the team went on to win the second Australian Federation Cup in 12 months.
On this day in 1987: A group of protesters greeted the arrival of the ‘Tall Ships’ in Brisbane.