Aboriginal Rights

Andy and Ian discuss the 1967 referendum in the broad context of aboriginal democratic rights. Before 1967, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples did not have the same rights as other Australians under the Australian Constitution. Many aspects of aboriginal lives were controlled by the state governments, including the right to:

• Vote in state elections
• Marry whomever they chose
• Move to wherever they chose
• Own property wherever they chose
• Be the legal guardian of their own children
• .Receive the same pay for the same work

Andy interviews Alice Haines at the Freedom Summit at Uluru.

Ian reports from the Sorry Day ceremony at Kurilpa organised by Link Up.

Sorry Day
Sam Watson announces the renaming of Redlands to Oodgeroo for the coming state election for the districts of Cleveland, Wellington Point and Redland Bay.

Waradjuri woman Sharon sings children’s song in language.


Maroochy Barambah – No more boomerang
Ancestress – Speak the truth
Joe Geia – Fighting for our rights
Vic Simms – Get back in the shadows
MC Triks and bAbE Sun – We still right here

Tulladunna aboriginal cotton workers protest, Wee Waa NSW 1982

One thought on “Aboriginal Rights”

  1. Recently my siblings have been discussing the Curr family’s part in occupation of aboriginal lands prompted by this brief passage that I found in wikipedia:

    1838. Additional killings of these people occurred at Wangaratta on the Ovens River, at Murchison (led by the native police under Dana and in the company of the young Edward Curr, who could not bring himself to discuss what he witnessed there other than to say he took issue with the official reports). Other incidents were recorded by Mitchelton and Toolamba. This “hunting ground” would have been a ceremonial ground probably called a ‘Kangaroo ground’. Hunting grounds were all over so not something that would instigate an attack. The colonial government decided to “open up” the lands south of Yass after the Faithful Massacre and bring them under British rule.”

    On recent reading of this account combined with a search of Trove and some local histories, squatters, William and George Faithfull were killed by north east Aboriginal clans near Benalla in Victoria. This was and is Yorta Yorta land.

    These aboriginal clans were defending their hunting grounds from encroachment by squatters – as readers may know, something repeated throughout the colony in the 50 years prior to the reprisal massacre that followed.

    Subsequent to the Faithfull killings Edward M. V. Curr (educated at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst) went with a party including native police probably under orders from Port Phillip colonial office to seek reprisal.

    This was part of the 50-year-old-colony’s forced occupation of aboriginal lands.

    The prize for Edward Micklethwaite Curr (1820-1889)? 64,000 Acres of prime grazing land managed sustainably for 40,000 years by the Yorta Yorta people.

    Remember that Australia is the only colony in the world not to sign a treaty with its first nations people.

    The High Court of Australia should be condemned for justifying the occupation by denying land rights to the Yorta Yorta people. The judges granted prominent status to Edward Curr’s writings, at the expense of Yorta Yorta oral testimony.

    This is, in itself, a crime against the Yorta Yorta people that needs to be made right.

    Ian Curr
    26 May 2017

    See p 18 of http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/78361/20141113-0008/www.strathbogie.vic.gov.au/images/Strategic_Planning/c04/HeritageStudyVol+2-ThematicHistory.pdf

    See http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/230149524/14255006
    Our Civilisation Has Rolled Over Thee: Edward M Curr and the Yorta Yorta Native Title Case


4PR feedback:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s