Aboriginal body painting 26 photo slideshow cache 1000x1000

Aboriginal Struggles since European settlers

  • The first Europeans have contact with Australian Aboriginal people.

    1606-The first Europeans have contact with Australian Aboriginal people.
  • Several armed encounters with Aboriginal people, shots were fired and an Aboriginal man was hit.

  • Captain Cook was issued instructions to "with the consent of the natives take possession of convenient situations in the name of the King... or if you find the land uninhabited Take Possession for His Majesty".

  • Captain James Cook arrived in Botany Bay. After an encounter with local people, Cook wrote that "all they seem'd to want was us to be gone".

    Captain James Cook arrived in Botany Bay. After an encounter with local people, Cook wrote that "all they seem'd to want was us to be gone".
  • The British Government chose Botany Bay as a penal colony.

  • Ships arrived with 1000 people and Aboriginal's watched. Conflict killed 2 convicts and the first Aboriginal was captured.

  • Smallpox kills many Aboriginals. The European settlement spreads to Parramatta. Two Aboriginal men are captured one escaped and the other, Bennelong, was kept of five months.

  • Bennelong and an Aboriginal boy are taken to England. The boy dies in England.

  • Aboriginal people dispossessed of their land. The land is used for farming by 70 colonists.

  • 100 Aboriginal people are taken to Parramatta.

    100 Aboriginal people are taken to Parramatta.
  • Colonists take land from around Georges River flats and Bankstown.

  • Two Aboriginal boys are killed. A court martial found the killers guilty, but the men are released on bail. The ‘Black Wars’ has begun.

  • Governor orders Aboriginal people gathering around Parramatta, Georges River and Prospect Hill "to be driven back from the settler's habitation by firing at them".

  • "His Majesty forbids any act of injustice or wanton cruelty to the Natives” unless the settler’s property is compromised or endangerment to lives. Another Aboriginal is shot.

  • Settlements established near Melbourne and Tasmania. The settlement at Port Phillip is abandoned.

  • Colonists are authorised to shoot 50 Aboriginal people in response to Aboriginal resistance. Hostilities increase and the slaughter of Aboriginal people in Van Diemen's Land has begun.

  • Aboriginal people trying to defend their land, kill colonists. A Government order soldiers to be sent "for their [colonists] protection against those uncivilised insurgents".

  • Colonists cross the Blue Mountains assisted by Aboriginal people. New conflicts arise as they pass through Aboriginal lands.

  • Native institution at Parramatta is opened to "civilise, educate and foster habits of industry and decency in the Aborigines".

  • 14 Aboriginal’s are killed after a farm is attacked. Regulations control the free movement of Aboriginal’s includes, no person is to appear armed within a mile of any settlement and no more than six people are allowed to be near farms.

  • A penal settlement set up at Redcliffe, moved to Brisbane. Colonists spread west of the Blue Mountains. A number of large scale killings occur as conflict over dispossession of land and reduced of hunting rights continue.

  • Aboriginal resistance in the Bathurst area, where seven Europeans are killed, results in numerous attacks on Aboriginal people. As many as 100 Aboriginal people are killed.

  • A colony is set up in Perth.

  • Beginning of the Black Wars in Tasmania. It is attempted to push all the remaining Aboriginal people along the Tasman Peninsula. 2 200 men form a 'Black Line' but only two Aborigines are caught.

  • A group of men are taken to Pinjarra and attack 80 Aboriginal people. Official reports say that 14 Aboriginal's were killed but Aboriginal accounts suggest a whole clan. The Aboriginal people are unsuccessful in defending their land and are dispossessed.

  • John Batman attempts to make a treaty with Aboriginal people for Port Phillip Bay. The Governor does not recognise the 'treaty'. This is the only time colonists attempt to sign a treaty. The Dunghutti people are confined to 40 hectares.

    John Batman attempts to make a treaty with Aboriginal people for Port Phillip Bay. The Governor does not recognise the 'treaty'. This is the only time colonists attempt to sign a treaty. The Dunghutti people are confined to 40 hectares.
  • The Port Phillip District establishes and Aboriginal lives are severely disrupted and people die in great numbers.

