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Scientists are beginning to tap into a wellspring of knowledge buried in the ancient stories of Australia's Aboriginal peoples. Current scientific discoveries seem to verify Aboriginal legends passed down for millennia. Aboriginal legends could offer a vast untapped record of natural history, including meteorite strikes, stretching back thousands of years, according to new UNSW research. Without using written languages, Australian tribes passed memories of life before, and during, post-glacial shoreline inundations through hundreds of generations as high-fidelity oral history.
The history of Indigenous Australians is thought to have spanned 40,000 to 45,000 years, although some estimates have put the figure at up to 80 000 years before European settlement and as low as 10,000 years. The path of Australian Aboriginal history changed radically after the 18th- and 19th-century settlement of the British: Indigenous people were displaced from their ways of life, were forced to submit to European rule, and were later encouraged to assimilate into Western culture. There are several hundred Indigenous peoples of Australia, many are groupings that existed before the British annexation of Australia in 1788. Within each country, people lived in clan groups - extended families defined by the various forms Australian Aboriginal kinship.
The largest Aboriginal people today is the Pitjantjatjara who live in the area around Uluru (Ayers Rock) and south into the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara in South Australia, while the second largest Aboriginal community are the Arrernte people who live in and around Alice Springs. Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands, and these peoples' descendants. The Torres Strait Islanders are indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands which are at the northern-most tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea. There is great diversity between different Indigenous communities and societies in Australia, each with its own unique mixture of cultures, customs and languages.
The population of Indigenous Australians at the time of permanent European settlement has been estimated at between 318,000 and 750,000, with the distribution being similar to that of the current Australian population, with the majority living in the south-east, centered along the Murray River. Though Indigenous Australians are seen as being broadly related, there are significant differences in social, cultural and linguistic customs between the various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups. Mungo Man, whose remains were discovered in 1974 near Lake Mungo in New South Wales, is the oldest human yet found in Australia. It is believed that first human migration to Australia was achieved when this landmass formed part of the Sahul continent, connected to the island of New Guinea via a land bridge.
In 1971 finds of Aboriginal stone tools in a quarry in Penrith in New South Wales were dated to 47,000 years BP. The rock shelters at Malakunanja II (a shallow rock-shelter about 50 kilometres inland from the present coast) and of Nauwalabila I (70 kilometers further south) show evidence of used pieces of ochre - evidence for paint used by artists 60,000 years ago. Thermoluminescence dating of the Jinmium site in the Northern Territory suggested a date of 200,000 BCE.
Humans reached Tasmania approximately 40,000 years ago by migrating across a land bridge from the mainland that existed during the last ice age.
Short statured aboriginal tribes inhabited the rainforests of North Queensland, of which the best known group is probably the Tjapukai of the Cairns area.
There has been a long history of contact between Papuan peoples of the Western Province, Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginal people in Cape York.
Similarly Aboriginal people also seem to have lived a long time in the same environment as the now extinct Australian megafauna, stories of which are preserved in the oral culture of many Aboriginal groups.
There is evidence that there may have been a significant reduction in Australian Aboriginal populations during this time, and there would seem to have been specific "refugia", in which Aboriginal populations during this time were confined.
Songlines, also called Dreaming tracks by Indigenous Australians within the animist indigenous belief system, are paths across the land (or, sometimes the sky) which mark the route followed by localized 'creator-beings' during the Dreaming. A knowledgeable person is able to navigate across the land by repeating the words of the song, which describe the location of landmarks, waterholes, and other natural phenomena.
By singing the songs in the appropriate sequence, Indigenous people could navigate vast distances, often traveling through the deserts of Australia's interior.
Since a songline can span the lands of several different language groups, different parts of the song are said to be in those different languages. In some cases, a songline has a particular direction, and walking the wrong way along a songline may be a sacrilegious act (e.g. Molyneaux & Vitebsky note that the Dreaming Spirits "also deposited the spirits of unborn children and determined the forms of human society," thereby establishing tribal law and totemic paradigms. Following the Ice Age, Aboriginal people around the coast, from Arnhem Land, the Kimberley and the south west of Western Australia, all tell stories of former territories that were drowned beneath the sea with the rising coastlines after the Ice Age. Indigenous Australians were limited to the range of foods occurring naturally in their area, but they knew exactly when, where and how to find everything edible.
They dug yams and edible roots and collected fruits, berries, seeds, vegetables and insects. Fish were sometimes taken by hand by stirring up the muddy bottom of a pool until they rose to the surface, or by placing the crushed leaves of poisonous plants in the water to stupefy them. At the time of first European contact, it is estimated that between 315,000 and 750,000 people lived in Australia, with upper estimates being as high as 1.25 million.
The regions of heaviest indigenous population were the same temperate coastal regions that are currently the most heavily populated. Post-colonisation, the coastal indigenous populations were soon absorbed, depleted or forced from their lands; the traditional aspects of Aboriginal life which remained persisted most strongly in areas such as the Great Sandy Desert where European settlement has been sparse.
Some writers have described some mainland indigenous food and landscape management practices as "incipient agriculture"[citation needed]. On mainland Australia no animal other than the dingo was domesticated, however domestic pigs were utilized by Torres Strait Islanders.
A primary tool used in hunting is the spear, launched by a woomera or spear-thrower in some locales. The Indigenous Australians lived through great climatic changes and adapted successfully to their changing physical environment. Some have suggested, for instance, that the Last Glacial Maximum, of 20,000 years ago, associated with a period of continental wide aridity and the spread of sand-dunes, was also associated with a reduction in Aboriginal activity, and greater specialisation in the use of natural foodstuffs and products.
