The Institute Times

2005 - The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) is abolished

Cover of the March 20, 2005 Koori Mail. Headlines read ATSIC: The end! Tributes for Bob Bellear, Self-harm on the increase in Pit Lands.

Established in 1990 through an Act of Parliament, ATSIC was seen as one of the boldest reforms in the administration of Aboriginal affairs.

The key plank to ATSIC was self-determination with an elected body of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives from around Australia to ensure maximum participation in government policy formulation and implementation.

Embroiled in controversies including corruption allegations and litigation with some members of the elected body and within the agency, ATSIC was dismantled.

Media coverage during this time was intense, including coverage in Australia’s first national Aboriginal newspaper.

Koori Mail: ATSIC The end!

2005 - First official Sorry Day ceremony held outside Australia

The first official Sorry Day ceremony outside Australia was held in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the largest public square in London on 25 May.

2005 - First National Indigenous Languages Survey completed and published

2007 - The Little Children are Sacred report released by NT Government

Cover of the Little Children are Sacred Report. The title quote In our Law children are very sacred because they carry the two spring wells of water from our country within them reflects the traditional Aboriginal law of the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, and was provided by a senior Yolngu lawman.
Courtesy of the Department of the Chief Minister, Northern Territory Government.

The Little Children are Sacred report of a Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse commissioned by the Northern Territory Government was publicly released on 15 June 2007. The report concludes that sexual abuse of children in Aboriginal communities had reached crisis levels and strongly recommended both the Australian and Northern Territory governments urgently address this issue of national significance.

The Little Children are Sacred report

2007 - The Australian Government launches the Northern Territory National Emergency Response

In response to recommendations in The Little Children are Sacred report, the Australian Government launched the Northern Territory National Emergency Response (NTER), often referred to as the ‘NT Intervention.’ ┬áThe NTER was a package of changes for Aboriginal communities in welfare provision, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures.

One of many of the Sorry Books held by AIATSIS Collections, open on a page with signatures.
Courtesy of NITV.

2007 - National Indigenous Television launched

National Indigenous Television (NITV), Australia’s first Indigenous managed national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander television programming service is launched.