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September is filled with significant dates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history. It contains the birth dates of a number of notable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including Aden Ridgeway, Harold Blair and David Unaipon. It is the month in which we remember the formation of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the beginning of the Battle of Bathurst that decimated the Wiradjuri people. These, and many other historical events from around the country. We’ve highlighted some of the more interesting stories in more detail:
September 13, 1924Birth of Aboriginal tenor and spokesperson, Harold Blair at Cherbourg, Queensland. Harold Blair, Aboriginal tenor and activist, was born at the Cherbourg Aboriginal Mission in Queensland, in 1924. Encouraged by Marjorie Lawrence, he studied at the Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne, and in the United States. In 1949 he married Dorothy Eden, a fellow singing student at the Conservatorium, and went on to teach there from 1956. He was a very popular stage performer. In 1962 Blair started the Aboriginal Children’s project which provided Melbourne holidays for Mission children. He stood as the Labour candidate for the seat of Mentone in the 1964 Victorian Sate elections, losing only on preferences to the sitting member, the Minister for Transport. He died in Melbourne in 1976 at the age of 51.
September 7, 1795Bennelong, one of the Aborigines who accompanied Arthur Phillip to England, returns home. The other Aborigine, Yemmerrawanyea, had died in England, his lungs affected by cold weather. Bennelong (1763? – 1813) was about 26 years of age when he was captured near ‘Sydney Town’ in November 1789 Governor Arthur Phillip taught Bennelong to speak English, using him as interpreter when conversing with local Aboriginal tribes. In 1792, Phillip left Sydney for England, and took Bennelong and another Aboriginal person, Yemmerrawanie, with him. Not many details remain of their visit, but they were reportedly presented to King George III’s Court. Yemmerrawanie never returned to Australia, dying in England in 1794, but Bennelong stayed until September 1795, when he travelled back to Sydney on the Reliance with Governor John Hunter. Little is known about Bennelong’s later life, but he died at Kissing Point in January 1813. The area where his hut stood in Sydney Cove was later named Bennelong Point and is the site of the Sydney Opera House.
September 15 , 1993Death of Aboriginal poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (formerly Kath Walker), aged 72. Chairman of the Australian Council and friend of Oodgeroo, Rodney Hall said after her death: Oodgeroo, of the Noonuccal tribe was a “thoroughly modern woman who could move between worlds, so she set out to make a bridge between them. When her first book was published, people had this tremendous sense that something important had happened, and that here was a voice we needed to hear”. Oodgeroo Noonuccal was a poet, an actress, writer, teacher, artist and a campaigner for Aboriginal rights. But she was best known for her poetry, and she was the first Aboriginal Australian to have a book of poetry published. Oodgeroo grew up on North Stradbroke Island, near Brisbane. In the 1960s, she was a vocal campaigner for Aboriginal rights. She travelled across Australia, giving as many as ten talks a day, and was a strong supporter of the 1967 referendum campaign. When Oodgeroo Noonuccal died hundreds of people mourned the passing of one of Australia’s great poets and writers.
On this day in 1978: Legendary Aboriginal cricketer Eddie Gilbert who once knocked the bat from Sir Donald Bradman’s hand and also dismissed him for a duck, died aged 74 years.
Born on this day AFL great Maurice Rioli crossed to Richmond from South Fremantle before returning to Perth to play out his career at South Fremantle. He was a three-time All-Australian and won the Norm Smith medal in 1982.He played a total of 118 games for the Tigers, kicking 80 goals and winning the club’s best and fairest award in 1982 and 1983. He was named in the All-Australian team in 1983, 1986 and 1988. After football, Rioli moved back to Darwin where he became the Member for Arafura in 1992 until his retirement from parliament in 2001. Maurice died of a heart attack on Christmas day 2010
On this day in 1968: The Council for Aboriginal Affairs was established.
On this day in 1999: The Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, The Most Reverend Peter Hollingworth, launched a policy for Anglican schools across Queensland called “Partners in Indigenous Education”. The policy was launched at West Moreton Anglican College.
