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November, is filled with significant dates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history. It is the month in which Aboriginal people were evicted from the Cape York
community of Mapoon.
Oodgeroo Noonuccal was born, and Aboriginal cricketer Eddie Gilbert bowled the great Sir Donald Bradman for a duck.
These, and many other historical events from around the country, are listed chronologically we’ve chosen some of the more interesting stories to highlight in more detail…
November 6 1973
Frank Reys (c.1931–1984) was the first, and to date, only Australian Aboriginal jockey to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup when, in 1973, he rode to victory on Gala Supreme.His career began in Cairns North Queensland and he rode in Brisbane, Sydney before moving to Melbourne. Frank Reys first ride was a winner in 1948 as a 16 year old in Gordonvale Cairns. In his career as a jockey he clocked up 1,329 winning rides; his 1973 Melbourne Cup win being one of his last. His last ride, also a win, was as a 45 year old in 1976.
November 15, 1963
Queensland police evicted Aboriginal people from the Mapoon community and razed their buildings to allow bauxite mining to occur.
The Mapoon mission was established on western Cape York in the 1890s. The discovery of bauxite in the region in the 1950s lead to an increasing push for the removal of Aboriginal people from the region to make way for mining interests.
The Mapoon Presbyterian mission was formally closed in 1962. The Assistant Director of Native Affairs insisted that bulldozers would soon dig up the remaining residents’ homes and hunting grounds. Despite this, 76 traditional owners refused to budge. In November 1963 an armed police party stormed into homes and ordered residents to pack their suitcases and swags for immediate departure. The next night all those who were on the police lists were herded under armed guard to the Government boat Gelam. As the boat departed, the captives watched as their, homes and possessions were torched.
By 1974 six families had returned to Old Mapoon and rebuilt their houses. It would be another 25 years before the Mapoon community received belated recognition, although the Presbyterian Church formally apologised several years ago for its part in their removal. In November 1999 the Beattie Labor Government legislated to give Mapoon Indigenous Community Council status, almost 36 years to the day after the burning of the former mission.
The Pacific Islanders Act was passed by the Queensland government and prohibited the indenture of Kanaka labour. This Act was to commence on the 1st January 1891.
From 1863, when Pacific Islander labourers first entered Queensland, there were arguments over the nature of their recruitment – whether they were kidnapped slaves or indentured labourers – and over their working and living conditions in Queensland. In the 1860s and 1870s they were employed across a wide geographic area, in pastoral, maritime and agricultural industries. In 1868 Queensland passed a major Act to govern the terms of their recruitment and their conditions while in the Colony.
In its first year the Federal Parliament produced a package of legislation which marked out the racial boundaries of the new nation. The Pacific Island Labourers Act enabled deportation of most of the Pacific Islanders working in Queensland and northern New South Wales as soon as possible after the end of 1906. Some 10,000 Pacific Islanders were living in Queensland and northern New South Wales when the Bill became law. Only 700 of them were exempt from deportation. While the official number of Islanders eventually allowed to remain was 1654, research indicates that the actual number was much higher, with around 2500 Pacific Islanders remaining in Australia
November 25, 1981
Patricia O’Shane was appointed Head of the NSW Department of State Aboriginal Affairs and became the first Aboriginal woman to Head a State Government
Department. Pat O’Shane was the first Aboriginal magistrate in Australia, and was also the first Aboriginal female teacher in Queensland, the first Aboriginal person in the country to graduate in law, and the first woman to head a Government department.
Pat O’Shane was born in 1941 to an Irish Australian father and Aboriginal mother. After finishing school, she studied at Queensland University and became a teacher, before moving to Sydney to study law. As a lawyer, Pat O’Shane has been able to influence what she describes as an unfair system, from within. Her priority has been to improve health, housing and education facilities for Aboriginal people. In 1982 she was asked by the New South Wales Government to head its Department of Aboriginal Affairs, and was subsequently appointed as Australia’s first Indigenous magistrate.
On this day 1934: The Federal Government ordered Northern Territory police to stop chaining Aboriginal prisoners,
On this day in 1962: The white people of the Northern Territory town of Elliott withdrew their children from the local school and demanded that Aboriginal children be removed. Six white children and five Aboriginal children were enrolled at the school, 800 kilometres south of Darwin. The white parents stated they were worried about hygiene.
On this day in 1998: The Jabiluka Aboriginal landowners, failed in their challenge to the legality of mining leases and uranium exports from mines inside Kakadu National Park, announced their intent to continue their legal fight. Justice Ronald Sackville of the Federal Court found against them after senior traditional owner, Yvonne Margarula, challenged the validity of the leases and export licences for uranium mined on their land.
On this day in 1998: A new Legal Studies CD-ROM was launched in Queensland to train indigenous welfare officers. The CD, Introduction to the Legal System, was specifically designed to help indigenous people working within our legal system.
On this day in 1999: Judy Spence, Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Islander Affairs Policy, launched the ‘New Directions – Aboriginal Australia and Business’ exhibition at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane today.
