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Understanding Australian Indigenous people oppression lies in the operational principles of Mills’ Theory. Therefore, it is prudent to examine the history of early policy and law within Australian colonialism and the effects it has had on Indigenous Australians lives (Mills, 2000 P4). Firstly, it must be acknowledged that Australian history is peppered with racially oppressive laws starting with the ‘Terra Nullius’ Proclamation in 1835. A blatant denial of Australia’s Indigenous people’s ownerships of lands. The Proclamation stated: Indigenous Australians had no title over their own lands because they lived in a natural condition without law or ordered society. Indigenous Australians became the possession of the state as animals, not human beings (Dominello, 2009, p. 3). Furthermore, in 1901, racially biased legislation enabled ‘whites’ access to benefits from the commonwealth such as the pension, repatriation benefits, health care support and family assistance. Australian Indigenous peoples had these services either secretly or intentionally withheld from access (Mellor, 2003, p.483. In 1992 Mabo legislated that land rights be returned to Indigenous Australians, but in 1998 the Native Title Amendment Act effectively took that away, again. The government legislated no negotiation of land rights would occur if contention and lack of proof of Indigenous ownership of the land was present (Saggers, 2002, p. 215-6). 205

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