Harry Lourandos has been the leading proponent of the theory that a period of hunter-gatherer intensification occurred between 3,000 and 1,000 BCE. Many indigenous communities also have a very complex kinship structure and in some places strict rules about marriage. The historical record tends to favor distinct and widespread evidence of cannibalism in indigenous communities.
In 1770, Lieutenant James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia in the name of Great Britain and named it New South Wales. The second consequence of British settlement was appropriation of land and water resources.
Additionally, Indigenous Australians groups had a deep spiritual and cultural connection to the land, so that in being forced to move away from traditional areas, cultural and spiritual practices necessary to the cohesion and well-being of the group could not be maintained. The combination of disease, loss of land and direct violence reduced the Aboriginal population by an estimated 90% between 1788 and 1900. In 1838, twenty eight Indigenous people were killed at the Myall Creek massacre; the hanging of the white convict settlers responsible was the first time whites had been executed for the murder of Indigenous people. The Kalkadoon of Queensland also resisted the settlers, and there was a massacre of over 200 people on their land at Battle Mountain in 1884.
Nevertheless, deadly infectious diseases like smallpox, influenza and tuberculosis were always major causes of Indigenous deaths. By the 1870s all the fertile areas of Australia had been appropriated, and Indigenous communities reduced to impoverished remnants living either on the fringes of European communities or on lands considered unsuitable for settlement. Some initial contact between Indigenous people and Europeans was peaceful, starting with the Guugu Yimithirr people who met James Cook near Cooktown in 1770. Indigenous people were known to help European explorers, such as John King, who lived with a tribe for two and a half months after the ill fated Burke and Wills expedition of 1861. With the exception of a few in the remote interior, all surviving Indigenous communities gradually became dependent on the settler population for their livelihood. In the later 19th century, settlers made their way north and into the interior, appropriating small but vital parts of the land for their own exclusive use (waterholes and soaks in particular), and introducing sheep, rabbits and cattle, all three of which ate out previously fertile areas and degraded the ability of the land to carry the native animals that were vital to Indigenous economies.
Indigenous hunters would often spear sheep and cattle, incurring the wrath of graziers, after they replaced the native animals as a food source.
In many areas Christian missions provided food and clothing for Indigenous communities and also opened schools and orphanages for Indigenous children.
In spite of the impact of disease, violence and the spread of foreign settlement and custom, some Indigenous communities in remote desert and tropical rainforest areas survived according to traditional means until well into the 20th century.
In 1914 around 1200 Aboriginal people answered the call to arms, despite restrictions on Indigenous Australians serving in the military.
By the 1920s, the Indigenous population had declined to between 50,000 and 90,000, and the belief that the Indigenous Australians would soon die out was widely held, even among Australians sympathetic to their situation. Well into the 20th Century, Indigenous Australians were - both in Australia itself and in many other countries ? the subject of widespread crude racist stereotyping. On 1 May 1946, Aboriginal station workers in the Pilbara region of Western Australia initiated the 1946 Pilbara strike and never returned to work. In 1984, a group of Pintupi people who were living a traditional hunter-gatherer desert-dwelling life were tracked down in the Gibson Desert in Western Australia and brought in to a settlement.
In 1949, the right to vote in federal elections was extended to Indigenous Australians who had served in the armed forces, or were enrolled to vote in state elections. All Indigenous Australians were given the right to vote in Commonwealth elections in Australia by the Menzies government in 1962. The 1967 referendum, passed with a 90% majority, allowed the Commonwealth to make laws with respect to Aboriginal people, and for Aboriginal people to be included in counts to determine electoral representation. In 1971, Yolngu people at Yirrkala sought an injunction against Nabalco to cease mining on their traditional land. In 1972, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on the steps of Parliament House in Canberra, in response to the sentiment among Indigenous Australians that they were "strangers in their own country". In 1975, the Whitlam government drafted the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, which aimed to restore traditional lands to indigenous people.
In 1992, the Australian High Court handed down its decision in the Mabo Case, declaring the previous legal concept of terra nullius to be invalid.
In 1998, as the result of an inquiry into the forced removal of Indigenous children (see Stolen generation) from their families, a National Sorry Day was instituted, to acknowledge the wrong that had been done to Indigenous families.
In 1999 a referendum was held to change the Australian Constitution to include a preamble that, amongst other topics, recognised the occupation of Australia by Indigenous Australians prior to British Settlement. In 2004, the Australian Government abolished The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), which had been Australia's top Indigenous organiation. In June 2005, Richard Frankland, founder of the 'Your Voice' political party, in an open letter to Prime Minister John Howard, advocated that the eighteenth-century conflicts between Indigenous and colonial Australians "be recognised as wars and be given the same attention as the other wars receive within the Australian War Memorial". A lock of hair has helped scientists to piece together the genome of Australian Aborigines and rewrite the history of human dispersal around the world. Dr Raghavendra Rao worked with a team of researchers from the Anthropological Survey of India to sequence 966 complete mitochondrial DNA genomes from Indian 'relic populations'.
The 'Southern Route' dispersal of modern humans suggests movement of a group of hunter-gatherers from the Horn of Africa, across the mouth of the Red Sea into Arabia and southern Asia at least 50 thousand years ago.
Discussing the implications of the research, Rao said, "Human evolution is usually understood in terms of millions of years. During colonization individual settlers gave the Aborigines their old clothes (known as slops). Although there were over 250-300 spoken languages with 600 dialects at the start of European settlement, fewer than 200 of these remain in use - and all but 20 are considered to be endangered.
