Friday, February 1, 2019

February 1 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1606 - Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon becomes the first (that we know of) European to map parts of the Australian coast.
Proving Captain Cook didn't discover a thing.

1794 - (Date unspecified)
Aboriginal people attacked, robbed and beat settlers’ wives, stripping one woman of her clothes.

1796 - (Date unspecified)
The Darug severely wounded a man travelling by boat on the Hawkesbury River.
John Wimbow, who was living with an Aboriginal woman at the Hawkesbury River, shot and killed John Caesar for a reward of five gallons of rum.

1798 - (Date unspecified)
As the maize again ripened, a settler was killed and three others wounded at Toongabbie. Two more were killed a few days later. Hunter wrote: 
‘It became absolutely necessary… to send out numerous well-armed parties, and attack them [natives] wherever they should be met with; for leniency had only been followed by repeated acts of cruelty.’

1819 - (Date unspecified)
Twenty Aboriginal children competed in the New South Wales Anniversary Schools Examination with 100 white children. 
‘A black girl of fourteen years of age, between three and four years at the school, bore away the prize …’
The clever Aboriginal girl is believed to be Maria Lock.

1823 - First husband of Maria Lock, Dicky, a son of Bennelong and a member of the Richmond clan through his mother, was buried on this day at St John's Church of England, Parramatta.  He had been in the Native Institution, but had moved to the household of the Wesleyan missioner William Walker, and was baptized Thomas Walker Coke. Within weeks of his marriage to Maria he became ill and died.

1930 - Robert Curry, the Superintendent on Palm Island, murdered his children and attempted to murder several other members of the white administration. Peter Prior was ordered by the Deputy Superintendent to shoot Curry and did so, unwillingly, in self defence.
He was charged with murder but eventually acquitted.

1943 - Aboriginal stockmen were employed to drive cattle towards the Army slaughter yards from widely dispersed areas in northern Australia.

1957 - Rupert Murdoch used his newspaper The News (Adelaide) to claim that the Warburton Ranges report on sick and starving Aboriginal people " to be an exaggeration".
The more things change, the more they stay the same....

1969 - Oz signed on to the International Convention of the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination...but the CERD treaty came to be closely eye-balled in the 1990s as Oz had failed to eliminate racial discrimination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

2002 - Then UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, expressed concerns about the vilification of asylum seekers in Australia and urged the Australian Government to provide its citizens with accurate information.

2002 - It was recommended that in Tasmania the AEC establish a separate register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voters:
The aim of this roll would be to determine eligibility (ie Aboriginality) to nominate and vote prior to the elections taking place. The then-Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Mr Philip Ruddock, announced the trial of such a role in the 2002 ATSIC Regional Council elections.

2006 - The North Australian Justice Agency (NAAJA) was established.
NAAJA is an amalgamation of three separate Aboriginal Legal Aid organisations providing quality services.
They were the:
North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (NAALAS) established in Darwin in July 1973.
Katherine Regional Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (KRALAS) established in Katherine in 1985.
The Miwatj Aboriginal legal Service (MALS) established in 1996.

2014 - The residents of Badu Island in the Torres Strait were granted freehold title over almost 10,000 hectares of land.
The title deed was formally handed over to the traditional owners of Badu Island at a ceremony , giving them full ownership and responsibility to manage, use and enjoy the land now and into the future.

2016 - Casual racism reared its ugly head when two Ballarat men sent social media into meltdown after dressing up in blackface as indigenous Australians at a dress-up party.


  1. Oz's track record on discrimination remains more than a touch suspect.
    'Peter Prior was ordered by the Deputy Superintendent to shoot Curry and did so, unwillingly, in self defence.
    He was charged with murder...' That sounds so totally unfair. I am glad he was exonerated, but he should never have been charged.