2000: 350,000 people walk for reconciliation in Melbourne and Perth

The Melbourne walk, starting at Flinders Street Station and finishing at King’s Domain gardens, drew as many as 300,000 people. The bridge walk and similar events across Australia were enormously important in showing that public sentiment was moving towards support for more concrete steps in the reconciliation process. Though the event was organised by Aboriginal… Read More »2000: 350,000 people walk for reconciliation in Melbourne and Perth

1894: South Australian Parliament, the first in Australia to give women the right to vote

On 18 December 1894 the South Australian Parliament passed the Constitutional Amendment (Adult Suffrage) Act. The legislation was the result of a decade-long struggle to include women in the electoral process. It not only granted women in the colony the right to vote but allowed them to stand for parliament. This meant that South Australia… Read More »1894: South Australian Parliament, the first in Australia to give women the right to vote

1993: Passage of Native Title Bill by the Australian Senate

The Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (NTA) is a law passed by the Australian Parliament that recognises the rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in land and waters according to their traditional laws and customs. It established a process for claiming and recognising native title lands and waters in Australia. The NTA aims… Read More »1993: Passage of Native Title Bill by the Australian Senate

1901: Enactment of Immigration Restriction Act (White Australian Policy)

At the end of the 19th century, Australian colonies had concerns about who was migrating to Australia. With a rise in the number of migrants from China and the Pacific, many colonies passed tough immigration legislation. The Immigration Restriction Act was one of the first Commonwealth laws passed after Federation. It was based on the… Read More »1901: Enactment of Immigration Restriction Act (White Australian Policy)

1996: Wik High Court decision

In The Wik Peoples v The State of Queensland & Ors; The Thayorre People v The State of Queensland & Ors HCA 40 ('Wik'), the High Court held that native title rights could coexist on land held by pastoral leaseholders. The High Court decided that: - a pastoral lease does not necessarily confer rights of… Read More »1996: Wik High Court decision