1967 Referendum: Experiencing of Aboriginals

Topics: Constitution of Australia, Australia, Indigenous Australians Pages: 4 (780 words) Published: February 12, 2013
who had signed petitions demanding this.

Experiences of Aboriginals

Source 3: A flyer of a petition launch in Sydney  

Bandler and Jessie Street were present at
the petition launch on 29th April 1957.
Their goal was to collect 100 000 signatures, but eventually they and their supports collected around one million signatures. In 1958, a similar petition campaign was run by the FCAA which was signed by 25 000 people in three months.

However, both failed.
Petitions like these were commonly
launched over the next few years, but in
March 1967, then-Prime Minister Harold Holt announced the news. The referendum would be held that year, to repeal the offending parts of both sections of
the Constitution. This meant that Aboriginals would be counted in the nation’s census, as well as receive uniform treatment in each state. Holt later revealed that the announcement of the referendum was in response to the many people

Aside from the unfair sections within the
Constitution, Aboriginal people constantly
suffered discrimination, such as segregation, low pay, racism and lack of opportunity. This was made worse due to negative attitudes being shown towards them.

National Australian Museum
Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula
Canberra ACT 2601
Tel: 555 555 5555



Source 4: Flyer showing William Grayden’s film  

Source 4 depicts a poster of William
Grayden’s 20-minute film ‘Their Darkest
Hour’. The film was produced as a national exercise in raising people’s awareness of the experiences of Aboriginals. It mainly focused on the Aboriginals living in the Warburton Ranges, revealing the government displacing them from their land, to allow for nuclear testing. It also showed

the impact of drought and lack of adequate food, water and medical resources.


You may have seen our ‘Travelling the
Silk Road’ exhibition, or the ‘Selling an
American Dream’, and not to forget the
‘Voyagers of Pacific...
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