  • A committee of the British House of Commons say that Aboriginal people had a "plain right and sacred right" to their land. The committee reports genocide is happening in the colonies.

  • Police respond to conflict and 70 Aborigines are killed. Ten Europeans are killed by Aborigines. 'Myall Creek Massacre' occurs and 12 colonists kill 28 Aborigines. Most were women and children.

  • Native Police forces attacked and killed many station Aborigines.

  • A number of squatters abandon their stations because of continued resistance of Aboriginal people in defence of their land which includes attacks on properties.

  • About 50 remaining Aboriginal people from the Sydney and Botany Bay peoples are living at a camp on Botany Heads.

  • Native Police are used to 'settle' hostilities on the northern plains of NSW. Hostilities lessen in the area.

  • The Board of National Education states "It is impractical to provide any form of education for the children of blacks". Native Police are introduced into northern regions.

  • A committee claimed that protectors of Aboriginal people serve no purpose and should be abolished. Widespread food shortages among Aborigines in the Murray District after they are displacement.

  • The Colony of Victoria is established.

  • Aborigines kill 11 Europeans at central Queensland. Local squatters with the help of the Native Police later shoot several Aborigine men.

  • A Board of Protection is established in Victoria. During the next 20 years 11 000 hectares of land is 'temporarily reserved'. By 1900, most Victorian Aboriginal people are placed on reserves.

  • A party of settlers is attacked by Aboriginal people near Emerald, Queensland. 19 Europeans are killed. Immediately after numerous Aboriginal people were slaughtered.

  • Aboriginal cricket team tours England. Some members of the team find it difficult to adapt to the climate and have to return home. One team member dies.

  • 150 Aboriginal people are killed resisting arrest in the Kimberley.

  • Act for "Protection and Management of Aboriginal Natives" is passed in Victoria.

  • The first Aboriginal children are enrolled in the public schools in NSW.

    The first Aboriginal children are enrolled in the public schools in NSW.
  • The Maloga Mission is established as a refuge for the 9 000 surviving Aboriginal people in NSW.

  • The Tasmanian Government does not recognise the Aboriginal heritage of people of Aboriginal descent and claims the last Tasmanian Aboriginal person has died. A falsehood many still believe today.

  • The Hermansburg Mission in established on the Finke River.

  • 200 Aboriginal children are in schools in NSW. South Australia introduces a Protection Policy.

  • A 'Protector of Aborigines' is appointed in NSW. The Protector has the power to create reserves and to force Aboriginal people to live on them. Separate schools are created for Aboriginal children.

  • Aboriginal reserves are set up away from towns so that contact with Europeans is limited. Segregation is deeply enforced. White parents object to Aboriginal’s attending a public school at Yass. The children are stopped from attending.

  • The Victorian Aborigines Protection Act excludes "half castes" from their definition of an Aboriginal person. As a result nearly half the residents of the stations have to leave their homes.

  • An Aboriginal declares war on European’s in the West Kimberley and prevents settlement for six years. Western Australia increases law enforcement powers. Aborigines could be sentenced to three years jail or 24 lashes for offences such as sheep stealing.

  • The spearing of S Murskiewicz at Dora Dora Creek by Aboriginal people resulted in a three year man hunt. The two Aboriginal’s responsible were finally caught in Queensland.

  • The Queensland Aboriginals' Protection Act permitted Europeans to employ Aboriginal people but Chinese people can’t employ them. Kimberley's resistance fighter is shot and 19 former Aboriginal prisoners, who he had freed, are also killed.

  • The self-governing colonies become the Commonwealth of Australia. The Constitution states "in reckoning the numbers of people... Aboriginal natives shall not be counted". The Commonwealth would also legislate for any race except Aboriginal.

  • The Queensland Government establishes Cherbourg, an Aboriginal community.

    The Queensland Government establishes Cherbourg, an Aboriginal community.
  • The Western Australia Aborigines Act is passed. Reserves are established, a local protector is appointed and rules governing Aboriginal employment are laid down.

