History
Independent Source Investigation
Response

” federation
” constitutional monarchy
” referendum
” assimilation
” segregation

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The May 1967 Referendum is considered an instrumental piece of Australian history and crucial for the aboriginal movement that continues to strive for justice and equality amongst all Australians. The overwhelming support for the vote for ‘yes’ saw fundamental changes brought to Aboriginal Australians and their culture.

The 1967 Referendum was a landmark achievement for Indigenous Australians. Following decades of Indigenous and non-Indigenous activism, over 90% of all Australians voted in favour of amending two sections of the Australian Constitution:
Section 51 (xxvi) The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to: …The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is necessary to make special laws.
Section 127 In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives should not be counted.
According to political historian, Scott Bennett, these sections were originally included in the Constitution because of the widely held beliefs that:
” Indigenous people were ‘dying out’ and, hence, would soon cease to be a factor in questions of representation.
” Indigenous people were not intellectually worthy of a place in the political system.
In 1902, a Tasmanian Member of Parliament dismissed the need to include Indigenous people in a national census on the basis that:

Copy of source and reference details (for bibliography)
– Not counted in word limit Source Investigation
– Quotes counted in word limit
SOURCE 1
The referendum after 1967
The 1967 referendum did not immediately change the lives of Indigenous Australians. It gave the Commonwealth the power to make laws for all Australian people, including Aboriginal people, which section 51 had prevented. The referendum also officially included Aboriginal people in the population of Australia, which section 27 had prevented. While the commonwealth now had the power to pass laws relating to Indigenous affairs, it did not exercise these powers for another five years. It did, however, establish the Office of Aboriginal Affairs in 1968, with WC Wentworth as the first minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

It was not until 1972, however, when the Whitlam Labor Government was elected, that the Commonwealth established a department of Aboriginal Affairs and began to become involved directly in Indigenous affairs. Whitlam argued that the 1967 Referendum has given the Commonwealth responsibility for Aboriginal affairs, especially where land rights were concerned. There are many myths about the 1967 referendum, the most notable being that the referendum gave Aboriginal people citizenship rights. They had already gained citizenship rights in 1962. What it did seem to do, however, was boost the morale of Aboriginal people and increase Aboriginal awareness of their own worth.
Aboriginal people could see themselves as true participants in the process of citizenship and recognise that they deserved to be treated in a just way

Source 1 was written 37 years after the 1967 referendum, making it well and truly a secondary source. The article was produced by Scott Bennett of the Parliamentary Library. Scott Bennett taught lectures in Political Science at NSW university (RMC-ANU) he has more extensive research in politics of Australia’s and historical political, which is his main focus. His particular work has been published on a government website therefore they (gov) chose his work for a particular reason. His articles have backgrounds research as politics is his career and he has specialised information and research to back up his hypothesis. Himself being an older person may have witnessed directly or closer to the event to have an inside to observe the event. Through the little section of his work shows little to none of his personal opinion, however it is demonstrating the importance of the referendum.
The source itself doesn’t have a reason to effect it reliability other than being created several years after, could have slightly changed information, this source corroborates with source 2 as it addresses similar topics. This source seeks to inform the public surrounding the referendum to give an insight of understanding. The information being portrayed are facts, the information is supported by other corroborating websites (online) it provides a perspective of a non-bias opinion trying to inform the public as other source of the 1967 Referendum. The source covers some aspects of my key questions but how they achieved the ‘yes’ vote making it reliable to support my topic. Key ideas include how the power the commonwealth had was not acted on until 5 year later, it made changes that directly affect the Indigenous people many ideas on Aboriginal Affairs.
The document is in context to the event and doesn’t stray from its indented meaning.

SOURCE 2
Changes Brought about by the 1967 Referendum
The significance of the 1967 Referendum was to provide the Federal Government with a clear to mandate the implement policies to benefit Aborigines. The other aspect of the constitutional change, enabling Aborigines to be counted in the population statistics, has led to clearer comparisons of the desperate state of aboriginal health. However, it was dome five years before any real change occurred and only as a result of strong activism…
… Despite some progress on land rights from the 1970s, Indigenous people were at most risk under unfair industrial relations processes where they were not awarded equal pay, had poor access to housing and reasonable living conditions, and ongoing discrimination in Australian society. It has taken many decades for any real change around land rights, discriminatory practices, financial assistance and preservation of cultural heritage to occur, many issues of which are unresolved. ……

