The Aboriginal Experience – Struggles For Rights And Freedom

Essay by crookseyHigh School, 10th gradeA, May 2007

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The Aboriginal Experience - Struggles For Rights And Freedom

"Throughout the second half of the twentieth century many Aboriginal people have experienced struggles for rights and freedoms."

The struggle for Aboriginal and Islander Land Rights is the longest-running political conflict in Australia's history. The issue of Aboriginal land rights in Australia has existed for over 200 years, and the process still has some way to go. Why is land so important to Aboriginal people's history and beliefs? They have maintained their fight for land justice against the odds, and despite a history of continued dispossession and alienation from land. Some significant areas of land and social rights have now been achieved. 
It wasn't until the passing of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 and the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 that Indigenous people were not included as citizens of Australia, and could therefore not vote. When white Australia celebrated 150 years of settlement on January 26 1938, Aboriginal people in Sydney marked it as a Day of Mourning.
They stated that there was little for Aboriginal people to celebrate, and mocked the claims of white Australians to be a "civilised, progressive, kindly and humane nation". 
During 1900-1950's, hardships for Aboriginals continued and their push for equal rights and freedom were meaningless to the government. This was shown with the government policy to take Aboriginal children from their families and place them in missions. Once there they would be given new identities and live in a harsh environment where they would be made to live in a 'White mans way' and forget their past culture. This would later be known as the Stolen Generation.

The 1960s saw a lot of change; but most Aboriginal people in the early twenty-first century might argue that the changes have not achieved enough nor come...