Before colonization there were between 200 and 250 Aboriginal languages spoken throughout the continent of Australia. The 'one language' theory fits with the theory of the migratory origins of the people in the continent.
In 1888 it was said that the language of the Australian Aborigines was "in fullness of tone, variety of sound, and easy flow, is not to be surpassed. Aboriginal languages may be much older than people think, argues a linguistic anthropologist who says they originated as far back as the end of the last ice age around 13,000 years ago. Clendon says the continent, known as Sahul, was relatively densely populated on the land bridge connecting northern Australia to New Guinea, now separated by the Arafura Sea. The two population groups were separated by a vast, cold, windswept, arid stretch of land that covered most of the continent, says Clendon, who was with the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education when he published the research.
The eastern group spoke a tongue that became what is known today as Pama Nyungan and includes languages like Pitjantjatjara, Yolngu and Warlpiri. Until now, the reason why these two Aboriginal language groups are so different, each with a distinct grammar and vocabulary, has been a mystery. Provocative but unconvincing - Writing in a reply to Clendon's article, Professor Nicholas Evans, an expert in Aboriginal languages from the University of Melbourne, describes Clendon's hypothesis as "fresh and provocative".
Hunting is a word that is used to identify the practice of catching and killing game either as a sport or as a source of food. Aboriginal men and women who lived in coastal regions or in areas where there were rivers, caught and collected food by fishing.
Aboriginal woman (often carrying babies on their backs) and assisted by young children left the camp on a daily basis searching and collecting berries, yams and other sources of food. Survival was highly dependent upon knowledge of the life-cycle of flora and fauna and it is certain that the Aborigines had excellent understanding as they learned to track, hunt and gather food from when they were young children. The fact that the Aborigines did not cultivate land to grow crops or domesticate animals, they have often been portrayed as being a backward race.
Those Aborigines who lived in coastal regions or near waterways caught fish and eels in a number of ways. In the Illawarra district the Aborigines were often observed barricading (blocking) rivers with tree branches and logs. Their totemic practices protected species because a person could not eat his own totem and others needed permission to catch another person's totem on his land. Aborigines simply singed the food to remove feathers, scales and fur and ate partly cooked meat. Other sources of food included yams (sweet potatoes), berries and intestines such as liver (yuck).
Plant foods included: native cherries, the cabbage palm, water lilies, five-corners and pigface. Every tribe in Australia was divided into a number of small social groups, but for marriage purposes, into two main groups sometimes called marriage moieties. Aboriginal people were social beings as they lived and gathered together in family groups .
During the 1830s William Govett (surveyor), visited a camp and recorded (in Sketches of New South Wales), that the people usually settled in their camp as night fell and were engaged in a number of activities - normal family life - sharing stories about the happenings of the day, repairing weapons, singing songs and playing games etc. The affinity of attachment to a particular area of land by the Aborigines was based on their Dreamtime beliefs, that the land had been created for them by ancestral heroes and heroines.
At some indefinite time the creators disappeared, however, many were believed to have remained in secret places in the land - in rivers, caves and other places.
The larger (well known term) social unit known as a tribe, was made up of a number of smaller social units (clans and bands etc). Particularly because their stories and songs informed them about creation, the relationship between mankind and nature and were the source of their tribal laws. Until 1788 the Aborigines of Australia lived and celebrated a culture that was basically unchanged for thousands of years. A cultural group was comprised of two or more tribes that associated with each other for cultural purposes. On the Far South Coast of New South Wales early records show that members of the Yuin tribe often associated with those from the Canberra area. The Australian Aboriginal flag was originally designed as a protest flag for the land rights movement of Indigenous Australians but has since become a symbol of the Aboriginal people of Australia. The flag was first flown on National Aborigines' Day in Victoria Square in Adelaide on 12 July 1971. Cathy Freeman caused controversy at the 1994 Commonwealth Games by waving both the Aboriginal flag and Australian national flag during her victory lap of the arena, after winning the 200 metres sprint; only the national flag is meant to be displayed. The decision (by Prime Minister Paul Keating) to make the Aboriginal flag a national flag was opposed by the Liberal Opposition at the time, with John Howard making a statement on 4 July 1995 that "any attempt to give the flags official status under the Flags Act would rightly be seen by many in the community not as an act of reconciliation but as a divisive gesture." However since Howard took office in 1996, the flag has remained a national flag. In 1997 the Federal Court of Australia declared that Harold Thomas was the owner of copyright in the design of the Australian Aboriginal flag, and thus the flag has protection under Australian copyright law. The National Indigenous Advisory Committee campaigned for the Aboriginal flag to be flown at Stadium Australia during the 2000 Summer Olympics.[5] SOCOG announced that the Aboriginal flag would be flown at Olympic venues. On the 30th anniversary of the flag in 2001, thousands of people were involved in a ceremony where the flag was carried from the Parliament of South Australia to Victoria Square. In Aboriginal society every person (particular every initiated male) was considered to be equal. To understand the role of the Elders it is necessary to understand that the Aborigines lived in small family groups also known as clans, bands and sub-tribes.

In large groups which may have been comprised of several hundred people, a number of Elders met to make decisions on behalf of the group. The source of the laws was sometimes Dreamtime stories that told of the behavior of men, woman and children (sometimes in allegorical forms of animals, birds or reptiles - etc. Aboriginal boys and girls played a number of games such as running, wrestling, climbing, throwing and ball games. Kicking balls made from grass or fur bound with vines taught people agility, but they also had to effect of forming individuals into teams which taught them cooperation and working with others.
