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2016

August

04
04 August
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day

Children’s Day is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children. The day is an opportunity for Australians to show their support for Aboriginal children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that community, culture and family play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.

09
09 August
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World's Indigenous People is observed on August 9th each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous peoples.

14
14 August
Yirrkala Bark Petitions Anniversary

This day commemorates the presentation of bark petitions from the Yolngu people of Yirrkala to the Australian Parliament in 1963 in protest against the granting of mining rights to Nabalco on an Aboriginal land reserve. The petitions, written in the Yolngu language, were the first documentary recognition of Australia's Indigenous peoples accepted by the Australian Government.

16
16 August
Anniversary of the Return of land to Gurindji people

In 1975 then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam returned land ownership of a section of the Wave Hill station in the Northern Territory to the Gurindji people, symbolically pouring the sand through the hands of Vincent Lingiari. 

September

02
02 September
Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation established in 1991

The Council was established as a result of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, with a mandate to advance a national process of reconciliation over a 10 year time frame. The Council as also tasked to address Aboriginal disadvantage in areas including employment, health infrastructure and economic development.

07
07 September
Indigenous Literacy Day

Hosted by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, this day raises awareness about efforts to improve literacy levels amongst Indigenous children, particularly those living in remote Australia.

28
28 September
Birthday of David Unaipon

The well-known Aboriginal inventor, preacher and writer of the Ngarrindjeri people was born on this day in 1872. His contributions to Australian society helped to overcome many stereotypes about Indigenous Australians and he is proudly commemorated on the $50 note. 

October

12
12 October
Sea of Hands first displayed in Canberra

The iconic sea of hands in the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were first displayed as a public art installation on the lawn outside of Parliament House in October 1997. Each hand represented a signature on a petition distributed by ANTaR which mobilised non-Indigenous support for native title rights and reconciliation. 

25
25 October
Uluru returned to its traditional owners in 1985

After a long struggle by the Anangu people of the Western Desert Uluru was handed back to its traditional owners on this day in 1985 and it remains a symbolic event in the history of Aboriginal land rights. 

 

 

30
30 October
Racial Discrimination Act comes into effect in 1975

Australia's first piece of Federal anti-discrimination legislation came into force on this day in 1975. Described by the current Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tim Soutphommasane as 'the foundation of racial equality and multiculturalism' it still has widespread relevance to Australia's diverse society.