On this day in 1999: The Northern and Central Land Councils and the Northern Territory Government signed a 198-year lease providing land tenure for the Darwin to Alice Springs railway corridor. The Agreement covered Aboriginal land and Native Title lands.
Born on this day In 1920 Oodgeroo Noonuccal (born Kathleen Jean Mary Ruska, formerly Kath Walker) 1920 – 16 September 1993) was an Australian poet, political activist, artist and educator. She was also a campaigner for Aboriginal rights. Oodgeroo was best known for her poetry, and was the first Aboriginal Australian to publish a book of verse
On this day in 1987: The Association of Northern and Central Australia Aboriginal Artists (ANCAAA) was set up to promote the production of Aboriginal art for the benefit of the artists.
On this day in 1996: The Honourable John Herron, Liberal Senator for Queensland, was sworn in as Federal Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
On this day in 1998: The launch of City of Port Phillip’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Port Phillip Indigenous community, by Ann Henderson, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. The Memorandum was the first to be signed by a metropolitan council in Victoria.
On this day in 1999: The announcement of a major international award for socially responsible tourism to the Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre at the prestigious tourism trade fair, Internationale Tourismus Bourse (ITB). Federal Minister for Sport and Tourism, Jackie Kelly, congratulated the centre based in Alice Springs.
On this day in 2001: Prime Minister John Howard and ATSIC chair Geoff Clark announced that Australian cricket team captain Steve Waugh and Test fast bowler Jason Gillespie would take opposing sides in a historic cricket match in Canberra.
On this day in 1978: Two weeks of direct confrontation between the federal and Queensland governments over management of two Aboriginal reserves ended in a compromise reached between the Prime Minister, Mr Fraser, and the Queensland Premier, Mr Bjelke-Petersen. The deadlock, which began when Queensland announced that it would take over the Aurukun and Mornington Island missions from the Uniting Church, was resolved with the former reserves each becoming a local government area run by a local council. Under the agreement, the two communities were to be granted special leases, ‘to secure the preservation of the people’s traditional rights, use and occupancy of the land’. The Federal minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Viner, warned that the Commonwealth would acquire the areas compulsorily if dissatisfied with the proposed leases’ terms, and state law on the agreement.
On this day in 1946: The first industrial strike by Aboriginal people in the Pilbara region took place.
On this day in 1972: Minister for Interior Mr Hunt announced the Government’s intention to bring in an Ordinance which would ‘fill a need in relation to the law regarding trespass on Commonwealth lands in Canberra’ – referring to the recent establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on the lawns of Parliament House. The Ordinance would make it an offence to camp on unleased Commonwealth land within the city.
On this day in 1986: The Gurindji people received inalienable freehold title to almost all of Wave Hill station, called Daguragu.
On this day in 1993: The first compulsory Aboriginal Studies Program in Tasmania was introduced to Cosgrove High School in Hobart.
On this day in 1998: ATSIC Commissioner, Preston Thomas, told a parliamentary committee that the Government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Bill 1998 was “contrary to Indigenous interests and strongly opposed by the Commission”. Mr Thomas was supporting an ATSIC submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Native
On this day in 1976 Frank Reys (c.1931–1984) was the first, and to date, the only Australian Aboriginal jockey to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup when, in 1973, he rode to victory on Gala Supreme. His career began in North Queensland and he rode in, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne . Frank Reys rode his first winner in 1948 as a 16 year old in Gordonvale Cairns. In his career as a jockey he clocked up 1,329 winning rides; his 1973 Melbourne Cup win being one of his last. His last ride, also a win, was as a 45 year old in 1976.
On this day 1770: The Endeavour struck a coral reef at present-day Cooktown, leading to the sailors’ most prolonged contact with Aboriginal people. To make repairs Cook beached the ship in the first safe harbour with fresh water he could find.
On this day in 1975: The Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act was enacted.
On this day in 1992: Archaeological sites at Rocky Cape in northwest Tasmania were reclaimed by Aboriginal people.
On this day in 1997: An apology was made to Indigenous people by the religious orders of Australia.
On this day in 2000: Charles Perkins launched the book ‘Buried Country’ about Aboriginal country musicians in Sydney. At the launch, Perkins said eradicating poverty – among both Indigenous and white children – was the key to reconciliation.
On this day in 1833: The colourful life of Yagan, son of Chief Midgegoroo of the tribe of the Beeliar district and a declared outlaw by the white administration, came to a bloody end on this day. He came upon two young kangaroo hunters, William and John Keats, who, attracted by the price on Yagan’s head, led him to think that their intentions were friendly. Instead, they turned on Yagan and and his friend Heegan and shot them dead.
On this day in 2002: Ms Maureen Liddy was appointed as coordinator for the Cape York Partnerships Unit, based in Cairns. The unit was transferred from the Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet to the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy (DATSIP) on July 1.
On this day in 1952: Dave Sands, the Empire middleweight boxing champion, died from injuries sustained in a road accident near Dungog in New South Wales. The 26 year old had held the Australian heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight titles, and knocked out Dick Turpin for the Empire title in 1949.
