How Does Terra Nullius Affect Australian Identity

981 Words 4 Pages
When Australia was first founded, the constitution for the commonwealth was drafted in the spirit of “Terra Nullius”. The Latin term “Terra Nullius” translates to ‘land that belongs to no-one’ , meaning that the British settlers who came to Australia acted as if the Aboriginal people were not even there. These settlers fought and took the land from the Indigenous people of Australia. The idea and myth of terra nullius has had a large impact on Australian identity. Mainly it was to instill a sense of white ownership of Australia as a part of Australian identity. Though, to do such required a systematic oppression of the Indigenous Australians by denying them citizenship for many years, ignoring how their land was taken from them during colonization, and overshadowing their involvement in Australian military. Today, there are many examples of Aboriginal imagery all around. There are indigenous themes on advertisements, souvenirs, and even airlines decorate their planes in them. There are numerous Aboriginal arts and culture celebrations that take place all throughout the year. No matter which Australian state you are in, there are bound to be festivals or celebrations of …show more content…
It helped denied them citizenship and recognition as Australian citizens for many years. It instilled an idea of ‘white ownership’ of Australia as a part of Australian identity. Even though much has been done recently to amend this, it cannot take back the impact the myth had on Australian identity. There may be celebrations of Aboriginal heritage, culture, etc. but the damage has been done. The indigenous people of Australia had their identities kept from being a part of Australia’s history. They were kept from being part of celebrated legend in Anzac or other military events. Terra nullius denied these people their voice in Australian identity for many years, instead only focusing on the voice of the white

Related Documents