Victorian Aborigines Advancement League (AAL)

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On 27 May 1967 a Federal referendum was held. The 1967 referendum did not give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the right to vote. That right had been legislated for Commonwealth elections in 1962, with the last State to provide Indigenous enfranchisement being Queensland in 1965. Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders have had multiple campaigns to try and uphold the same rights as white people. The 1967 referendum was a public vote to determine the public 's opinions of two aspects of the Australian constitution (a written statement which outlines the country 's rules and regulations) that related directly to Indigenous Australians. The forerunner to the Victorian Aborigines Advancement League (VAAL) was the Australian Aborigines League (AAL) founded in 1932 by William Cooper, an ex-resident from Cummeragunja. The AAL was an all-Aboriginal organisation open to Aborigines for the price of one shilling a year. Other foundation members included Shadrach James, Kaleb Morgan, Pastor Doug Nicholls and Eric and William Onus. In 1932, the AAL prepared what was to have been an Australia-wide petition to be presented to King George the 5th asking for direct representation in the Commonwealth Parliament in order to…show more content…
The real purpose of the referendum was to make two changes to the Australian Constitution. These changes enabled the Commonwealth Government to: a) make laws for all of the Australian people by amending s51of the Constitution, (previously people of 'the Aboriginal race in any State ' were excluded). b) take account of Aboriginal people in determining the population of Australia by repealing s127 of the Constitution (formerly, Indigenous people had been haphazardly included in the census but not counted for the purposes of Commonwealth funding grants to the states or territories. From 1967, Indigenous people were counted in the census and included in base figures for Commonwealth funding granted to the states and territories on a per capita
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