On this day in 1994: Aboriginal policeman Mr. Ken Jurotte told a Federal Parliamentary inquiry that racism was still rife at the highest levels of the NSW Police Service. He said racial equality programs were purely tokenistic. The inquiry was examining the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Black Deaths In Custody.
On this day in 1996: A compromised version of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Bill was passed with bipartisan support through both Houses of Federal Parliament.
On this day in 1997: Victoria’s solicitors declared that the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan for Wik robbed Indigenous Australians of their rights and access to justice and the legal system. The Law Institute of Victoria added that access to the right to negotiate would be severely limited by impediments created under the plan.
On this day in 1998: The ‘Build It On Up – Capacity Building Conference’, hosted by the
Apunipima Cape York Health Council as part of the National Indigenous Australians’ Sexual Health Strategy, ended on this day in Cairns.
On this day in 2000: The National Native Title Tribunal launched a series of fact sheets in its latest effort to help people come to grips with complex native title issues.
Announcing the release of 27 fact sheets, Tribunal President Graeme Neate said they aimed to combat misconceptions that could hamper the resolution of the nation’s 540 native title applications.
On this day in 2002: This day marks the unlocking of South Australian Government agency records dealing with the Stolen Generations, providing access for South Australia’s indigenous people to records which linked the Stolen Generations
On this day in 1840: The Lettsom Raid. Led by Major Samuel Lettsom of the 80th Regiment, a party of 42 police and solders raided Aboriginal groups camped on the outskirts of Melbourne, rounded up some 400 men, women and children like cattle, marched them through the town and crammed them into a stockade on Batman’s Hill.
On this day in 1919: Richmond’s Vic Thorp became the first Aboriginal footballer to play in a VFL Grand Final.
On this day in 1998: It was announced that the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay would begin its one hundred day journey around Australia at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta
National Park, in the Northern Territory.
On this day in 2001: The Croker Island sea rights case recognised that native title existed beyond the low water mark, allowing 120 claimant applications covering land or sea to go ahead. It was the first Australian claim to exclusive native rights over the sea.
On this day in 1828: Lieutenant Governor Arthur declared martial law against Aboriginal people in settled areas of Tasmania. The proclamation permitted settlers to shoot Aborigines on sight.
On this day in 1869: Legislation was passed for the protection and management of
Aboriginal people in Victoria.
On this day in 1997: Queensland State Cabinet agreed to recognise native title over much of the 110,000 hectare Hopevale Deed Of Grant In Trust region on Cape York.
On this day in 1998: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal and Advocacy Service rejected calls for another inquiry into violence on Aboriginal communities.
On this day in 2002: Northern Territory Minister for Community Development, John Ah Kit, announced the release of the first report of the ground-breaking Kurduju
Committee, representing members of committees at three Central Australian Aboriginal communities. The Kurduju Committee was established as an initiative of the local capacity-building program of the Department of Community Development, Sport and Cultural Affairs.
On this day in 1824: Peace returned to the pastoral plains west of the Blue Mountains, with the end of four months of martial law imposed by Governor Brisbane. He had declared martial law following an outbreak of fighting between Aborigines and white settlers.
On this day in 1834: Aboriginal trackers (Migo and Mollydobbin) were utilised for the first time to find a lost boy in the bush near Fremantle in Western Australia.
On this day in 1998: The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, and MinisterAssisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation, Philip Ruddock, launched the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Policy Brochure in Sydney.
On this day in 2001: Banduk Marika was presented with the Red Ochre Award. The Red Ochre Award is recognised by the Indigenous community as one of the most prestigious accolades paid to an Indigenous artist.
On this day in 1996: The title to the first area of land purchased (nationally) by the Indigenous Land Corporation on behalf of Indigenous people was handed to representatives of the Noongar traditional landowners in Perth on this day.
Born on this day AFL player Matthew Whelan is a former professional Australian rules football player. Wearing the number 45 jersey, Whelan was reliable defender/back pocket known by Demons fans simply as the “Wheels”. He also earned the nickname “Wrecker” (after Whelan the Wrecker) for his big hits (often on big name players) and tough and uncompromisingly defensive style of play. His tackling style, to drop the shoulder, resulted in spectacular, almost spear tackle like throws of opponents.
On this day in 1997: Tasmanian Aboriginal spokesperson Michael Mansell arrived back from Britain and the United Nations in Geneva after being part of a delegation of Indigenous people drawing world attention to the ‘Native Title Amendment Bill 1997’. In a constitutionally unprecedented move, Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania, Bob Brown, said he would ask the Senate to allow Mansell to speak on the floor during the second-reading debate on the legislation.
On this day in 1998: The Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy, Judy Spence, said on this day the facts about Palm Island highlighted the outlandish nature of the Guinness Book of Records’ claim it was the most violent place on earth outside a combat zone. The ‘record’ was apparently based on an article published in the Sunday Times magazine in the UK earlier this year, but that article was discredited because it was founded on fictitious data, Ms Spence said
On this day 1998: John Moriarty, Chairman of the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board (ATSIAB) opened a unique art exhibition today in Cairns on this day. Ninety Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners showed 260 art works featuring the stories of their childhoods in a unique exhibition funded by the Australia Council, the Federal Government’s arts funding and advisory body.
