Paul Keating

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Australia, Native title Pages: 3 (753 words) Published: August 28, 2013
Assess contribution of Prime Minister Paul Keating to the development of Australia and it’s society

Prime Minister Paul Keating’s legislations and leadership has led to the development of Australia and it’s society. Keating’s vision was to create a republic of equal citizens. He aimed to achieve this through legislations reconciling our relationship with Indigenous Australians, building economic ties with Asia-Pacific region and improving the workforce. Ultimately, Keating’s vision led to significant changes in the way Australia functions but also continues to influence politics today.

A key achievement in Paul Keating’s leadership was the recognition of Indigenous Australian’s rights and acknowledging their position in society. Keating established a Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, working alongside Aboriginal Australians, which sought to implement different strategies to ameliorate the injustices. In June 1992 the High Court recognised Aboriginal land rights by making a decision that native title existed in the Mabo case. Keating supported this notion and delivered the Redfern Speech in December 1992, apologising for the wrongdoings of white society and recognising Aboriginal rights. This was a significant moment and is still recognised today because it was the first time in Australian history that the government attempted to reconcile the relationship with Indigenous Australians. Today, people reflect on this speech and can still find areas that need to be improved upon to ensure an equal society.

Keating continued to support the movement for social justice by producing two legislations, the Native Title Act (1993) and the Land Fund Act (1994). These legislations made it possible for Aboriginals to claim their land and also recognised that they were the original inhabitants of Australia. In addition, in 1995 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Fund and Indigenous Land Corporation were initiated in an effort to alleviate...
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