Indigenous Almanac Newsletter
The CBOnline Indigenous Almanac (www.cbonline.org.au) provides a
comprehensive listing of over 2400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander events and
issues from throughout history. This online research and educational tool is unique in
that it can be searched by category, keyword, location and even date – giving users
the opportunity to access information on all thee vents that happened in Indigenous
history ‘on this day’. The Indigenous Almanac Newsletter provides a printable day
by day listing of historical events and an in-depth look at some of the key issues for
each month of the year.
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 on pages 3-
17. Over the next couple of pages, we’ve chosen some of the more interesting
stories to highlight in more detail…
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
NOVEMBER 10, 1885
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 (such as those pictured below) 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
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.
NOVEMBER 1 ! 1934: The Federal Government ordered Northern Territory police to stop
chaining Aboriginal prisoners.
! 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.
! 1998: The Jabiluka Aboriginal landowners, who failed on this day 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.
! 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
! 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.
! 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.
NOVEMBER 3 ! 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.
! 1996: The Honourable John Herron, Senator for Queensland, was sworn in
as Federal Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
! 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.
! 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
! 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.
! 1978: Two weeks of direct confrontation between the federal and Queensland
governments over management of two Aboriginal reserves ended in a
compromise reached on this day 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.
NOVEMBER 5 ! 1946: The first industrial strike by Aboriginal people in the Pilbara region
! 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.
! 1986: The Gurindji people received inalienable freehold title to almost all of
Wave Hill station, called Daguragu, on this day.
! 1993: The first compulsory Aboriginal Studies Program in Tasmania was
introduced to Cosgrove High School in Hobart.
! 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 Title and the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Fund.
! 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
! 1975: The Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act was enacted.
! 1992: Archaeological sites at Rocky Cape in northwest Tasmania were
reclaimed by Aboriginal people.
! 1997: An apology was made to Indigenous
people by the religious orders of Australia.
! 2000: Charles Perkins launched the book
'Buried Country' (right), about Aboriginal
country musicians in Sydney. At the launch,
Perkins said eradicating poverty - among
both Indigenous and white children - was
the key to reconciliation.
NOVEMBER 7 ! 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.
! 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.
! 1952: Dave Sands, the Empire middleweight boxing champion, died on this
day 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.
! 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.
NOVEMBER 9 ! 1996: A compromised version of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Bill was passed with bipartisan support through both Houses of Federal
! 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.
! 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.
! 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.
! 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
to their family and their past.
! 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.
! 1919: Richmond's Vic Thorp became the first Aboriginal footballer to play in a
VFL Grand Final.
! 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.
! 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.
NOVEMBER 11 ! 1828: Lieutenant Governor Arthur declared martial law against Aboriginal
people in settled areas of Tasmania. The proclamation permitted settlers to
shoot Aborigines on sight.
! 1869: Legislation was passed for the protection and management of
Aboriginal people in Victoria.
! 1997: Queensland State Cabinet agreed to recognise native title over much of
the 110,000 hectare Hopevale Deed Of Grant In Trust (DOGIT) region on
Cape York on this day.
! 1998: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Legal and Advocacy
Service rejected calls for another inquiry into violence on Aboriginal
! 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.
! 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.
! 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.
! 1998: The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, and Minister
Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation, Philip Ruddock, launched the
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Policy Brochure in
Sydney on this day.
! 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.
NOVEMBER 13 ! 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.
! 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 unprecendented 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
! 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.
! 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.
! 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 communique
which formed the basis of the partnership agreement.
! 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.
NOVEMBER 15 ! 1832: A group of Aboriginal people lead by resistance fighter Yagan
escaped from a small island off the coast of Freemantle.
! 1963: Queensland police evicted Aboriginal people from the Mapoon
community and razed their buildings to allow bauxite mining to occur.
! 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-
! 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.
! 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.
! 1949: Aboriginal singer Harold Blair (below right) criticised the Australian
nation for their bad treatment of Australian Indigenous people.
! 1997: "Wajehla Dubay - Women Speaking", Aboriginal Women's Essays,
Stories and Poems, was launched at the Minjungbai Cultural Centre, South
! 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
NOVEMBER 17 ! 1876: Peter St Albans, an Aboriginal jockey aged only 13 years, won the
Melbourne Cup on three-year-old filly Briseis in a field of 33 starters. Peter had
adopted the name St Albans from the place where he worked - St Albans
! 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.
! 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.
! 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, with the largest gathering held on this day.
