• Entry type: Event
  • Entry ID: IMP0085

Australian Bicentenary 1988

(1988 – 1988)


Australian State and Federal governments named the festivities around the Bicentenary of the invasion of Australia on 26 January 1788 by the British the ‘Celebration of a nation’. Various communities took a dissenting view, notably many Indigenous groups who united on 26 January 1988 to stage the largest Indigenous protest in the history of colonised Australia. This took the form of a peaceful march of 100 000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Sydney. It was part of a history of Indigenous observation of this day inaugurated by the 1938 Day of Mourning. As the Indigenous poet and campaigner Oodgeroo Noonuccal asked at the time of the Bicentennial, ‘from the Aboriginal point of view, what is there to celebrate?’. In 1987, Oodgeroo returned her MBE in protest against the upcoming 1988 Bicentennial celebrations.

Published resources

  • Book
    • The Macquarie encyclopedia of Australian events, Fraser, Bryce, 1997
    • Australia's too old to celebrate birthdays (Galarrwuy Yunupingu 1988), Harris, Alana, 1988
  • Resource
  • Resource Section
  • Newspaper Article
    • Aborigines Cast a Shadow Over Australia's Party, Mydans, Seth, 1988
    • Black Protests Will Be Peaceful: Foley, Ingrid Svendsen, 1987
    • Poet swaps name in protest, Roberts, Greg, 1987
    • Why I am now Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Oodgeroo Nunuccal, 1987
  • Book Section
    • The year of mourning, Foley, G. et al, 1990
    • The Day of Mourning, Horner, J. and Langton, M., 1987
    • January, Stell, M. K. and Thompson, R., 1989
  • Edited Book
    • The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, society and culture, Horton, David, 1994

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Heritage 200 entries, 1988 [manuscript]

Related entries

  • Related Women
    • Oodgeroo Noonuccal (1920 - 1993)