40 years on
Forty years on Australia is still very much grappling with how to improve life conditions for many Indigenous Australians. Many of the administrative arrangements set in motion by the Whitlam government of 1972, and developed by successive governments, have been challenged and changed in the last few years.
The abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in 2003-5 is a major administrative change, accompanied by a shift in thinking, on the part of the Commonwealth Government, about a representative voice for Indigenous Australians.
Against this background, reflections on forty years since the Referendum will no doubt still be asking questions on whether the hopes of campaigners and supporters of the 1967 Referendum have been fulfilled.
Around Australia in 2007, the 40th anniversary of the Referendum, is being commemorated in many ways. The anniversary falls in Reconciliation week 27 May to 3 June. The theme for Reconciliation week is Their Spirit Still Shines.
Reconciliation Australia events
Reconciliation Week South Australia events:
The Referendum Forty Years On –Premier’s Award
Reconciliation New South Wales events
Collaborating for Indigenous Rights –The 1967 Referendum
Reconciliation Australia: Women of the 1967 Referendum –featuring Shirley Andrews, Faith Bandler, Mary Bennett, Ada Bromham, Pearl Gibbs, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Jessie Street
Perspectives on the 1967 Referendum: essays to mark the anniversary
See: Koori Mail, No. 393, 31 January 2007, p. 34-35 and following issues
Also online at Reconciliation Australia website.
Theme: ‘Forty Years On: Citizenship, political transformation and sustainability’
Dates: Monday evening 5 November to Thursday 8 November 2007-05-02
Venue: The Australian National University’s Manning Clark Centre
For more information click here.