Digging games trained people to collect food such as yams; climbing games enabled people to develop other survival skills - the main purpose behind all the games that Aboriginal children played. In the northwest of Australia, corroboree is a generic word to define theatrical practices as different from ceremony.
Corroboree is a generic word to explain different genres of performance which in the northwest of Australia include balga, wangga, lirrga, junba, ilma and many more. Aborigines held a Corroboree in which there were elements of music, song and movement that imitated or replicated animal movements, hunting prowess, battles or ceremonies of initiation that had been conducted for thousands of years.
The melodies, tunes, harmonies and rhythms of Aboriginal music included traditional ceremonial songs that were handed down from generation to generation. Aborigines decorated their bodies with tattoos that conveyed messages particularly at ceremonial times.
Pain endurance was an important part of initiation of males and was considered to be manly. Today some Aboriginal people call themselves Elders but are not recognized by traditional people.
Sometimes because they are too young to be Elders or live in areas that is not their traditional land. Through this natural science, the ancients were able to make calendars, navigate during the night, and even explore the nature of the universe through mythology and philosophy. Dr Duane Hamacher from the UNSW Indigenous Astronomy Group has uncovered evidence linking Aboriginal stories about meteor events with impact craters dating back some 4,700 years.
Some tribes can still point to islands that no longer exist - and provide their original names. For most of this time, the Indigenous Australians lived as nomads and as hunter-gatherers with a strong dependence on the land and their agriculture for survival.
Since the 1960s, reconciliation has been the pursuit of European Australian - Indigenous Australian relations.
These countries are ethnographic areas, usually the size of an average European country, with around two hundred on the Australian continent at the time of White arrival. Inter-clan contact was common, as was inter-country contact, but there were strict protocols around this contact.
The third largest are the Luritja, who live in the lands between the two largest just mentioned.
Indigenous Australians are distinguished as either Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders, who currently together make up about 2.6% of Australia's population. The term "Aboriginal" has traditionally been applied to indigenous inhabitants of mainland Australia, Tasmania, and some of the other adjacent islands. Although the exact age of Mungo Man is in dispute, the best consensus is that he is at least 40,000 years old. Although they migrated to Australia through Southeast Asia they are not demonstrably related to any known Asian or Polynesian population. A 48,000 BCE date is based on a few sites in northern Australia dated using thermoluminescence. Using OSL Rhys Jones has obtained a date for stone tools in these horizons dating from 53,000-60,000 years ago. Although this result received wide press coverage, it is not accepted by most archaeologists.
After the seas rose about 12,000 years ago and covered the land bridge, the inhabitants there were isolated from the mainland until the arrival of European settlers. These rainforest people, collectively referred to as Barrineans, were once considered to be a relict of an earlier wave of Negrito migration to the Australian continent, but this theory no longer finds much favor.
The introduction of the dingo, possibly as early as 3,500 BCE, showed that contact with South East Asian peoples continued, as the closest genetic connection to the dingo seems to be the wild dogs of Thailand.
The recent European scientific belief that it was the arrival of the Australian Aboriginal people on the continent, and their introduction of fire-stick farming, that was responsible for these extinctions is contested by Aboriginal people themselves, and others who argue that mass extinctions of Australian megafauna occurred only 20,000 years ago, with the Ice Age Maxima, during which times much if not most of the continent was reduced to desert and sand-dune conditions.
Corridors between these areas seem to be routes by which people kept in contact, and they seem to have been the basis of what have been called "Songlines" to the present day.
The paths of the songlines are recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance, and painting. In some cases, the paths of the creator-beings are said to be evident from their marks, or petrosomatoglyphs, on the land, such as large depressions in the land which are said to be their footprints. The continent of Australia contains an extensive system of songlines, some of which are of a few kilometres, whilst others traverse hundreds of kilometres through lands of many different Indigenous peoples - peoples who may speak markedly different languages and have different cultural traditions. Languages are not a barrier because the melodic contour of the song describes the nature of the land over which the song passes. It was this event that isolated the Tasmanian Aboriginal people on their island, and probably led to the extinction of Aboriginal cultures on the Bass Strait Islands and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.
Anthropologists and nutrition experts who studied the tribal diet in Arnhem Land found it to be well-balanced, with most of the nutrients modern dietitians recommend. Mud also served as camouflage, or the hunter held a bush in front of him while stalking in the open. Groups of men combined to drive animals into a line of spearsmen, a brush-fence, or large nets. Population levels are likely to have been largely stable for many thousands of years, and it has been estimated that between 1 and 5 billion people had lived in Australia before British colonization.
The greatest population density was to be found in the southern and eastern regions of the continent, the Murray River valley in particular.
While Torres Strait Island populations were agriculturalists who supplemented their diet through the acquisition of wild foods, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers. In present-day Victoria, for example, there were two separate communities with an economy based on eel-farming in complex and extensive irrigated pond systems; one on the Murray River in the state's north, the other in the south-west near Hamilton in the territory of the Djab Wurrung, which traded with other groups from as far away as the Melbourne area.
The typical indigenous diet included a wide variety of foods, such as pig, kangaroo, emu, wombats, goanna, snakes, birds, many insects such as honey ants, Bogong moths and witchetty grubs. In some areas mainland Indigenous Australians also lived in semi-permanent villages, most usually in less arid areas where fishing could provide for a more settled existence.
