Aboriginal history

A very short history of Australia’s indigenous peoples

This article isn’t meant to inflame or defame anyone but for those who are, I sincerely appologize.*

The Aboriginal people are the earliest surviving culture in the history of humankind, having set sustainable ways to manage their society and culture that ensured good health. They have inhabited Australia for no less than 60,000 years

In 2017, archaeological researchers found pigments and tools in the Northern Arnhem Land at Madjedbeb in the Mirrarr Country. Upon careful examination, they revealed that these remains are at least sixty-five thousand (65,000) years old.

At the Cuddie Springs’ archaeological site in New South Wales, the researchers found remnants of grinding stones’ fragments that came from at least 300 centuries ago or 30,000 years ago.

In another research, archaeologists discovered engraves on the rocks, estimated to exist about 25,000 years ago , of what is now the “Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.”

Moving foreword:

1770 ,Captain James Cook of the “British Royal Navy” aboard the “Endeavour” to sail to “Botany Bay.”

1880 During this timeline, blood feud came about between the Aboriginals and the white settlers, which resulted in a massive massacre.

1850’s there were often special areas arranged for the Aboriginals to move where they got forced to dwell, controlled by either the government or the church. This movement is to avoid or “protect,” so they said, the Aboriginals from the devastating realities of colonialism.


At this time, Aboriginals have to find ways to adapt to the problem that comes in with living in illness and poverty. By saying so, children got taken away from their parents and put in places where they had to undergo training to become servants or laborer’s.


The policy of assimilation became an official government policy, whereby all Aboriginals, full or mixed blood, will have to live similarly like white Australians, as they deemed it the best way to solve the problem.


Due to what seems like severe or unfair treatment of the Aboriginals, the modern land rights movement became a reality. The first national organization of Indigenous people in Australia came about. The launching of the “Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI)” aimed to claim the long-deprived justice of the Aboriginals.


Yet, in 1963, the Yolngu people of the Yirrkala community of the north-east part of the Arnhem Land had to face a tragic fate as an enormous bauxite mine took over their traditional lands.

The Yolngu people sent a “bark petition,” which is now a permanent display at the “Parliament House.” However, the dispossession of the Aboriginal lands continues that led to a court case, which ended unfavorably for the Yolngu people.

Justice Blackburn ruled out that Yolngu has no right to prevent mining on their lands because the country was legally an empty land, referred to as “Terra Nullius.”


The constitutional amendment in recognizing Aboriginal people as Australian citizens became a mandate. With that, Aboriginals have the same voting rights.


The result of the Yolngu people’s petition against the bauxite mine led to the establishment of the “Aboriginal Land Rights Commission” or also notably referred to as the “Woodward Commission.”


In December of 1976, the federal parliament issued passed on the “Aboriginal Land Rights” in the Northern Territory act. This legislation was the first law that enabled the Aboriginals or Indigenous people of Australia to claim their rights to their lands for the country where their traditional ownership gets proven.


The “Minister for Aboriginal Affairs,” Robert Tickner, made an appeal to protect the sites of the Aboriginal women near Alice Springs against the threatening dam proposal created by the Northern Territory Gov.


In December of 1993, the Federal Government passed the “Native Title Act” in response to the “Mabo Case.”

“Eddie Mabo and Others” v. “The State of Queensland” or better known as the “Mabo Case” was a High Court’s decision that discovered that the native land title of the Aboriginals was still in existence, in contrast to what the previous record said that the British destroyed their title, and that the country of Australia is not an empty land, which Justice Blackburn previously declared in Yolngu people’s “bark petition.”


In 1994, the native title system that includes establishments of a national land fund got set up, covered by the “Native Title Act” in 1993.

1996 and 1997

Acting as the mediator between Australia’s Indigenous communities and the Museum on issues concerning the cultural heritage management, the Anthropology department created the “Aboriginal Heritage Unit.”

While in 1997, the exhibit entitled “Indigenous Australians: Australia’s first peoples” commenced. The event displayed 600 Australian Museum’s collections and life-size reconstructions, among many others.

13 February 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples, particularly to the Stolen Generations whose lives had been blighted by past government policies of forced child removal and Indigenous assimilation

2002 to 2018

In 2002, the Australian Museum’s Aboriginal Heritage Unit received a grant from the Commonwealth and State Governments for their repatriation program entitled the “Return of Indigenous Cultural Property.”

The “Australian Museum” continues to establish and widen new programs and plans to promote the cultural heritage of the Indigenous Australians, the Aboriginals, and the Torres Strait Islander people.

And in 2017, a senior Gadigal man named Uncle Charles “Chicka” Madden made two shields called “Gadi” for another exhibition that’s going to be held at the “Australian Museum.

It was in 2018 that the Museum displayed the “Gadi” shields.


Australia Aboriginals win the right from the High Court to claim ownership of the lands due to colonial land loss.


The “Land Down Under” welcomed the New Year and their national day with a devastating bushfire and a protest by the Aboriginals.

They seek to demolish the celebration of “Australia Day,” which they often referred to as the “Invasion Day,” the day the British colonized their traditional lands.

According to them, the latter is more suitable than calling it the country’s national day because as Aboriginals who have experienced tremendous dispossessions of their rights as the first people in the country.

Lastly, the tireless leader and advocate of Australian Aboriginal rights, John Ah Kit, sadly passed away at the age of 69 years old this month. With the sad news, Jawoyn leader’s family and Northern Territory parliament’s first Aboriginal minister said that apart from mourning his death, they should focus on celebrating his life.

*Within some Aboriginal groups, there is a strong tradition of not speaking the name of a dead person. It is believed that doing so will disturb their spirit.

With deep respect.


Thank you for sharing this interesting history, @Garnet! :blush: You mentioned that you found it in an article- could you please share the original source? :pray:


Thank you @Garnet for sharing. That was such a fantastic read. I’m an Australian and I admit to my own ignorance and I did not know some of that information. It just goes to prove there is endless information out there for anyone willing to have the time, effort, interest and respect for another culture to peruse it!
With the deepest of respect I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Whadjuk Nyoongar people on which I have the blessing to practice and peruse my craft. I would also like to pay my respects to all Elders past and present.


Thank you @Garnet :blush::ok_hand:


Thanks for sharing @garnet… I am glad to say studies in Australia have incorporated a lot about aboriginal people and it is a good things… it is sad about the forced removal of children in the past and the intergenerational effects can be seen now… Here in Australia we have a similar situation to that of Black Lives Matter and there are even more indigenous people being incarcerated than non-indigenous…
The sad truth though is even though the government have acknowledged the sad history and publicly apologised, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still have no land rights and a lot of stigma sadly goes around aboriginal people such as drinking and domestic violence when really it was the conolisation which caused this and the still current issues of today…


I also acknowledge the original land owners of Dharug here in Western sydney


Thanks for sharing, @Garnet.