Chronological listing of Aboriginal History in Australia 55,000 60,000 bp



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lore of the land

Chronological listing of Aboriginal History in Australia





55,000 - 60,000 BP

At a site in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, a rock shelter was used by people about 60,000 years ago.

45,000 BP

Rock engravings discovered in South Australia date back 45,000 years.

35,500 BP

Around 35,500 years ago at Willandra Lakes, western New South Wales, an Aboriginal family left a midden of mussel shells, charcoal and ash from a dinner camp.

30,000 BP

A man from Lake Mungo area was buried in a shallow grave about 30,000 years ago.

29,500 BP

The Devil's Lair, a cave in the south-west of Western Australia, was first occupied (occupation ceased about 6000 years ago).

26,500 BP

The body of a woman from Lake Mungo, Western Australia, provides the earliest evidence of ritual cremation in the world.

23,000 BP

Aborigines who lived at Malangangarr in Arnhem Land used ground-edge axes.

22,000 BP

Earliest recorded occupation of the central deserts at Puritjarra.

15 - 24,000 BP

Under the Nullabor Plains at Koonalda, Aborigines mined flint and left grooved designs on cave walls.

18,000 BP

At Miriwan in WA and in the Pilbara, ground-edge axes were being used.




Art at Ubirr discovered in Kakadu National Park depicts now extinct animals.

12,000 BP

In the post-glacial period, around 12,000 years ago, Tasmania separated from the mainland.

10,000 BP

Aborigines at Wyrie Swamp used boomerangs for hunting.




Aboriginal remains discovered at Kow Swamp, northern Victoria, date back 10,000 years.

9000 - 7000 BP

The earliest visible evidence of the Rainbow Serpent in Aboriginal belief.

6800 BP

Human remains found at Lake Nitchie date back 6800 years.

3000 BP

Small tool technology had spread as far as Cape York.

1000 BP

Dugout canoes were being used by Aborigines along Australia's northern coast.




1400 - 1810

1400s

Possible landings on Australian shores by merchants and explorers from India.




Chinese traders may have reached the nothern shores of Australia in the first half of the 15th century.

1558

Macassan journeys to the north eastern coast of the Northern Territory started tradings with the Aborigines.

1605

Spanish explorer Pedro Fernando de Quiros named a small island along the northern coast 'Australis del Espiritu Santo', mistaking it for Australia.




Dutch ship 'Duyfken' captained by William Jansz made contact with Aborigines on the west of Cape York Peninsula.

1606

Luis Vaez de Torres sailed past Cape York, where the Strait now bears his name.

1616

Dutchman Dirk Hartog landed on an island off the Western Australian coast, now named after him.

1622

The south-westerly tip of Australia was sighted by the ship 'Leeuwin', which the cape is named after.

1688

Englishman William Dampier landed in Australia.

1770

James Cook claimed possession of the east coast of Australia, raising the British flag at Possession Island, at the tip of Cape York.

1788

European colonisation of Australia.




The Aboriginal population was more than 750,000.

1791

The first Crown Land Grants were made.

1793

First free immigrants settled at Liberty Plains.

1798

Bass and Flinders circumnavigated Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania).

1799

Aboriginal resistance flared in the Parramatta and Hawkesbury regions.

1803

Van Dieman's Land was settled.

1804

Settlers in Van Dieman's Land were authorised to shoot Aborigines.




First celebration by European settlers of 26th January as the foundation of the colony.

1810 - 1900

1813

Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson crossed the Blue Mountains.

1817

In official correspondence Governor Macquarie adopted the name 'Australia', meaning Southland (Terra Australis).

1825

Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) became a separate colony from New South Wales.

1828

First census




European population 36,595.

1829

Settlement of Perth founded.

1830

The 'Black Line' formed in Van Dieman's Land to capture Aborigines.

1834

South Australia became a province.

1835

Settlement of what became Melbourne.




John Batman entered a treaty to validate his land claim.

1838

First Aboriginal Protectorate established for Port Phillip.

