Question 1: How have Aboriginal people's rights and freedoms changed in the 20th century?

Essay by believer_4evaHigh School, 10th grade February 2006

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Aboriginal people's rights and freedoms changed during the 20th century through the modification of government policies on the treatment, citizenship status and monitoring of Aborigines as Aborigines lobbied for equality with other Australians.

The Aborigines Act was introduced in 1905. A 1911 amendment gave a Chief Protector authority over all illegitimate half-caste children, and the health, employment, movement and education of Aborigines. In 1937, Assimilation was adopted, encouraging Aborigines to follow the rights and responsibilities, lifestyle and customs of whites. During World War II, Aborigines received equal pay in the armed forces, had permanent occupations at award wages and were employed in construction and industry. Between 1941 and 1942, child endowment payments and old age and invalid pensions were paid to non-nomadic Aboriginal families. After 1943, Aborigines could be freed from limits placed on them, but cut from their family and culture, by applying for a Certificate of Exemption from the Aborigines Welfare Board.

Assimilation was officially implemented in 1951 by the Federal and State Governments, with the latter removing discriminatory laws. Aborigines were given maternity allowances, pensions and other social service benefits, and could travel without hindrance and drink in hotels after 1959. All Aborigines were given suffrage in federal elections when the Voting Rights Act (Cwlth) was passed in 1962. In 1965, the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission granted Aborigines equal pay and Integration was implemented by the Commonwealth Government. The Holt government proclaimed a Referendum in May 1967, where 89% of Australians voted 'yes'. The constitution was altered, counting Aborigines as Australians and allowing the Commonwealth to enforce laws and policies to improve conditions for Aborigines in all states and territories.

The greatest reforms to Aborigines' rights came following the election of Gough Whitlam's Labor government. In 1973, the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Land Rights in Federal Territories...