On this day in 2001: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and the Tasmanian Government agreed to develop a partnership agreement to further strengthen and improve the economic, social and cultural outcomes for the State’s Aboriginal population. A meeting was held in Hobart on tis day between the ATSIC Board of Commissioners and Tasmanian Premier, Mr Jim Bacon. Premier Bacon discussed the foundations of the agreement at the first ever meeting in Tasmania of the ATSIC Board and signed a communiqué which formed the basis of the partnership agreement.
On this day in 2001: The opening of an Aboriginal Heritage Walk Trail at the Spectacles Wetland, Beeliar Regional Park, in Perth’s southern suburbs. Opening the trail on this day, WA Environment and Heritage Minister Judy Edwards said the trail allowed for the unique interpretation of the ecologically rich environment of the Spectacles from the perspective of Aboriginal people.
On this day in 1832: A group of Aboriginal people lead by resistance fighter Yagan escaped from a small island off the coast of Freemantle.
On this day in 1963: Queensland police evicted Aboriginal people from the Mapooncommunity and razed their buildings to allow bauxite mining to occur.
On this day in 1996: Senator John Herron, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, set out the Commonwealth Government’s broad policy on
Indigenous affairs in his Lyons Lecture in Canberra, saying: “As a Government we believe in economic independence and restoration of self esteem”.
On this day in 2002: Art lovers from Perth gained a unique opportunity to experience the abstract impressions of artist David Edward Conolan, complemented by the colours and creativity of Aboriginal art. Conolan’s ‘Outback to the Sea’ exhibition was based on a visit to the Punmu community to work with the children as part of a national Year of the Outback initiative.
On this day in 1894: The police and Jandamarra’s force of about 50 warriors fought a major battle in Windjana Gorge. The police withdrew, thinking they had killed Jandamarra, but he had escaped, badly wounded, among the maze of caves along the gorge. He subsequently recovered and, now a great embarrassment to the police, he easily eluded capture by retreating to the broken country of his homeland, taunting police from the safety of the cliff tops.
On this day in 1997: “Wajehla Dubay – Women Speaking”, Aboriginal Women’s Essays, Stories and Poems, was launched at the Minjungbai Cultural Centre, South Tweed Heads.
On this day in 1998: Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR) announced on this day that Lesley Williams, an Aboriginal woman from Gympie, would address a public meeting in Brisbane to expose Queensland’s Aboriginal Welfare Fund and the scandal of the Stolen Wages.
On This day in 2009 The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says sorry to the Forgotten Australians which include migrants and Indigenous people who were victims of abuse in orphanages and institutions between 1930 and 1970. The Forgotten Australians suffered similar abuse as the members of the Stolen Generations.
On this day in 1928: Prime Minister Bruce announced on this day that an inquiry would be held into the Coniston station massacre which was led by Gallipoli veteran and hardened bushman Mounted Constable George Murray. It is likely that at least 100 died violently during the attacks by Murray and his men over the month period between late September and early October 1928.
On this day in 1998: More than 90 Aboriginal landowners in the Ngukurr-Numbulwar region of the Northern Territory told Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Senator John Herron, that he was supporting ‘killing off Aboriginal culture’ by pushing for smaller Aboriginal land councils.
On This day in 2009 Marianne Mackay and Glenn Moore found the Aboriginal Political Party, where every candidate identifies as Aboriginal.
Born On this day in 1982 AFL Essendon footballer Nathan Lovett Murray Lovett-Murray has played much of his career as a hard-running defender, but can also play in other positions and has been known to push forward. He has added to this versatility spending large amounts of time as a tough, ball-winning midfielder.
On this day in 1993: The recent death of Daniel Yock brought together Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal people who were disgusted that yet another Aboriginal person could die in police custody. Protest marches had been held over a period of several weeks,.
On this day in 1996: The Report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Native Title on the Native Title Amendment Bill 1996 was tabled on this day. The report included a minority report signed by all members of the Australia Labour Party and Senator Cheryl Kernot, Leader of the Australian Democrats.
On this day in 1999: A celebration was held for the International Year of the Older Person on this day. “They Spoke Out Pretty Good”, a forum held by the Nundah Noonga Reconciliation Group, gave elders an opportunity to tell their stories of struggles, achievement and life.
On this day in 1996: NSW Environment Minister, Pam Allan, announced that landmark legislation would be introduced to State Parliament to return ownership of five national parks to their traditional owners without making any difference to park visitors.
On this day in 1998: AAP reported on an upcoming three-day international swimming
competition in Rio de Janeiro where Torres Strait Islander Kelly Denner, aged 15, would be the first Indigenous person to represent Australia.
On this day in 1998: Activists from Timbarra Direct Action, the coordinating group for the campaign against the Timbarra Gold Mine project, protested outside the Annual General Meeting of Ross Mining NL. The protest was against the construction of a gold mine on the Timbarra Plateau, an environmentallysensitive area that is the habitat of 28 endangered species as well as a site of significant Aboriginal heritage sites.
