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Native Title: Activism in Australia

Year 10 History

Resources in Accessit

Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies.  Search the Bennies catalogue Accessit for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS..

National Museum of Australia

From the late 1950s, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal activists came together to:

  • campaign for equal rights for Indigenous Australians, and
  • to bring about the repeal of laws which deprived Indigenous Australians of civil liberties.

'Fights for Civil Rights' is an account of seven key civil rights campaigns and the activists and organisations that participated in them. It begins with the Warburton Ranges campaign in the 1950s


The 1967 Referendum in Australia and the fight for Aboriginal citizenship rights was a milestone event in our national history. This documentary examines the Constitution, discusses the social context for Indigenous Australians since European settlement, and explores the events that lead to the historic vote. This resources is ideal for Year 10 students studying the topic of rights and freedoms and senior secondary students studying the recognition and rights of Indigenous peoples.

Directed by Frances Peters-Little, Vote Yes for Aborigines is a documentary about the 1967 Referendum and the fight for Aboriginal citizenship rights.

Commonwealth Government take charge of Aboriginal affairs, effectively acknowledging Aboriginal people as citizens within their own country. When the British government colonised Australia, they completely ignored the original inhabitants, declaring the land empty of people - terra nullius. From then on, Aborigines were treated as non-citizens and denied the rights that others enjoyed. While many people believe that the 1967 Referendum gave Aborigines the right to vote, it in fact removed two sections of the constitution which discriminated against Aborigines.

You Tube

Subtle or 'casual' racism can be just as harmful as more overt forms. No one should be made to feel like crap, just for being who they are. 

50 years on from the historic Freedom Ride through regional New South Wales - the civil rights protesters have received a very different welcome. The bus left Dubbo this morning for Walgett – NITV News’ Ryan Liddle has been following the trip.

Australian Geographic

It was but half a century ago, a time still sharp in the minds of a baby boomer generation, that landmark battles were waged and won by Aboriginal people, for Aboriginal people. In the 1960s, Aboriginal people achieved citizenship, financial assistance, and equal pay, and won back rights to their land and rights to the preservation of their cultural heritage.


The modern movement for Indigenous rights in Australia began in the 1920s when the first Aboriginal political organisations were formed. Fred Maynard founded the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA) in 1924 in New South Wales, inspired by Marcus Garvey, the first president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in the USA.

ABC Splash


For generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have sought to regain custodianship of the land taken from them since the arrival of Europeans in Australia. In the early 1970s, protests and demonstrations signified the beginning of the Land Rights movement. In this clip, Indigenous Australian activist Sam Watson highlights the different approaches of the younger generation of protesters and Senator Neville Bonner, Australia's first Aboriginal member of parliament.


Investigating the role of Charles Perkins in the Freedom Ride of 1965 and the efficacy of television in bringing the struggle for rights and freedoms to national attention.

Australian Government

Reconciliation is about unity and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians. It is about respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and valuing justice and equity for all Australians.

Creative Spirits

The Aboriginal land rights movement started in 1966 with a demand for better wages.10 years later the first Aboriginal land rights act secured Aboriginal people’s rights to land.