Timeline of the land rights movement

Timeline created by maddie02
In History
  • The Yirrkala bark petition

    The Yirrkala bark petition
    In 1963 the Australian government removed more than 300 square kilometers of land from the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land in the Gove peninsula to allow mining company Nabalco to mine bauxite. The Yolngu people sent two bark petitions to Parliament protesting the mining site the petition but was ignored by Parliament and the mining site went ahead.
  • Wave Hill Walk-off

    Wave Hill Walk-off
    On the 23rd of August 1966 Vincent Lingiari and 200 other Indigenous stockmen and their families went on a walk-off from the Wave Hill Cattle Station in the Northern Territory. They protested against working and pay conditions.
  • Gove Land Rights Case

    Gove Land Rights Case
    In 1968 the Yolngu people tried again to petition against the mining site but this time taking further legal action. They went to the Supreme Court in the Northern Territory where the case became known as the Gove Land Rights Case. In 1971 the Yolngu people lost the case because of the terra nullius laws.
  • The Aboriginal Tent Embassy

    The Aboriginal Tent Embassy
    On the 26th January 1972, four Indigenous men set up an Aboriginal Tent Embassy outside Parliament House. They were protesting the governments' approach towards land rights for Indigenous people.
  • Noonkanbah Dispute

    Noonkanbah Dispute
    In 1978 mining company Amax wanted to drill for oil at Noonkanbah. As a result of the mining activity, burial and ceremonial sites had been destroyed by the machinery used to mine, the Indigenous people marched in protest from Noonkanbah, and which led to the formation of the Kimberley Land Council.
  • Uluru Hand Back

    Uluru Hand Back
    In 1985 the title deeds for Uluru were handed back to the traditional owners the Anangu people. The hand back acknowledged the traditional ownership and recognising the land as sacred ground. Traditional owners can now live on the land and pass down their culture to different generations
  • Native Title Act 1993

    Native Title Act 1993
    Until 1992 the law did not recognise that Indigenous Australians had prior ownership of the land. The Native Title Act 1993 granted procedures for Indigenous people to make claims for native title and abolished the terra nullius law.
  • Period: to

    The Mabo Case

    In 1982 a group of Meriam men from the Eastern Torres Strait Islands started a legal case with the High Court of Australia for the legal rights of ownership of the land. Over a period of 10 years, the Meriam people provided evidence that the Mer people had lived on the land for hundreds of years. In 1992 the High Court agreed that the Meriam people held traditional ownership of the land.
  • Period: to

    Wik Judgement

    In 1993 the Wik people of Cape York in Queensland claimed that their native title was not extinguished by pastoral and mining leases. In 1996 the High Court Found that the leases did extinguish the native title but appealed the case in federal court. The appeal was heard and the Wik people were given native title rights.
  • Period: to

    The Yorta Yorta Native Title Claim

    In 1994 the Yorta Yorta people was one of the first people to claim the native title. In order to prove native title Indigenous people needed to prove that they had a strong connection to the land. The Federal Court ruled against the Yorta Yorta claim in 1998. In 2002 the High Court extinguished the Yorta Yorta native title rights. In 2004 the government reached an agreement with the Yorta Yorta people that included recognition of land and water rights throughout north-central Victoria