On this day in 1999: The voices of Queensland’s future leaders echoed through Parliament House with the focus of the discussion on reconciliation. Students from around the State took their places in the Queensland Youth Reconciliation Parliament to outline their vision for reconciliation with Indigenous Australians.
On this day in 1987: The Chairperson of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody urged both State and Federal Governments to act immediately to stop deaths in custody, and not to wait for the Commissioners’ findings to be released
On this day in 1921: Social worker Mum Shirl (Shirley Colleen Smith, nee Perry), was born this day.
On this day in 1975: The Queensland Government passed a Bill that authorised bauxite mining at Aurukun, an Aboriginal reserve situated at Archer Bay on Queensland’s Cape Yorke Peninsula.
On this day in 1996: A major campaign of protest against the gold mining company, Ross Mining NL, was launched in Brisbane outside the company’s Annual General Meeting by representatives of the Bundjalung Aboriginal people and several north coast NSW and Queensland environmental groups.
On this day in 1997: Australian churches had a moral mandate from the founder of the Christian church to speak on behalf of the poor, the marginalised and the dispossessed, according to Democrats’ Native Title spokesman, Senator John Woodley. Senator Woodley, the only ordained Minister to enter the Senate, told a Combined Churches Forum in Brisbane on this day they had a legitimate right to criticise the Howard government’s Wik ten-point plan
On this day in 2004 Casey Donovan, at just 16 years of age, becomes the youngest and first female winner of Australian Idol. She releases Listen to Your Heart a few days later.
On this day in 2004 Michael Long, a former Australian Rules footballer sets out on foot from Melbourne to Canberra to speak to Prime Minister John Howard and raise awareness of the plight of Aboriginal Australians. His walk becomes known as The Long Walk.
Born On this day in 1921: Social worker Mum Shirl (Shirley Colleen Smith, nee Perry), was a prominent Aboriginal Australian and activist committed to justice and welfare of Aboriginal Australians. She was a founding member of the Aboriginal Legal Service, Aboriginal Medical Service, Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the Aboriginal Children’s Service,and the Aboriginal Housing Company in Redfern, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.
Born on this day in 1973 in Shoalhaven, New South Wales Rugby league and Union player Andrew Walker Australian rugby footballer who represented his country in both rugby league and rugby union – a dual code international. Walker was the first dual code international to represent his country at rugby league before representing rugby union. That said, he began his career as a rugby union player for Randwick, where he played alongside Eddie Jones in their 1991 premiership-winning season. Walker became Australia’s 40th dual code international when he made his Wallaby debut against New Zealand in July 2000
On This day in 2009 The government announces its support of the new representative body for Aboriginal people, called the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (NCAFP
Born on this day in 1984 AFL footy player Matthew Stokes played fro the Cats
On this day in 1975: The Queensland Government passed a Bill that authorised bauxite mining at Aurukun, an Aboriginal reserve situated at Archer Bay on Queensland’s Cape Yorke Peninsula.
On this day in 1996: A major campaign of protest against the gold mining company,
Ross Mining NL, was launched in Brisbane outside the company’s Annual General Meeting by representatives of the Bundjalung Aboriginal people and several north coast NSW and Queensland environmental groups.
On this day in 1997: Australian churches had a moral mandate from the founder of the Christian church to speak on behalf of the poor, the marginalised and the dispossessed, according to Democrats’ Native Title spokesman, Senator John Woodley. Senator Woodley, the only ordained Minister to enter the Senate, told a Combined Churches Forum in Brisbane on this day they had a legitimate right to criticise the Howard government’s Wik ten-point plan.
On this Day in 1946: The Federal Government announced the establishment of a rocket range near Woomera in South Australia. The Minister responsible, J Dedman, stated that there were no risks to the Aboriginal people living in the area.
On this Day in 1998: Honouring Emily Kame Kngwarreye Alhalkere – Paintings from Utopia, a Queensland Art Gallery Travelling Exhibition held at the National Gallery of Victoria, ended.
On this day in 2000: Queensland Minister for Women’s Policy and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy, Judy Spence, met with women from Mt Isa and the Gulf who added their journeys to the reconciliation map in Women Reconcile, a book that brings together 18 very different lives.
On this day in 2000: The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) released its Conclusions and Recommendations following consideration of Australia’s
compliance with its obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee expressed concern about mandatory sentencing legislation and its impact on Indigenous people as well as concern about the lack of review mechanisms, the use of physical restraints and allegations of excessive use of force and allegations of intimidation.
On this day in 2001: The Minister for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Philip Ruddock, welcomed the release of the interim Cape York
Justice Strategy. “The Fitzgerald report is a timely and constructive contribution to the debate about alcohol abuse and violence in Indigenous communities, “Mr Ruddock said.
On this day in 1830: Bungaree, who had accompanied Matthew Flinders in the
circumnavigation of New Holland, died after a long illness. He was the most famous and popular of all Aboriginal people living around Sydney. Bungaree had served the colonial administration and in 1801-02 accompanied Lieutenant Matthew Flinders on the ‘Investigator’.
