Condition of Aboriginals in Australia Essay
As large sheep and cattle stations came to dominate outback Australia, Aboriginal men, women and children became a significant source of labour, usually on a voluntary basis but sometimes under conditions that amounted to virtual slavery. For European workers, life in the outback was harsh, dangerous and ill paid. For Aboriginal workers it was usually even worse, wages often being restricted to …show more content…
The referendum had two main outcomes. The first was to alter the legal boundaries within, which the Federal Government could act. It was given a constitutional head-of-power, which it could make special laws for the benefit of Aborigines. The Australian Constitution states that federal law prevails over state law, so the Federal Government could, enact legislation that would end discrimination against Aborigines by state governments.
The other key outcome of the referendum was to provide Aborigines with a symbol of their political and moral rights. The referendum occurred at a time when Aboriginal activism was accelerating and it was used as kind of historical shorthand for all the relevant political events of the time, such as land right demands and equal pay for pastoral workers. This use as a symbol for a period of activism and change has contributed to the misunderstandings about the effects of the constitutional changes themselves.
The benefits of the referendum began to stand out in 1972, when the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on the steps of Parliament House in Canberra. The continuous protest has remained in place for over thirty years to demand self-government for the Aboriginal peoples.
Many Aborigines now live in towns and cities around