History

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1837

  1. The British Select Committee publishes its final report ('Aborigines Report') on the treatment of Aboriginal people in all British colonies. Australian colonies are particularly criticised. The committee reveals that the negative effects of colonisation (read: massacres) on Aboriginal people were already well known in the early 19th century. It affirms the ‘plain and sacred right’ of Aboriginal peoples to land and recommends to appoint ‘Protectors of Aborigines’.

  2. The policy of protection for Aboriginal people marks the beginning of involvement of the Catholic Church in missionary work and the establishment of schools for Aboriginal children.

  3. A massacre of Aboriginal people occurs at Gravesend, New South Wales with more than 200 killed.

1838

  1. Reports of poisoning of Aboriginal people on ‘Tarrone’ near Port Fairy, West Melbourne and ‘Kilcoy’ north-west Moreton Bay. Flour is poisoned and left in shepherds’ huts on ‘Kilcoy’ in the expectation that Aboriginal people now dispossessed of hunting grounds would take it.

  2. January

    Major Nunn’s campaign. Mounted police, mostly European volunteers, set out in response to conflict on the Liverpool Plains, north central NSW. At Vinegar Hill, a site on ‘Slaughterhouse Creek’, 60 - 70 Aboriginal people are reported killed. The only European casualty is a corporal, speared in the leg.

  3. 10 June

    The ‘Myall Creek Massacre’ occurs. 12 heavily armed colonists rounded up and brutally kill 28 Aboriginal people from a group of 40 or 50 people gathered at Henry Dangar’s Station, at Myall Creek near Inverell (NSW). The massacre was believed to be a payback for the killing of several hut keepers and two shepherds. But most of those killed were
    women and children and good relations existed between the Aboriginal people and European occupants of the station.
    Seven stockmen are eventually hanged for murder. This outrages the colonial press and parts of the public who cannot understand why anyone should hang for murdering Aboriginal people.

1840

  1. An entire community of Aboriginal people perishes in a massacre at Long Lagoon, a newly settled station in inland Queensland.

1841

  1. 27 August

    30 Aboriginal people massacred at Rufus River in New South Wales, close to the boundaries with Victoria and South Australia.

1842

  1. Governor Bourke of NSW orders the establishment of the Native Police in the Port Phillip district (now Victoria). Aboriginal troopers, trained to track and disperse groups of Aboriginal people, are part of the force. It is disbanded in 1853.

  2. Native Police forces operates punitive expeditions and attacks and kills many Aboriginal people on stations. The force is led by European officers. It plays a significant role in later years, in ‘settling’ hostilities in the Macleay and Clarence River regions of NSW. Native Police are used extensively against Aboriginal people in Queensland. They are later disbanded and replaced by civil police, following increasing concern within non-Aboriginal communities concerning the force’s activities. The force was finally disbanded in Queensland in 1897.

1843

  1. September

    Responding to a poisoning of Aboriginal people, Aboriginal warrior Multuggerah leads his people, the Jagera, to block the only supply route to the Darling Downs settlement in the Lockyer Valley near Toowoomba, South East Queensland. The settlers attack them in the Battle of One Tree Hill but are defeated. The National Library has a rare eyewitness account of the battle in the form of a pencil drawing, and this history is documented in the book The Battle of One Tree Hill.

1845

  1. About 50 remaining Aboriginal people from the Sydney and Botany Bay peoples are living at a camp on Botany Heads.

1848

  1. The Board of National Education, established in NSW, states “It is impractical to provide any form of education for the children of blacks”.

  2. New South Wales native police troopers are brought to Queensland to kill Aboriginal people and open up the land for settlement.

1849

  1. Land Commissioner McDonald reported widespread food shortages among Aboriginal people in the Murray District after their displacement by pastoralists who took their land for sheep stations.

1851

  1. The development of a system of pastoral leases in South Australia begins. Governor Young insists that all pastoral leases should include reservations in favour of Aboriginal people, allowing them access to pastoral lands.

1852

  1. June

    Wiradjuri men Yarri and Jacky Jacky (later known as James McDonnell and John Morley) use large bark canoes to save 68 settlers when the a record flood of the Murrumbidgee River inundates the NSW Riverina town of Gundagai. 89 locals died in the floods. In 2018 both men receive posthumous bravery medals for their actions and the town honours them with a large bronze statue.

1857

  1. Aboriginal people attack settlers on the Dawson River, Queensland, leading to reprisals by local squatters and police.

1861

  1. The pearling industry in Western Australia begins with Aboriginal divers. After the employment of Aboriginal people is banned, Javanese, Timorese and later Japanese divers are used.

  2. Aboriginal people kill 19 settlers near Emerald, Queensland. About 170 Aboriginal people are killed in reprisal.

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=4>, retrieved 21 November 2019

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