VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > H. The Pacific Region, 1944–2000 > 3. Australia, 1944–2000 > 1989, March 4
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
1989, March 4
The Australian Capital Territory held its first election under self-government.  1
1990, Aug. 13–14
Three navy ships, the first commitment to the Persian Gulf crisis, left Sydney.  2
1991, Dec. 19
In a Labour Party ballot, Paul Keating replaced Bob Hawke as leader, and later as prime minister.  3
1992, June 3
In the Mabo case, the High Court conceded limited traditional land rights to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, denied since European settlement in 1788.  4
In Mabo and others v. Queensland, the High Court recognized that the peoples of Murray Island in Torres Straits legally owned their land. This overturned the terra nullius (empty land) doctrine that had underwritten white Australian law since 1788 and implied for the first time that, unless it had been specifically alienated, Aborigines own their land.  5
1993, Aug
The Labour Government–appointed Republican Advisory Committee, headed by investment banker and lawyer Malcolm Turnbull, submitted its report outlining various options for amending the constitution to make Australia a republic. Republicans wanted to make Australia a republic by the centenary of federation in 2001.  6
The federal Labour government introduced a bill in Parliament to effect the High Court’s Mabo decision.  7
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.