WARNING CONTAINS INFORMATION ABOUT DECEASED PEOPLE
on this day in 1901: the Federal Pacific Islanders Act became law.
On this day in 1984: Over 76,000 square kilometres of traditional land at Maralinga in western South Australia was returned to the traditional Aboriginal owners.
On this day in 1996: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister, Senator John Herron, today announced an overhaul of the Heritage Protection Act,designed to prevent another Hindmarsh Island saga. Under the changes, theCommonwealth Heritage Protection Act would be retained as an ‘Act of lastresort’, to apply where State and Territory schemes do not meet national minimum standards, or where national interest considerations exist.
On this day in 1996: Queensland Health Minister, Mike Horan, announced on this day that the State Government would advertise across Queensland immediately to fill the membership of Queensland’s new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council.
On this day in 1838: A letter in the Australian newspaper attested to the racial hatred of Aboriginal people by early settlers: “I look on the blacks as a set of monkies, and the earlier they are exterminated from the face of the earth the better. I would never consent to hang a white man for a black one.”
On this day in 1943: The Army prepared instructions for personnel to be based at each of the Army-controlled Aboriginal settlements. These personnel would maintain a roll of all labourers showing their ‘European’ and Aboriginal names, clan, the names of their dependants, the number of their blood slide (used to monitor malarial infection) and any general remarks.
On this day in 1994: A replica of Captain James Cook’s ship ‘Endeavour’ arrived in Sydney to celebrate the ‘discovery’ in 1770 of the land in which Aboriginal people had lived for more than 60,000 years. Aboriginal protesters attached a banner to the fence of the Botanical Gardens reading ‘Don’t Forget White Australia has a Black History’.
On this day in 1997: The Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Senator John Herron, released the names of the 25 members of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for the Council’s final three-year term, which ended on 31st December 2000. Senator Herron confirmed the appointment of Ms Evelyn Scott as Chairperson and Sir Gus Nossal as Deputy Chairperson of the Council.
On this day in 1938: Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira had 41 watercolour paintings on exhibition at the Fine Art Society Gallery in Melbourne. All 41 paintings were sold.
On this day in 2000: The Queensland Government signed a Justice Agreement committing it to the goal of halving the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prisons and appearing before the courts.
On this day in 2002: Victorian-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner Chairman Geoff Clark was re-elected as ATSIC Chairman for a second term on this day.
On this day in 1836: The Executive Council of NSW cleared Major Thomas Mitchell of responsibility after his expedition killed a large number of Aboriginal people on the Murray River.
On this day in 1889: Despite the plan of the Queensland government to outlaw the importation of Pacific Island labour after 1890, a Royal Commission reported on this day the labour was essential. It stated that ‘if all coloured labour be withdrawn from the plantations the extinction of the sugar industry must speedily follow’.
On this day in 1895: Law was enacted in South Australia to limit the use of opium by Aboriginal people for medicinal purposes. On this day in 2001: ATSIC said Essendon AFL coach Kevin Sheedy should be commended for his forward-thinking proposal to expand the draft system and allow AFL clubs to recruit an additional two Indigenous players as rookies. Mr Sheedy’s proposal would allow Indigenous players recruited from remote areas more time to adjust to the pressures and demands of a professional lifestyle and big city living.
On this day in 2001: Native title, education and law and justice issues were among the priority areas of need identified at the first historic meeting of a new body representing the heads of the major Western Australian Government departments delivering services to Aboriginal people and State ATSIC leaders on this day. WA Indigenous Affairs Minister Alan Carpenter, who chaired the Indigenous Affairs Advisory Committee (IAAC), said the group had the power to improve the lives of thousands of Aboriginal people in the State.
On this day in 1835: Protector of Aborigines George Augustus Robinson noted in his journal of the conditions for the Tasmanian Aborigines at Flinders Island: “it is cruel not to provide abundantly for this remnant of the aboriginal race… having placed them on an isolated spot. The least we ought to do is to abundantly supply their wants”.
On this day in 1840: Four Aboriginal people were shot by J.F. Francis in the Pyrenes, according to George Robertson’s listing of ‘Aborigines – Outrages Against’ in the 1879 Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time.
On this day in 1974: An adult male skeleton believed to be some 30,000 years old was discovered at Lake Mungo in NSW. The skeleton was named Mungo Man.