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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

What does it mean to be an Australian citizen? Is everyone’s experience of democracy the same? Find out about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have experienced democracy and citizenship in Australia.

Democracy and citizenship 04:52


Choose a key activist for Indigenous rights from the 20th century (e.g. Vincent Lingiari, Faith Bandler, Neville Bonner) and present their life story in a creative way.

Australian Curriculum links

Year 6 History

Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants, women and children (ACHASSK135)

Year 5 Civics and Citizenship

How people with shared beliefs and values work together to achieve a civic goal (ACHASSK118)

Year 6 Civics and Citizenship

The shared values of Australian citizenship and the formal rights and responsibilities of Australian citizens (ACHASSK147)

Related resources

1967 Referendum 06:10

The 1967 Referendum as told by historian David Hunt

The Stolen Generations 18:01

The history of forced removal of Indigenous children from their families

In our collection

Australian Aborigines League banner made by Bill OnusA rectangular calico banner featuring an inscription in blue and red paint which reads 'THE AUSTRALIAN / ABORIGINES LEAGUE / THE ABORIGINE SPEAKS_ / THE VOICE of THE ABORIGINE MUST BE HEARD'.
On display
'Dark palm tree', painted by Eddie Mabo, c1980A watercolour painting featuring a silhouette of palm trees against a sunset. The painting has a black cardboard mat around it, and is framed in a wooden frame. The frame has gold coloured decoration around the inner edge. Some of this gold and the wood beneath it has been damaged.
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