Aboriginal Australians: Black Responses to White Dominance, 1788-2001

By Richard Broome | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Appendix 1

The Aboriginal Treaty Committee. We Call For A Treaty—Within
Australia, Between Australians

We the undersigned Australians, of European descent, believe that experience since 1788 has demonstrated the need for the status and rights of Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders to be established in a Treaty, Covenant or Convention freely negotiated with the Commonwealth Government by their representatives. Australia is the only former British colony not to recognise native title to land. From this first wrong two centuries of injustice have followed. It is time to strike away the past and make a just settlement together. We believe this would be a signal to the world that we are indeed one Australian people, at last.

In New Zealand, at the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the Maori chiefs were guaranteed by their conquerors “full, exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands… so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same”, and most of these lands were later bought. In North America, Indian tribes negotiated treaties with their conquerors, who recognised the principle of purchase or compensation for the loss of their lands. The colonial authorities were directed by the government in London to deal with the tribes as “foreign nations”. In Papua, in 1884, the conquerors assured the people “your lands will be preserved unto you”, again until they decided to sell. But in Australia there was no recognition of Aboriginal land ownership, no compensation for dispossession, no treaty, despite the resistance of the Aboriginal tribes to their conquerors.

Indeed, the absence of a settlement leads many Aborigines to conclude even today that their resistance is not yet over. It is a sad conclusion, for all of us, after so many generations of living together in this country. We believe there is a deep and wide concern among Australians of European descent that our ownership of this land, as defined in the imported European law, should still be based solely upon force, without any documentary recognition of the quality and courage of those who were conquered. It is time to right this wrong.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Aboriginal Australians: Black Responses to White Dominance, 1788-2001


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 330

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?