Rights and Freedoms of Aboriginals

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Law, United States Constitution Pages: 2 (701 words) Published: March 27, 2013
The rights and freedoms of Aboriginals have improved drastically since 1945 with many changes to government policy, cultural views and legal rules to bring about a change from oppression to equality. Unfortunately on the other hand, some rights and freedoms have not improved at all or have even worsened. Firstly the change in legal and constitutional rights have been a great creator of rights for the Aboriginal people. Up until 1967 the Aboriginals did not have the right to be counted in the census. This was basically a way of saying that the Aboriginals were not Australians, almost not even people. Fortunately the 1967 referendum gave Aboriginals citizenship. It did however not end any discrimination against the Aboriginal people and merely allowed them to legally join society but not socially join society. Another change to Aboriginal rights and freedoms was the constitutional change also by the 1967 referendum which allowed the federal government to pass laws over the Aboriginal people. This was to change section 51 of the constitution which stated “The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to: …..The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws.” This was great news as it stopped the states making unfair laws on Aboriginals and stopping them from travelling from state to state. On the other side however it was completely disrespectful as it stated the commonwealth must show respect to everyone except the Aboriginals. Another large milestone in the improving rights of the Aboriginals was the fight and subsequent win over land rights. The quest for land rights began in 1963 with the Bark Petition. The bark petition was a petition that was sent from the Yolngu people to the federal parliament that was written on a piece of bark. Unfortunately for the Aboriginals, this petition...
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