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Listed under:  History  >  World history  >  Torres Strait Islander history
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ABC Open: Aunty Dorrie and the 'dog licence'

Have you ever heard of the 'dog licence'? This was a Certificate of Exemption, issued by the Aboriginal Welfare Board, that allowed Indigenous Australians to live as part of white Australian society. In order to get one of these, Aboriginal people effectively had to renounce their culture and prove that they were 'respectable'. ...

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Spotlight: Power, religion and the civil rights movement

Imagine what you could achieve if you joined together with people who thought the same way as you did about an important issue? In a panel interview in 1960, US entertainer and rights activist Paul Robeson points out the potential political power African Americans could wield if they voted as a bloc, or single group.

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Australia's first Aboriginal member of parliament

Neville Bonner became Australia's first Aboriginal parliamentarian when he was appointed to represent Queensland in the Senate in 1971. In this clip, Senator Bonner outlines some of his priorities and his response to public expectations as he prepared to take office.

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Spotlight: Attaining equality, 1960

Explore the idea of pride in your forebears as famous entertainer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson reflects on being both African American and a citizen of the USA. In this 1960 'Spotlight' panel discussion, Robeson points out the difficulty and importance of gaining equality in a society that is based on conquest ...

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Timeframe: Australia's 1967 Referendum

Why have the results of the 1967 Referendum had a lasting symbolic significance? Civil rights activist Faith Bandler describes a long and well-organised struggle for the referendum and the reasons for it. Find out what percentage of Australians voted to alter the Constitution so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ...

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BTN: Young drovers: reviving a proud tradition

Did you know that Aboriginal pastoral workers were the backbone of the wealthy Australian cattle industry, but that until 1968 they were never paid an equal wage? Find out what it took for these stockworkers with valuable work skills to achieve equal pay. Watch, too, how some Aboriginal students in the Roper Gulf country ...

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Indigenous Australian Activism in 1974

For generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have sought to regain custodianship of the land taken from them since the arrival of Europeans in Australia. In the early 1970s, protests and demonstrations signified the beginning of the Land Rights movement. In this clip, Indigenous Australian activist Sam ...

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Four Corners: The politics of native title

What were the politics surrounding the issue of native title in 1993? Former prime minister Paul Keating's support for the granting of native title was not popular with all Australians. Many of his Labor colleagues were uncomfortable about it. Listen as Tim Fischer, then leader of the National Party, declares his position ...

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Five Australians: Charles Perkins campaigns for Aboriginal rights

Why was 1967 a turning point in the struggle for legal equality and the civil rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples? In this clip, we encounter leading Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins as he addresses a range of public meetings held to raise awareness of racial discrimination and to bring about change ...

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Four Corners: Balancing opposing views on native title

The Mabo decision of 1992 created uncertainty for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as for the mining and pastoral industries. Public and 'leasehold' land was subject to native title claims. Listen to the responses of Indigenous leaders and the mining industry as the effects of the High Court decision ...

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ABC News: The Freedom Ride: there's a lot of work to be done

In February 2015 a busload of students and former activists left Sydney to retrace the journey of the original Freedom Riders, who, in 1965, visited northern New South Wales to observe and confront discrimination suffered by Aboriginal people. In this News clip, meet some of the original Riders, along with representatives ...

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Indigenous Stories about War and Invasion

This is a website about Indigenous experiences of invasion and war during the British invasion, World War I and World War II. The resource is presented in three sections: Introductory information; Story Objects; and Story Education Resources. There are eight story objects that tell the stories of individuals, events and ...

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Four Corners: Native title begins with an act of recognition

Following the recognition of native title by the High Court of Australia in June 1992, the establishment of a process for ensuring that it was awarded fairly and responsibly was needed. This process came to be enshrined in the Native Title Act of 1993. Listen as key players in the development of the Act explain its importance. ...

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Paul Keating's 1992 Redfern speech

On 10 December 1992, Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating delivered a speech in Redfern, Sydney at a celebration of the International Year of the World's Indigenous People. The speech addressed many of the injustices suffered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the previous 200 years. Today, it is regarded ...

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The Sea Turtle and the Osprey

The Dreaming of the Sea Turtle and the Osprey (Wundanyuka kulu Jujuju) belongs to the Wurdalia clan of the Yanyuwa People, who live in and around Borroloola, near the Gulf of Carpentaria in the eastern Northern Territory. The story follows the Osprey, who pursues Sea Turtles in the islands of the southwest Gulf. Please ...

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Burke and Wills: Then and Now

This is a website about a journey in 2010 that retraced the 1860 Burke and Wills expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Topics include: the landscape, the route, the flora and fauna, Burke’s tree, aboriginal bush foods and various interviews with experts and involved individuals. The resource is presented ...

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Four Corners: Before the Referendum: Margaret Valadian speaks up

Imagine being asked to speak on behalf of your culture. Explore and compare some of the attitudes of and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in 1967. In the national referendum of that year, 90 per cent of Australian voters agreed that the affairs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be ...

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Four Corners: Native title: 200 years in the making

What do you know about the struggle for native title in Australia? On 3 June 1992 the High Court of Australia handed down a landmark ruling that acknowledged that the Meriam people of the Torres Strait had the right to hold native title over their islands (Murray, or Mer, Dauar and Waier). Find out more about this critical ...

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This Day Tonight: Two years after the 1966 Wave Hill walk-off

Visit Wattie Creek at Wave Hill station in 1968. It is two years into the historic strike known as the 'Wave Hill walk-off' led by the Aboriginal Elder Vincent Lingiari. In this black-and-white clip made at the time, listen to Vincent Lingiari and other strikers discuss what they are fighting for. The manager of Wave Hill ...

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Nexus: Eora: mapping Aboriginal Sydney, 1770-1850

Why are artworks viewed as important sources of historical information? In this clip, you will see a range of artworks created about and by the Eora people, the original inhabitants of Port Jackson (site of today's Sydney Harbour). These artworks were part of a State Library of NSW exhibition in 2006, which was designed ...