Like many countries involved with British colonisation in the past, Australia has seen serious consequences to the introduction of new settlers. Colonisation in Australia began in 1788, when Captain Arthur Philips came to Australia with 1500 convicts, crew, and civilians in order to start a new life there.
Before 1788, the Aboriginal people of Australia had been living there for over 60,000 years. There were around 500 different Indigenous nations, totalling up to around 750,000 people. Between 1788 and 1900, the Aboriginal population was decreased by 90%.
There’s three reasons why this happened:
- The introduction of new diseases
- Loss of their original land
- Violent contact with settlers
The new diseases were the first killers of the Aboriginal people, as they were introduced to illnesses they had no defences to. Diseases such as smallpox, measles and influenza wiped out half the population of Sydney within 14 months. Sexual violence towards native women also introduced devastating venereal diseases.
The introduction of settlers meant there was a huge introduction of competition for land and resources. Missionary Francis Tuckfield, writing in 1837, noted that the sheep the settlers brought with them were eating valuable resources. As settlers took land, the native peoples were shut out of their own homes and sources of food and other necessities.
With all of these things happening, there’s no surprise that interactions between the two groups often ended in violence. There were many instances of settlers orchestrating massacres of native people. They would be hunted and driven off cliffs, killed in mass shootings, and fed poisoned food. It was so bad that some settlers were alarmed at how many native people were dying. Writing in 1856, Edward Wilson expressed concern that his people were driving the Aboriginal people to extinction.
So what was the outcome of Aboriginal people today? Professional assignment writing services today have seen that the Aboriginal population is still very small, compared to the rest of the country. However, these communities are working hard to preserve their history and customs. Thanks to Aboriginal people finally being given full rights in 1967, they can now live as full citizens in their own country again.
Like all other instances of colonisation, Australian colonisation was brutal and nearly fatal for the Aboriginal way of life. However, there is hope that the culture will still live on, thanks to the efforts of current Aboriginal people living in Australia today.