Indigenous resistance to colonisation

Indigenous resistance to colonisation


Botany Bay, New South Wales.
Published by J. Souter, Jan 1, 1825.
Image courtesy of the National Library
of Australia.
29 May, 1788

The arrival of the First Fleet in January 1788 signals the beginning of British colonisation in Australia. Convicts and soliders establish a settlement on the southern shores of Sydney Harbour, the traditional territory of the Indigenous Eora people, and the British Government issues instructions to the colonial Governor to treat the Indigenous inhabitants kindly. However, it does not recognise Indigenous ownership of the land, nor are the Indigenous inhabitants protected by law as they are not considered to be British subjects. Conflict erupts on the colonisal 'frontier', as white settlement escalates and Indigenous inhabitants resist colonisation and defend their territory and resources. Thousands of Indigenous people are killed in the process, leading to calls by the 1830s and 1840s for greater protection of Indigenous people and the establishment of Indigneous reserves and protection boards.

> Next: Assisted migration begins

- From the Museum of Australian Democracy's comprehensive interactive timeline, Milestones in Australian democracy.

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