In 1788 before the first fleet arrived there were over 500 Aboriginal tribes or nations in Australia all in which had efficient and sustainable systems for living off the land. They achieved a balanced diet by hunting and gathering, they moved seasonally between camps depending on food supplies, had very sophisticated social relationships and trading links across Australia. This was all taken away from them without notice by the British invaders.
In 1770 captain cook declared Australia to be ‘terra nullius’ meaning ‘no man’s land’ or ‘land belonging to no-one’ so that he could claim Australia to Brittan. When the first fleet arrived in 1788 the aboriginal people had no idea what was going on and they believed the British people to be ‘ghosts’, because they had never seen white people before. The aboriginals were kind and friendly to the British because they thought they were just visitors, but little did they know that 200 years down the track those ‘ghosts’ would have taken over the whole country.
Contact between the locals and the Europeans was disastrous for the Aboriginal people, they brought diseases such as smallpox, colds, the flu and measles, these were fatal as the indigenous Australians had no resistance to such introduced diseases, so therefore these diseases plagued native populations. The Brittan population that were living in Australia at the time would take whatever land they liked pushing away all the aboriginals using forceful weapons which the indigenous people had never seen before.
Imagine if tomorrow people that you have never seen before came to your house and kicked you out and if you did not obey the rules you would get shot, It wouldn’t be very nice would it, and you would defiantly feel like someone had just ‘invaded’ your home. John Batman in 1834 claimed to have made an agreement to buy 200,000 hectares of land off aboriginal people in exchange of money and various items, but this agreement was dismissed by the government because they believed the aboriginal people who had been there for over 100,000 years did not own the land and it was ow all owned by the British. The peaceful way of life for the local Aboriginals quickly turned into a nightmare of war, dispossession, displacement and massacres. As soon as the British arrived into Australia they had no respect for the indigenous people and all they wanted to do was extinct the Aboriginal race and steal their land in which had been the Aboriginal’s. There got to a stage where the aboriginals stood up for themselves and try to hold their ground and this is when majority of the brutal and disturbing massacres happened.
There were laws given out by the European government saying that if you see an unarmed aboriginal you have the right to shoot and kill them. One of the most famous aboriginal massacres that happened was the Myall Creek massacre after reading this I found this to be very disturbing and unbelievable. In 1888 there was around about 50 aboriginals that had moved into the Myall Creek station from an invitation from a Stockmen, after the indigenous heard that there were armed stockmen on the way to Myall creek they walked back as fast as they could, but it was already too late.
Ten armed stockmen led by john Fleming were already galloping towards the huts of Myall Creek station where the remaining aboriginal people were preparing for their evening meal. The stockmen herded the defenceless Aboriginal people together and tied their hands together with a long rope. Only two young boys escaped. Within twenty minutes of their captured all of them. About 800 metres from the huts the defenceless Aboriginal people were hacked and slashed to death. They were beheaded and their headless bodies were left where they fell.
The stockmen then set up camp, drinking and bragging about their killings. Not only did the Europeans take the aboriginals land and kill them for no reason they also kidnapped their children. Children were forcibly removed from indigenous Australians as young as possible for the immediate purpose of raising them separately from and oblivious of their culture and people, and for the ultimate purposes of suppressing any distinct Aboriginal culture, thereby ending the existence of the Aborigines as a distinct people.
The government of Australia established a board called Aborigines Protection Board (APB) in 1909, this was when the removal policy was made that they have the power and permission to remove children without parental consent and without a court order. Children were stolen from their family so they could be brought up ‘white’ and taught to reject the aboriginality. No-one knows how many children were taken during the time between 1909 right up to 1969 as most records have been lost or destroyed.
Many parents whose children were taken never saw them again, and siblings who were taken were deliberately separated so in a matter of days these young kids would have lost everything. Today many Aboriginal people still do not know about whom their relatives are or who they are. Still to this day the devastating episode called “ the stolen generation” affect many aboriginal’s as some of them are as young’s as their 40s and 50s and they still don’t know who their parents, siblings, grandparents are and they don’t even know where they came from, where they were born or were they belong.
Nothing good came out of this experiment as majority of indigenous people who were removed suffered life-long negative consequences for example people who were members of the stolen generation are more likely to suffer from depression, have worse health and a shorter life p than other indigenous people. For example in the movie Rabbit Proof Fence where the girls are forcibly removed from their parents and loved ones without any good byes not knowing whether or not they will ever see each other again. Also at the end when Molly and Daisy are talking they say that they never saw Gracie again.
As my points have clearly stated the Europeans invaded Australia, and not only did they invade the Aboriginal’s land they took nearly everything off them, such as freedom, family, friends, homes, health and many more things that were working perfectly fine before the British people came. I am disgusted and astonished about how the Aboriginals were treated by the Europeans. Bibliography Saldais, M & Jackson, L. (2007). Humanities alive history 2 level 6 for Victorian essential learning standards. John Wiley & Sons Australia ltd, Milton QLD. [Accessed 2 August, 2012] Noyce, P. (20020.
Rabbit proof fence [Internet]. Rumbalara Films, Moore Park NSW Available from : [Accessed 2 August, 2012] Nolan, M. (2007). Stolen Generations Fact sheet [internet]. Reconciliaction, NSW. http://reconciliaction. org. au/nsw/about-reconciliaction [Thursday, 9 August 2012] Docker, J. (2010) Aboriginal history [internet]. Australian History inc, ACT. http://www. aboriginalhistory. org/ [ accessed Tuesday, 13 August 12] Watts, D. (2008) A Brief Australian History [internet]. Aboriginal Heritage Office, NT. http://www. aboriginalheritage. org/history/history/ [ accessed Tuesday, 13th August 12]