2013 – Changing the Foundations of our Nation

Travis Akbar

In February this year, the Senate passed legislation to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of Australia. The bill, which passed unopposed in the Upper House, paves the way for a national referendum to amend the Australian Constitution. On Thursday the 21st of March, South Australia’s Constitution was amended to recognise Aboriginal peoples as the … Read More

2010 – The Lead-Up to Recognition

Travis Akbar

An expert panel is appointed by the Government to consult and lead a nationwide-discussion about formally recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution. After a period of consideration, discussion and consultation with all Australians, the panel develops recommendations to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our nation’s founding document. It reported to the Prime Minister … Read More

2008 – Apology to the Stolen Generations

Travis Akbar

On February 13, then-Prime Minister delivers a landmark apology to the Stolen Generations. Thousands of Aboriginal people gather in Canberra to watch the Apology, which is also televised across Australia. Mr Rudd delivers the following apology: “For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry. To the mothers … Read More

2000 – The Bridge Walk

Travis Akbar

On May 28, more than 300,000 people walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge in support of Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Almost a million people across the country subsequently mobilise for reconciliation, including 55,000 people crossing the Torrens in Adelaide.

1997 – Bringing Them Home

Travis Akbar

On 26th May, the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families is tabled in Federal Parliament. The ‘Bringing them Home’ Report revealed the extent of the forcible removal policies, which were passed and implemented for generations and into the 1970s. May 26 has since become known as National Sorry … Read More

1992 – The Mabo Decision

Travis Akbar

The Mabo Decision is passed down in the High Court of Australia, which historically overturns the legal doctrine of terra nullius that characterised Australian law with regards to land and title. This comes five months after Eddie Mabo’s death.

Keating’s Redfern Address

Travis Akbar

Prime Minister Paul Keating’s historic address is given to a largely Aboriginal gathering at Sydney’s Redfern Park to commemorate the Year of the World’s Indigenous People.

1991 – Deaths In Custody

Travis Akbar

The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody tables its final report. This marks the start of the formal reconciliation process – the Royal Commission recommended that all political leaders and their parties recognise that reconciliation between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians must be achieved if community division, discord and injustice to Indigenous Australians were … Read More

1990 – ATSIC Formed

Travis Akbar

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission is formed as the Australian Government body through which Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders were formally involved in the processes of government affecting their lives. An elected body, ATSIC was set up by the Hawke Government to replace the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the Aboriginal Development Commission. ATSIC was abolished by … Read More