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1861

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

1863

  1. A government station is established at Somerset, on the tip of Cape York Peninsula, marking the beginning of the impact of European settlement on the Torres Strait Islands. Missionary settlement follows, bringing disease and disruption to traditional lifestyles.

1868

  1. The first Australian Cricket Team to tour England leaves Australia for England; the team is all Aboriginal. Some of the team find it difficult to adapt to the climate and have to return home. One team member dies.

  2. 150 Aboriginal people are killed resisting arrest in the Kimberley, Western Australia.

  3. Sport

    An an all-Aboriginal cricket team of men from lands of western Victoria embarks on a tour of England, backed by private financiers.

1869

  1. Victorian Board for the Protection of Aborigines is established. The Governor can order the removal of any child to a reformatory or industrial school. The Protection Board can remove children from station families to be housed in dormitories.

    Later similar legislation is passed in other colonies: New South Wales (1883), Queensland (1897), Western Australia (1905) and South Australia (1911). The Northern Territory Aboriginals Ordinance makes the Chief Protector the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and 'half-caste' person under 18. Boards are progressively empowered to remove children from their families.

  2. Victorian Board for the Protection of Aborigines is established. The Governor can order the removal of any child to a reformatory or industrial school. The Protection Board can remove children from station families to be housed in dormitories. Later similar legislation is passed in other colonies: New South Wales (1883), Queensland (1897), Western Australia (1905) and South Australia (1911). 

  3. The Northern Territory Aboriginals Ordinance makes the Chief Protector the legal guardian of every Aboriginal and ‘half-caste’ person under 18. Boards are progressively empowered to remove children from their families.

1870

  1. In the early 1870s the first Aboriginal children are enrolled in the public schools in NSW. By 1880 there are 200 Aboriginal children in school in NSW.

  2. The Kalkadoon Wars in Queensland last from 1870 to 1890. About 900 Kalkadoon people are killed as they fight to protect their land. The war culminates in the battle of Battle Mountain in 1884. In 1972 Minister for the Army Bob Katter Snr. names an army helicopter ‘Kalkadoon’ at a ceremony with Kalkadoon people in Mt. Isa in recognition of their fighting spirit.

1871

  1. The London Missionary Society arrives in the Torres Strait Islands and introduces Christianity to the Islanders. The first landing is at Darnley Island (Erub) on 1st July 1871, which is now celebrated annually with the ‘Coming of the Light’ celebrations.

1875

  1. Health

    A devastating measles epidemic, brought on by European explorers, cuts through through the Torres Strait Islands at the height of the pearl-shell fishery and reduces the population of the whole area by almost 25% because Islanders had no natural immunity. On some islands 50 to 80% of the population succumbs to the disease.

1876

  1. Truganini dies in Hobart aged 73. Against her wishes the Tasmanian Museum displays her bones. 100 years later members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community cremate and scatter them onto the water. The Tasmanian government does not recognise the Aboriginal heritage of people of Aboriginal descent and claims the “last Tasmanian Aboriginal person” has died. A falsehood many still believe today.

1877

  1. Settlers in the Daintree River Area of Queensland are killed by Aboriginal people.

  2. The Hermansburg Mission is established on the Finke River, Northern Territory by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia and the Hermannsburg Mission Society of North Germany.

1879

  1. The Torres Strait is annexed by Queensland. Torres Strait Islanders are not dispersed from their homelands like Aboriginal people.

1880

  1. Department of Public Instruction formed. About 200 Aboriginal children enrolled in public schools.

1881

  1. A Protector of Aborigines is appointed in NSW. He has the power to create reserves and to force Aboriginal people to live there.

1883

  1. The Aboriginal Protection Board is established in NSW. Aboriginal people at Maloga Mission on the Murray River are moved to Cumeroogunga. By the end of the 1880s several reserves have been established in NSW. Reserves are set up far enough from towns to limit contact with Europeans. Segregation is a key part of Aboriginal protection policy.

  2. ‘Mission’ schools are set up on reserves with untrained teachers (mostly Managers’ wives): 13 Aboriginal schools by 1900, 40 by 1930. They are often the only option for Aboriginal children who were excluded from public schools. ‘Aboriginal’ (‘mission’ or reserve) schools were only set up where there were sufficient numbers to justify the expense.

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2021, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=5>, retrieved 16 January 2021

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