A SORRY HISTORY
A Timeline of Australian Aboriginal history.
Section One
Dreamtime to 1900.
Collated by John, Betty, Dick and Jane
Unit Plan
It is believed that Aborigines have
lived in Australia for between
55,000 and 110,00 years.
Earliest visible evidence of
Aboriginal belief connected
with the Rainbow Serpent. This
becomes the longest
continuing religious belief in
the world.
Its p re tty a m a zin g th a t a
g ro u p o f p e o p le c a n p a s s
d o w n o ra l s to rie s o v e r
th o u s a n d s o f ye a rs , v irtu a lly
unchanged.
Trade with Asia - Dutch documents
record trade between Macassan
(Indonesian) sailors and Aborigines
living on the northern coast of
Australia.
The first fleet arrives from
England. The aboriginal
population at this time has
been estimated to be
between 300,000 and
1,000,000.
Y o u m a y lik e to re a d a n o v e l
b a s e d u p o n h is to ric a l fa c ts .
“S o n g M a n ” b y A lla n B a illie .
(M a c a s s a n c o n ta c t N T )
“T e rrito ry” b y J u d y N u n n (D u tc h
s h ip w re c k s o ff W A )
'Black Wars.'
As the European settlers moved further inland aboriginals are killed in
wars. Sometimes they fight back, other times they kill settlers. Some
massacres have been recorded:
1820’s Bathurst – 100 dead
1837 – Gravesend - 200dead
1838 – Waterloo Creek – 100-300 dead
1840 - Long Lagoon – 100 dead
1841 – Rufus River – 30 dead
Throughout the 1830’s settlement
spreads throughout the country
including Victoria and South
Australia. No treaties are struck with
the traditional inhabitants. British rule
of law established.
T o d a y w e w o u ld n e v e r th in k o f
g o in g a n d ju st ta kin g a n o th e r
p e o p le ’s co u n try. T h e E n g lish
d id n o t se e th e A b o rig in e s a s
“re a l P e o p le ” T h e y ca lle d th e m
sa v a g e s. T h e y sh a re e v e ryth in g
in clu d in g th e la n d , fo o d a n d
w a te r. P e rh a p s w e a re th e
sa v a g e s
Introduction of the policy of removing
Aboriginal children is practiced. This
policy continued right up until the 1970’s.
These children were lost to their
families, with no information on where
they were taken. Many children in
missions and other institutions badly
treated.
It’s hard to im agine anything
m ore cruel to a m other or a
child. It’s hard to believ e this
w as still happening in the
1970’s. C an w e ev er m ake up
for doing this?
References
•
Latrobe University Library,
<http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/AHR/archive/Issue-April1996/RosHunter.html> “Aboriginal Histories, Australian Histories, and
the Law”
•
Duffy Resource Centre, Trinity College, Western Australia.
•
< http://library.trinity.wa.edu.au/aborigines/reconciliation.htm>
“Reconciliation in Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and
the rest of the Australian community.”
•
Nunn, Judy. Territory. City: Milson’s Point, N.S.W. : Random House
Australia, 2002. .
•
Baillie, Alan. Song Man. Melbourne: Penguin, 1995.
•
Papunya School. Papunya School Book of Country and History. Crows
Nest, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin, 2001.
© State of Victoria 2003
This work has been created by the teacher listed below as employees of the Department of Education
and Training, Victoria and copyright is owned by the Crown in right of the State of Victoria. It may
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The State of Victoria accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any part of this material and bears
no responsibility for any modifications made.
Teacher’s name and materials produced – H. Carver - ‘Reconciliation’ Unit Plan & Multimedia
presentation.
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