Changing Rights and Freedoms



Watch the video above to learn about the origins and significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights UDHR Including Australia's involvement.

Articles in the UDHR Click on the link to take you to the website and then click on the little video.

Goes through the articles in the UDHR (about 20 minutes).


Australia was involved in the making of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights....

Australia's Role this is a link to the Australian Government's website about Australia's role in the making of the UDHR. You will learn about why and how Australia was involved in this important declaration.

ABS Year Book Read more about Australia's role in the making of the UDHR.


 - Outline the purpose of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , including Australia's involvement.

- Explain the significance of the UDHR.

Background to the struggle of Aborignal

and Torres Straight Island peoples 

(The restriction of their rights and freedoms).

Before you learn about the struggle Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island people faced. It is important to know exactly why they faced a struggle. You will learn more about the attitudes and policies of Europen settlement.

Background - Terra Nullius  Click here with a good description of Terra Nullius, disposession and the beginnings of Aboriginal Activism.

 Read real document This is a scanned version of the real document that proclaimed Terra Nullius.

Early 20th Century Aboriginal Activism

Click on this link to visit the Australian National Museum to find out more about early Aboriginal Activism.

 What is a 'Half Caste'? It was a word used to describe a person who was of mixed Aboriginal and European blood. This letter in the Centralian Advocate is an example of a source that shows how people of mixed heritage were beginning to become organised in their activism.

 William Cooper -

  1.  One of the first Aboriginal activists. This article from the Victorian Government honour role outlines his involvment in early activism.
  2. Click on this link  to hear William Cooper's grandson speaking about his experiences with his grandfather.

 Petition to the King - William Cooper instigated this move to raise awareness of the conditions Aboriginal people were living in.


-Explain the purpose and significance of early 20th Century Aboriginal Activism.

Day of Mourning

Student task - This interactive task will enlighten you about the protests held on the day of mourning.


Information: explore this site for background information, newspaper sources, photographs about the Day of Mourning.

-Explain the significance of the Day of Mourning.

Aboriginal Protection Board

Information on Protection (docx 19 KB)


This link will take you to the records from the NSW government about the establishment of the Aboriginal welfare board. Students can explore this site and see where the government keeps records and the descriptions of the records. link 

National Film and Sound Archive link to Activist - Faith Bander

What was the role of the Aboriginal Protection Board? Find out here.


Go to TALE for Students and type in the Code X03H0. This interactive site will take you through a report from rationing and conditions at an Aboriginal reserve.


Restrictions on culture - if you lived under the control of the board you were to behave like a white person. Restrictions.



Life in the Reserves - Why were they created and what were they really like?

The reserves were created as protection from massacres but they were very hard places to live, with restricted freedoms.

Click on this resource link to find out more:

(note :  ) this was the resource but it seems to have disappeared! Check it again later...


 Lousy Little Sixpence What was life in the Reserves really like? These women give you an insight...


-Think and write: What rights and freedoms were denied to Aboriginal people in the period leading up to 1965?

Stolen Generations - a Range of sources

Personal Accounts

A moving account

The stealing of children


 -Using these sources, or others you find, describe the exeriences of Aborignal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples who were forcibly removed from their families.

Policy of Assimiliation

Assimilation - This means instead of trying to keep a race seperate (segregation), the government tried to assimilate the Aboriginal people into the European race (to make them similiar). Aborigninal people were encouraged (forcibly) to leave behind their cultural practices and adopt the European way of life. The idea being, they would eventually cease to exist as a race because they had merged into the European race.

The actual Policy doc

Changing Policies


 Because of the policy of Assimilation, many Aboriginal people became 'Fringe Dwellers' Click on this link to learn more Fringe dweller . Fringe Dwellers were 'half-caste' people living on the "fringes" of both socieites, Aboriginal and white.

 -Describe the effects of the assimiltion policy for rights and freedoms of Aboriginal people and Torres Straight Islander people.

US Civil Rights Movement

In this section you will learn about how the US Civil Rights movement influenced the Aboriginal Activists and helped to influence events in Australia at the same time.

Learn about US Civil Rights - Information from the BBC.

Background Information - This wikipedia site is a good place to start for background information.


 Martin Luther King - This video will give you an understanding of who Martin Luther King was and his role in the US Civil Rights Movement.

US Civil Rights Background - Click on this link if you want to learn more about the reasons behind the Civil Rights Movement in the US. It will take you to a webpage with an in depth look at the background.

 -After you have used the above links to research the US Civil Rights Movement, outline the aims and methods used.

Freedom Rides - Australia

Back in Australia, Aboriginal and white people were began to protest about the treatment of Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal painting of Aboriginal people being barred from Moree Baths.

Learn more about the Freedom Rides and the way people in Country NSW reacted....

What were the Freedom Rides? Click on this link for information about who was involved in the Freedom Rides and what their purpose was.

Interactive Tour - See where the Freedom Rides went, which NSW towns were involved?

National Geographic Article - This article includes a useful Timeline.

Make your own interactive Timeline using Toki Toki


-Explain how the US civil rights campaigners influenced the Australian Civil Rights campaigners.

-Discuss the impact of the NSW Freedom Ride on the Civil Rights of Aboriginal and Torres Straight islanders.

Australian Civil Rights Campaigners

Charlie Perkins

Who was Charlie Perkins? Read all about his background and his influence on Australian Civil Rights.









Still to do:

1962 Right to vote federally

1967 Referendum


mabo decision

Bringing them Home report


Methods used and the role of One individual in the struggle (eg Charlie Perkins). Links to others.

Investigate a group.


Continuting nature of efforts to secure civil rights and freedoms.

Rights of the Child, Decl of rights of indigenous people.

methods used golobally to attain civil rights (eg. Syria??)

Evaluate methods and effectiveness of one campaign