1975 – 1994
The Aboriginal Relics Act was passed.
It was Roy Nichols, as head of the Aboriginal Information Centre. who lobbied for the return of Truganini’s remains. He also wrote to the then Premier Bill Nielson in 1976 for the recognition of prior ownership of Tasmania and that land should be returned to the Aboriginal people of Tasmania.
The TAC state secretary Michael Mansell along with 50 others set up an Aboriginal Parliament outside of Parliament House and presented a petition to parliament demanding the return of land – CBIs, mutton bird islands and all sacred sites in the state. This was compensation for the dispossession of the mainland.
In May Michael Mansell presented Queen Elizabeth with a petition and a collection of stone tools.
Legislation passed to have the remains of the ancestors buried at Oyster Cove between 1847 and 1871 returned. Three skeletons and 34 skulls, known as the Crowther Collection, had been kept in TMAG.
The TAC joined the fight to save the Franklin River from flooding under the proposed dam. The organization argued that not only would Aboriginal heritage be destroyed but that the scientific ‘ownership’ of Aboriginal heritage cease. This is when the conflict between the TAC and archaeological research started.
The Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council (TALC) was formed. Oyster Cove was occupied by Tasmanian Aborigines in preparation for the return of the ‘Crowther Collection’.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Commission (ATSIC) established by the Federal Government.
The Tasmanian Regional Aboriginal Council (TRAC) that was part of ATSIC was elected as a Tasmanian representative council to present Tasmanian views to ATSIC.