On this day in 1971: Aboriginal groups and church representatives gathered for a service at the Methodist Church in Brisbane. Following the service the group marched towards the George Street office of the Department of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs. The anti-racism group was met by a wall of police who were supported by another busload of police, all under instructions to prevent the protesters from entering the building. The protest was reported in the media as a ‘riot’.
On this day in 1973: Approximately 40,000 Aboriginal voters across Australia elected members to a National Aboriginal Consultative Committee to advise the Government on Aboriginal needs.
On this day in 2007: John Howard loses the federal election in a landslide defeat against the Australian Labour Party’s candidate Kevin Rudd. Rudd promises to say sorry to the Stolen Generations and to consult with Aboriginal people.
On this day in 2007 Marion Scrymgour becomes the first Aboriginal person to lead a state or territory government when she becomes Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory.
On this day in 1996: The Minister for Education, the Honourable Senator Amanda Vanstone, announced funding of $8,800,000 over three years for establishing
Indigenous Higher Education Centres across five state universities to support Indigenous research.
On this day in 1999: Commissioner Steve Gordon was re-elected unopposed to represent western NSW and the ACT on the national ATSIC Board for a record fourthconsecutive term. Commissioner Gordon became the only remaining member of the original Board elected in 1990.
Born on this day in 1984 Ian Lacey NRL player for The Brisbane Broncos was sacked and given a chance to resurrect his career with the Gold Coast Titans
On this day in 1944: The Melbourne Herald praised Reg Saunders on this day for his
achievement of becoming the first Aboriginal commissioned officer to serve in the Australian forces.
Born On this Day in 1988 NRL player Shannon Walker
On this day in 1981: Patricia O’Shane was appointed Head of the New South WalesDepartment of State Aboriginal Affairs and became the first Aboriginal woman to Head a State Government Department.
On this day in 1996: The launch of the report, ‘Indigenous Deaths in Custody 1989-96’ by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Dodson.
On this day in 2000: The Indigenous Sports and Cultural Festival, billed as the biggest indigenous coordinated event of its kind in the country, kicked off in Brisbane at Whites Hill Recreation Reserve, Boundary Road, Coorparoo.
On This Day in 2010 Aboriginal author and lawyer Larissa Behrendt is named NSW Australian of the Year. She is given the award in “recognition of her passionate and articulate advocacy for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders”.
On this day in 1830: It was announced that after a campaign lasting seven weeks, involving 5,000 men (one-sixth of the population) and costing nearly thirty thousand
pounds, the drive by Lieutenant Governor Arthur to round up Tasmanian Aborigines had netted exactly two people: a man and a boy.
On this day in 1996: In an historic ceremony, Mr Gatjil Djerrkuta, the present Chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, and his predecessor, Dr Lois O’Donoghue, accepted a resolution of apology from the National General Assembly of Local Government meeting in Canberra.
Born on this day in 1991 AFL player Joe Houghton
Born On this day in 1986 Afl Eddie Betts Betts grew up in Kalgoorlie Moving to Melbourne as a teenager, he played in the 2003 Under 18 National Championships for Vic Metro as a 16 year old and was selected in the Under 18 All-Australian team. Whilst he was too young to be selected in the AFL draft he was later drafted 2004
On this day in 1996: The Government’s apparent commitment to rushing comprehensive amendments to the ‘Native Title Act’ through Parliament without adequate consultation and discussion, risks further confusion and opens the possibility for litigation, ATSIC Chairperson Miss Lois O’Donoghue said, ATSIC has released a discussion paper, ‘Proposed Amendments to the Native Title Act 1993 – Issues for Indigenous Peoples’, to provide information on the proposed amendments.
On this day in 2001: A Nyoongar elder committed to improving education for Aboriginal youth and elevating justice, health and seniors issues was honoured with a prestigious award from the WA State Government. Norman Charles Harris of Craigie was named winner of the Outstanding Service by an Individual category of the Community Services Industry Awards 2001.
Born on this day in 1980 NRL TY Williams in Innisfail, Queensland) is an Australian professional rugby league player for the North Queensland Cowboys in the National Rugby League competition.
On this day in 1838: Seven non-Indigenous men, previously tried and acquitted for the massacre of 28 Aboriginal people at Myall Creek, were charged again and found guilty.
On this day in 1857: Six Aboriginal people, including three women, were shot in the Upper Dawson River region as part of an ongoing massacre of over 150 Aboriginal people in the area by the end of 1858.
On this day in 1993: The Julayinbul statement on ‘Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights’ was declared at Jingarra in the North-Eastern Coastal region of Australia.
On this day in 1997: Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Chairperson, Patrick Dodson, presented ‘Weaving the Threads’, Council’s second-term Report to Parliament.
On this day in 1997: Eminent Australian playwright and songwriter, Jimmy Chi, received the Australia Council’s prestigious Red Ochre Award for 1997 at a special ceremony in his home town of Broome, Western Australia.
On this day in 2003: Sweden agreed to repatriate the remains of 13 Aboriginal people brought to the Scandinavian country almost 100 years ago from Australia
On this day in 1974: The Aboriginal Loans Commission was established.
