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Aboriginal Australia - Referendums and Recognition: 1967 Resources

Resources describing the 1967 Referendum and the Aboriginal civil rights movement


Getting started

This guide to sources relating to the 1967 Referendum was last updated by Library staff in 2017. It comprises selected material held by the State Library or available online.

To find further material relevant to this topic, try searching with these subject headings in the State Library catalogue:

  • Aboriginal Australians Civil rights
  • Aboriginal Australians Government policy
  • Referendum Australia

For more assistance, talk with staff at the Library's Information Desk or Ask Us.


ABC Open, NSLA Libraries and AIATSIS. Right Wrongs.

AIATSIS, The referendum Australia had to have.

AIATSIS, Commemorating 40 years of the Freedom Ride

Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Aborigines referendum 1967, 2004

National Archives Australia. 1967 Referendum fact sheet. NAA holds a range of records relating to the 1967 Referendum created by the key government agencies. Some of these have been digitised. 

National Library of Australia. The 1967 Referendum (Research guide). Key materials which form part of the NLA's collection.

National Library of Australia. The 1967 Referendum (Digital Classroom module). This resource, aligned with the Australian Curriculum: History for Year 10 students, engages students with a rich selection of sources and challenges them to draw their own conclusions about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ struggle for civil rights in Australia.

National Museum of Australia, Collaborating for Indigenous Rights 1957-1973

State Library of SA (SA Memory). 1967 Referendum

AIATSIS, My voice for my country. Looks at the history of Indigenous voter participation, before and after the 1967 Referendum.

Government Publications

The Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) Bill 1967 was presented to the House of Representatives on 1 March 1967. To read the Bill in its entirety, consult the Parliamentary debates (Hansard) : House of Representatives for that day.

To follow the debate about the Bill use the indexes found in the volumes produced in 1967 for both the House of Representatives and the Senate.


The State Library has a number of electronic resources that are useful for finding articles relating to Aboriginal history.

Some of these resources can only be accessed within the library and others can also be accessed from home by becoming a Home Access User.

Relevant resources include:

Academic search complete General periodical index

Australian/New Zealand Reference centre  Newspaper and magazine articles from the recent past.

Australian Public Affairs Full Text General periodical index

Trove website provides word searchable access to historical Australian newspapers, mostly prior to 1955

Books and pamphlets

Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement. Reflections: 40 years on from the 1967 referendum, 2007.

Attwood, Bain and Markus, Andrew. The struggle for Aboriginal rights: a documentary history, 1999.

Attwood, Bain and Markus, Andrew. The 1967 referendum: race, power and the Australian Constitution, 2007.

Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. 25 years on : marking the anniversary of the Aboriginal referendum of 27 May 1967, 1992.

Bandler, Faith. Turning the tide : a personal history of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, 1989.

Chesterman, John. Civil rights: how indigenous Australians won formal equality, 2005.

Chesterman, John and Galligan, Brian. Citizens without rights : Aborigines and Australian citizenship, 1997.

Clark, Jennifer. Aborigines & activism : race, Aborigines & the coming of the sixties to Australia, 2008.

Gilbert, Stephanie. 'Never forgotten: Pearl Gibbs (Gambanyi)' in Cole, Anna, Haskins, Victoria and Paisley, Fiona (eds). Uncommon ground : white women in Aboriginal history, 2005.

Commonwealth Electoral Office (Australia). Statistical returns : in relation to the submission to the electors of proposed laws for the alteration of the Constitution..., 1967.

McGregor, Russell. 'The 1967 Referendum: an uncertain consensus' in Crotty, Martin and Roberts, David Andrew (eds). Turning points in Australian history, 2009.

Davis, Megan and Williams, George. Everything you need to know about the referendum to recognise indigenous Australians, 2015.

Ephemera collection. Referendum, 1967. South Australian material produced for the 1967 Referendum.

Lake, Marilyn. Faith : Faith Bandler, gentle activist, 2002.

McGinnis, Joe. Son of Alyandabu : my fight for Aboriginal rights, 1991.

McGregor, Russell. 'Another nation: Aboriginal activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s’ in Australian Historical Studies, September 2009, Vol. 40, Issue 3.

Maynard, John. Fight for liberty and freedom : the origins of Australian Aboriginal activism, 2007.

Perkins, Charles. A bastard like me, 1975.

Petersen, Nicolas and Saunders, Will (eds). Citizenship and indigenous Australians : changing conceptions and possibilities, 1998.

Read, Peter. Charles Perkins, a biography, 1990.

Referendums to be held on Saturday, 27th May, 1967..., 1967. Read online.

State of South Australia statistical returns... Shows voting within each subdivisions in the referendums held in 1967, 1973, 1974.

Taffe, Susan. Black and white together FCAATSI : the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, 1958-1973, 2005.

We the Australians : what is to follow the referendum : proceedings of the Inter-Racial seminar, held at the University College, Townsville, 2nd and 3rd Dec., 1967, 1968.

Yes, Aborigines do count, 1967-1992 : a publication to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, 1992.