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  1. Racial Discrimination Act is passed in the federal parliament. The Australian Senate unanimously endorses a resolution put up by Senator Neville Bonner acknowledging prior ownership of this country by Aboriginal people and seeking compensation for their dispossession.


  1. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania becomes the first museum in Australia to repatriate Aboriginal remains, with the return of the remains of Truganini to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community . The Royal Society of Tasmania had exhumed her body 2 years after her death in 1876 and put her skeleton on public display for 40 years.

  2. Establishment of the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG).

  3. Commonwealth Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act implements the main recommendations of the Woodward Report. The most significant land rights legislation in Australia, the act transfers reserve land to Aboriginal ownership (around 11,000 people) and administration to Land Councils. It gives statutory recognition to the Northern Land Council and the Pitjantjajara Land Council is formed. In first claim under the Act, Mr Justice Fox, who ran the Ranger Uranium and Environmental Inquiry recommends that traditional owners in the Alligator River region be granted land. Mining and tourism continue to operate in the area.

  4. Census establishes national Aboriginal population at 160,000.

  5. Three Land Councils are founded and an office of Aboriginal Land Commissioners is created.

  6. Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency is established, rapidly achieving a 40% reduction in the number of Aboriginal children in children’s homes. It is followed by the South Australian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (1978), Karu in Darwin (1979) and the Western Australian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (1980).

  7. Pat O’Shane graduates from the University of New South Wales, becoming the first Aboriginal person to be admitted to the Bar.

  8. Memorial service for Truganini at the Cornelian Bay Crematorium, Hobart. Her remains are cremated and the ashes scattered in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel the next day, 100 years after she had asked for this.

  9. Politics

    Yorta Yorta man Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls is appointed Governor of South Australia. He is the first non-white person to serve as the governor of an Australian state, and is the only Aboriginal person to have held an official's office. He retires due to ill health on 22 April 1977.


  1. NSW Anti-Discrimination Act comes into force.

  2. Larry Corowa scores five tries for Monaro against a visiting Great Britain side. He plays for Balmain, NSW and Australia and is regarded as a brilliant winger. Corowa is later presented with an MBE.

  3. Nationwide Aboriginal Education Advisory Groups are set up. National Aboriginal Education committee formed.

  4. Aboriginal woman Isobel Coe received $100 in damages in the Moree District Court, NSW against Malcolm Barber who refused her entrance to his bar.

  5. The first land claim hearing to Crown land at Borroloola in the Northern Territory commences.

  6. National Trachoma and Eye Health Program finds that more than half of 60,000 Aboriginal people examined have trachoma. The infection rate is as high as 80% in some areas.

  7. Neville Perkins (Australian Labor Party) is elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, becoming the first Aboriginal person to hold a shadow portfolio. He is appointed deputy leader of the Northern Territory Australian Labor Party.

  8. Recognition

    NASA launches spacecraft Voyager 2 (on 20 August) and Voyager 1 (on 5 September), each carrying a golden record with examples of the aural heritage of Earth as music, sounds and verbal greetings. The music section includes an 86-second recording of Senior Yolgnu men Mudpo, Djawa (Tom) and Waliparu singing 'Morning Star' (about the Barnumbirr morning star ceremonies) and 'Mokoi' (about the malicious spirits, morkoi, who try to lure souls away from Country).

  9. Land & land rights

    More than 200 Aboriginal people meet at the Black Theatre in Redfern and form the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) as an independent, non-statutory organisation and lobby for Aboriginal land rights. Chaired by freedom fighter, Kevin Cook, it demands the abolition of the Aboriginal Lands Trust and begins to lodge land claims.


  1. Pat O’Shane becomes the first Aboriginal law graduate and barrister.


View article sources (3)

[1] 'Remains returned to New Zealand', Koori Mail 403 p.7
[2] 'Golden record', AIATSIS newsletter 30/11/2021
[3] 'Voyager Golden Record', Wikipedia, retrieved 5/12/2021, available at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record

Cite this page

Korff, J 2024, Timeline results for , <https://stage.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=18>, retrieved 20 July 2024

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