Monday, February 4, 2019

February 4 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1826 - Mr. Dawson states that he "derived great assistance from the Natives" in the First Settlement at Port Stephens.

1856 - The Brigantine Occator was blown ashore near North West Cape, WA. The one passenger and eight crew landed on Morion’s Island about 56 nautical miles from the wreck. Finding it deserted they decided to return to the ship to recover more water; about forty Indigenous men menaced them with spears and stones, but a shot fired from the passenger’s gun scared them away. Four days later they reached Shark Bay and landed on Dirk Hartog Island. They were rescued by the schooner Favourite.

1907 - Herbert Stanley (Bert) Groves , Aboriginal activist, was born today at Walhallow (Caroona) Aboriginal station, near Quirindi, New South Wales, son of Robert William Groves, a respected Aboriginal shearer, and his wife Alice Jane, née Fox.

1939 - The first-ever mass strike of Aboriginal people in Australia occurred, called the Cummeragunja Walk-off. Over 150 Aboriginal people packed-up and left Cummeragunja Aboriginal Station in protest at the cruel treatment and exploitation of residents by the management. They walked 66kms and crossed the border from New South Wales into Victoria in contravention of the rules of the New South Wales Protection Board. 
The opera Pecan Summer tells the story of the walk-off.

2002 - The movie Rabbit Proof Fence was released on DVD on this day.

2003 - The High Court declared Federal legislation designed to deny illegal refugees and asylum seekers the right of appeal to the Federal and High Courts as invalid.

2013 - UNHCR released a report on the conditions in the offshore processing facility on Manus Island which similarly concluded that “the transfer of asylum-seekers to unsatisfactory temporary facilities, within a closed detention setting, and in the absence of a legal framework and functional system to assess refugee claims, do not currently meet the required international protection standards”. It also expressed concern about the situation of children transferred to Manus Island, noting that “the lack of any appropriate legal or regulatory framework for their treatment (in what UNHCR finds to be a mandatory, arbitrary and indefinite detention setting), and on-going delays in establishing any procedures to assess children’s refugee protection needs, and broader best interests, is particularly troubling”.