Impact of the Early Settlement on the Aboriginals:

The European settlement had a huge devastating impact on Australia’s indigenous Australians. They were exposed to new diseases and violent conflict resulting in a very vast number of deaths. Even the small percentage of aboriginals that weren’t killed were still affected and so were their future generations forever and ever. When the first European migrants arrived in January 1788 it was said that their were at least 750 000 Aboriginal people living in Australia at the time of the colonization. Most of these people were spilt up into more than 600 different tribal groups with hundreds of different languages. It was said that the people first moved to Australia more than 50 000 years ago. The aboriginal people developed their own way of life true to their spiritual beliefs of the Dream-time.

Aboriginal tribal groups.

When the settlers came the colonial government sold and leased land to the white settlers completely ignoring the deep spiritual connections the Aboriginal people had with the land. They believed that the aborigines would be happy to have new land because of the nature of the indigenous lifestyle. The aboriginals were unhappy with the dispossession of their land so violent clashes began leading to many deaths; to try and keep the land they settled on first. Violent conflicts happened because of cultural misunderstandings over land and fear and curiosity over the white settlers also. The war between both cultures became desperate and brutal as both felt like they were fighting for their survival. Many also died of malnourishment and all the fighting went on for generations until they were all forced into the cities and forced to live in the outskirts or public housing.

Indigenous Australians vs. White Settlers.

When the settlers arrived in Australia they brought with them a number of European diseases so when peaceful contact was made with the aboriginals their immune system was unfamiliar to these diseases so their population decreased rapidly. Venereal disease was also introduced, resulting in Indigenous infertility and birth rates to be reduced. The majority of the settlers disliked the aborigines and soon became sick of all the fighting so they went to poisoning their food and water sources instead; only one of the many different methods they used to kill them. The aboriginal population decreased about 90%. The Europeans were convinced that the black race had to die out so they put them in government reserves or in church missions so that they could die in peace. Their traditional way of life slowly started to die off as they started to rely more and more on government and church handouts.

Indigenous declining population in 1788-1971.

A native institute was set up in 1814 to educate aboriginal kids the European way. Aboriginals were forced to wear clothes and to attend church completely going against their beliefs, but what choice did they have? By 1930 Indigenous Australians were forced to have the same values and beliefs and to live the same way as white Australians, this was called Assimilation. This led to many children being taken away from their families and put into white foster homes, this was known as the stolen generation.

Aboriginal women in the 1860s,showing obvious contact with European people.
Stolen Generation, 1900.

For more information on the Impact of the Early White Settlement on the Aborigines follow the links below.