Why Did Forced Separation from the Land Have Such a Devastating Impact on Australian Aboriginal Culture?

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Essay Question: Why did forced separation from the land have such a devastating impact on Australian Aboriginal culture? For an estimated sixty thousand years Indigenous people lived, surviving off the land, in what is now known as Australia. On January 26th 1788 the first British to settle Australia arrived at the location that is presently called Port Jackson near Sydney. This arrival marked the beginning of a new era in Aboriginal history that saw over the next two hundred years the forcible separation of indigenous people from their traditional homelands. It caused widespread devastation to their culture. This essay will examine why forced separation from traditional lands had such a devastating impact on Australian …show more content…

The majority of these practices were location specific. Only by being on their country could these practices could be upheld. So with this in mind, traditional country can be seen as the base of not only lifestyle and cultural practices, but also identity. Once the base upon which the majority of cultural practices rested was removed, Aboriginal culture feel into disarray. People’s way of life and cultural practices outlined in the previous paragraph became extremely hard to uphold when access to their land was taken away. Firstly, the denial of physical resources led to depravation of the indigenous population, “encroachment onto Aboriginal lands had taken away food and water supplies, and the ability to survive.”[11] Secondly, cultural practices that were location specific, as talked about in the previous paragraph, could not be upheld. As Ronald Murray puts it “The conditions in which the Aborigines found themselves gave them little opportunity to keep their traditional practices, or to obtain more than a precarious foothold in the world which had supplanted theirs.”[12] Traditional obligations to their country, which defined each cultural group and their way of life, could not be maintained if they could not have access to the land. Ceremonies, songs, stories could not

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