On this day in 1999: The State Government announced funding of $80,000 for a drug,tobacco and alcohol education campaign targeting young people in remote parts of Queensland and Indigenous communities. Health Minister, Wendy Edmond, announced the Government would commit $50,000 and sponsor the 1999 100% In Control Croc Eisteddfod Festival.
On this day in 2003: Victorian Governor John Landy launched Melbourne’s first Aboriginal Cultural Centre to celebrate the living culture of the Koorie people.
On this day in 1972: Mr Kep Enderby, Member of the House of Representatives, gave a notice of motion stating, ‘that this house is of the opinion that the lawns in front of Parliament House should always remain available to the people of Australia for the purpose of peaceful assembly to demonstrate political points of view in a manner of their own choice and that no limit should be placed on the duration of such assembly’.
On this day in 1984: The Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 brought the Cummeragunja people a step closer to ownership by making provision for reserved lands to be transferred freehold to local Aboriginal land councils. Under this Act the title deeds for the former reserve passed to its people this day through the newly created Yorta Yorta Land Council.
On this day in 1999: Up to 40,000 Queenslanders living in remote and rural regions of outback Queensland were able to get a second commercial television service, as a result of an ATSIC initiative. ATSIC Commissioners Ray Robinson and Ian Delaney said on this day the extension of Imparja’s TV service to eleven remote and rural centres in Western Queensland was a ‘direct result’ of ATSIC’s funding for the new service.
On this day in 1980: The Tasmanian Aboriginal Child Care Association Incorporated was established at Launceston.
On this day in 1997: Artist Harold Thomas was recognised by the Federal Court of Australia as the original designer and copyright owner of the Aboriginal flag.
On this day in 1997: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister, Senator John Herron and ATSIC Chairman, Mr Gatjil Djerrkura, announced remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and South Australia would be the first to benefit from the combined efforts of ATSIC, the Army and the Department of Health and Family Services.
On this day in 1998: The Democrats voted against the Native Title Amendment (Wik) Bill 1998 (again). Democrats Leader, Meg Lees, and Native Title Spokesman, John Woodley, said the Democrats rejected the Bill in accordance with the wishes of the National Indigenous Working Group.
On this day in 1876: The secretary of the Royal Society of Tasmania wrote to the Colonial Secretary asking for the corpse of Truganini, on the grounds that she was a famous person, the last of her race and a valuable scientific specimen. Instead, the government ordered a ‘decent interment’ at the old Female Factory at the Cascades.
On this day in 1943: Milingimbi Mission was bombed killing one Aboriginal resident and destroying mission buildings.
Born on this day in 1988 AFL player Albert Proud recruited t6o Brisbane Lions
On this day in 2002: A new Indigenous health agreement was signed in Rockhampton aiming to provide local Indigenous people with improved health prospects. The agreement was a collaboration between the State health department, ATSIC and the Bidgerdii community health organisation in Central Queensland.
On this day in 1951: Birth of champion boxer Tony Mundine at Baryugil, NSW. During his career from 1969 to 1984 he became the holder of eight titles.
On this day in 1989: A week long protest by Aboriginal people and environmentalists caused the withdrawal of troops from Beecroft Peninsula. This protest prevented the troops from going ahead with a $3m military exercise.
On this day in 2002: The announcement of a three-way joint venture involving local Indigenous people to operate the internationally-renowned Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort in Western Australia. The joint venture involved the ATSIC funded Yadgalah Aboriginal Corporation, Indigenous Business Australia and the existing owners, the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort.
On this day in 2002: An Indigenous painting on pages torn from the landmark Bringing Them Home report won the NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) 2002 Art Award. Sydney female artist Juundaal Strang-Yettica was selected winner from a record 108 entrants. The competition, which is sponsored by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, carries a prize of $5,000. The winning entry was entitled: In Going Home We Are Connected, Even In A Whirly Wind.