On this day in 1998: The second World Indigenous Pathways Conference commenced at the University of Southern Queensland. The conference provided the
opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples from around the world to engage in discourse about issues such as identity, culture, reconciliation, multiculturalism and social activism.
On this day in 2000: The National Native Title Tribunal said the settlement of a 54,315
square kilometre native title application in the central desert region of Western Australia was further evidence that native title issues could be sorted out through negotiation rather than costly Court action. President Graeme Neate said the agreement with the Spinifex people formally ratified by the Federal Court on this day was a major step forward in settling many of Western Australia’s 133 remaining native title applications.
On this day in 2000: Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Keith Hamilton, officially opened the Kulin Nation Cultural Heritage Organisation in Thomas Street, Dandenong.
On this day in 2003: Queensland’s Mornington Island began severely restricting liquor sales in an attempt to reduce alcohol abuse in the community
On this day in 1996: The publication ‘Reporting Race Issues in the Media’ was launched. It was initiated by the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission and funded by the Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner, Zita Antonios. It examined reporting of race issues over a twenty year period in the Courier Mail and the Cairns Post and analysed news broadcasts on Channels 2, 7, 9 and 10. It made a number of recommendations for change and suggests ways that Indigenous and ethnic communities and the media could work together more effectively.
On this day in 2001: The Queensland Government and the Torres Strait Regional Authority sealed a $36 million partnership to continue improving vital infrastructure on remote Torres Strait Islands. Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy, Judy Spence, and the chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), Terry Waia, formalised an agreement to improve water,
On this day in 2003: A review of ATSIC recommended the board of Australia’s peak Indigenous body should be scrapped and replaced with a two-tier structure, giving more power to regional councils.
On this day in 2008 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting where state and federal heads announce they will contribute $806 million (federal) and $772 million (all states) into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health over the next four years, the biggest single injection of Indigenous health spending in decades.
On this day 1986: Pope John Paul II endorsed Aboriginal land rights during his Papal visit to Australia. In Alice Springs in his speech he said “lets not put off till tomorrow what we can do today”
Born on this day in 1917 Shadrach James Fitzroy VFL known as Shady James was the uncle of famous umpire, Glenn James.
On this day in 1997: The Prime Minister addressed the nation to explain his Ten-Point Plan for Native Title.
On this day in 1998: The Australian Medical Association urged the Prime Minister to compliment his desire for a formal document of reconciliation with a comprehensive program to address the causes of ill health among Indigenous Australians.
On this day in 1998: The most significant gathering of Indigenous people to discuss issues relating to constitutional development in the Northern Territory got off to a strong start on this day. More than 120 delegates from all over the Territory met at Batchelor University at the Indigenous Constitutional Convention to take the principles contained within the Kalkaringl Statement one step further towards realisation.
On this day in 1999: The Sydney Morning Herald reported: “When all the anguish over the Sydney Olympics evaporates, and the opening ceremony is ready to begin, the audience focus will be on the truth of the storytelling of one man, Stephen Page”. Mr Page was the Director of the Bangara Dance Theatre and responsible for the Indigenous components of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Games in Sydney.
On this day in 2001: The Narungga Aboriginal Progress Association (NAPA) organised a landmark meeting in the language of Narungga people. NAPA launched a seven-month old Language Reclamation Project. The meeting symbolised the maintenance of the Narungga language and its continuation through the generations.
THE FRANK REYS STORY
Pedigree horse breeding, a premier trainer and a stable with a winning jockey is a great formula to win big races. But, its not a pre-requisite. Sometimes, the “battler”, those quiet achievers that toil for years unknown suddenly burst upon us. The heart warming smile of connections and the courteous modest manner in victory of jockey Frank Reys on Gala Supreme in 1973 was a poignant moment. And, reminded us all that racing is still about determination, preparation and a little luck. The last stride victory by the 4yo gelding when he poked his nose between Glengowan and Daneson gave a well deserved moment to a man, who had through race falls broken almost every bone in his body and at age 41 was considering retirement before winning the Cup. Reys presentation speech still lives in Cup legend, it really sums up why the Cup is an Australian phenomenon and how its reaches far further into the Australian spirit than just a race and a day off. (Melbourne Cup Moments)
On Tuesday 6 November 1973 Frank Reys became the first Aboriginal jockey to ride a winner in the Melbourne Cup. Gala Supreme carrying 7 stone 10 pounds (49 kg) and Frank Reys won the Melbourne Cup at 9-1 in a time of 3.19.15. At 41 years of age, Frank Reys was the oldest jockey with a ride in the 1973 Melbourne Cup. Gala Supreme had drawn the extreme outside barrier 24 and that clearly was the only stumbling block in Frank’s mind.
Trainer Ray Hutchins would later tell how leading up to the race and on the night of the race he and Frank had numerous phone conversations after the barrier draw and discussed various riding tactics.
Ray Hutchins recalled he eventually left it up to Frank to ride the horse as he saw fit and Frank told him he’d “have Gala Supreme one off the fence in 5th or 6th position going out of the straight”. Coming from the outside barrier Frank rode just as he had planned. He had Gala Supreme one off the fence, just behind the leaders, before passing the winning post on the first lap.
