Wantima

Subtitle

Self Determination

1974    Aborigines Act and Torres Strait Islander’s Act Amendment Act
1975    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Queensland Discriminatory Laws) Act (Cwlth)   
1975    Racial Discrimination Act (Cwlth)
1984    Community Services (Aborigines) Act
1984    Community Services (Torres Strait) Act

The Community Services (Aborigines) Act 1984 and Community Services (Torres Strait Islanders) Act 1984 gave local government status to former reserves which had received deeds of grant in trust in 1982 under the Land Act (Aboriginal and Islander Land Grants) Amendment Act 1982 (DOGIT)

This Act enabled, for the first time, Aboriginal people to have some title to land and a degree of self-management. It is during the 1970s and 1980s that the philosophy of ‘self management and self determination’ became a political and economic goal for Aboriginal people to pursue.

Tent Embassy

Late on Australia Day 1972, four young Aboriginal men erected a beach umbrella on the lawns outside Parliament House in Canberra and put up a sign which read 'Aboriginal Embassy'. Over the following months, supporters of the embassy swelled to 2000. When the police violently dismantled the tents and television film crews captured the violence for the evening news, an outraged public expressed its disgust to the federal government.


This political action was initiated and implemented by Aboriginal activists. The site became known as the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. It was a powerful symbol.

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