Rights and freedoms of aboriginals

This chapter examines changing government policies including assimilation, integration and self-determination. This chapter also gives an overview of Indigenous Australian protests for equality and land rights and responses to these issues from the government. Assimilation Aboriginal people were expected to fit in with white Australian culture - they were expected to assimilate. The assimilation policy did not work.

Rights and freedoms of aboriginals

The Coniston Massacre of was the last time that Aboriginal people and white settlers would clash in a physical battle; a new era of resistance now began. Instead of using violence the Indigenous people now began to pursue a policy of peaceful, political protest through activist groups and demonstrations.

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The first protest group formed in New South Wales was the Aborigines' Progressive Association APA which was established in by a group of Aboriginal people and some white supporters sympathetic to their cause. The APA wanted to promote citizenship rights and wanted to bring an end to racial discrimination.

The Indigenous people, however, declared the day not one of celebration but a 'Day of Mourning'; for their culture, their traditions and those who had died un-necessarily in Rights and freedoms of aboriginals previous years.

As the celebrations were going on in Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay the Aboriginal protest groups were also making their presence felt.

More than Aboriginal people from every state made the journey to Sydney to protest the celebrations of the anniversary of an event that had begun the destruction of their traditional way of life. The movement was also very much an Indigenous initiative - pamphlets that were given out to advertise the fact that there would be a protest rally made it clear that it was for Aboriginal peoples only.

They were kept locked up overnight in a police station and were not allowed to see their families.

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They had been told that if they did not take part, their rations would be stopped on the reserves. Those who were able to take part in the National Day of Mourning were also protesting for the right to citizenship. Two of the main Indigenous leaders, Jack Patten and William Ferguson wrote up a manifesto outlining the Aboriginal peoples' protest and their demands.

Rights and freedoms of aboriginals

Lyons to present him with a document that outlined the steps towards equality for Aboriginal people. This was an historic meeting - no Indigenous delegation had ever been able to present their demands directly to the Prime Minister before. The Second World War halted the impetus of the Aboriginal peoples' protest movement - nearly Indigenous Australians became directly involved with the war effort as soldiers - even though conscription of Aboriginal people was banned by military policy at the time.

They did not get anywhere near the same amount of wages as their white colleagues - some were even only paid in tobacco. At the same time, the shortage of labour in the towns and cities meant that for the first time many Indigenous men and women were able to get long term jobs, rather than just the normal seasonal work they usually got.

When the war was over however the situation reversed once more and Aboriginal people had made no real gains. The 'black diggers' were not given war pensions or any of the other benefits the white soldiers received when the war was over. Several of them became spokesmen for the Indigenous protest movement.

See image 2 Nearly Indigenous Australians became involved in the war effort. Discrimination was also a major issue in the work sector for Aboriginal people; many of them were only ever paid in food and board, while those who were paid with money were paid far less than their white counterparts.

Their living conditions on the farms and reserves were also so bad that it prompted some to take strike action.

The first instance of this type of protest was in when the Cummeroogunga people walked off their reserve in protest at their living and working conditions. In Aboriginal people in Pilbara in Western Australia started a strike that was to last for three years over work and pay conditions and in there was also a strike by Indigenous people in Darwin.

The fact that reserve land was being taken away from Indigenous people also caused many of them to react in a political way. The government had given land to Aboriginal people to live on, only to take some of it away and sell it for housing or mining. In the people on the Yirrkala reserve in Arnhem Land sent a petition written on bark to the House of Representatives in protest at square kilometres of their land on the Gove peninsula being given to a mining company.

The Yirrkala people said they had not been consulted before the land, which they depended on, had been taken away.

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Although they eventually lost their court case inthe bark petition did lead to the formation of the Aboriginal Land Rights Commission which meant that sacred Indigenous sites could no longer be easily destroyed. The strikes and the Yirrkala bark petition were the fore runners of the land rights campaign that took off in the s and grew throughout the s.

There are evident links between the Indigenous protest movement in Australia and the civil rights movement in America at that time. In America the Freedom Riders were helping black people register to vote, in Australia they were high-lighting the extent of segregation in many country towns.

Aboriginal Rights in Australia

The Australian Freedom Riders were led by a young Indigenous man named Charles Perkins and a group of non-Indigenous university students. They spent a summer driving to country towns and protesting at the segregation and discrimination that was rife in the New South Wales countryside.

These towns included places like Moree and Walgett, where Aboriginal people could only use the town swimming pool at certain times, where they were banned from socialising in the hotels and where Indigenous ex-servicemen could not enter the local RSL.Back to About Rights and Freedoms.

Rights and freedoms of aboriginals

Back to About Rights and Freedoms Skip to the content Rights and freedoms: right by right. Back to About Rights and Freedoms. the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, and ;. The rights and freedoms of Aboriginals have improved drastically since with many changes to government policy, cultural views and legal rules to bring about .

Section states that the Charter does not derogate existing Aboriginal rights and freedoms. Aboriginal rights, including treaty rights, receive more direct constitutional protection under section 35 of the Constitution Act, The Protection, Assimilation, Integration and Self-Determination policies had a significant impact on the changing rights and freedoms for the Australian Aboriginal people.

The Protection policy was formed in the 's by the government because they believed the Aboriginal people needed to have Reviews: 2. The struggle for rights and freedoms, Self-determination, Changing rights and freedoms: Aboriginal people, History, Year 9, NSW The taking away of reserve land, the after math of the Second World War and the assimilation policy all led to an increase in;Indigenous activism.

The Coniston Massacre of was the last time that Aboriginal people;and white settlers would. The Aboriginal group did not celebrate but organised a conference and protest in the Australian Hall, Sydney and planned a march from the Town Hall (Rights and freedoms, the present, n.d.).

The second event was the Freedom Ride, which involved a group of students from the University of Sydney who began a journey by bus to .

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