SAMPLE EXCERPT:

It was these agitation's and activism which brought a number of changes for the Aboriginal people; these radical groups were successful in their strategy to adopt extreme form of protest and agitation's. The reforms brought about by these radical groups included the availability of commonwealth child endowment payments to Aboriginal families, after two years this reform was extended to those on missions or government reserves. In 1942 the old age pension began to be paid to those Aborigines outside the operations of the Aboriginal acts. Though these reforms were very crucial they did not bring about a radical change, there was a massive discrimination still going against the Aboriginal people. The government implemented the Aborigines act but it had a certain criteria as to who should be allowed access the services and citizenship rights afforded to white Australians. Under the acts some Aborigines were able to pass as whites and they could enjoy certain rights and become nominal whites. If any Native had certain certificate of good character or any other certificate from the government he was the able to use some of the services and have certain rights. In the 1930s and 1940s the Aboriginal organizations were located in one or two states but it was in 1950s that Aboriginal organizations were formed in all the states and it developed new plans to stress for civil rights and land rights. In the beginning these Aboriginal organizations were managed and conducted by both Aborigines and white but gradually all these organizations came more in the control of the Native people [Bullimore, 2000].

The 1960s were a crucial and most important period of the Aboriginal struggles against the white Australians. It was in the 1960s that Australia saw most of the changes. The 1960s saw an incredible change. People such as Charles Perkins, who was involved in the Freedom Rides in 1965, Chick Dixon, Joe McGinness, Faith Bandler, Pastor Dough Nicholls and Pat O' Shane, worked tirelessly to not only improve the lives of the Native people but also to make Aborigines as the equal citizens of Australia. Many of the protestors and leaders of the Aboriginal organization were inspired by the African-American civil rights movement in United States [Smallwood, 2002]. It became clear to them that they needed agitation and protest of this level to shake the government and that the struggle would need agitation like adopted by the African-Americans in United States, where Martin Luther King with his non-violence and disobedience movement achieved a lot of things. Charles Perkins and many other Aboriginal and white students conducted the famous "freedom rides" throughout the Australia, which highlighted the discriminatory practices suffered by the Aboriginal population. The three decades of struggles of the Native people had already brought a number of changes in some parts of the country, in 1962 the Aboriginal people in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia were given some rights. Along with the freedom rides, the prominent Australian writers and poets began to participate in the struggles of the Aboriginal people, Judith Wright and Aboriginal poet and writer Kath Walker among the significant ones. He toured the country advocating the freedom of Native people, their equal rights and their land rights [Smallwood, 2002].

On May 27, 1967 was the day of success of Aboriginal movement, more than five million Australians voted in affirmative to a referendum proposal to give Aboriginal equal rights as citizens. The referendum made the amendment in the constitution, which previously excluded Aborigines as the citizens of Australia. With the astounding approval of 92% approval, this was one of the greatest victories of Aboriginal movement and the recognition of the white population of their rightful status. Although the people had given their overwhelming support there was still work to be done to bring the Aboriginal people and white people together and to form a new nation. In addition there was lot of work to be done to provide Aborigines relief, proper education to them and improve their living standards. One of the major issues after the referendum was the land rights issue though it needed more struggle to achieve the land rights and other civil rights [Smallwood, 2002].

Sources:

Reynolds, Henry. 1996. After Mabo, What About Aboriginal Sovereignty?, Australian Humanities Review, at http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/AHR/archive/Issue-April-1996/Reynolds.html

Paisley, Fiona. 1997. Race and Remembrance: Contesting Aboriginal Child Removal in the Inter-War Years, Australian Humanities Review, at http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/AHR/archive/Issue-November-1997/paisley.html

Stanton, Sue. 1999. Time for Truth: Speaking the Unspeakable - Genocide and Apartheid in the 'Lucky' Country., Australian Humanities Review, at http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/AHR/archive/Issue-July-1999/stanton.html

Miller, James. 1985. Koori - A Will to Win: The Heroic Resistance, Survival and Triumph of Black Australia. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.

Bullimore, Kim. 2001. "The Aboriginal struggle for justice and land rights," at http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2001/433/433p16.htm

Smallwood, Gracelyn. 2002. The Unrelenting Struggle Of Indigenous Australians, at http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/australians.html

Additional Readings

Gaita, R. 1997. Genocide and Pedantry in Quadrant, July-Aug., p.45

Bird, C. 2003. The Stolen Children: Their Stories, William's story, Confidential evidence number 553, p.115

Markus, A. Blood from a Stone: William Cowper and the Australian

Aborigines League, pt. 1

Read, P. 1938.'A double headed coin: protection and assimilation in Yass

1900-1950' in Bill Gammage and Andrew Markus (eds), All that dirt: aborigines

The Human Rights Commission Bringing Them Home report, and a wide range of associated materials, are available through the Commission's website: www.hreoc.gov.au.

Paisley, Fiona. 1997. Race and Remembrance: Contesting Aboriginal Child Removal in the Inter-War Years, Australian Humanities Review, at http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/AHR/archive/Issue-November-1997/paisley.html

Stanton, Sue. 1999. Time for Truth: Speaking the Unspeakable - Genocide and Apartheid in the 'Lucky' Country., Australian Humanities Review, at http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/AHR/archive/Issue-July-1999/stanton.html

Miller, James. 1985. Koori - A Will to Win: The Heroic Resistance, Survival and Triumph of Black Australia. Angus & Robertson, Sydney

Reynolds, Henry. 1996. After Mabo, What About Aboriginal Sovereignty?, Australian Humanities Review, at http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/AHR/archive/Issue-April-1996/Reynolds.html

Bullimore, Kim. 2001. "The Aboriginal struggle for justice and land rights," at http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2001/433/433p16.htm

Smallwood, Gracelyn. 2002. The Unrelenting Struggle Of Indigenous Australians, at http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/australians.html