On this day in 1987: Kingsley Dixon was found dead at Adelaide goal. Earlier that day he had been found in possession of marijuana and, contrary to regulations, he was strip-searched (although, according to the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody, an initial ‘attempt was made to cover up this fact’).
On this day in 1996: Queensland Senator Margaret Reynolds called on Premier Borbidge to utilise the skills of the State’s own Community Justice Program to negotiate a just settlement between CRA and Gulf Aboriginal communities. She said the issues were complex, but pre-emptive State and Federal legislation would not resolve the resistance of many Gulf Aborigines.
On this day in 1996: Australian Democrats Leader, Senator Cheryl Kernot, met both major interest groups at the centre of the Century Zinc mine proposal negotiations on this day. A number of Aboriginal elders and traditional owners put their case to her.
On this day in 2001: The naming of a new Canberra suburb after the late Neville Bonner, the first Aboriginal Australian to serve in the Federal Parliament.
On this day in 1894: An expedition led by Surveyor C.A. Winnecke returned to Adelaide after spending three months in central Australia studying Aboriginal people, climates, plants and animals.
On this day in 1998: World Indigenous People Day was celebrated.
On this day in 2000: ATSIC chair Geoff Clark used the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People to call on all Australian governments to facilitate open dialogue with Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders on the introduction of a Bill of Rights.
On this day in 2002: The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Legal Services Secretariat (QAILSS) presented a report signalling majority acceptance of the Government’s $55.4 million offer of reparations for Indigenous lost wages and savings. The report indicated 96% of potentially eligible people would accept the offer.
On this day in 1830: The Black Line – Government order number 9 – was issued, directing the community to act together to capture Aborigines in Tasmania, who must nevertheless be treated with ‘utmost tenderness’, and removed to the Tasman Peninsula.
On this day in 1967: The announcement of the establishment of a Federal Office of Aboriginal Affairs
On this day in 1998: An emphasis on empowerment and collaborative work rather than victimisation was the main feature of a major Indigenous Sexual Health Conference commencing in Cairns on this day.
On this day in 2002: The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) and the Department of Agriculture, West Australia announced a new agreement to jointly provide services to Indigenous pastoralists in the Kimberley region. The proposal to fund a $1.5m package over three years was designed to provide intensive management and skills training to Indigenous landholders and build their capacity to effectively manage their properties.
On this day in 1866: Lutheran missionaries left from Tanunda in South Australia for the interior to establish a mission for Aboriginal people. In the following year, Moravian Brethren and the Lutherans established mission stations at Kopperamanna and Killalphaninna.
On this day in 1957: The Australian desert was once more shrouded by a massive nuclear spectre at Maralinga on this day, when Britain exploded its first balloon-borne atomic bomb, the last in the Antler series.
On this day in 1876: 1967: The Commonwealth Government announced the setting up of an Office of Aboriginal Affairs. The office coordinated policy and provided liaison for Commonwealth consultations with the states.
On this day in 1996: The Treasurer of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Mr Manul Ritchie, welcomed the agreement by the Dhunghurri people and the NSW State Government recognising the existence of native title at Crescent Head.
On this day in 2003: A huge native title claim covering most of Western Australia’s southwest was lodged with the Federal Court.
On this day in 1912: Welfare worker and journalist Daisy Bates was proclaimed as honorary Protector of Aborigines at Eucla in South Australia.
On this day in 1997: Federal Minister for Health and Family Services, Dr Michael Wooldridge, announced a grant of $104,000 to establish an information clearinghouse on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues on the internet. The project was developed by Dr Neil Thomson and Bev Patterson at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.
On this day in 2001: The elite of Australia’s Indigenous Sporting Heroes were honoured at the eighth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sports Awards at the Sydney Convention Centre.
On this day in 2003: Aunty Ida West, a much-loved ambassador for Tasmania’s Aboriginal community, was given a fond farewell in Hobart.
