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Eddie Mabo and Charles Perkins - source analysis.

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Nazia Hussein

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of Eddie Mabo and Charles Perkins - source analysis.

Nazia Hussein
Presentation on Charles Perkins and the Freedom Rides and Eddie Mabo and the Native Title Court Case.

Source 1. Charles Perkins & the Freedom Rides. Primary Source.
Source 2 Charles Perkins and the Freedom Rides. Secondary Source.
12th February 1965 -
The Freedom Rides set off from Sydney at night on the 12th of February 1965 with a bus load of students 30, primarily from Sydney University.
13th February 1965 -

First stop of the bus tour was Wellington. No protests were carried out, but surveys were carried out which affirmed views on Aboriginal discrimination. Aboriginal and white living standards were also taken note of.
14th February 1965 -

Again, no protests were carried out and surveys were taken of living standards, etc. The results showed the overt discrimination shown against Aborigines, and concluded that the local population were actively segregating Aborigines and denying them access to rights and facilities.
15th-16th February 1965
-
Freedom Riders reach Walgett. First demonstration was carried out here, with the barricading of the RSL club. Charles Perkins was denied usage of the RSL bar, and was rebuffed on basis of his race. The Riders paraded in front of the club with placards and signs.
16th-17th February 1965 -
Freedom Riders reach Moree. Charles Perkins brought a group of indigenous children with him to the local pool, in which Aborigines have been banned since its creation 40 years ago.
Source 3 Eddie Mabo and The Native Title Court Case. Primary Source.
Source 4 Eddie Mabo & The Native Title Court Case. Secondary Source
On this day: Mabo sets native title precedent

Warning: this story contains references to deceased Aboriginal persons.

AT A TIME WHEN the push to recognise indigenous land rights in Australia was gaining momentum, Eddie Mabo was living in Townsville on Queensland's north coast - a long way from his Murray Island home in the Torres Strait.
He was working as a gardener at James Cook University and it was here that he crossed paths with land-rights advocates and legal minds who would become instrumental in his later bid to have the indigenous right to land recognised in the courts.
Mabo became famous for his role in the 10-year legal battle, known as the 'Mabo' case, which culminated in a landmark decision handed down by the High Court of Australia on 3 June 1992.
The court declared for the first time that indigenous people had ownership of the land long before European settlement, striking down the doctrine of terra nullius ('land belonging to no one').
In May 1982, Eddie Mabo and four other Meriam people from Murray Island lodged a native title claim with the High Court.
They were entitled to the land, their main argument went, because the Meriam people had continuously inhabited Murray Island and its surrounding reefs. The group brought forward dozens of witnesses and thousands of pages of documents to persuade the court of their continuous connection to country.
In 1992, the High Court upheld this claim by a majority of six to one, acknowledging the Meriam people were "entitled as against the whole world to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the lands of the Murray Islands."
After the court's decision, federal parliament passed the Native Title Act 1993 to recognise and protect native title, and to set out rules about future dealings with native title lands.

Explanation.
This source is a newspaper article outlining the Eddie Mabo and the Native Title Court Case. It shows that the Native Title act and its court case has been more effective in changing the live of the Indigenous People of Australia as well as the relationship between them and the non-Indigenous people. It states that the rules laid out on the Native Title have been successful in keeping and maintaining the peace between both groups of people who all got the rights and freedoms. “After the court's decision, federal parliament passed the Native Title Act 1993 to recognise and protect native title, and to set out rules about future dealings with native title lands.” The source also says that Eddie Mabo made a somewhat significant difference towards the rights and freedoms of Aboriginal people and that the Native Title Court Case. Eddie Mabo allowed for the Indigenous people were therefore and final entitled to there land for which they rightfully owned.

The Native Title Act

This article has been contributed by the Native Title Section of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 



The Prime Minister said in December 1993 during the passage of the Native Title Bill through Parliament:

'... as a nation, we take a major step towards a new and better relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. We give the indigenous people of Australia, at last, the standing they are owed as the original occupants of this continent, the standing they are owed as seminal contributors to our national life and culture: as workers, soldiers, explorers, artists, sportsmen and women - as a defining element in the character of this nation - and the standing they are owed as victims of grave injustices, as people who have survived the loss of their land and the shattering of their culture.'


The Act does five things:
It recognises and protects native title.

It provides for the validation of any past grants of land that may otherwise have been invalid because of the existence of native title.

It provides a regime to enable future dealings in native title lands and imposes conditions on those dealings.

It establishes a regime to ascertain where native title exists, who holds it and what it is, and to determine compensation for acts affecting it.

It creates a land acquisition fund to meet the needs of dispossessed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who would not be able to claim native title.
Explanation
This photo of one of the Freedom Rides is significantly important in displaying the changing rights and freedoms for Indigenous people. It shows one of the buses with ‘Student Action for Aboriginals’ written across it, the picture also contains several Indigenous people in front of it. This picture portrays a significant even as it shows that people involved in the freedom rides, their determination to get the rights they were protesting for. This was an important event because they wanted to put an end to racial discrimination and gain justice for the Indigenous people of Australia. This picture shows the way Charles Perkins and Aboriginal people wanted abandonment as well as bring attention to the racial discrimination experienced by the Indigenous people, particularly those living in the more rural communities. The Freedom Rides were a very successful set of protests because they stirred up a debate within the Australian Constitution and Aboriginal people were beginning to be counted in the Census. There was also discussion to put an end to Aboriginal racial discrimination on an international level. After the debate with the constitution, an act was formed which stopped anyone from discriminating against the Aboriginal people of Australia and made life easier for the Indigenous people.
This source outlines the journey of where the Freedom Rides took place as well as when. It is an important source in relation to the changing rights and freedoms of the Aboriginal people of Australia because it shows and outlines the protests taken out in order to gain and attract attention to the racial discrimination faced by the Aboriginal people living in the rural communities of Australia. The rides through out Sydney, Wellington, Walgett and Moree. The rides throughout Sydney, as well as the protests they came with, which saw a change within the constitution regarding the rights and the inclusion of Aboriginal People in the Census. The source allows us to easily differentiate the effectiveness of the freedom rides and what they achieved each day they were in action. The freedom rides allowed for the freedom and the enforcement of more rights as the protests they included allowed for the constitution to change their rights on Aboriginal People, experiencing discrimination.
Explanation
Explanation.
This source is an article contributed by the Native Title Section of the Department of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. It is an extract of what the Prime Minister said in December of 1993 during the passage of the Native Title. It mentions that as a nation we take a major step in developing a better relationship between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people residing in Australia. It protects the Aboriginals people’s ownership of what is rightfully theirs; land. “…And the standing they are owed as victims of grave injustices, as people who have survived the loss of their land and the shattering of their culture.'

”, makes this evident. The act addresses what it will do. For the Aboriginal people, this act significantly changed their freedom as well as their rights, it recognises and protects their Native Title, provides for the validation of an past grants of land that may otherwise be invalid because of the past ignorance of the existence of life as well as provide a regime to enable future dealing in accordance with the Native Title land rights. To summarise, it protects the right of land for the Indigenous people of Australia to add to the process that this act was mainly aiming to achieve, Reconciliation. This was to be founded between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people of Australia.
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