is probably the
longest human history in the world.
They are believed to have been living in Australia for about 40,000
years, but their history is older than that.
They are believed to be some of the first people to leave Africa.
They are believed to have come to Australia via south east Asia,
crossing the Timor Sea by boats. At that time, Australia was still
connected to New Guinea and Tasmania
by land bridges.
Since they came from the north, northern Australia was first inhabited,
and gradually new tribes spread southwards, gradually covering the
whole country including Tasmania.
After they had been in Australia for about 10,000 years, there was a
climate change to a cooler and drier climate. Tropical rainforests,
which used to cover large areas of Australia, diminished and were
partly replaced by drier vegetation types such as woodlands and
grasslands. Lots of west, south and inland Australia became to be
covered by deserts. These changes had an effect on Aboriginal
diminishing their numbers and limiting their distribution in Australia.
Once that cold period ended, the rains returned, and Australian
moist again until a next drought period followed a few thousand years
later. Aboriginal history went through many different climates, and
they learned how to live through droughts, floods and ice ages. After
ice ages the ocean waters arose, isolating Tasmania, Kangaroo
Bass Strait Islands...
They had lots of contact with people from south east Asia - dingo's
closest relative is the wild dog of Thailand. There has also been long
lasting contact between the people of New Guinea, Torres Strait
Islanders, and Aboriginal People of northern Australia. They lived with
the ancient megafauna, now extinct with the best fossil site at
They lived in family groups called tribes and had a social system with
kinship laws. They were hunters and gatherers, and used weapons to kill
animals, and baskets to collect food. They spoke hundreds of different
languages, had a rich culture,
like today, the most populated areas were in the south east of the
country, however they also lived in all other places including the
most uninhabitable like inland deserts.
Their first contact with Europeans started when the first sea explorers
started discovering Australia. There were times in the Aboriginal
history when they were not welcome,
but there were also suprisingly many times Aboriginal People have been
described as helpful and positive about the visitors.
But that's obviously until they were visitors. Once Captain
had claimed eastern Australia for England and the British started
building convict colonies, conflicts arose from both sides and many
people, but more so Aboriginals, were killed in confrontations.
The early White Policies gave them no rights and allowed killing them,
and separating their families in what is now called the Aboriginal
stolen generation. They were forced out of their land, pushed
inland deserts too inhabitable for Europeans, and encouraged to adopt
to the western culture.
In 1998, a National Sorry Day was introduced, to apologise for the
Aboriginal stolen generation. Ten years later, in 2008, Kevin Rudd was
the first prime minister to say sorry.
This site uses
British English, which is the English we use in Australia. You will
find words like "traveller", "harbour" and "realise", and they are all
correct in the language used in Australia.
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