Sunday, October 2, 2011
On the lawns in front of Old Parliament House is a ramshackle arrangement of tents - the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. Far removed from the official embassies and high commissions in Canberra, the Tent Embassy began on Australian Day - January 26 - in 1972 as a beach umbrella stuck in the grass with people protesting for Aboriginal land rights. The issues, and the embassy, have expanded since then. Until 1992, it was an intermittent site, destroyed, dismantled, and relocated at various times, but since then there has been a permanent (although controversial) presence. The Tent Embassy celebrates its 40th anniversary next year.