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The history of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The history of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy
Updated 27 Jan 2012, 2:50amFri 27 Jan 2012, 2:50am Gallery: Aboriginal Tent Embassy The Aboriginal Tent Embassy was founded on Australia Day in 1972 to protest the decision by the McMahon Liberal government to reject a proposal for Aboriginal Land rights. The government instead planned to implement a lease system, conditional on the ability of Indigenous people to make economic and social use of the land, and excluding rights to mineral and forestry resources. Four Indigenous activists - Michael Anderson, Billy Craigie, Bertie Williams and Tony Coorey - set up the protest at 1.00am under a beach umbrella on the lawns of Parliament House (Old Parliament House). The movement quickly gained traction, with more and more tents being erected and numbers at one point swelling to 2,000. On July 20, after the Government modified a law relating to trespass on Commonwealth lands, Police moved in and forcibly dismantled the embassy.

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Aboriginal Tent Embassy Aboriginal Tent Embassy 1972: Aboriginal Tent Embassy established in front of Parliament House, Canberra John Newfong, Identity, 1972: With its flags fluttering proudly in the breeze, the Aboriginal Embassy on the lawns opposite Federal Parliament has been one of the most successful press and parliamentary lobbies in Australian political History. Land rights struggle Timeline: Aboriginal Tent Embassy The theme of this year's NAIDOC Week is the 'Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 years on'. Our timeline has the history of the protest, which has come to symbolise the campaign for equal rights for Indigenous Australians… January 1972 - Four Aboriginal men - Michael Anderson, Billy Craigie, Bertie Williams and Tony Coorey - set up the Aboriginal Tent Embassy opposite the then Parliament House in Canberra overnight on Australia Day, 26th January 1972. They put a beach umbrella in the ground as a symbolic first stake proclaiming Australia as Aboriginal land, in protest at the refusal of the Liberal William McMahon government to recognise Aboriginal land rights. It had ruled that land could only be leased, and without any rights to mineral or forestry resources.

Aboriginal Embassy, 1972 We want land rights, not handouts Alan Sharpley with placard, Bob Perry in a Ningla-a-Na T-shirt and John Newfong with hands on hips at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. The Pitjantjatjara expression Ningla-a-Na is translated as 'we are hungry for our land'. Source: Ken Middleton collection, National Library of Australia Late on Australia Day 1972, four young Aboriginal men erected a beach umbrella on the lawns outside Parliament House in Canberra and put up a sign which read 'Aboriginal Embassy'. Over the following months, supporters of the embassy swelled to 2000. The Land Indigenous people have occupied Australia for at least 60 000 years and have evolved with the land. NSW Bark canoe E045964 Photographer: Stuart Humphreys © Australian Museum Changing it and changing with it.

Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Canberra [The Aboriginal Tent Embassy is] by far the most successful Aboriginal action of the 20th century. — Gary Foley, Aboriginal activist What led to the creation of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy? In the 1970s, inspired by the Black Power movement in the US, Aboriginal people were politically very active. Collaborating for Indigenous Rights 1957-1973 Land rights march in Melbourne, 1968 Students, Aboriginal activists and others respond to Cabinet's refusal to make tribal lands available to the Gurindji of Wave Hill.Source: Courtesy Melbourne Sun, 13 July 1968 Land rights for Aborigines caught the public imagination, especially within the counter-culture, among students and among city-based Aboriginal activists beginning to flex their political muscles. More unusually, religious leaders critical of church hierarchies which had turned a blind eye to the injustices experienced by Aboriginal Australians, public intellectuals and politicians spoke out for land for Aboriginal people. A National Missionary Council pamphlet published in 1963 states unequivocally: It must never be forgotten that, for the most part, Australia was taken from the Aborigines by force without payment or compensation or recognition of their inherent title to the land. [1]

The 1967 Referendum Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this research guide contains names and images of deceased people. All users of this research guide should also be aware that certain words, terms, or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and are considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the attitudes of the author or that of the period in which they were written A Proposed Law Referendum, 27 May 1967: ephemera relating to the campaign on the questions of Parliament and Aboriginals collected by the National Library of Australia. The results of the 1967 Referendum are significant for three reasons: This research guide highlights some of the significant collections held by the National Library of Australia which relate to this event.

The Wave Hill walk-off: more than a wage dispute - History (6,10) 00:00:10:13REPORTER:Blackfella's country - until recently, few people realised that there might be such a thing. The idea that the Aborigine might own some of the land he discovered 100,000 years ago is one of the rude awakenings for Australians in the 1960s.00:00:24:24MAN:(Plays didgeridoo)00:00:30:23REPORTER:And these are the people who brought about the awakening, the Gurindjis, the remnants of a once-magnificent tribe now dressed like Hollywood extras and set against a background of squalor. The Gurindjis are almost without exception stockmen. They first pricked the national conscience in 1966 when they went on strike at Wave Hill Station, 500 miles south of Darwin. With more than 6,000 square miles of prime cattle country, Wave Hill is one of the largest stations in the world, and it's only one of a dozen or so stations in the Northern Territory owned by the British beef barons Vesteys.

1967 Referendum: 23/05/2017, Behind the News The 1967 referendum saw the majority of Australians vote to change our country's laws to count Indigenous Australians as full citizens. The 1960s were a time for change. From pop culture, to milestones in science and human rights movements. Here in Australia, people's attitudes were also starting to change. Indigenous rights Indigneous Victorian communities have a rich history, passed on to us through art, activism and oral history Find out about Native Title and the struggle for land, the history of ‘Right wrongs, write Yes’: what was the 1967 referendum all about? On May 27, 1967, campaigners for Aboriginal rights and status won the most-decisive referendum victory in Australian history. The referendum attracted more than 90% of voters in favour of deleting the two references to Aborigines in Australia’s Constitution. Campaigners for a “Yes” vote successfully argued those references were discriminatory and debarred Aboriginal people from citizenship.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Land rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples refers to the ongoing struggle to gain legal and moral recognition of ownership of lands and waters they called home prior to colonisation of Australia in 1788. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ laws and customs and ways of knowing and being in the world are intimately connected to the land and waters. Connection to land is therefore essential to the continued cultural survival of Indigenous Australians as well as their economic and social development. Yirrkala bark petitions