Australian Citizens and Indigenous Australians

It wasn't until 1949 that the concept of becoming an "Australian citizen" became a reality. After January 26, 1788, children born to troops, convicts and settlers in Australia were "British subjects". British passports would be issued by their respective colonial capital (i.e. Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, etc) and were sometimes helpful when travelling between the colonies. After 1901 and Federation this colonial distinction disappeared, each state capital issued passports declaring the person to be "a British subject of the Commonwealth of Australia" (click here for an early example), with Australian embassies opening in London and New York in August/September 1918.

Then on January 26 1949 came Australian citizenship (and Australian passports) following an act of Parliament. Everyone born inside Australia were automatically granted Australian citizenship, regardless of parents nationality, unless the parent was a foreign ambassador. After 20 August 1986, children born in Australia were required to have at least one parent an Australian citizen (or permanent resident) to be Australian citizens. Click here for more details.

Now, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders were of course automatically included in this definition. From 1788 until 1949, Aboriginals were regarded as British subjects under both British and Australian constitutions, as well as being indigenous Australians. However most could not claim social security pensions, until 1959.

And while electoral enrolment rights were theoretically available to them in NSW, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia – for those who wanted to vote – they were specifically excluded from enrolment in Western Australia and the Northern Territory until 1962, and in Queensland until 1965. And prior to the Australia-wide 1967 referendum, that followed immediately afterwards, their numbers were specifically excluded from the regular Australian Census.

Click here for a great interview with Bess Price, an outspoken speaker in the Northern Territory following the Little Children are Sacred report.

They are in fact quite a religious and spiritual people. Click here for a brief outline of their deities which fall into three main categories: creation beings, ancestral beings and totemic beings/ancestors

while also comparing Paul's letters in the New Testament

1 Corinthians 8:5-6 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (there be gods many and lords many) however to us there is but one God the Father, out of (ex) whom are all things and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through (dia) whom are all things, and we through him.

1 Timothy 6:16 (John Wesley's translation) Who only has underived, independent immortality. Dwelling in light unapproachable — to the highest angel. Whom no man has seen, or can see — with bodily eyes.

Yet we shall see him as he is.

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