As the horses turned for home, Gala Supreme was positioned in the pack, just behind the leaders. At the clock tower Frank made his run two hundred meters from the winning post he squeezed Gala Supreme through a gap, between Daneson and the favourite Glengowan whose young jockey 18 year old New Zealand apprentice Noel Harris momentarily looked the winner the horse drifted off a straight course and Frank took Gala Supreme through a the needle eye opening as Gala Supreme surged home for a great victory.
In his recollections Hutchins continued “and he went and did it – it was the perfect ride – he rode the race of his life for me.”
His victory speech said, in part, “I thank my God, my prayers and my family for their encouragement. This is such a wonderful day. I kept picking myself off the ground and hoping I would win a Melbourne Cup. It’s something every Australian jockey dreams about. I still can’t believe it.” Frank had three of his brothers in the crowd – Fred, Tony and Eric – to witness what was later called “one of the most stunning comebacks from adversity in Australian sporting history.” In 1976, three years after his career highlight aboard Gala Supreme, and after winning a Flemington race for his Melbourne Cup trainer Ray Hutchins, on Gala Choice he announced his immediate retirement from the saddle. During his partnership with Ray Hutchins he rode 189 winners.
Frank Reyes was born in about 1931, one of 14 children, 8 boys and 6 girls. His father, who had immigrated to North Queensland before Frank was born, was a Filipino labourer and cook who worked on farms in North Queensland – inland from Cairns. He was born of his father’s second relationship, and Frank was the first child of 9 to his Aboriginal mother from the Atherton Tablelands area.
Frank and his brothers would round up brumbies (wild horses), and break them in, then race in contests between themselves. Frank was the standout and won most of the races, although one of his brothers did ride with success in amateur events. Frank loved to ride, and progressed to riding at Cairns in gymkhanas and pony races before becoming a jockey.
at Cairns. Later his apprenticeship was transferred to trainer Gordon Shelley.
During his apprenticeship Frank rode about 45 winners. He began at Cannon Park Racecourse at Cairns, and at other district meetings. At a meeting at Gordonvale Frank won his first race riding a horse named Cruedon. In the autumn of 1950, Baysure gave him his first win in Brisbane. At the end of his apprenticeship he travelled widely and became on of a few who have ridden over 1000 winners. One notable performance was in Queensland when he rode four winners in one afternoon at Cunnamulla. He won the Cunnamulla Cup on three occasions.
In his early riding years Frank worked hard to establish himself as a fully fledged jockey without the assistance of anyone but his “boss”, Mr. Shelley.
In 1955 Frank moved to Sydney. He won the Warwick Farm Autumn Handicap on Beaupa and rode three winners in an afternoon at the provincial racecourse Kembla Grange, Wollongong. Around 1961Frank moved from Sydney to Melbourne and had considerable success in both the metropolitan area and at Victorian provincial meetings.
Among the highlights of his time in Victoria were:
He rode five winners in one afternoon at Moe.
- He rode 4 winner in a day on 5 occasions at Moonie Valley, Caulfield and Flemington
- 1962 won the Oaks Stakes at Flemington on Arctic Star
- VRC Blood Horse Breeders plate Yarimizu 1962
- VRC Fashion Stakes Evening Halo 19-62-63
- 1969 the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Crewman.
- Craven A stakes on Iga Ninga
- 1971-72 Oakley Plate On Dual Choice
- 1969 Toorak Handicap on Crewman
- 1967 VATC invitation Stakes Heralding
- 1974 STC Manion Cup on Gala Supreme
- VATC Eclipse Stakes on Sky Call
- 1967 Herbert Power Hcp on Padthaway, 1973 on Gala Supreme
- 1968 VRS Victoria Hcp on Bobalex. 1971 on Red Baron
- 1968 Ballarat and Bendigo cup on Bobalex
- VATC Victoria Hcp Aymate 1968,Abebe 1968, Abdul 1972
- VRC hcp Palatial 1968
- WATC Challenge Quality Stakes Gilt Pattern 1973
- VATC Heartherly Hcp Gala Supreme 1973 Red Rambler
- 1974Caulfield Guineas 1970 Dual Choice
- Edward manifold stakes Dual Choice 1970
- VRC barman Stakes Terminal 1967
- VRC Maribyrnong Plate Captain Hayes 1970
- VRS Debutant Stakes Captain Hayes 1970 Dual Choice 1969
- VRC Gibson Carmichael Stakes Change Alley 1969
- VRC Maribyrnong stakes Captain Hayes 1970 1st division & Tolerance 2nd div 1970
- VRC Maribyrnong trial stakes Circuit Fee 1967, Dual Choice 1969, Sweet Jaffa1970
- VRC William Reid Stakes Crewman 1970
- MVRC Freeway Stakes Dual Choice 1970 &1971,Tauto 1973 &1974
- VRC Lithgow Stakes Maritana 1971
- Craiglee Stakes Dual Choice 1974
- 1973 Melbourne Cup On Gala Supreme