In 1770 Captain James Cook led his crew on a search for the Eastern coast of the imagined Southern continent [and]...with the consent of the natives...[took] possession of convenient situations in the country in the name of the King of Great Britain.
Cook did not obey his orders very well. Instead of consulting with the Aboriginal people who inhabited the territory upon which he landed, Cook simply declared the land "terra nullius", or an empty land devoid of a sovereign power.
The British empire declared the land as its own. The first Europeans settled in Australia in 1788, led by Captain Arthur Phillip, to help cure Britain's overcrowding problems by using Australia as a penal colony. The settlers tried to ignore the people who had lived there for over 60,000 years. Since 1788, the continent has become heavily populated by European peoples. The Aborigines who once made up 100% of the population now make up only 1% of it. While the rights of the European settlers have been created, the rights of the Aborigines have been removed.
Before 1788, there were at least 750,000 aborigines living in Australia. Between 1788 and 1850 the English sent over 162,000 convicts to Australia in 806 ships. The first eleven of these ships are today known as the First Fleet and it carried convicts, marines, crewman, officials and children.
By 1806, racism from colonizers and soldiers reached a very high point. Not only were sacred Aboriginal places violated and desecrated, the Aboriginals themselves became hunted like kangaroos for pleasure and fun, like trophy prizes. The soldiers used to visit Aboriginal villages offering gifts, while the real purpose of the visit was to contaminate the village water supply with arsenic. Whole communities including children, elderly, women and men were removed by arsenic poisoning.
Rum, initially imported from England, was freely offered to Villagers. The introduction of rum made many villagers drunk for a whole week until death arrived from alcoholic comas. The English soldiers took advantage of this stage of alcoholism to create wars between friendly villages, leaving them to kill each other.
The Black War refers to a period of conflict between the British colonists and Tasmanian Aborigines in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) in the early years of the 19th century. The conflict has gained a notorious reputation as a genocide resulting in the almost complete obliteration of the Tasmanian Aboriginal population, though there are presently many thousands of individuals descended of Tasmanian Aborigines.
In 1838 white people had settled Australia for just 51 years. Pastoralists were pushing into Aboriginal land, dispossessing Indigenous people from the land that nurtured them physically and spiritually.
Aboriginal people did not give up their land that they had looked after for millennia without a fight. White settlers engaged in many clashes with Aboriginal people at the frontier. Fearing to be outnumbered by Aboriginal tribes some settlers escalated low-level skirmishes to the atrocities we now know as Australia's massacres of Aboriginal people.
With the eyes of the law often several days' ride away the settlers had little to fear. Gangs of stockmen went on what was known as 'the Big Bushwhack' or simply 'the Drive': a hunt for Aboriginal people which lasted several months . They thought there was nothing wrong with shooting Aboriginal people or raping Aboriginal women.
Among the massacres, the one at Myall Creek differs from the many other massacres of Aboriginal people in that it is a well documented and extreme example of what white people were capable of perpetrating on Indigenous peoples.
Date: Tuesday, 05-June-2012, 10:42 AM | Message # 2
-- dragon lord--
Australia's Shame - 46 minute documentary - 10:09 mins trailer
On the 15th of September Sydney will welcome the world for a spectacular show of the Olympic Games. Australia used its indigenous population as part of its candidacy bid. However, in the unashamedly nationalistic spirit that characterises such sporting events, Australian leaders are unwilling to acknowledge the country's dark history and its debt to the aboriginal population. For hundreds of years the white colonials saw the Aborigines as a primitive race, destined to die out. They were hunted from their land. Massacres were part of the daily order. Children were taken from their parents and raised by missionaries and white families. These children are called 'the lost generation'. Now they and their parents are fighting to recover some of what was stolen from them. Above all they are asking for an official apology.
Australia is one of the richest countries in the world. But while cities like Sydney are booming, most of the 300 000 aborigines live on the margins of society - many dependent on alcohol and drugs. Life expectancy is almost 20 years lower than for whites and aboriginal children suffer from diseases usually found only in third world countries. Half of the young Aborigines never get any qualifications from school and almost 40 percent of adults are unemployed. Human rights organisations like Amnesty International have criticised Australian sentencing laws and the fact that many aborigines die in police custody - through unsatisfactory medical care or suicide.
Senator Aden Ridegeway is the only aboriginal politician and the first to represent his people in 15 years. He believes that the Australian prime minister, John Howard, continues to deny the past because he fears the financial implications of acknowledging blame. "This government really thinks that giving any sort of apology and even using the word sorry is an admission of liability that somehow they are responsible. There is talk that this would lead to massive amounts of compensation." Aden Ridegeway disagrees. He is determined to fight the "willing blindness" of white Australians to accept and acknowledge the long list of crimes committed against the indigenous population in the past, including blatant policies of cultural genocide. He believes that an official apology is necessary for reconciliation to take Place and for Aborigines to regain their sense of pride and dignity.
But with the Australian government intent on keeping a pleasant façade to the outside world, the Aborigines have to fight to draw world attention to their past and present grievances. "There are going to be mass protests… so we can let the world know that aboriginal people are not getting the deal the world thinks we are", says Sol Bellear, one of the aboriginal protesters.
The First Australians.Ep1/7.pt.1/7 - They came to stay.
Episode 1 - They have come to stay..... This powerful revealing multi series of doco's gives an insight to the early settling days of Australia. Talks about the hardships for all people concerned. The harsh treatment towards the original indigenious people of Australia and the lack of food and knowing of the land by the white settlers stealing the continent... it reveals much more than a group of people from a far off country banging a stick with a bit of rag on the end, into a sandy beach.. i am sure there is a lot that is not disclosed in these doco's also because of manipulation..
The First Australians Ep7/7 pt1/5 - We are no longer shadows
Episode 7.This is the final Episode in the series Eddie Koiki Mabo fights for Australian law to recognise that his people own Murray Island, where they have lived for generations. In 1992, six months after his death and a decade after the statement of claim was first lodged in Queensland, the highest court in the land decides in Mabo's favour. The outcome overturns the notion of terra nullius, that is, the notion that the land belonged to no-one at the time of white settlement
John Pilger -The Secret Country -The First Australians
This an encore for those who have requested more on the First Australians....John Pilger and Alan Lowery uncover the story of a remarkable people - the original Australian people, better known as 'Australian Aborigines' - with a unique past. Won a Red Ribbon (second prize) in the Anthropology category of the American Film Festival, New York. This Video also reveals the pain, suffering, persecution and death of the original people who were dispossessed of their land on Invasion Day, that many Australians celebrate as Australia only because they do not know the truth and in most cases don't want to know.....