Rock painting at several locations in northern Australia has been shown to consist of a sequence of different styles linked to different historical periods. The Flandrian transgression associated with sea-level rise, particularly in the north, with the loss of the Sahul Shelf, and with the flooding of Bass Strait and the subsequent isolation of Tasmania, may also have been periods of difficulty for affected groups.
Intensification involved an increase in human manipulation of the environment (for example, the construction of eel traps in Victoria), population growth, an increase in trade between groups, a more elaborate social structure, and other cultural changes. That the practice was observed by anthropologists from the time of European settlement and well into the 20th century has been noted by a number of writers, including W.E.
The settlers took the view that Indigenous Australians were nomads with no concept of land ownership, who could be driven off land wanted for farming or grazing and who would be just as happy somewhere else.
Proximity to settlers also brought venereal disease, to which Indigenous Australians had no tolerance and which greatly reduced Indigenous fertility and birthrates. Entire communities in the moderately fertile southern part of the continent simply vanished without trace, often before European settlers arrived or recorded their existence. Nearly all of them, apparently numbering somewhere between 2,000 and 15,000 when white settlement began, were dead by the 1870s. Many Indigenous communities resisted the settlers, such as the Noongar of south-western Australia, led by Yagan, who was killed in 1833.
Bennelong served as interlocutor between the Eora people of Sydney and the British colony, and was the first Indigenous Australian to travel to England, staying there between 1792 and 1795.
Also living with Indigenous people was William Buckley, an escaped convict, who was with the Wautharong people near Melbourne for thirty-two years, before being found in 1835.
The appropriation of prime land and the spread of European livestock over vast areas made a traditional Indigenous lifestyle less viable, but also provided a ready alternative supply of fresh meat for those prepared to incur the settlers' anger by hunting livestock. In south-eastern Australia, during the 1850s, large numbers of white pastoral workers deserted employment on stations for the Australian gold-rushes.
Most Indigenous labor was unpaid, instead Indigenous workers received rations in the form of food, clothing and other basic necessities.
As large sheep and cattle stations came to dominate northern Australia, Indigenous workers were quickly recruited. But by about 1930, those Indigenous Australians who had survived had acquired better resistance to imported diseases, and birthrates began to rise again as communities were able to adapt to changed circumstances. Both isolated Europeans and visiting Asian fishermen were killed by hunter gatherers until the start of World War II in 1939. For example, the American birth control campaigner Margaret Sanger could write casually: "The aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets" (What Every Girl Should Know, 1920).
They were among the few Indigenous Australians to have been granted citizenship; even those that had were obliged to carry papers, known in the vernacular as a "dog license", with them to prove it. Mass layoffs across northern Australia followed the Federal Pastoral Industry Award of 1968, which required the payment of a minimum wage to Aboriginal station workers, as they were not paid by the Pastoralist discretion, many however were not and those who were had their money held by the government. At that time, those Indigenous Australians who lived in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory were still ineligible to vote in state elections, consequently they did not have the right to vote in federal elections.
The first federal election in which all Aboriginal Australians could vote was held in November 1963.
In the resulting historic and controversial Gove land rights case, Justice Blackburn ruled that Australia had been terra nullius before European settlement, and that no concept of Native title existed in Australian law. After the dismissal of the Whitlam government by the Governor-General, a reduced-scope version of the Act (known as the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976) was introduced by the coalition government led by Malcolm Fraser. This decision legally recognized certain land claims of Indigenous Australians in Australia prior to British Settlement. Many politicians, from both sides of the house, participated, with the notable exception of the Prime Minister, John Howard. This referendum was defeated, though the recognition of Indigenous Australians in the preamble was not a major issue in the referendum discussion, and the preamble question attracted minor attention compared to the question of becoming a republic.
The Commonwealth cited corruption and, in particular, made allegations concerning the misuse of public funds by ATSIC's chairman, Geoff Clark, as the principal reason.
DNA from the hair demonstrates that indigenous Aboriginal Australians were the first to separate from other modern humans, around 70,000 years ago.
Researchers found telltale mutations in modern-day Indian populations that are exclusively shared by Aborigines. He said, "Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother and so allows us to accurately trace ancestry. Subsequently, the modern human populations expanded rapidly along the coastlines of southern Asia, southeastern Asia and Indonesia to arrive in Australia at least 45 thousand years ago.
This direct DNA evidence indicates that the emergence of 'anatomically modern' humans in Africa and the spread of these humans to other parts of the world happened only fifty thousand or so years ago.
In other words that all Aborigines belong to the one race as descendants of people who came from Asia, Africa and other places across land bridges. This fact has led to scientists identifying Language or Cultural groups which were comprised of a number of tribes who spoke the same language.
In proof of this it is only necessary to refer to the Aboriginal names of the various locations throughout the colonies.
For example the word Bundi is the basis for the name Bondi n Sydney's eastern suburbs which has become the most famous beach in the world.
Climate change - Around 11,000 years ago what was the Arafura plain was flooded by rising seas as the ice age ended. However, he says there are flaws in the argument, including that there is only weak evidence of similarities between southern New Guinea and northern Aboriginal languages. Males usually used spears, while females used hand lines with hooks made from shells and rocks as sinkers. It has also been said that some tribes people were mainly 'vegetarians' because 'meat' was not readily available in some areas. Males often used a spear but are known to have also built fish-traps by making rectangular areas with rocks, that stood above the water at low tide. As fish swam down the river towards the sea they were trapped behind the dam where they were scooped up and thrown onto the shore.
They were successful at doing this because they had an intimate knowledge of food-chain cycles, the migration patterns of birds and of the habitat where they lived.
