The Changing Nature of Aboriginal and Non-aboriginal Relations in Australia from 1946-2000

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The Changing Nature of Aboriginal and Non-aboriginal Relations in Australia from 1946-2000 Since the arrival of Europeans the Aboriginal population has suffered in terms of status, wealth, health and sense of identity. Although there have been steps towards reconciliation there is still a long way to go until Indigenous Australians enjoy the same status as non-indigenous Australians. A referendum was made in 1967, it was a hallmark in Aboriginal history. It was the beginning of the righting of the wrongs that had been committed against the Australian indigenous population since the arrival of white settlers. The referendum was the first time that Aboriginal people were fully acknowledged as…show more content…
The Menzies government in 1965 put forward a bill that would repeal section 127 of the constitution but would leave section 51 unchanged. Menzies reasoned that 'The words are a protection against discrimination by the Commonwealth parliament in respect of Aborigines' (John Gardiner-Garden 1997). Both Houses passed the proposed bill but it lapsed as no further action was taken. A new government took office and in 1967 the new Prime Minister, Harold Holt, announced that his government intended to reintroduce the 1965 bill but with new amendments. He intended to also include section 51 as well as section 127. As leader of the opposition, Gough Whitlam supported the bill, as it would allow the Federal government, for the first time, to assist our indigenous population. Mr. Holt announced on March 14th 1967 that a referendum would be held after the proposed act passed through both houses. Within the referendum another question would be asked, the people would be asked if alterations should be made to numbers in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill was passed and the referendum date was set for 27th of May 1967 On May 27th 1967, 5801584 people went to the polls to vote in the referendum. In relation to Aboriginals 5183113 people
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