Aborigines in Australia Essay example

865 Words 4 Pages
Aborigines in Australia Aborigines are believed to have lived in Australia for between 60,000
and 40,000 years, their early ancestors coming from South-East Asia.
Precise population details for the period before European colonization
are unavailable, but it is estimated that there were between 300,000
and 1,000,000 Aborigines in Australia when European settlers first
arrived in 1788. The relationship between the aboriginals and the
settlers were an issue that would haunt history for more then two
centuries.

The process of colonization by European powers, as might be expected,
has had a radical effect on
…show more content…
Settlers moved in and appropriated the
overwhelming majority of Australia - either for private use or in the
name of the British Crown.

Even after Australia was declared independent in 1901, Aborigines
continued to be marginal to the new nation and were barred from
becoming citizens by the 1902 Australian Constitution. Using the
notion of racial supremacy, and showing the inferiority of the
Aboriginal race in the settler's eyes. Citizenship was granted to
Aborigines only following a national referendum in 1967.

Attempts have been made by the Australian government to protect
Aboriginal culture, beginning in the late 1920s with the creation of
special reserves; this is when the notion of paternalism came into
play. Aborigines are now officially recognized as Australian citizens,
and since 1948 a policy of assimilation has been pursued. Some
Aborigines, however, fear that assimilation will result in a total
loss of Aboriginal cultural identity, and opt instead for integration,
insisting on maintaining their native identity as distinct from
becoming 'Australians'.

Based upon such ethnocentric values and beliefs - from an allegedly
'enlightened' people - colonists began to establish and implement a
racist and heretical view of Christianity. They firmly believed that
there was no hope of salvation without the elimination of…

Related Documents