Timeline
  • 2017

    A series of "Dialogues" were held with grass roots first peoples to seek their views and these were fed into the First Nations Conference held at Uluru in May2017. A report has been passed to government for a response
  • 2016

    A 16 member Referendum Council has been announced by the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader to advise "on progress and next steps towards a successful referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution". At it's first meeting agreement was reached to hold a series of Indigenous conventions to decide the question that will then be considered by both sides of politics and the broader population.
  • 2015

    Date for referendum yet to be announced by current government. Draft wording for the referendum question yet to be published.
  • 2012

    As an interim step towards a referendum, Parliament passes the Act of Recognition to set up a mechanism to progress towards constitutional change and provide some funding to enable this.
  • 2012

    Expert panel report presented to government.
  • 2011

    Expert panel established by Federal Government to lead consultations with communities across Australia and present a report and recommendations back to the government.
  • 1996

    The High Court of Australia handed down its decision in Wik Peoples Vs State of Queensland and Others. It confirmed that native title rights and interests may exist over land which is or has been subject to pastoral lease, and possibly some other forms of leasehold tenure........finding that the leases did not grant exclusive possession.
  • 1992

    Decision by the High Court of Australia in the case of Mabo and others Vs Queensland (No.2) 1992 which provided for the removal of the declaration of terra nullius (empty land – land that belongs to nobody) and recognition that first peoples have rights to land, rights that existed before the British arrived and that still exist today.
  • 1967

    Successful referendum held which removed Section 127 to enable first peoples to be counted as citizens in the national census. 90% yes vote!
  • 1965

    Queensland the last state to provide first peoples enfranchisement.
  • 1962

    The right for first peoples to vote legislated.
  • 1901

    The Australian Constitution is enshrined as law.
  • 1788

    First fleet arrives - The colonisation of Australia.
  • 60,000+ Years ago

    The first peoples arrive.
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