Triumph of the Nomads


Triumph of the Nomads is a television series that depicts the life and times of Australia's Aboriginal people long before the vast continent was colonised by the British in 1788.

It illustrates the history of ancient Australia and how Aboriginal people were triumphant in their discovery of the land and in their adaptation to it.

It shows how for thousands of years before Europeans they mastered contrasting climates, seasons and resources. It's a compelling television series that shows Australia's Aboriginal people living a life that embraced and revered the land the lived on before the European invasion changed it forever.


Episode 1 – The First Invaders

1788 was the start of an invasion that would forever change the island continent of Australia and the lives of its First People. Through dramatic re-enactment we show how Aboriginal people survived and succeeded in a changing environment often violent and destructive. They witnessed the last of the world’s great ice ages and the rising of the seas that isolated Australia from the rest of the world.

Episode 2 – Reign of the Wanderers

Fire was central to the Aboriginals way of life. It was used for cooking and warmth; for keeping away evil spirits at night; and to repel insects and to make spears and boomerangs. Throughout the dry, apparently desolate interior of the continent and on the coast, Aboriginal people mastery of nature ensured that generation after generation existed in comparative luxury.

Episode 3 – Sails of Doom

For several generations early settlers believed that Aboriginals were mainly flesh eaters who only occasionally ate fruit or vegetables. What they didn’t realise was that in many parts of the continent they ate a variety of foods that any supermarket in any city could hope to offer. Every community traded with its neighbours, trading raw materials – stone, coloured ochres and clays, shells, fibres and furs. But along the coast more and more British ships arrived bringing the people, plants, skills, weapons and diseases that would in time eliminate the people, their languages, the campfires and ancient Aboriginal names from nearly every valley and headland.


Release dates
1984 - Australia
Nomad Films International

Presented by Geoffrey Blainey and Burnum Burnum.

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Triumph of the Nomads, <>, retrieved 2 July 2020

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