Born on this Day in 1986 Hocky Player Joel Carroll from Darwin Northern Territory debut for Australia against the Netherlands in Perth in 2009
1906: Birth of Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls, who became anAboriginal spokesperson and later was Governor for South Australia.
Born On this day in 1986 Richard Tambling AFL Richmond Football Player
Born on this day in 1991 Troy Taylor AFL Richmond Footy Player
On this day in 1938: The Aborigines Progressive Association put a plan to the Prime Minister for the formation of Aboriginal units in the Australian Army.
On this day in 1998: Federal member Warren Snowdon called on Education Minister Rod Kemp to intervene to ensure the Northern Territory bilingual education program was not dropped. “The announcement by the Northern Territory Government (of plans) to phase out the bilingual education program in Aboriginal schools is a national insult”, said Mr Snowdon.
On this day in 2003: A half a century of campaigning for Indigenous Australian rights was honoured by the Aboriginal community on this day at the funeral of pioneering activist Bruce McGuiness, who died at the age of 62.
On this day in 1876: 1906: Two South Sea Islanders arrived in Melbourne on this day from Mackay as a deputation to the Federal Government to allow many of their people to stay in Australia. Representing the Pacific Islanders Association, they carried a petition signed by 426 Pacific Islanders.
Born on this day in 1924: Aboriginal tenor Harold Blair at Cherbourg, Queensland.
On this day in 1966: Members of the Gurindji group appealed to the United Nations for better living and working conditions at Wave Hill station in the Territory.
On this day in 1876: 2000: The Central Land Council and Giants Reef Exploration signed a native title agreement that allowed for exploration on nearly 8000 square kilometres of pastoral lease land and dealt with any ‘future acts’ for the next 25 years.
Born on this day in 1985 Tom Learoyd Lars NFL Canberra raiders Player
On this day in 2001: The National Native Title Tribunal said the signing of indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs) between the Kalkadoon People, the Queensland Government and a number of mineral exploration companies gave indigenous parties economic security and cultural protection while providing certainty to exploration companies.
On this day in 1933: 60 Aboriginal people complained to the Coal Miner’s Union that their 2 pounds and 2 shillings was 7 shillings less than non-Indigenous people were paid.
On this day in 1957: British scientists conducted the first of three atomic explosions, known as Operation Antler, at Maralinga in South Australia. The other two explosions were scheduled for October 9 and 25, 1957.
On this day in 1968: Pastor Doug Nicholls and Charles Perkins were refused drinks in the lounge bar at the Crown hotel.
On this day in 1979: The Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act (NT) was proclaimed following the passing of the bill on 9 November 1978, and the Aboriginal Sacred Sites Protection Authority was established.
On this day in 1997: The first of four Olympic Arts Festivals, ‘The Festival of the Dreaming’, began on Sydney Harbour before the commencement of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
On this day in 1876: 1993: Death of Aboriginal poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (formerly Kath Walker), aged 72.
On this day in 1998: 1998/99 Queensland Budget Health Highlights were announced on this day, including a Labour health initiative of $700,000 to combat hearing loss from middle ear infections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
On this day in 1998: Rural communities grappling with complex and frustrating Native Title disputes had a new tool at their disposal, following the launch of a new guide on this day. The guide was called “Towards Common Ground” and provided practical advice about how to start dialogue on Native Title and issues of race relations.
On this day in 2000: The Sydney Olympic Games officially opened with the lighting of the Olympic flame by Cathy Freeman.
On this day in: 1975: Papua New Guinea gained full independence from Australia.
On this day in: 1996: Tennis legend Evonne Goolagong-Cawley received an honorary doctorate.
On this day in: 2002: 67-year-old Aboriginal elder Alby Clarke was welcomed into Cavan in South Australia on this day as part of his historic Ride for Reconciliation from Perth to Warrnambool. Clarke set out from the Western Australian capital on August 24th 2002.
On this day in 1932: Five Japanese trepang fishermen were killed by the Yolngu Aboriginal people on the shore of Caledon Bay in the north-east corner of Arnhem Land.