For example, a man whose totem was a waterfowl would not eat that bird (otherwise it would be a form of cannibalism). Their camps were comprised of a number of gunyas (bark huts), but the people also lived in caves or in the open air.
Govett described a young man in one gunya using double sets of strings to make diamonds, squares, circles and other shapes. The Elder or Elders gunyah (hut) were situated in the center of the camp and others spanned out in circles around the central hut. In other words, the Aborigines believed that their land had been created by spirits who continued to live in the land. Maybe we can explain it this way: A clan was a family group made up of a grandfather and his wife or wives, his sons and their wife or wives and their children.
The tradition of initiation was an expression of Aboriginal culture and was carried out for thousands of years in exactly the way that had been ordered by the ancestors in the Dreamtime. Each tribe had their own beliefs - their own songs and stories, but until colonization, they were the oldest surviving race in the entire world. For example to celebrate corroborees, barter or exchange goods, conduct initiation ceremonies or intermarry. These tribes did not associate with the Dharawal tribe of the Shoalhaven, Illawarra and Sydney districts, who gathered from time to time with the Gundungurra of the Goulburn and Camden area.
Despite strong criticism from both Games officials and the Australian team president Arthur Tunstall, Freeman flew both flags again after winning the 400 metres. Thomas had sought legal recognition of his ownership and compensation following the Federal Government's 1995 proclamation of the design. Since 8 July 2002, after recommendations of the Council's Reconciliation Committee, the Aboriginal Flag has been permanently flown in Victoria Square and the front of the Town Hall. No one had authority over anyone else in the sense of ruling them, but this is not to say that there weren't leaders. People whom others listened to, asked for advice and generally obeyed when they issued orders. Within the immediate family groups, the eldest males and females were treated with respect and acknowledged as leaders in the sense that they made decisions about the family. This has become known as an Elder's Council, but it wasn't a council in the sense of being a form of government.
However, older females often acted as midwives and as authorities on other matters relevant to their gender. They ranged from family discipline (whereby children and others were expected to conform and behave to a code of conduct) to laws about trespassing, food taboos, marriage laws or regulations and breaches of acceptable behavior such as rape, murder and stealing. The word was coined by the European settlers of Australia in imitation of the Aboriginal word caribberie. In the 1930s Adolphus Elkin wrote of a public pan-Aboriginal dancing "tradition of individual gifts, skill, and ownership" as distinct from the customary practices of appropriate elders guiding initiation and other ritual practices (Elkin 1938:299). Throughout Australia the word corroboree embraces songs, dances, rallies and meetings of various kinds. The didgeridoo (see separate listing) is probably the best known, but others included rattles, clapping sticks and two boomerangs clapped together. It was very important in Aboriginal thinking, to replicate the songs that had been first played and sung by the ancestors in the Dreamtime. The patterns represented the totems of individuals or denoted information about the tribe itself. Some civilizations well-known for their astronomical developments include the Babylonians, the ancient Egyptians, and the ancient Greeks. Dr Hamacher, an astrophysicist studying Indigenous astronomy, examined meteorite accounts from Aboriginal communities across Australia to determine if they were linked to known meteoritic events. That's the conclusion of linguists and a geographer, who have together identified 18 Aboriginal stories - many of which were transcribed by early settlers before the tribes that told them succumbed to murderous and disease-spreading immigrants from afar - that they say accurately described geographical features that predated the last post-ice age rising of the seas.
The Aboriginal languages with the largest number of speakers today are the Pitjantjatjara, Warlpiri and Arrernte. The use of the term is becoming less common, with names preferred by the various groups becoming more common.

Stone tools also found at Lake Mungo have been estimated, based on stratigraphic association, to be about 50,000 years old.
There is evidence of genetic and linguistic interchange between Australians in the far north and the Austronesian peoples of modern-day New Guinea and the islands, but this may be the result of recent trade and intermarriage. The exact timing of the arrival of the ancestors of the Indigenous Australians has been a matter of dispute among archaeologists.
A large number of sites have been radiocarbon dated to around 38,000 BCE, leading some researchers to doubt the accuracy of the thermoluminescence technique. This contact was not just one way, as the presence of kangaroo ticks on these dogs demonstrates.
Traditional Aboriginal people regard all land as sacred, and the songs must be continually sung to keep the land "alive".
In the interior, the end of the Ice Age may have led to the recolonization of the desert and semi-desert areas by Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory.
He glided through water with a bunch of rushes or a lily-leaf over his head until he was close enough to pull down a water-bird.
Lines with hooks made from bone, shell, wood or spines were used along the north and east coasts.
In poor country the men often returned empty-handed but the women invariably collected something - perhaps only a few roots and tiny lizards - but sufficient to tide the family over.
However, indigenous Australians maintained successful communities throughout Australia, from the cold and wet highlands of Tasmania to the more arid parts of the continental interior. Many varieties of plant foods such as taro, coconuts, nuts, fruits and berries were also eaten. The non-returnable boomerang - known more correctly as a Throwing Stick - more powerful than the returning kind, could be used to injure or even kill a kangaroo.
Most indigenous communities were semi-nomadic, moving in a regular cycle over a defined territory, following seasonal food sources and returning to the same places at the same time each year. One controversy revolves around the role of indigenous people in the extinction of the marsupial megafauna (also see Australian megafauna).
