In 2017, Australia commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision. Both were landmark achievements for Indigenous Australians and symbolic turning points for Australia.
On 27 May 1967, Australian voters were asked if they wanted to remove two negative statements about Indigenous Australians in our Constitution.
Australians voted overwhelmingly to remove the offending passages and for the first time, the federal government had a clear mandate to legislate for Aboriginal Australians no matter where they lived.
Twenty-five years later on 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia recognised the land rights of the Meriam people, the traditional owners of the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait. Terra nullius was swept away and the decision led to native title legislation the following year.