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Aboriginal Rights

In: Historical Events

Submitted By yasmin1254
Words 1467
Pages 6
Changing rights and freedoms and human wellbeing
By Yasmin Hayward

On Australia Day’s 150th anniversary, in 1938, William Cooper, a member of the Aboriginal Progressive Association, declared the day a “Day of Mourning”, alluding to the annual re-enactment of Phillip’s landing.
Aboriginal people call it ‘Invasion Day’, ‘Day of Mourning’, ‘Survival Day’ or, since 2006, ‘Aboriginal Sovereignty Day’.
The latter name reflects that all Aboriginal nations are sovereign and should be united in the continuous fight for their rights.
Aboriginal people refused to participate in the re-enactment because it included chasing away a party of Aboriginal people.

“I refuse to celebrate, and every Australia Day my heart is broken as I am reminded that in the eyes of many, I am not welcome on my own land.” —Nakkiah Lui, Aboriginal woman

“We won't stop, we won't go away / We won't celebrate Invasion Day!”—Chant during protests on Australia Day 2012

“January 26th marked the beginning of the murders, the rapes and the dispossession. It is no date to celebrate”—Michael Mansell, National Aboriginal

The Day of Mourning Speech.
The Aboriginal perspective of Australia day was that is was not a celebration Aboriginal people but in fact a commemoration of a deep loss. The issues outlined in the Day of Mourning speeches in 1937 led by three Aboriginal men were for the Aboriginal people to be able to access the same citizenship rights as those of white-Australians. This included their land being returned, equal employment opportunity, improvement in standards of health, housing and education. They also requested that Aboriginal children should no longer be taken from their families and a return of the loss of the right to practice their culture.

In 1897 the ‘Chief Protector’ to remove local Aboriginal people onto and between reserves and hold children in dormitories. Whether or not the...

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