On this day in 1954: Australia’s first uranium processing plant commenced operation at Rum Jungle in the Northern Territory.
On this day in 1996: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister, Senator John Herron said the Government would introduce special legislation to prevent the Commonwealth Heritage Protection Act from further impeding the building of the Hindmarsh Island bridge. The Minister said the legislation would not seek to amend the Commonwealth Heritage Protection Act in any other way except to deal specifically and solely with Hindmarsh Island.
On this day in 2002: Encouraging Aboriginal men to become involved in developing solutions to reduce the incidence of family violence was one of a range of new projects funded through the WA Government’s Regional Domestic Violence Committee grants program
On this day in 1824: The Battle of Bathurst began, with 75 regular troops and 100 local armed auxiliaries, systematically destroying everything Wiradjuri – people, dogs, camps, utensils and weapons.
On this day in 1962: The birth of Aden Ridgeway, of the Gumbayynggir people, in Macksville NSW. He was elected to the Senate for New South Wales in 1998 and became Deputy of the Australian Democrats on April 6, 2001.
On this day in 1998: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Minister, Judy Spence, announced the Queensland Government intention to unveil a State-wide reconciliation strategy in 1998.
On this day in 1998: Jody Broun from Perth, WA, was awarded a prestigious Indigenous art award for her painting, ‘White Fellas Come to Talk Bout Land’, at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
On this day in 1940: The Commonwealth Electoral (War-time) Act was enacted today, giving the vote to all members of the forces over the age of 21, including Aboriginal people, who served outside Australia in the Second World War.
On this day in 1998: Nova Peris, the winner of a gold medal for hockey from the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, won the individual gold in the 200 metres at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpar. One of Australia’s most capped players in any sport, Nova Peris was born in Darwin in 1971.
On this day in2003: The Queensland Government announced it had completed alcohol management plans for two more Aboriginal communities, and expected the remainder to come on stream by the end of 2003.
On this day in 1970: Eric Simms kicked four field goals in South Sydney’s 23-12 Rugby League Grand Final victory over Manly. He kicked so many goals during that season that authorities reduced the value of a field goal from two points to one. Simms played in 206 senior games, including five consecutive Grand Finals. He also played in eight World Cup matches for Australia, but never in t test.
On this day 1993: Essendon AFL player Gavin Wanganeen was the first Aboriginal player to win the Brownlow Medal, the AFL’s prestigious Best and Fairest award. He played over 100 games with Essendon.
On this day 2001: The Minister for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Philip Ruddock, released the Commonwealth Grants Commission’s Report on Indigenous Funding 2001 on this day. The report was prepared for the Commonwealth Government by four specially-appointed CGC commissioners, including two Indigenous commissioners, under the chairmanship of the CGC chairman Alan Morris.
On this day in 2001: Murrandoo Yanner was appointed to the ATSIC Board of Commissioners, becoming the youngest member of the Board. Mr Yanner was formerly executive director of the Carpentaria Land Council.
On this day in 1996: Archaeologists working on a patch of rocks, known as the Jinmium by local Aboriginal people, found evidence of human activity at the site 176,000 years ago.
On this day in 2001: The Western Australian Government handed over a small area of land at one of the most famous land rights sites in Australia – Noonkanbah. The Kimberley pastoral lease just out of Fitzroy Crossing was the scene of violent protests in 1980 when the then Coalition Government ignored local Aboriginal opposition to drilling for oil on a sacred site. Indigenous Affairs Minister Alan Carpenter officially handed over a 260ha site on this day to the Yungngora community that had been held by the State Aboriginal Lands Trust.
On this day in 1985: After several days of mortuary ritual, a Christian burial service was conducted for Harry Diama (1920-85) at the Maningrida cemetery by the resident Samoan missionary. Harry Diama was considered the leading spokesman for the Burarra and half-jokingly referred to himself as the ‘King of Kopanga’. After his death a big corroboree was held in his honour with visitors from Galiwinku (Elcho Island).
