"Describe and explain the changes that have occurred to the rights and freedoms of aboriginal people between 1900 and today".
Between the 1900 and today, there have been many significant changes to the rights and freedoms of Aboriginal people. Some of the main issues being the stolen generation, the equality of Aboriginals among white Australians, the 1967 Referendum, the Day of Mourning, assimilation, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the Eddie Mabo case. All these events have contributed to the changes that have occurred to the rights and freedoms of Aboriginal people between 1900 and today.
When the white explorers first came to Australia, they operated under the law of terra nullius. Terra nullius was the European law that applied (incorrectly) to Australia when it was discovered. It is a Latin term for "land without owner" in which European explorers can claim a land for their sovereignty. Australia was claimed under this law because the English deemed it a land without inhabitants, this is because they did not see the Aboriginals as being a civilised race, and also because they saw them as an inferior race that could not survive without white paternalism. Paternalism was the "fatherly" control of the Aboriginals by the white people. They believed them to be unable to act for themselves, so there therefore needed this kind of care. In 1993 the Native Title Act was created to make a legal process in which Aboriginal communities could attempt to claim title to their traditional lands. The act requires that those who attempt to make claims on the land must demonstrate a connection to the land. Often the land is now freehold land, which is land that has been passed into private ownership, meaning that they cannot make claims to it. This is unfair as it may have many symbolic meanings to them.
During the twentieth Century, thousands of Aboriginal children were taken, or "stolen", from their families.