A shift in stone tool technology, involving the development of smaller and more intricate points and scrapers, occurred around this time. The most immediate consequence of British settlement - within weeks of the first colonists' arrival - was a wave of European epidemic diseases such as chickenpox, smallpox, influenza and measles, which spread in advance of the frontier of settlement. In fact the loss of traditional lands, food sources and water resources was usually fatal, particularly to communities already weakened by disease. Settlers also brought alcohol, opium and tobacco, and substance abuse has remained a chronic problem for Indigenous communities ever since. It is widely claimed that this was the result of a genocidal policy, in the form of the "Black War". Willis, has subsequently disputed Windschuttle's figures and has documented 188 Palawah killed by settlers in 1803?34 alone, with possibly another 145 killed during the same period. Reynolds, and other historians, estimate that up to 3,000 white people were killed by Indigenous Australians in the frontier violence. The impact of disease and the settlers' industries had a profound impact on the Indigenous Australians' way of life.
It is known that some European settlers in the centre and north of the country shot Indigenous people during this period. Many of the workers and their families became refugees or fringe dwellers, living in camps on the outskirts of towns and cities. The right to vote in state elections was granted in Western Australia in 1962 and Queensland was the last state to do so in 1965.
Although the Yolngu people were defeated in this action, the effect was to highlight the absurdity of the law, which led first to the Woodward Commission, and then to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act. While its application was limited to the Northern Territory, it did grant "inalienable" freehold title to some traditional lands. Legislation was subsequently enacted and later amended to recognize Native Title claims over land in Australia. Indigenous specific programs have been mainstreamed, that is, reintegrated and transferred to departments and agencies serving the general population. We found certain mutations in the DNA sequences of the Indian tribes we sampled that are specific to Australian Aborigines. The genetic evidence of this dispersal from the work of Rao and his colleagues is supported by archeological evidence of human occupation in the Lake Mungo area of Australia dated to approximately the same time period.
In this respect, populations in the Indian subcontinent harbor DNA footprints of the earliest expansion out of Africa. It has also been estimated that there were as many as 600 languages spoken at the time of colonization. It is also certain that some Aboriginal people spoke more than one language and it is interesting to note, that when the Europeans arrived in this country some Aborigines quickly learned to speak English while the Europeans themselves often struggled to speak even a few Aboriginal words. This caused the northern people to migrate into either New Guinea or to northern parts of Australia. They used spears and boomerangs to hit, catch and kill - but also climbed trees to get their food. It is also a fact that some Aboriginal people ate more marine life (fish, oysters and mussels etc) because these food items were predominant in the area in which they lived. He also quoted statistics showing that in 10,000 BC all human beings (100%) were hunters and gatherers; by 1,500 AD this had reduced to about 1% because mankind had generally developed skills in the cultivation of crops and domestication of animals. This meant that fish could swim into the traps at high tide and were trapped as the tide receded. The Aborigines also fished from rocks and beaches using hand lines made from plants and hooks made from shells. Other members of the tribe could not hunt the bird in the territory that belonged to another man.
Marriage arrangements were made when children were very young and sometimes before they were born. Some camps were comprised of as few as 6 to 10 people while in others there were up to 400 people. He also told of an adult amusing a young child by placing a leaf on the back of his left hand, striking it with his finger causing the leaf to ascend perpendicularly to the squeals of delight from the child. However, the people often slept in the open and in caves, so it is likely that the Elder decided where he wanted to sleep with his wife or wives and everyone one else spread-out from the spot he had chosen. They were too superstitious to do this and living in the land of another tribe would have involved them in living among strange and no doubt hostile spirits.
The clans that formed a tribe were those who believed in the same Dreamtime creation stories, spoke the same language and celebrated the same customs such as initiation rites.
On another level the stories and songs were believed to be important for the preservation and conservation of their land and all it contained. They existed as a race of people well before the Egyptians were building the pyramids, while the Greeks were constructing the Pantheon and while Britain was ruled by the Roman Empire. It was designed in 1971 by Harold Thomas, an Aboriginal artist descended from the Luritja of Central Australia. In the early months of the embassy-which was established in February that year - other designs were used, including a black, green and red flag made by supporters of the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league club, and a flag with a red-black field containing a spear and four crescents in yellow. There are always leaders in any society - people who have personal qualities that others admire.
The Elders were considered to be wise in knowledge of the Dreamtime the law and the lore's of the tribe. For example they settled disputes and decided when the group would move camp to another area. The role of female Elders today, as spokespersons for groups, appears to be a phenomena of the 20th century.
There are other generic words to describe traditional public performances: juju and kobbakobba for example. Corroborees are open performances in which everyone may participate taking into consideration that the songs and dances are highly structured requiring a great deal of knowledge and skill to perform.
In the past a corroboree has been inclusive of sporting events and other forms of skill display. They were not simply dances, but were highly significant events and belong to the Australian Aborigines. When the traditional music and songs were used, living men considered themselves to be in the Dreamtime. The astronomy of many other cultures, however, has been side-lined, as a result of the prevailing Euro-centric view of astronomy, and civilization, in general. One of the meteorite strikes, at a place called Henbury in the Northern Territory, occurred around 4,700 years ago. Since Lake Mungo is in south-eastern Australia, many archaeologists have concluded that humans must have arrived in north-west Australia at least several thousand years earlier. There is also evidence of a change in fire regimes in Australia, drawn from reef deposits in Queensland, between 70 and 100,000 years ago, and the integration of human genomic evidence from various parts of the world also supports a date of before 60,000 years for the arrival of Australian Aboriginal people in the continent.
Listening to the song of the land is the same as walking on this songline and observing the land. This may have been in part responsible for the spread of languages of the Pama?Nyungan language phylum, and secondarily responsible for the spread of male initiation rites involving circumcision.