1838-45

In south-western Victoria, Gunditjmara's resistance to their lands being occupied was strong.

1848

New South Wales native police troopers were brought to Queensland to kill the Aborigines and open up the land for settlement.

1850

Port Phillip District (Victoria) separated from New South Wales.

1851

Gold rush.

1854

Eureka Stockade.

1858

Population (non-indigenous) - 1,000,000.

1859

The separate colony of Queensland was established.

1868

Transportation of convicts ended.




The first Aboriginal cricket team left Sydney for England.




150 Aboriginal people were killed for resisting arrest in the Kimberly region.

1872

Ayers Rock named by explorer William Gosse.

1877

Population - 2,000,000.

1890

Western Australia became the last Australian colony to achieve self-government.




Economic depression.

1894

Jandamarra, an Aboriginal resistance fighter, declared war on European invaders in the West Kimberley.

1900 - 1960

1901

Commonwealth of Australia proclaimed on 1st January.




White Australia policy introduced.

1904

Population - 4,000,000.

1908

Canberra chosen as the site for the capital of Australia.




Introduction of the Invalid & Old Age Pensioner Act which provided Social Security benefits, excluding Aboriginal people.

1912

Introduction of the Maternity Allowance; Aboriginal people were excluded.

1914-18

World War I.

1918

Population - 5,000,000.

1919

Migration scheme for British ex-servicemen and their families introduced.

1922

Purrkuji massacre of Aboriginal people in SE Kimberley.

1929

The Great Depression.

1935

Population - 6,000,000.

1938

Australian Aborigines Conference held on 26th January.

1939-45

World War II.

1941

Child Endowment Act introduced; no endowment was paid to nomadic or dependent natives.

1947

Pact signed with the International Refugees Organisation to resettle Europeans displaced by war.




Beginning of major immigration program.

1949

Population - 8,000,000.




Commonwealth Electoral Act extended franchise to Aboriginal ex-servicemen.

1953

Northern Territory Legislative Council passed a bill giving citizenship rights to all Territory Aborigines except those in state care.

1954

First tour of Australia by a reigning sovereign, made by Queen Elizabeth II.

1956

'Permanent residence' status created to allow non-European migrants to claim citizenship and bring out their families.

1957

The Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders was established.

1959

Population - 10,000,000.

1962

Commonwealth Electoral Act amended giving franchise to all Aboriginal people.

1963

A bark petition against mining on the Gove Peninsula was presented to Parliament.

1965

Aboriginal leader Charles Perkins leads Freedom Ride through western NSW.

1966

Population, including Aboriginal people - 11,599,498.



Stockmen and women at Wave Hill walk off in protest against intolerable working conditions and inadequate wages.

1967

The referendum proposing amendments to remove constitutional discrimination against Aboriginal people was approved by over 90% of voters.

1971

Gove Land Rights Case - Denial of Aboriginal Property Rights, which affirmed the Fiction of Terra Nullius.



First time the Aboriginal flag was flown.

1972

Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established.

1975

Racial Discrimination Act passed in Federal Parliament.

1976

Aboriginal land Rights (Nothern Territory) Act - 36% of NT land area reverted to Aboriginal ownership under freehold title.

1984

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Interim Protection) Act came into force.

1985

Handback Day.

1988

Celebration of the Bicentennial, Australia Day protests and first step to Aboriginal recognition.

1989

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act was established (ATSIC).

1991

Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody presented its Report to the Federal Government.



Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act was passed in Parliament.

1992

The High Court handed down the Mabo decision.

1993

International Year for the World's Indigenous People.

1994

Native Title Act 1993 came into effect.

1996

The High Court handed down the Wik decision.



Australian population - 18,311,000.

1997

The Stolen Generation Report.

1998

First National Sorry Day.

2001

Centenary of Federation.



Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991 ceases to have force.

Reference:

Lore of the Land; Reconciling Spirit and place in Australias story.

Accessed via web address: http://www.loreoftheland.com.au/index.html


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