'This unique, insider's account is essential reading for anyone interested in the making of Aboriginal policy - or in the conduct of national politics generally.' - Henry Reynolds 'Robert Tickner portrays a system under severe pressure as it struggles to deal with a defining issue in Australian politics, on the threshold of the Commonwealth's second century.' - Professor Garth Nettheim Taking a Stand is a candid account of six crowded years in the struggle for the rights of the first Australians.
Told by our longest serving Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, it tells the inside story of a succession of turning points in the history of black/white relations.
The creation of ATSIC, the passage of the Native Title Act following the High Court's Mabo decision, the appointment of the 'stolen generations' inquiry, the birth of the reconciliation process, the establishment of the Indigenous Land Fund - these are just some of the initiatives chronicled by a major participant. Here the realities of the political contest are revealed.
Robert Tickner served as Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Affairs in both the Hawke and Keating Labor governments. From 1990 to 1996 he was in the thick of the fray as these governments confronted a two century long legacy of neglect and discrimination, in circumstances which became increasingly bitter and divided. While describing the achievements of the governments he served, the author frankly acknowledges their failure to come to grips with the long-term crisis in Aboriginal health and points out where inertia and hostility to indigenous needs were not solely the property of the Opposition.
As a result of initiatives of the Hawke and Keating governments, for the first time indigenous Australians had recourse to international human rights forums. Today Australia has been found in breach of its treaty obligations, testimony to the fact that the agenda of social justice for all citizens regardless of colour - the agenda Robert Tickner pursued for six years - remains unfinished.
Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:
01 April 2001
PrefaceAcknowledgmentsAbbreviationsTime line of events1 The historical context: from massacres to Mabo2 The reconciliation process3 ATSIC: A radical shift to self-determination4 Aboriginal deaths in custody5 Mabo: A peaceful beginning6 The battle begins and the lines are drawn7 Wik ignites8 A strategic win and a bitter defeat9 The Commonwealth draws fire10 Getting the Native Title Act over the line11 Land for the dispossessed12 The Torres Strait Islanders: Australia's forgotten Indigenous people13 Heritage, culture and Hindmarsh Island14 Aboriginal health - a fixable problem15 The world is watching: International action to protect Indigenous rights16 Does reconciliation stand a chance?Primary written sourcesIndex
Reviews for Taking a Stand: Land Rights to Reconciliation
'This unique, insider's account is essential reading for anyone interested in the making of Aboriginal policy - or in the conduct of national politics generally.' -- Henry Reynolds 'Robert Tickner portrays a system under severe pressure as it struggles to deal with a defining issue in Australian politics, on the threshold of the Commonwealth's second century.' -- Professor Garth Nettheim