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Indigenous rights and freedoms, 1957-1975


Title: Investigating the changing rights and freedoms of Indigenous Australians, 1957-1975
Topic: History, Civics and Citizenship, Society and Environment, Indigenous Studies, English, Media Studies
Type: Curriculum materials
Years: 8-12

Key curriculum links: Time, Continuity and Change; Culture; Natural and Social Systems; Investigation, Communication and Participation, Thinking Processes and Communication

Main purpose and content

This year is the 70th anniversary of the 1938 Day of Mourning and Protest. Held on 26 January, this Aboriginal-only protest meeting was a response to the 150th anniversary celebrations of the arrival of British settlers in Australia, and the inferior citizenship status of Indigenous people.

This theme of the struggle for full Indigenous citizenship rights is a significant and continuing part of Australia's history.

In this unit we provide a timeline of developments from the 1950s to the 1970s, with suggestions for ways that students can explore aspects of the theme further through the wide range of primary source materials including petitions, Hansard speeches, Cabinet documents, newspaper articles, posters and museum exhibition displays that are available on Collaborating for Indigenous Rights.

The student activities included in this unit cover the following topics:

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