Aboriginal history is estimated to have originated some 30 to 45,000 years before the first Europeans settled in Australia, however, some sources have estimated that figure to be close to 65,000 years.
The Aboriginal Australians were hunter, gatherers relying heavily on the land and water for food. Dependant on where they settled each group developed skills relevant to where they lived.
Early in the 20th century it was believed the Indigenous Australians were nearing extinction as the population had decreased from 1,250,000 in 1788 to 50,000 in 1930. (Aboriginal History, 2017)
Arrival of Europeans
Sydney Cove saw the arrival of ships captained by Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788. The fleet of ships were transporting convicts from the UK mainland to Australia.
The British Authorities set up a permanent Gaol for the convicts as they assumed they were legally authorised to inhabit the land.
Immigrants believed they were lawful settlers in a new land.
As the colonisers made an attempt to impose new social, economic and religious orders lives were lost.
New animals, plants and diseases were introduced.
(Resisting Colonisation, 2017)
Impact of Europeans on Aboriginals
With colonisation came the introduction of diseases such as smallpox, measles and influenza. The spread of disease had a major impact on the Indigenous Australians with whole communities being destroyed.
Within fourteen months of the arrival of the first fleet, Governor Phillip reported that
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After too many years, when the Australian government decided to grant Aboriginal people with fully rights of freedom again in their country, the number of indigenous people in Australia jumped an amazingly 33 per cent from the 1991 to 1996 census. final
Compare the effects of colonisation of Australia’s two Indigenous groupings: Australian Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The arrival of the free settlers to Australia had both immediate and long term impacts on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, all of which contributed to the decline of indigenous people and their culture. In the short term, the arrival of free settlers had only negative impacts on the indigenous people, causing violent outbreaks, dispossession of land as well the death of many by disease. In the long term, the effects were also negative as the population and culture of indigenous people had been reduced severely.
The deposition of their land, involvement in violent conflict and exposure to new diseases, resulted in the death of a vast number of Indigenous people. For the small population that did survive through this period of time, their lives were irreversibly changed, forever
Archaeologists believe that aboriginals first came to Australia about 45, 000 years ago and were the only population of humans in Australia until the British invasion. There are about 500 different aboriginal groups each with their own language and territory and usually made up of several separate clans. The aboriginals of Australia are marginalised in today society. This marginalisation began right back during the British invasion where they were evicted from their own country, the stolen generation occurred and their health care, education, employment and housing was severely limited. Aboriginals generally live in poor conditions and choose unhealthy lifestyle choices
To begin with, a clarification must be made. Although for the purposes of this assessment I will be using the term Indigenous Australians, it is not the most appropriate term to be using, as the technical definition of indigenous is ‘originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native’ (‘Indigenous’, 1987). The more correct term would be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
The infectious diseases that were introduced by the British settlers were an immediate consequence which caused the Aboriginal population to decrease dramatically. The Aborigines had no sort of contact with the diseases brought therefore their bodies couldn’t development an immune or adapt to them. The most common epidemic diseases spread drastically and killed many people. These diseases included the chickenpox, smallpox and measles. The Aborigines were even reported by the British saying they were exterminated in Tasmania showing how devastating the diseases impacted them.
European settlement had a negative impact on the Indigenous Australians and it provided a catalyst for the destruction of Indigenous society. The impact of European settlement on the Indigenous people of Australia was disastrous due to many things such as taking land that belonged to the Aboriginal people. Though there were some attempts to understand each culture, it led to various massacres and conflicts around Australia which had caused a decline in the Aboriginal population. Apart from the violence, the Europeans had brought diseases to Australia which wiped out generations at a time and had a dramatic effect on the
There is little said about aboriginal people in early Australian history books. What we do know is that the view of Non-Aboriginal people was very ethnocentric. The opinion was that Aboriginal was that they were savages and
Before the First Fleet arrived, all the Aboriginals would work really hard for their survival, men would hunt large animals such as emus and kangaroos and the women and children would kill small animals and collect berries and other fruits. They were living only on things from the natural world as they had never seen such technologies before (australianmuseum.net.au). Whilst this is good in some ways, the introduction of technologies would soon make the lives of all Aboriginal people easier and lengthen their life spans from the use of new medicines which the British introduced to the Aboriginals. This meant that the population would slowly increase and many deaths would be prevented. For example, whilst the Aboriginals used spears to hunt for animals and occasionally defend themselves, the English men used guns for the same purposes and created a stronger impact upon what they are using it for. ‘In clashes with Aboriginals, one of the main advantages of the Europeans was their firearms’ (Harding, 2001,
Aboriginals or indigenous Australians are the native people of Australia. Aboriginals were nomadic people who came to Australia about 40,000 – 60,000 years ago from Southeast Asia. Religion is a great part of Aboriginal culture. The essay answers these questions: What do Aboriginals belief? What is a Kinship system? What is Dreaming and Dreamtime? What rituals does Aboriginals have?
The aboriginal people were exposed to diseases such as chickenpox, smallpox, measles and influenza. This exposure wasn’t what the aboriginal people had experienced before and a lot of them died bringing the population to a decline.
The process of colonisation by European powers, as might be expected, has had a radical effect on Aboriginal culture. The settlers viewed the natives as barbarians, seizing tribal land and, in many cases, following a policy of pacification by force. Many others died of disease, starvation, cultural dislocation and neglect. Today, there are fewer than 230,000 Aborigines in Australia, less than 2% of the population.
The Aborigines were traditionally a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer society, travelling seasonally. Their intimate knowledge of the land and the seasons allowed them to predict where and when certain food items would be available. Men hunted larger game while women gathered fruits, nuts and caught small game. Theirs was a life well adapted to the harshness of Australia. The most important factor in Aboriginal life was (and is) the kinship system.