  • The Invalid and Old Age Pension Act provides social security for all Australians except Aboriginal people.

  • Requested by the European community, Aboriginal schools are established in NSW. There are 22 Aboriginal schools in 1910, 35 in 1920 and 40 in 1940. The syllabus stresses manual activities and the teacher is usually the reserve manager's untrained wife.

  • Maternity Allowance is introduced but does not include Aboriginal people.

  • Ordinance Act said that Aboriginals can’t “drink or possess or supply alcohol or methylated spirits, could not come within 2 chains of licensed premises, have firearms, marry non-Aborigines without permission or have sex across the colour line".

  • Ordinance Act said that Aboriginals can’t “drink or possess or supply alcohol or methylated spirits, could not come within 2 chains of licensed premises, have firearms, marry non-Aborigines without permission or have sex across the colour line".

  • Ordinance Act said that Aboriginals can’t “drink or possess or supply alcohol or methylated spirits”, “come within 2 chains of licensed premises, have firearms, marry non-Aborigines without permission or have sex across the colour line".

  • Aboriginal population of Australia is estimated to be 60 000. It is believed to be a 'dying race'.

  • Europeans shoot 32 Aboriginal people after a European Dingo trapper, and a station holder are attacked. A court of inquiry says the Europeans' action was 'justified'. Aboriginal people are refused legal aid by the Federal Government.

  • Petitions to have an Aboriginal representative in the Lower House of Federal Parliament are unsuccessful. Gradual change occurs in attitudes of non-indigenous people. Passive policies become more positive.

  • At Caledon Bay a Japanese man and three Europeans are killed by the local landowners.

  • Part Aboriginal people are to be adapted into white society whether they want to be or not. Aboriginal people not living a tribal life are to be educated and all others are to stay on reserves.

  • Aboriginals declares a Day of Mourning. An Aboriginal Conference is held in Sydney. These are the first of many Aboriginal protests against inequality, injustice, dispossession of land and protectionist policies.

  • Protest at Cumeroogunga about malnutrition and ill treatment. Queensland passes legislation allowing Aboriginal people to receive workers' compensation.

  • Responsibility for the education of Aboriginal people in NSW is transferred to the Department for Education, which takes control of reserve buildings and starts to provide trained teachers.

  • The Child Endowment Act is passed but no grant is paid to roaming or no reliable Aboriginal people.

  • Darwin is bombed by the Japanese. Many Aboriginal people are relocated to 'control camps' and restrictions are places on Aboriginal movement, especially women.

  • A further amendment to the Aboriginal protection legislation in NSW, gives two Aboriginal people, one 'full-blood' and one 'half caste', representation on the Aboriginal Welfare Board.

  • NSW allows "children of any Aborigine securing an Exemption Certificate are to be admitted to the ordinary public school".

  • Aboriginal cattle station workers in NSW strike for a pay increase. They get 10 shillings a week and blankets. Aboriginals in a NT cattle station are getting poor rations, housing, water, and are paid less than the 5/- a day minimum

    Aboriginal cattle station workers in NSW strike for a pay increase. They get 10 shillings a week and blankets. Aboriginals in a NT cattle station are getting poor rations, housing, water, and are paid less than the 5/- a day minimum
  • Aboriginal children need a medical certificate to attend public schools.

  • The Commonwealth Citizenship and Nationality Act gives a category of "Australian Citizenship" to all Australians, including Aboriginal people. However, at state level Aboriginal’s still suffer legal discrimination.

  • The Commonwealth Electoral Act extends the franchise to Aboriginal ex-service men only.

  • The first formal schooling for Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory is provided. Facilities are rationalised by the claim that children "beyond the age of 10 couldn't keep up with white children anyway".

  • The Northern Territory Welfare Ordinance makes, Aboriginal adults/children, minors. Atom tests are conducted at Emu, South Australia and many Aboriginal people suffer radiation sickness.

  • Aboriginal people in the ACT no longer come under NSW law.

  • Further atom tests at Maralinga.