Who Is Joyce Clague A Political Activist For Indigenous Australians?

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“Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death” (What are human rights, 2017). Joyce Clague, born in 1938, is an inspirational and significant political activist for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples. During the 1967 constitutional referendum and native title reclamation of Yaegl she contributed to helping ATSI people regain their native land and be calculated in the census. Before the 1967 referendum, ATSI peoples were not ‘counted’ in the census and therefore were not given any government subsidy such as social security funding, pensions or child endowment funds that the white population received if they were unemployed or not making enough to afford to raise their family (Taffe, Miller, 1996). The people of Yaegl, a strip of land on the Clarence River, NSW did not have their native land and it took 20 years of political work to regain their native land …show more content…

After Clague’s contribution during the 1967 referendum, many ATSI peoples were more socially accepted due to the government recognising them as part of the population. The government accepting Aborigines as humans meant that they were politically acknowledged and able to be citizens of Australia, earning themselves passports and the ability to fly overseas. Before being politically accepted ATSI peoples weren’t allowed to be given passports if they identified as being Aboriginal (Australian Screen, 2017). Culturally speaking, after white settlement, almost all native land belonging to aboriginal peoples was ripped away from them, wounding connections between Aborigines and their ancestors. Joyce Clague’s rescue of ATSI people’s native lands, political acceptance toward Aborigines and social approval of being human all contributed largely to the livelihoods of ATSI

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