On this day in 1992: Wycliffe Well Red Area was handed over to the Arrernte people of Central Australia.
On this day in 1953: The Alice Springs Police Court was cleared of women so that evidence could be heard of tribal secrets, known only to men, during murder trial of three Aboriginal men.
On this day in 1998: The Howard government’s indigenous policy was labelled “a study in paternalism” by the Democrats. Democrats Indigenous Affairs spokesperson Senator John Woodley said on this day ” there is very little new in this policy to offer relief to indigenous people living in sub-standard conditions”.
On this day in 2002: ATSIC announced they had successfully completed a $700,000 refit of all 270 Indigenous organisations in the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme with top-quality computers and printers. The machines were delivered to every CDEP organisation in every state and territory — some as remote as the tip of Cape York, Bathurst Island or the Western Desert, others in urban centres such as Newcastle, Canberra and Launceston
Born on this Day in 1989 Ben Orcher NFL Cronulla Sharks Player
On this day in 1996: Cathy Freeman caused a furore during the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada. Freeman celebrated her win in the 400 meters sprint by running her victory lap wrapped in the Aboriginal flag.
On this day in 1996: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mr Mick Dodson, addressed a conference on ‘Citizenship and a Just Recognition of the Status of Indigenous Peoples’ in Brisbane. Mr Dodson noted that, despite 30 years of legal citizenship, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples remained de facto exiles in their own country.
On this day in 1997: Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Denver Beanland, presented certificates to Kowanyama Justices of the Peace on this day, who completed their training to sit as magistrates. Legislation recently passed through State Parliament had enabled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justices of the Peace to jail criminals in pilot projects in Thursday Island and Kowanyama.
On this day in 1998: The Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Ms Evelyn Scott and Deputy Chairperson Sir Gustav Nossal, today called on all parties contesting the election to publicly support the Council’s call for a Document of Reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and the wider Australian community by the end of the year 2000.
On this day in 1957: Britain exploded atomic weapons at Maralinga in South Australia as part of the Operation Antler’ series of nuclear tests.
On this day in 1973: The first meeting of the Northern Land Council was held.
On this day in 1982: Maurice Rioli, considered to be one of the finest AFL footballers of his generation, was awarded the Norm Smith Medal in the AFL Grand Final. After football, he went on to be elected to the Legislative Council in the Northern Territory.
On this day in 1993: Michael Long of Essendon was awarded the Norm Smith Medal in the
On this day in 1993 AFL Grand Final. Born in Darwin in 1969, he is regarded as one of the truly great footballers of recent times.
On this day in 2000: Cathy Freeman won gold in the 400m final of the Sydney 2000 Olympics
Born On this Day in 1967 Michael Mitchell AFL footy Player for Freemantle & St Kilda
Born On this Day in 1972 in Cairns, Queensland.: Patrick Johnson, champion sprinter who represented Australia at Commonwealth Games, Olympics and World Championships. His distances were 100 & 200
On this day in 1978: The Federal Government announced it would give two Northern Territory tribes title to 95,000 square kilometres of land—1,500 traditional owners would permanently occupy the area.
On this day in 1982: 2000 people marched in the first land rights demonstration at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
On this day in 1998: The commencement of one week of action in Kakadu protesting the proposed Jabiluka uranium mine. The Mirrar traditional owners encouraged people to join them in their protests, saying the proposed mine threatens country and culture.
On this day in 1943: A Japanese air raid intended for the nearby RAAF base at Pago missed its target and instead hit the Pago mission. Four mission buildings were destroyed and Father Thomas and five Aboriginal residents were killed when a bomb scored a direct hit on their trench.
On this day in 1956: The first of a series of four nuclear explosions as part of ‘Operation Buffalo’ was carried out at Maralinga in South Australia. The other three explosions were scheduled for October 4, 11 and 12 of 1956.
On this day in 1996: The first Aboriginal rugby league test team to play in Great Britain in over 100 years departed Australia, made up of a touring party of 24 players and 6 officials. The National Aboriginal Sports Corporation of Australia, founded in 1995, announced the tour.