Source 2 has no reference to who or when it was created. However the source is a modified extract of the 1967 referendum 2010 from Queensland University of Technology. The source was approved by the University with adapted permission. The political position, social background and gender is unknown. Why the source was created is also unknown, but it seems to be for public purposes or a personal interest in the subject to understand the topic easier by rewording into something the author is more familiar with. No other sources are listed by the author of which he/she was available to. It is acknowledged the it source was adapted from a reliable source from a UNI. The source is relevant to my topic but providing an insight on what issues were around 1960’s to encourage the referendum to come into action and what issues did the Aboriginal community had to face, like source 1 it left out why Australian citizens voted ‘yes’. Key ideas are portrayed in the text are very similar to source 1 but includes the issues like discrimination of the time. Conclusions have no direct link to facts. The view of the author appears to be supporting the referendum, but also understanding and developing that the referendum did not solve all the issues. The source is of a non-bias viewpoint and has similar values and attitudes which corroborates with source 1. As the source has no author it would affects the reliability of the source but if a university approves the changes made and acknowledges that it makes the source indeed reliable. This source can be trusted.
SOURCE 3
The 1967 referendum – 40 years on
In comments made on the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, Professor Larissa Behrendt argues that the referendum did not out an end to discrimination against Aboriginal peoples and did not bring about equality with non-Aboriginal people. She suggests that giving the Commonwealth powers to make laws about Indigenous issues has not brought about better conditions for Aboriginal people. But has simply created a blame game between federal and state authorities about the lack of progress for Aboriginal peoples. However, she does acknowledge that the referendum was a ‘high-water mark’ in Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations, because it indicates that over 90 percent of Australians accepted that judgements about the worth of Australian society would include how it treated Indigenous Australians.
Context: Larissa Behrendt is an Aboriginal Eualeyai/Kamillaroi woman and a Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has written a number of books about indigenous issues and has received awards for her work in this field.

Made and wrote in 2007, title indicating the 40th anniversary of the referendum 40 years after making it a secondary source. Larissa Behrendt is the author of the source and is commentating what she spoke/wrote. Larissa is a professor and an Aboriginal woman as stated in the context. Her opinions might affect the source to see another perspective from an Aboriginal perspective. The source was created to highlight issues that appeared to be solved from the referendum which in fact have not. She wrote this to raise awareness to further the problems to a wider audience to continue to change society for the Aboriginal benefit. Being a professor in the area and also developed award winning for her work, she would have an extensive knowledge and use of sources which are stated however she would be able to access a variety of sources which the general public could not. The relevance of this source to my topic is highlighting the issues and changed made because of the referendum and how this has affect lives of the Aboriginals. The source covers the bad happening still but doesn’t touch on the good it has done and the changes that have occurred due to the referendum. the key ideas of the source bases on the issues that are still occurring. A discerning perspective shown through is source is one from that accepts that the referendum changed lives however it did not prevent all issues. Larissa being an aboriginal the referendum would have affected her or her family personally also providing and insight to the changes. the source has an objective language point of view. A high reliability of this source as she is a highly spoken Aboriginal that has an extensive research and can access primary sources from direct relatives would also develops her opinion and can be extremely trusted.
SOURCE 4
Referendum poster 1967
Referendum poster, 1967, Reproduced courtesy of the Council for Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander ; Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Whales
The source was created during the referendum event in the 1960’s making is a direct reference to the event being a primary source.
The illustrator of the poster is unknown however the political position of the illustrator supports the referendum and would affect the source in a way that it was during the time of event and could have been produced by many people as there was a 90 percent who believed in Indigenous people. The source was created to persuade the general public into voting ‘yes’ and encourage them to also take a stand for rights to “right wrongs” by voting yes. Almost as a guilt trip in a way by implying saying if you don’t vote yes you want to not make any change regarding their rights. The source itself is a primary source and didn’t need to use any sources. the relevance of the source to my topic is primarily my fourth key question “how the referendum achieved a yes vote?” An aspect of describing how is left out of the source. Evidence is that the poster achieved its desirable effects of having a majority vote. A perspective of the source is they believed in the rights for indigenous people therefore they were trying to persuade everything to follow in their ways, it affects an emotive and objective point with the language used. This source does not corroborate with other sources. the reliability of the source is very trustful and can be verified by the result of the referendum.
SOURCE 5
The aboriginals were treated unfairly during this time and was discriminated against. There are many aspects to the referendum including the lead up to it, the context on which it was presented, the referendum and finally the impact it has on the aboriginals.
The 1967 referendum is about including Aboriginals people in the census and allowing the commonwealth to make laws for the aboriginals. At the same time of the referendum, harold Holt was the prime minister and liberal was in power. Before the referendum, there was a question in the census to establish the number of full blood aborigines society viewed aboriginals as a disadvantage. Aboriginal were able to vote in 1962, however they have no potential power and although they are allowed to vote, they are not counted in the census. Australia became more aware of the discrimination and of what other countries think of them and they finally removed the discrimination from federal legislation. At this time, the laws regarding the aboriginal is the responsibility of the states government. Consequently, if an aboriginal moved to another state, their rights might be gained or lost. Furthermore by the end of 1966, aboriginal people has been granted legal rights but not citizenship.

