Rights and Freedoms of Aboriginals Essay

685 Words Mar 11th, 2013 3 Pages
The rights and freedoms of Aboriginals have improved drastically since 1945 with many changes to government policy, cultural views and legal rules to bring about a change from oppression to equality. Unfortunately on the other hand, some rights and freedoms have not improved at all or have even worsened.
Firstly the change in legal and constitutional rights have been a great creator of rights for the Aboriginal people. Up until 1967 the Aboriginals did not have the right to be counted in the census. This was basically a way of saying that the Aboriginals were not Australians, almost not even people. Fortunately the 1967 referendum gave Aboriginals citizenship. It did however not end any discrimination against the Aboriginal people and
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Another challenge to land ownership was the Tent Embassy on the parliament house lawns. This constant public pressure caused the government to express interest in giving land rights to Aboriginals. This was completed with Justice Woodward’s report in 1974 that recommended that Aboriginal reserves are to be returned to Aboriginal ownership, that Aboriginals had claim to vacant land if they could prove ties with the land, that Aboriginal sacred sites were protected. This was great as it gave power to the Aboriginals. It did however also mean that if they had sacred land that was already owned if not even used would not be returned to them. This was passed in 1976 when the Aboriginal Land Rights Act was passed. Later in 1981 the Northern Territory government opposes land rights and attempts to amend the land rights act to stop claims of owned stations and property.
The attitudes of the white Australians also had a huge impact on change of rights and freedoms as it pressured the government into giving Aboriginals rights and freedoms. The 1967 was testament to this when a huge 90.77% of Australians agreed that Aboriginals had the right to be counted in the census. There has never been any real public objections to giving aboriginals rights, merely quiet harbored prejudices in the persons’ mind. On the other side of the case the Aboriginal rights in general have not improved with many Aboriginals being
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