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Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

Teacher notes for co-operative quiz cards

Aboriginal flag

Hands in a crowd holding small flags over their heads, with the Aboriginal flag, Australian flag and a glimpse of the Torres Strait Islander flag to the right

Above: Aboriginal flag (left) and Australian flag waved during the Stolen Generation Apology, photo by Tim Barker, courtessy Getty images

Designed by Harold Thomas
Black: represents the Aboriginal people of Australia
Red: represents the earth, the red ochre and a spiritual relationship with the land
Yellow: represents the sun, the giver of life and protector

Torres Strait Islands flag

Flag with white symbol on a blue background and black and green stripes above and below

Above: Torres Strait Island Flag designed by Mr. Bernard Namok reproduced with permission of the Torres Strait Island Regional Council

Designed by Bernard Namok
Green: represents the land
Blue: represents the sea
White: represents peace
Black: represents Indigenous peoples

(Flag information from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website.)


Gurindji may refer to:

The Gurindji strike began in 1966 when all Gurindji workers walked off Wave Hill cattle station, an early move for Indigenous land rights and equal pay and conditions in Australia.
(Find information from the ABC archives.)

Full citizenship rights

Full citizenship rights were gained in the 1970s. Many people incorrectly believe that the 1967 referendum was about gaining the right to vote for Aboriginal people. Read the Discovering Democracy discussion paper ‘Aboriginal struggle for citizenship’ by Kate Cameron.


Photograph of Vincent Lingiari and Gough Whitlam

Traditional owner Vincent Lingiari, holding title deeds to land in one hand and in the other upturned hand, accepting soil poured by the Prime Minister Gough Whitlam

Above: Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pours soil into the hands of traditional landowner Vincent Lingiari, Northern Territory, 1975. © Commonwealth of Australia. Purchased 1994, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, photograph by Mervyn Bishop.

Iconic photograph of Vincent Lingiari, an Elder of the Gurindji people, and Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister of Australia, taken by Mervyn Bishop on 26 August 1975 at the handing over of leasehold title to land at Daguragu (Wattie Creek). In pouring the handful of sand into the hand of Vincent Lingiari, Gough Whitlam was making a gesture reversing the event in 1835 when a handful of sand was poured by a member of the Wurundjeri-willam people through John Batman’s hand in what is now Melbourne.

Australian Aboriginal peoples have not shared the same rights

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have not shared the same rights as ‘white Australians’ in the past. It is important to be aware of the diversity of opinions that students may state. This provides an opportunity to talk about sources of information, evidence and reliability.

Alan Sharpley with placard, Bob Perry in a Ningla-a-Na T-shirt and John Newfong with hands on hips at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra

Above: Demonstration with ‘We want land not handouts’ placard at Land rights demonstration, Parliament House, Canberra, 30 July 1972. Source: National Library of Australia, nla.pic-vn3256026, photograph by Ken Middleton


This timeline provides some information about the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights in Australia.