SOURCE 6

https://www.australianstogether.org.au/discover/australian-history/1967-referendum/

The 1967 Referendum was a landmark achievement for Indigenous Australians. Following decades of Indigenous and non-Indigenous activism, over 90% of all Australians voted in favour of amending two sections of the Australian Constitution:
Section 51 (xxvi) The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to: …The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is necessary to make special laws.
Section 127 In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives should not be counted.
According to political historian, Scott Bennett, these sections were originally included in the Constitution because of the widely held beliefs that:
” Indigenous people were ‘dying out’ and, hence, would soon cease to be a factor in questions of representation.
” Indigenous people were not intellectually worthy of a place in the political system.
In 1902, a Tasmanian Member of Parliament dismissed the need to include Indigenous people in a national census on the basis that:

Many Indigenous people regard the 1967 Referendum as a symbolic turning point, revealing a widespread desire for Indigenous equality in Australia. Others feel that the Referendum was irrelevant to their lives, having little effect on the daily discrimination they experience.
The Referendum has had a lasting impact on Indigenous policies. It enabled the federal government to pass the (Northern Territory) Land Rights Act, which has benefited many Indigenous Australians. However, despite the assumption that the power given to the federal government by 1967 Referendum would be used only to benefit Indigenous people, in some instances, the changes have been used enact laws that have eroded Indigenous rights. For instance, the referendum enabled the Intervention (or Northern Territory Emergency Response), including the exclusion of Indigenous people from the protection of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cwlth).
The Referendum’s failure to substantially improve conditions for Indigenous people resulted in disillusionment and a new wave of activism in the 1970’s, including the modern land rights movement. It also ensured continuing activism for further changes to the legal system to create equality and rights protection for Indigenous people.
Many Indigenous activists today are concerned that the 1967 Referendum did not remedy the Constitution’s original failure to recognise the unique status of Indigenous people as the original inhabitants of the land. 6

https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-1967-referendum

The 1967 referendum made history: Australians voted overwhelmingly to amend the constitution to include Aboriginal people in the census and allow the Commonwealth to create laws for them.

Aboriginal elder Gary Williams remembers the referendum
Gary tells what the referendum meant to a 21-year-old Aboriginal youth living in Sydney.
Before Australia became a nation it consisted of separate, sovereign colonies (today’s states and territories). For these colonies to form the Commonwealth a Constitution was drafted and each colony had to pass legislation agreeing to become part of the Commonwealth. Then they needed to hold referendums where all electors could have a direct vote on the issue. A ‘Yes’ majority was achieved at each referendum, which took place between 1898 (South Australia) and 1900 (Western Australia) 1, paving the way for the passing of the Constitution.
Influenced by colonial views of the 19th century, the founding fathers of the Constitution incorporated sections which later ignited discussions which led to the 1967 Referendum. These were sections 51 and 127.
Section 51
Section 51 of the Constitution covers legislative powers of the parliament. It details for which areas the parliament can make laws, such as trade, taxes, communication, financial and so on, but also people, for example for marriage. As far as people are concerned the Constitution reads:
“51. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:- …”
The people of any race, other than the aboriginal race in any State, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws.-Constitution, section 51, clause 26, pre-1967
Section 51 meant that the federal government could make laws for anyone in Australia – except its Aboriginal population. Originally this clause was worded that way to enable parliament to make laws discriminating against racial groups like the Kanakas in Queensland 22. The words ‘other than the aboriginal race in any State’ were intended to exempt Aboriginal people from discrimination.

Source: https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-1967-referendum#ixzz5H2nLq2YO

https://studymoose.com/the-1967-referendum-essay-essay
https://web.library.uq.edu.au/blog/2017/05/1967-referendum

The aboriginals were treated unfairly during this time and was discriminated against. There are many aspects to the referendum including the lead up to it, the context on which it was presented, the referendum and finally the impact it has on the aboriginals.
The 1967 referendum is about including Aboriginals people in the census and allowing the commonwealth to make laws for the aboriginals. At the same time of the referendum, harold Holt was the prime minister and liberal was in power. Before the referendum, there was a question in the census to establish the number of full blood aborigines society viewed aboriginals as a disadvantage. Aboriginal were able to vote in 1962, however they have no potential power and although they are allowed to vote, they are not counted in the census. Australia became more aware of the discrimination and of what other countries think of them and they finally removed the discrimination from federal legislation. At this time, the laws regarding the aboriginal is the responsibility of the states government. Consequently, if an aboriginal moved to another state, their rights might be gained or lost. Furthermore by the end of 1966, aboriginal people has been granted legal rights but not citizenship.
Although the states with the most number of aboriginal have the most no vote, the constitution was changed. However, even after the change, aboriginals still didnt get equal treatments as the state government still had power over the laws regarding the aboriginal in their state. The laws that were newly obtained from the constitution were not used until 10 years later.
The referendum didn’t really have much impact on australia or the aboriginal. It was seen as the beginning of a new contract for the aboriginal. They assumed by changing the constitution, all the discrimination would be taken away. But this was not the case; The rules of the aboriginals were still left to the individual states to decide. Furthermore, the government was still reluctant to acknowledge the aboriginals. However, there was some good things that come out from it. The thing that the aboriginal gained was additional money to fund for the improvement of their housing, health and education. Moreover, a council of aboriginal affairs were established. In 2008, 13th February is a significant day for the aboriginals, asutralian prime minister, john howward apologises for.
All in all, the referendum is a very important time for the aboriginals. However, although the referendum was a success there were not many changes that affected the aboriginals way of li
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/AUIndigLawRw/2007/96.pdf
https://www.uts.edu.au/staff/larissa.behrendt

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