Celebration of the 1967 Referendum and 1992 Mabo Decision anniversaries

[Music plays] (Dr Robert Anderson) My Aboriginal mother used to say to me “Be home by dark, always be home by dark” and I didn’t know ‘til years later that there was a curfew law that blacks had to be out beyond the boundaries by dark. So, it was decided with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people that on one Saturday afternoon we would gather in Musgrave Park and walk into the City on dusk. [Music plays] We started to walk in to the City down into Adelaide Street and the footlights of the City all cast our shadows like giants. And into the City Square we went which was groaning with people. Uncle Herbie Bligh received the documents to indicate that this iniquitous law had been dissolved from that time onwards and perfect strangers embraced each other. (Bua Benjamin Mabo) Fiftieth Anniversary of the Referendum, 1967 Referendum is actually uniting. The Referendum was getting people together to work together not to deceive themselves or discriminate one group against the other. [Music plays] If you’re a human being then you’re a human being. [Music plays] (Dulcie Flower) It took many years of coming together and talking and then finally making the decision but the Campaign itself took ten years. The agony of waiting and listening to the legislative processes. So, it would pass one stage and you’d think “Oh goody”. And people would come to Canberra and sit up in the gallery and wait and “OK, we finally got it passed the first Senate reading, wait for the second one now” and so on it went and it was finding this one thing in common, this unity of purpose which I haven’t seen in this Country since then. But it took the Aboriginal people to be able to bring this about and inspire the Country. [Music plays]

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