January 31, 2021
For educational institutions
1967 referendum timeline
⟶ Updated 29 Oct 2018 ⟶
List of edits
1901 The Australian constitution comes into effect with the federation of Australia.
1905 The Aborigines Act 1905 passes in Western Australia
1908 The Commonwealth Government’s Invalid and Old Age Pension Act 1908 provides social security for all Australians, except Aboriginal people.
1909 The Aborigines Protection Act 1909 passes in New South Wales
1911 The first Commonwealth census defines ‘Aboriginal native’—‘half-castes’ are not considered Aboriginal and can be counted in the census
1914 At the start of World War I, Indigenous Australians are unable to enlist in the military
1915 Amendments to the New South Wales Aborigines Protection Act 1909 result in the government-sanctioned practice of removing Indigenous children from their family at any time
1924 Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA) forms and campaigns for Indigenous rights and an end to the forced removal of Aboriginal children.
1934 Australian Aborigines League (AAL) is established by Aboriginal leader William Cooper
1937 Conference of Chief Protectors and Boards, which controls the Aboriginal people in the states and in the Northern Territory
1938 Day of Mourning is declared on 26 January, marking 150 years of European occupation
1939 Protest at Cummeragunja Mission in New South Wales leads to a walk-off by Aboriginal Australians over malnutrition
1945 During World War II, soldiers of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion receive one-third of the pay of other Australian soldiers
1948 Australia is one of the first signatories of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights when it is proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris
1949 Commonwealth Electoral Act 1949 is amended to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who served in the armed forces to vote in Federal elections.
1951 Policy of assimilation is adopted at the third Native Welfare Conference.
1956 Jessie Street urges the Aboriginal leader Pearl Gibbs and South Sea Islander activist Faith Bandler to form the Aboriginal–Australian Fellowship and to start a petition for a referendum to change the constitution
1958 Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines (FCAA) forms and becomes an important organisation in the campaign for the 1967 referendum
1962 The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 is amended so that Indigenous people can enrol to vote in Federal elections.
1963 The Equal Wages for Aborigines Committee is formed and campaigns against labour exploitation and for wage equality for Indigenous workers.
1964 The Equal Wages for Aborigines Committee is formed and campaigns against labour exploitation and for wage equality for Indigenous workers.
1965 The Equal Wages for Aborigines Committee is formed and campaigns against labour exploitation and for wage equality for Indigenous workers.
1966 The Equal Wages for Aborigines Committee is formed and campaigns against labour exploitation and for wage equality for Indigenous workers.
1967 Prime Minister Harold Holt announces that the Constitution Alteration Bill has passed in both Houses of Parliament allowing for a referendum to be called on whether or not Australia should change the wording of the constitution.
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