! 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.
! 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.
NOVEMBER ! 1996: NSW Environment Minister, Pam Allan, announced that landmark
legislation would be introduced to State Parliament on this day to return
ownership of five national parks to their traditional owners without making
any difference to park visitors.
! 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.
! 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 environmentally
sensitive area that is the habitat of 28 endangered species as well as a site of
significant Aboriginal heritage sites.
! 1999: The voices of Queensland's future leaders echoed through Parliament
House on this day 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
! 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
NOVEMBER ! 1921: Social worker Mum Shirl (Shirley Colleen Smith, nee Perry), was born
! 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.
! 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.
! 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.
! 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
! 1998: Honouring Emily Kame Kngwarreye Alhalkere - Paintings from
Utopia, a Queensland Art Gallery Travelling Exhibition held at the National
Gallery of Victoria, ended.
! 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 on this day, who added their journeys to the reconciliation map in
Women Reconcile, a book that brings together 18 very different lives.
! 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.
NOVEMBER ! 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.
! 1830: Bungaree, who had accompanied Matthew Flinders in the
circumnavigation of New Holland, died on this day 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'.
! 1971: Aboriginal groups and church representatives gathered for a service at
the Methodist Church in Brisbane on this day. 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'.
! 1973: Approximately 40,000 Aboriginal voters across Australia elected
members to a National Aboriginal Consultative Committee to advise the
Government on Aboriginal needs.
! 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.
! 1999: Commissioner Steve Gordon was re-elected unopposed to represent
western NSW and the ACT on the national ATSIC Board for a record fourth
consecutive term. Commissioner Gordon became the only remaining member
of the original Board elected in 1990.
NOVEMBER ! 1789: Two more Aboriginal people were captured on the orders of Governor
Phillip - Bennelong and Colby.
! 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.
! 1981: Patricia O'Shane was appointed Head of the New South Wales
Department of State Aboriginal Affairs and became the first Aboriginal woman
to Head a State Government Department.
! 1996: The launch of the report, 'Indigenous Deaths in Custody 1989-96' by
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick
! 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. More than
10,000 people were expected to celebrate, watch or play in the festival,
according to organiser Robbie Williams from the First Contact Aboriginal
Corporation for Youth.
! 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.
! 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.
! 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 on this day.
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.
! 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.
NOVEMBER 27 ! 1838: Seven non-Indigenous men, previously tried and acquitted for the
massacre of 28 Aboriginal people at Myall Creek, were charged again and
! 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.
! 1993: The Julayinbul statement on 'Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights'
was declared at Jingarra in the North-Eastern Coastal region of Australia.
! 1997: Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Chairperson, Patrick Dodson,
presented 'Weaving the Threads', Council's second-term Report to
Parliament, to Parliament.
! 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.
! 2003: Sweden agreed to repatriate the remains of 13 Aboriginal people
brought to the Scandinavian country almost 100 years ago from Australia.
! 1974: The Aboriginal Loans Commission was established.
! 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.
! 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.
! 2000: Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Keith Hamilton, officially
opened the Kulin Nation Cultural Heritage Organisation in Thomas Street,
! 2003: Queensland's Mornington Island began severely restricting liquor
sales on this day in an attempt to reduce alcohol abuse in the Indigenous
NOVEMBER 29 ! 1996: The publication 'Reporting Race Issues in the Media' was launched
on this day. 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
! 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,
sewerage, waste disposal and housing subdivisions in Torres Strait.
! 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.
! 1986: Pope John Paul II endorsed Aboriginal land rights during his Papal
visit to Australia.
! 1997: The Prime Minister addressed the nation to explain his Ten-Point Plan
for Native Title.
! 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
! 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
! 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.
! 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
For further information on the events, people and issues raised in this newsletter, we
recommend you visit the following websites:
! The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission – www.atsic.gov.au
! The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies –
! Frontier Online - www.abc.net.au/frontier
! Reconciliation Australia - www.reconciliationaustralia.org
! National Library of Australia - www.nla.gov.au
! John Oxley Library of Queensland History - www.slq.qld.gov.au/jol
! Aboriginal Australia - www.aboriginalaustralia.com
! Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice -
! Archives of Australia - www.archivenet.gov.au
! Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation – www.antar.org.au
! Australian Bureau of Statistics – www.abs.gov.au
! Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet - www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au
! Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action – www.faira.org.au
! Indigenous Australia - www.dreamtime.net.au
! Indigenous Law Resources - www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/IndigLRes