Effects Of Assimilation On Aboriginal Civil Rights

974 Words4 Pages

The Aboriginal Civil Rights Movement is an integral part of Australian history. In 1938, a group of Aboriginal people gathered in Sydney at a protest they called the “Day of Mourning” (marking 150 years since European settlement). The demonstrators demanded full citizen rights and equality. This protest marked the beginning of the Aboriginal Civil Rights Movement.
From this time, there were many momentous events that exacerbated the issue of Aboriginal Civil Rights in Australia and widened the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. The governments implementation of Protection and Assimilation policy had a major negative impact not only on Aboriginal Civil Rights but also created considerable disadvantage and disparity that today …show more content…

The government’s resolution was to withdraw the policy of protection and instead adopt an integration or assimilationist approach. Assimilation Policies aimed at absorbing part-Aboriginal people into white society through the process of removing children from their families with the overall intent to destroy Aboriginal society.The primary idea of the assimilation policy was that Indigenous Australians could enjoy the same living standards as white Australians if they adopted their customs and beliefs. Not only did assimilation destroy Indigenous identity and culture but it was the governments justification for the dispossession of Indigenous people and the removal of Indigenous children from their parents. The devastating impact this policy had on families and culture continues to affect Indigenous people today. Australian culture by 1960 was changing with an increasing belief among white Australians that Indigenous Australians should have equal rights, including the right to vote and the right to preserve their own cultural heritage. There was also external pressure with the Commonwealth Government subjected to international criticism of its treatment of Indigenous people. Thus, in 1962, the Menzies Government amended the Commonwealth Electoral Act which enabled Indigenous Australians to enrol to vote in Australian elections. The attainment of winning the right to vote provided Aboriginal people with access and the power to vote like a 'white man' with its importance proving access to medical services and education. Following the Amendment Indigenous people were taken more seriously by politicians which meant that Aboriginal people had the right to choose who they believed would represent them and their views.The implications with the right to vote meant Aboriginal people were officially considered Australian Citizens and could

Open Document