Timeline results for 1970 to 1999

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  1. 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.

  2. 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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. NSW Anti-Discrimination Act comes into force.

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

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

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

  7. 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.

  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.

  2. Galarrwuy Yunupingu, a leader of the Yolngu tribe in the Northern Territory, receives the Australian of the Year award. Famous Aboriginal people

  3. The Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Ordinance is passed, instituting prosecution for trespass and desecration of Aboriginal sites.

  4. Health statistics show that 48 in every 1,000 Aboriginal babies in NT die before reaching 1 year of age. This compares to 1 baby in every 1000 in the white population. Of the 6,000 Aboriginal children living in Sydney 4,000 are underweight. Leprosy still occurs in Aboriginal populations and alcohol is a serious problem.

  5. Land titles are granted to 15 Aboriginal Land Trusts in the Northern Territory.

  6. Western Australian government agrees that some of the money earned by mining land held by the Aboriginal Lands Trusts “would go to the Aborigines”.

  7. Land & land rights

    The Northern Land Council and Commonwealth Government signed the Ranger uranium mining agreement.


  1. In “Coe vs Commonwealth”, Aboriginal barrister Paul Coe is unsuccessful in challenging the legal concept that Australia had been an uninhabited land which had been settled not conquered.

  2. By 1979 NSW Land Trust had gained 144 properties, all former Aboriginal reserves.


View article sources (2)

[1] 'Golden record', AIATSIS newsletter 30/11/2021
[2] '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 1970 to 1999, <https://stage.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=4&q=&category=any&yearFrom=1970&yearTo=1999>, retrieved 20 April 2024

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