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Charles Perkins and Aboriginal Land Rights

Extract from Australian Biography: Charles Perkins: Aboriginal Activist (1999)

A documentary in the ‘Australian Biography’ series from 1999 profiling the life of Charles Perkins including interviews in which Perkins recounts the experiences that fuelled his great anger against white injustice and his determination to fight for Aboriginal rights. In this excerpt he describes his regrets about the failure of the Land Rights process in the 1970s.

In December 1976 the Australian Parliament passed the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act. It was the first legislation in Australia that enabled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to claim land title (ownership), if they could prove their traditional connection to the land.

NFSA: 420865 Film Australia Collection film courtesy National Film and Sound Archive


1. What does this short film clip show? Summarise what you see and hear.

2. Does the film appear to have a main purpose or message? If so, what do you think it is?

3. Who made the film clip and when was it made? Use this information to try to work out why the film was made. Does this change what you think about the purpose of the film?

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