Rights and Freedoms


Declaration of human rights


This set the bar for equality yet was almost universally not obeyed on the topic of race.



The "Social Services Act" of 1959 gave aboriginals that weren't "nomadic or primitive" many benefits that other citizens already had access to.



This was a large milestone where aboriginals for the first time could take part in the elections of political leaders, this gave them far more of a say and helped abolish segregation.

Freedom rides

12 feb 1965 - 26 feb 1965

This protest was inspired by the American counterpart of 1961 and involved touring in busing to rural towns to picket or simply bring awareness via the media.

Wavehill walk off

1966 - 1975

While it started as a strike for working conditions, it lead to a large peaceful protest about land usage lead by Vincent Lingiari

Petition for land denied


Vincent Lingiardi headed a movement with a petition to give the land back to the aboriginal peoples, this was denied by the governor general.

Constitutional Alteration


This change to the constitution was a big moment from the Holt government and meant that, along with other things, aboriginals be counted in the census. While not everything that was needed, this was a step in the right direction for racial equality.

Equal pay


A year after the changes to the constitution aboriginals were finally meant to be receiving equal pay. However this was not necesarilly always obeyed. it also had the side effect of many aboriginal workers being laid off with the pay spike.

Land Given back


This famous scene as Gough Witlam pours earth into Vincent Lingiardi's hand to symbolise the handing back 3,300km2 of aboriginal land. While not the end of the struggle this was the massive turning point from the government and the majority of society.

"Aboriginal Health" realeased


The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, released Aboriginal Health, a report in which it found that ‘little progress has been made in raising the overall standard of Aboriginal health’ and that ‘this is a deplorable situation that would not be tolerated for non-Aboriginals’.

Beds are Burning


A famous song by midnight oil with a deep meaning about aboriginal persecution. Music is a good medium to get to society and shows how the reconciliation process was going.

Redfern speech

10 Dec 1992

This speech by Prime minister Paul Keating was in hindisight, a significant event. Paul Keating was the first Australian prime minister to publicly acknowledge to Indigenous Australians that European settlers were responsible for the difficulties Australian Aboriginal communities continued to face: "We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practiced discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice."

Bringing Them Home Report


This report was an official look into the treatment of the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders focusing on the forcible removal of their children.

John Howard refuses to apologise


The current prime minister refused to apologise for the historic abuse justifying that it was an action committed by a past generation and his generation should not have to say sorry for it. This was met with much opposition.

Kevin Rudd apologizes

13th Feb 2008

This momentous occasion was when the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders finally got an apology for their mistreatment over the years and the present.


Declaration of human rights


This set the bar for equality yet was almost universally disobeyed on the topic of race for years to come.

Brown vs Board of Education


The supreme court ruled all for the desegregation of schools in this case. One of the main arguments in its favour was that it directly infringed the 14th amendment.

Desegregation pushed


While segregation in school was illegal by this point it was not taking place in many schools. The supreme court decided to delegate the task of carrying out school desegregation to district courts saying that desegregation occur "with all deliberate speed".

Emmett Till killed

August 27, 1955

A black boy was brutally murdered by 2 white men who, despite evidence, were ruled innocent by an all white jury. This become a signature case in the fight for civil rights.

Rosa Parks Arrested

December 1, 1955

Rosa Parks was black women sitting in her area of a bus, when ordered to move she refused and was subsequently jailed. This started the Alabama Bus Boycott movement.

Alabama Bus Boycott

5th Dec 1955 - 20th Dec 1956

This was regarded as the first large scale protest against segregation in american history. It included refusing to use the segregated busses in Montgomery, Alabama. After the protest the Supreme Court ordered Montgomery to desegregate their bus system. This movement put the young Martin Luther King into the spotlight.

Little Rock Nine


An example of segregation and racism still excising in schools and society as black students were blocked access to a white school. With lots of protesting and authorities present, the 'Little Rock Nine" eventually prevailed.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference established

14th Feb 1957

Comprised of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles K. Steele and Fred L. Shuttlesworth, the SCLC proved to be a major force in organizing the civil rights movement with a principle base of nonviolence and civil disobedience. King believed it was essential for the civil rights movement not sink to the level of the racists and hate mongers who opposed them. "We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline," he urged.

Freedom Rides

4th May 1961

A group of 13 African-American and white civil right activists protested the segregation in busses by using facilieties designed for exclusively white people. Despite receiving violence from the white populaiton it was successful due to the media attention in September 1961 it was ruled illegal to have a segregated bus or train station.

Civil Rights Act of 1964


This was a large change to official civil rights with many new laws and guidelines. The biggest of which was making it illegal for discrimination of any kind based on race, colour, religion or national origin. While an official ruling this doesn't dictate society and much was still going on long after this.

Martin Luther King Shot

4th April 1968

Martin Luther King Jr. was an important figure for human rights and this tragedy rocked the world. He was most famous for his "I Have A Dream" speech and also has many other achievements alongside this.

Civil Rights Restoration Act


Overriding President Ronald Reagan's veto, Congress passed the Civil Rights Restoration Act, which expanded the reach of nondiscrimination laws within private institutions receiving federal funds.