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Listed under:  Active citizenship  >  Activism
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Fighting conscription, 1966

What would you do If your government tried to force you to fight in what you believed to be an unjust war? Conscription (compulsory military service) was instated in Australia in 1964. From 1965 to 1972, Australian troops, including conscripts, were sent to the Vietnam War. Listen to US President Johnson encouraging Australians ...

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Washing your hands in an online sink

Have you ever liked a charity Facebook page, signed an online petition or donated to a celebrity's pet cause? It is this type of 'lazy activism' that CJ Bowerbird satirises in his poem 'Clicktivism'. Satire is the use of ridicule, irony or sarcasm to expose human behaviour. As you watch this Poetry Slam champion in action, ...

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Australia's 1967 Referendum

Why have the results of the 1967 Referendum had a lasting symbolic significance? Civil rights activist Faith Bandler describes a long and well-organised struggle for the referendum and the reasons for it. Find out what percentage of Australians voted to alter the Constitution so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ...

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Fighting for Lake Pedder

How far would you be prepared to go in defence of a principle you felt strongly about? Enter a tent on the shores of doomed Lake Pedder in 1972 and listen to three determined people explain why they are protesting against the plan to flood Tasmania's Lake Pedder. The clip includes environmental activist Brenda Hean who ...

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Aunty Ida West: Tasmanian Aboriginal Elder, 1995

Imagine being told not to speak your own language to your family and friends. Even worse, imagine being told that your whole culture had vanished, when you know it has not. These challenges were faced by Aboriginal people in the 20th century. In this clip, discover how Aunty Ida West's background and life experiences forged ...

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Lake Pedder's future

How do you measure the worth of a beautiful natural site - in terms of the hydro-electric power it can produce or the beauty, stillness and grandeur that it affords people who visit? This 1972 clip from 'This Day Tonight' focuses on the physical and aesthetic attributes of Tasmania's Lake Pedder. Reporter Peter Ross stands ...

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Attaining equality

Explore the idea of pride in your forebears as famous entertainer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson reflects on being both African American and a citizen of the USA. In this 1960 'Spotlight' panel discussion, Robeson points out the difficulty and importance of gaining equality in a society that is based on conquest ...

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Indigenous Australian activism, 1974

For generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have sought to regain custodianship of the land taken from them since the arrival of Europeans in Australia. In the early 1970s, protests and demonstrations signified the beginning of the Land Rights movement. In this clip, Indigenous Australian activist Sam ...

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Coal-waste conflict

Watch this confrontation between a conservationist group and a coal-mining executive in 1973. The coal mine in Coalcliff was given the all-clear from the State Planning Authority to dump coal-mining waste on the Illawarra escarpment. This happened before a planned official inquiry into the issue.

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Charles Perkins fights for racial equality

Why is Charles Perkins remembered as a significant leader in the struggle for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples? In this clip, he looks back on two campaigns that brought him to public attention in the 1960s and were part of a wider struggle to end racial discrimination in Australia. This clip ...

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Two years after the 1966 Wave Hill walk-off

Visit Wattie Creek at Wave Hill station in 1968. It is two years into the historic strike known as the 'Wave Hill walk-off' led by the Aboriginal Elder Vincent Lingiari. In this black-and-white clip made at the time, listen to Vincent Lingiari and other strikers discuss what they are fighting for. The manager of Wave Hill ...

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Malalai Joya's voice of dissent

Malalai Joya is a former Afghani politician who, as a young woman of 25, stood up in a room crowded with 503 mostly male political delegates to denounce the warlords who had taken control of Afghanistan. Her action was supported by many but was denounced by those in power. Today, Joya continues her political activism.

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US race riots, 1968

Imagine a country arming its police force with tanks, heavy weapons and chemicals to combat its own people. This extract shows the escalation of violence and the results of racism in the USA in 1968. Army, police and fire units are shown practising new riot control activities in preparation for expected violent demonstrations ...

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Forms of protest

Imagine the internal conflict for an African American policeman in 1968 New York. Against a background of race riots stimulated by racial inequality, African American policeman Chief-Inspector Frederick Waithe must convince African Americans to act within the law. At the same time he sympathises with their grievances.

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Woolgoolga's Sikhs find equality in the pub

In 1968, members of the local Sikh community were not allowed membership of Woolgoolga's bowling club or RSL. Racial segregation, in which people are banned from certain places or activities because of their race, is an obvious form of racial discrimination. The hotel was one place where Indians were welcome. This clip ...

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1967 and a new activism

How did the yes vote in 1967 change the way laws were made for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people? The struggle for land rights became the focus of the next wave of Aboriginal activists, who gained domestic and world attention by erecting a tent embassy on the lawns of  Parliament House in Canberra. Why was the ...

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Jack Mundey, the BLF and 'green bans'

Imagine a trade union whose members fought not only for better pay and working conditions, but to save parts of Australia's natural and built environment. This ABC Nationwide clip explores the career of Jack Mundey during the 1970s when he led the New South Wales branch of the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) in campaigns ...

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Franklin River campaign

How important is the environment in an election campaign? In this clip, explore the issue that changed Australia's conservation landscape forever: the fight to save the Franklin River. Watch how the Tasmanian Wilderness Society used political and media strategies to influence the outcome of the 1983 federal election in ...

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The Sea Turtle and the Osprey

The Dreaming of the Sea Turtle and the Osprey (Wundanyuka kulu Jujuju) belongs to the Wurdalia clan of the Yanyuwa People, who live in and around Borroloola, near the Gulf of Carpentaria in the eastern Northern Territory. The story follows the Osprey, who pursues Sea Turtles in the islands of the southwest Gulf. Please ...

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Calls grow for Indigenous recognition in Australia

Discover why many Australians believe the time has come to change the Australian Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories. This program from January 2012 examines the debate about how this change might be achieved. It looks at the growing call for our constitution to recognise and advance ...