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European settlement………………………………..................................3

Aboriginals today, Aboriginal language, Avers rock, Symboles…….5

Own thoughts, summary……………………………….............................6



I’ve been writing a short essay about Aborigines in Australia. The first part is about when the Aborigines came to Australia and their traditional way of living. I’ve also written about how Australia became a European settlement at the end of 18th and what happened to the Aborigines during that time. Together with Torres Strait Islanders, Aborigines counted among the country’s most disadvantaged group, something I’ve also written about in my essay.

Australians first inhabitants were Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. It’s widely believed that the Aboriginal people migrated from some unknown point in Asia to Australia between 60, 000 and 50, 000 years ago. Before the arrival of European settlers, Aboriginals inhabited most areas of the Australian continent, each speaking one or more of hundreds of separate languages, and developing distinct lifestyles and religious and culture traditions if differing religions.

In 1996 there were 2,1% or 352, 970 Aboriginals in Australia. In New South Wales and Queens land live over half of Australia’s indigenous people, the rest lives in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Traditionally Aboriginals were hunters and gatherers who moved whit the seasons only carrying the tools that were needed for hunting and preparation of foods. Aboriginal society was organized within intricate kinship relationships based on strictly applied laws and observances. Each family was a self-sufficient economic unit and each member had its own specific responsibilities. Every person in the family had an important task, the women gathered berries and fruits and took care of the smallest children and the older ones helped her. The men where out hunting and they could be gone for days. If they came home whit a lot of food there were often ceremonies where every one in the tribe shared it. While eating they played the most famous instrument the Didgeridoo. It’s a long wood- pipe which is hollowed out by ants. It’s difficult to play the Didgeridoo because it takes a continuous flow of air to create the deep echo- sound. So they ate, played the Didgeridoo and the dancers painted their bodies with Dreamtime designs.

In Australia there are a lot of religions 75% say they are Christians, 12% say they not religious at all and the other religions are Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. But the Aboriginals have their own central belief system, called The Dreaming. It’s a religion which brings people together in life and after death.

European settlement

In 1770 the Aboriginals had visitors, they were Captain James Cook, a great English navigator, and his crew. They had sailed from England all the way to Australia. He was only passing by but when he landed on the east coast he decided to start a colony on the new found island. He sent a message to Britain that he had found land.

The first fleet of ships arrived from Britain in 1778. The people who came weren’t peaceful, they were prisoners and hundred of soldiers who were going watch over the lawless. In that time in Britain there were so many thieves and murderer that the prisons didn’t have place for all the law breaking people.

The soldiers were not so kind to the prisoners and some of them didn’t make it on the journey to Australia. When every one had settled down there wasn’t much land left for the Aboriginals because the English people had taken control of it. If the Aboriginals didn’t move as they were told they often risked being murdered. The new settlers had their own farming animals and corps with them to be able to run a farm. Sheep farming became a success and later on when people discovered the gold, many fortune seekers came from all over the world.

Disadvantaged between indigenous and non- indigenous Australians. There are a lot of differences between Indigenous and non- indigenous people when you talk about quality of life. It concerns a lot of arias as health, education, employment, housing and criminal justice systems. The life expectancy in 1996 was 56, 9 years for an Indigenous male and 81, 1 for a female. Both infant mortality and infections diseases fates are higher for the Indigenous people than for the white Australian.
There are less Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders who finish school, have post- school qualifications and higher educations compared with other white Australian.
Fewer indigenous people are the labour force and the rate of unemployment is higher compared with the white Australian. There is also more indigenous participation in the dole programs. This contributes to the fact that own there own homes, and the households are often overcrowded by accepted Australian standards. More indigenous people than the Australians are sitting in jail. The number of death in custody is higher. The people who came to colonize Australia have taken indigenous people’s bit by bit. If the Aboriginal didn’t do as they were told they cold be killed. The result of the expanding colonial settlement was that indigenous people came to be segregated and denied fundamental human and
the right to vote and access the social welfare.

Aboriginals today

Nowadays the indigenous people are not living in the wood or desert, many of them have got a home in cites or towns. Some of the people live rural and remote areas some maintaining a large traditional way of life. Because of disadvantage in society there are big differences between indigenous people and non- indigenous Australians. The “new” Aboriginal way of living is more like western style, but some still feel the need to go walkabout sometimes.

Some words from an Aboriginal language.


Aya = language
Onchon = dry season
Uchan = young man
Chokerre = red
Kabam = storm
Kamu = blood
Kuja = kangaroo
Maji = hungry
Minha = meat
Mayi = food
Wanchi = sick

Avers rock

The Aboriginals call Avers rock, Uluru. Avers rock is in the centre middle of Australia. It’s 10 km around and 350 meters high, and probably climb Avers rock, get either a decease or a bad accident will to happen to him/ her. Avers rock has strong connections to “forefather’s spirits”.

Aboriginal symbols

They used several symbols as body decoration in ceremonies. In central Australia inherited designs are painted onto the face and body using ochre ground as a paste with water and applied in stripes or circles. The modern paintings of Central and Western Desert are based on these designs.

Own thoughts

I think that the Aborigines can be compared with other minorities all over the world, like the Indians in north America or black people dunning the apartheid system of south Africa. They were once dispossessed from their land by the people who colonized Australia. Indigenous people can’t take part in society like non indigenous people because of all the disadvantages in for example education, health care, housing or employment. Today the indigenous people doesn’t even counts. Even if the Aborigines have attracted attention for their different culture and way of living they are not more than a tourist attraction.


Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders belong to Australia’s indigenous people and we think they first arrived from southeast Asia between 50.000 and 60.000 years ago. The Aborigines are well known for their traditional way of living in harmony with nature. From the beginning they were nomads with the need to “go walkabout”, something they still do.

European settlement of Australia began in 1788 when a British penal colony was established on the east coast. The most important factor for colonizing was Britain’s need to relieve its overcrowded prisons. This was the beginning of loss of land for indigenous people. Even in the beginning of this century policies and laws forced indigenous people to be segregated and denied fundamental human rights, including the rights to vote and access to social welfare....

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Inactive member [2005-08-23]   Aboriginals
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=4724 [2020-08-03]

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