In some areas both men and women had to spend from half to two-thirds of each day hunting or foraging for food. Dugong, turtle and large fish were harpooned, the harpooner launching himself bodily from the canoe to give added weight to the thrust. In all instances, technologies, diets and hunting practices varied according to the local environment. Some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people relied on the dingo as a companion animal, using it to assist with hunting and for warmth on cold nights.
From the examination of middens, archaeologists have shown that some localities were visited annually by indigenous communities for thousands of years.
This was probably also associated with the introduction to the mainland of the Australian dingo. To enable men and women to find suitable partners, many groups would come together for annual gatherings - commonly known as corroborees - (see below) at which goods were traded, news exchanged, and marriages arranged amid appropriate ceremonies. In Arnhem Land in northern Australia, a study of warfare among the Indigenous Australian Murngin people in the late 19th century found that over a 20-year period no less than 200 out of 800 men, or 25% of all adult males, had been killed in intertribal warfare. The worst-hit communities were the ones with the greatest population densities, where disease could spread more readily. However, such claims are disputed by historian Keith Windschuttle, who claims that only 118 Aboriginal Tasmanians were killed in 1803-47 and that many of these were killed in self-defense. Such counts do not consider undocumented violence and must be regarded as minimum estimates.
The number of violent deaths at the hands of white people is still the subject of debate, with a figure of around 10,000 - 20,000 deaths being advanced by historians such as Henry Reynolds.
The first Australian cricket team, which toured England in 1868, was principally made up of Indigenous players. One particular series of killings became known as the Caledon Bay crisis, and became a watershed in the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination was established within the then Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, and now with the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to coordinate a "whole of government" effort. This shared ancestry suggests that the Aborigine population migrated to Australia via the so-called 'Southern Route'". Meanwhile, increased rainfall and warmer temperatures made inland parts of the continent more habitable and sparked a westward migration of eastern dwellers. But the essential point is that the Aboriginal people had a complete understanding of the flora and fauna within their tribal territory.
No doubt some people were more important than others and the most important ones camped near the Elders.
This involved singing Songlines that had been sung by the ancestors and the concept of taking care. However the first Europeans to arrive in the continent considered the 'natives' to be primitives. On 14 July 1995, both the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag were officially proclaimed by the Australian government as "Flags of Australia" under Section 5 of the Flags Act 1953. An Elder was usually a male but gray hair and old age were not the only criteria to be an Elders. When a number of blood-line families lived together it is likely that the Elder of the group was the person considered by the members to be the wisest of the older people.
It is an appropriated English word that has been reappropriated to explain a practice that is different to ceremony and more widely inclusive than theatre or opera. Other songs and music were for general amusement or entertainment and early European observations of the Aborigines included camp life where the people played games and sang songs around their camp fires. One of these is the astronomy of the Australian Aboriginal people, considered by some to be the oldest in the world. The level of detail contained in the local oral traditions suggested the Henbury event had been witnessed and its legend passed down through generations over thousands of years - a remarkable record. The earliest known dingo-like fossils are from Ban Chiang in north-east Thailand (dated at 5,500 years BP) and from north Vietnam (5,000 years BP). Each day the women of the horde went into successive parts of one countryside, with wooden digging sticks and plaited dilly bags or wooden coolamons.
Larger animals and birds such as kangaroos and emus were speared or disabled with a thrown club, boomerang, or stone. He attracted emus, which are inquisitive birds, by imitating their movements with a stick and a bunch of feathers or some other simple device. In the more arid areas Indigenous Australians were nomadic, ranging over wide areas in search of scarce food resources.
Others claim that, because the megafauna were large and slow, they were easy prey for human hunters. This practice both reinforced clan relationships and prevented inbreeding in a society based on small semi-nomadic groups.
In the arid centre of the continent, where small communities were spread over a vast area, the population decline was less marked. It is also claimed, but untrue, that the last Indigenous Tasmanian was Truganini, who died in 1876. At high tide fish could swim in and out of them, but some were trapped within the rock walls at low tide.
On these occasions some of the men acted as 'beaters' driving animals towards another group of men who were armed and waiting to spear the animals that were driven towards them. Each day, various members of the group would leave the camp to hunt and gather food and return to the camp to share the catch with others. Many of the ceremonies are sacred and people from outside a community are not permitted to participate or watch. Across the Kimberley the word junba is often used to refer to a range of traditional performances and ceremonies.
Earlier dates are requiring new techniques such as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), and the evidence for an earlier date for arrival is growing.
According to skull morphology, these fossils occupy a place between Asian wolves (prime candidates were the pale footed (or Indian) wolf Canis lupus pallipes and the Arabian wolf Canis lupus arabs) and modern dingoes in Australia and Thailand.
Likewise, it was common to use the pelts of animals as a disguise, and imitate them in order to get within striking range of their herd.
A third possibility is that human modification of the environment, particularly through the use of fire, indirectly led to their extinction. This belief stems from a distinction between "full bloods" and "half castes" that is now generally regarded as racist.
For example clever men also known as Koradjis and as Doctors by Europeans, had or acquired special skills and were considered to be authorities on certain matters.
Charles Dortch has dated recent finds on Rottnest Island, Western Australia at 70,000 years BP. The men were excellent trackers and stalkers and approached their prey running where there was cover, or 'freezing' and crawling in the open. When sufficient numbers were trapped the people would enter the water, scoop up the fish in their hands and throw them onto the river bank to be collected for cooking.
They were careful to stay downwind, and sometimes covered themselves with mud to disguise their smell.

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