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Black Lives Matter

Indigenous Calendar Events

Naidoc Week 2020 at Western Syndey University  | Always Was, Always Will Be

While Western Sydney University understands that the Official NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations will be held from the 8-15 November, we decided to continue with the following activities between 5-12 July 2020.  We will look to hosting a NAIDOC event in November should COVID restrictions permit.. This years theme Always Was, Always Will Be recognises that First Nations People have occupied and cared for our country for over 65,000 years. We are spiritually and culturally connected to this country. To find out more visit the  Western Naidoc Week page.

Historical Events

There have been a number of significant events that have shaped the Indigenous experience after 1788 . One of the major contributors to the Black Lives Matter Movement in Australia was the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (see Key Resources) and its impact. Some other events are listed below. 

The Stolen Generation - c1910-c1970

Between 1910-1970, many Indigenous children were removed from their families. These children became known as the Stolen Generations. The Government policies of child removal left a legacy of trauma and loss that continues to affect Indigenous communities, families and individuals.

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National Day of Mourning - 1938

In 1938 the Aboriginal Progressive Association of New South Wales organised a protest in Sydney. protesters wore black and marched through the streets to symbolise their mourning at lives lost since colonisation.

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The Freedom Ride - 1965

In 1965, an Arrente man called Charles Perkins led a number of students on a Bus Ride to rural NSW known as the "Freedom Ride" to bring attention to the way that Indigenous people were living and treated in these towns. The Ride successfully raised public awareness . 

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Protests such as the Wave Hill Walk Out - 1966

In 1966, a group of 200 Indigenous workers on the Wave Hill station walked out on a strike led by Gurundji elder, Vincent Lingirari. This was one of a number of protests around that time which helped to raise awareness of Land Rights and Civil Rights.

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The Referendum - 1967

Following decades of activism, over 90% of all Australians voted in favour of amending two sections of the Australian Constitution which resulted in the Indigenous people being included in the census for the first time. 

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The Mabo Case - 1982-1992

The Mabo Case was a significant legal case in Australia that recognised the land rights of the Meriam people, traditional owners of the Murray Islands (which include the islands of Mer, Dauer and Waier) in the Torres Strait. The ruling contributed to the Native Title Act, 1993.

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