On this day in 2001: The launch of ‘Indigenous Australians – A National Commitment’ which the Federal Government claimed highlights many of the positive developments which are occurring as a result of the national commitment to Indigenous Australians. Mr Ruddock launched at Parliament House.
On this day in 2002: ATSIC congratulated the Martu people for their successful native title claim in the Western Desert Region of Western Australia. Chairperson Geoff Clark said it was a long and hard battle to win recognition for their rights and status — beginning with the Pilbara Aboriginal Workers strike of 1946.
On this day in 1928: Aboriginal cricketer Sam Anderson dismissed the great Sir Donald Bradman for a duck. Anderson was born in Queensland in 1880 and holds the unique distinction of scoring over a hundred centuries in district cricket.
On this day in 1996: Aboriginal Community Legal Centres launched celebrations of 25 years of service, since first opening on 26 July 1971 at Redfern in NSW.
On this day in 1998: With less than a week to go before the federal election, Prime Minister Howard and most Coalition sitting parliamentarians and candidates for the federal election had failed to sign the Federal Parliamentarian’s Code of Race Ethics.
On this day in 1998: The first native title agreement on co-existence on a pastoral lease was reached between the Western (Sunset) Yalanji people and Mr and Mrs Pedersen of Karma Waters station in far north Queensland negotiated a private
Born on this day in 1983 Afl Football Player Zavier Clark Recruited to StKilda from the Territory in 2001 later transferred in 2009 to the Brisbane Lyons.
On this day in 1876: 1944: Harold Blair, who was born on the Aboriginal settlement at Cherbourg in 1924 and brought up on Purga Mission near Ipswich, sang at the Lennon Hotel in Brisbane, for the renowned Marjorie Jackson. From reportedly being illiterate as an 18-year-old, Harold Blair became an outstanding tenor who sang fluently in five languages and performed on the stage internationally.
On this day in 1876: 1997: The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park celebrated the signing of its “gudgi gurf” (certified agreement) with a special ceremony in Cairns.
On this day in 1876: 1998: Ninety Prime Minister John Howard look-a-likes from across Australia were arrested for trespassing on the Jabiluka Mineral Lease. They were expressing their opposition to the ERA uranium project inside World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Of those arrested, 80 remained in Jabiru police station, maintaining their identity as John Howard.
On this day in 1876: 2003: Indigenous elders met on this day in South Australia’s far north to mark the 50th anniversary of British nuclear tests in the area.
On this day in 2003: ATSIC farewelled Indigenous Affairs Minister Philip Ruddock, who left the position after he had stripped the organisation of its budget as part of a radical overhaul.
On this day in 1876: 1899: Welfare worker and journalist Daisy Bates was commissioned by the London Times to investigate cruelty claims regarding the treatment of Aboriginal people living in the northwest of Western Australia.
On this day in 1876: 1991: The Senatus Academicus, the governing body of the University of Edinburgh, formally gave nearly 300 specimens derived from Aboriginal bodies to representatives of the Aboriginal people. Ngarinjin Elder David Mowaljarlai and Bob Weatherall, coordinator for the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA), attended as Aboriginal representatives.
On this day in 1876: 1996: The life story of Edward Koiki Mabo was released, told largely in Mabo’s own words. Spanning the years from his birth in 1936 to his untimely death in 1992, it covered his years as a boy on the Island of Mer through to his struggle within the union cause and the black rights movement. The story tells of his death just months before the historic High Court decision was handed down that destroyed the concept of ‘terra nullius’.
On this day in 1876: 1998: The conference ‘Conquering Colonisation’ began on this day at the Douglas campus of James Cook University in Townsville. JCU’s School of Indigenous Australian Studies hosted the event featuring Cape York Land Council’s Noel Pearson, Chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Evelyn Scott, and the first Torres Strait Islander doctoral graduate, Dr Martin Nakata.