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Australian Frontier Wars: Home
Sample of books available
""The human history of Australia during the last 50,000 years is unique. In vital ways it is like the history of no other land. You see the uniqueness only when, for the first time, the ancient and modern are stitched together ... " The first volume of Geoffrey Blainey's bold new account of this country takes us from our origins to the gold rush. It is the culmination of a lifelong study by one of our most significant historians."
‘Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent ... [It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.’ Judges for 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing — behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence in Dark Emu comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.
"The following estimates are provisional and will be adjusted as the project continues. Only sites for which there is good evidence are included. The estimates of the number of people massacred are conservative and include only those we can be reasonably sure were killed during the massacre or immediately afterwards. In some cases the actual deaths may have been many more ... "
"Colonial frontier massacre is a largely under researched topic in Australia. Most studies relate to particular incidents, such as Risdon Cove in Tasmania (1804) which remains highly contested even today ... "
"A friend sent me a photograph he’d taken in north-west Queensland of the memorial to the Kalkadoon warriors who, in 1884, fought what was perhaps the biggest battle against government forces to unfold on this continent. Local oral history, black and white, has it that dozens of Indigenous fighters were shot dead after they charged native police contingents ... "
"The truth of Australia’s history has long been hiding in plain sight. The stories of “the killing times” are the ones we have heard in secret, or told in hushed tones. They are not the stories that appear in our history books yet they refuse to go away ... "
"One day at dawn in early 1839, Frederick Taylor and a number of other armed white men rode on horseback into a sleeping camp of Aboriginal people near present-day Terang in Victoria’s western district. Most of the people encamped on the banks of Mount Emu Creek were of the Tarnbeere gundidj clan, members of the Djargurd wurrung language group. The settlers killed about 35 of the roughly 50 people in the camp, and threw the bodies into the water ... "
"The colonisation of Australia is at the heart of calls for a national truth-telling process. This map tells the stories that have long been kept out of our history books. It shows evidence of mass killings from 1788 until 1928: a sustained and systematic process of conflict and expansion ... "
"Tasmania’s Black War (1824-31) was the most intense frontier conflict in Australia’s history. It was a clash between the most culturally and technologically dissimilar humans to have ever come into contact. At stake was nothing less than control of the country, and the survival of a people ... "
"First contact between Aboriginal Australians with British colonisers in 1788 quickly escalated into frontier conflict that lasted for over 140 years and cultural divides that continue to split Australia to this day ... "
"The Secret Instructions, contained in the Letterbook carried on the Endeavour, include the Additional Instructions which authorised James Cook to take possession of 'a Continent or Land of great extent' thought to exist in southern latitudes. The second page instructs Cook 'with the Consent of the Natives to take possession of Convenient Situations in the Country in the Name of the King of Great Britain' ... "
"Trove helps you find and use resources relating to Australia. It’s more than a search engine. Trove brings together content from libraries, museums, archives, repositories and other research and collecting organisations." Search Trove with the name of your specific Frontier War event or person.
"Frontier violence is now an accepted chapter of Australian history. Indigenous resistance is obviously a part of this story, yet as John Connor notes (2004), the tactics and objectives of Aboriginal fighters are more often presumed than investigated. Thus Aboriginal resistance is generally portrayed as parochial, half-hearted and devoid of long-term planning. The usual image is a handful of warriors pitifully tossing some spears – a hopeless prelude to wholesale massacre ... "
"The article demonstrates that memories about past events are often best recalled when they are impromptu, sparked by associations with features in the landscape, and that such memories are valuable additions to formally recorded oral histories. It describes examples of remembering the past in a cultural landscape. It presents an account of the massacre of Aboriginal people at Mistake Creek ... "
"In 1829 Lieutenant Governor George Arthur issued a series of Proclamation Boards illustrated with images of friendship, equality before the law and mutual punishment for Aborigines and Europeans alike, in an attempt to conciliate Aboriginal people in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). These striking images have been reworked over time, and have come to shape understandings of Australian history at national and international levels ... "
"In the mid-1980s, a major controversy between German historians took place, which spilled over the usual boundaries of academic debate such as conferences and slow exchanges in learned journals. The academic debate dealing with the place of Nazism and the Holocaust in German history became a much broader media and public event, which was widely considered to carry significant implications for the political culture of the Federal Republic of Germany, and for Germans’ relationship to their past ..."
"Beginning in 1788 British colonization drastically diminished the indigenous or Aboriginal population of Australia. Precise enumeration of the decline is impossible. Estimates of the precolonial population range from 300,000 to 750,000 and statistics for the colonial period are unreliable ... "
A real history of Aboriginal Australians, the first agriculturalists | Bruce Pascoe
Indigenous writer and anthologist Bruce Pascoe draws on first-hand accounts from colonial journals to dispel the myth that Aboriginal people were hunters and gatherers and "did nothing with the land that resembled agriculture". In this powerful talk, Pascoe demonstrates a radically different view of Australian history that we all need to know – one that has the potential to change the course of Australians' relationship with the land. Bruce Pascoe's career has spanned teaching, farming, bartending, writing, working on an archaeological site, and researching Aboriginal languages. A Bunurong, Tasmanian and Yuin man born in Melbourne, he grew up on a remote island in the Bass Strait. Bruce has written more than 20 books. His non-fiction book, Dark Emu (2014), won the Book of the Year and Indigenous Writers' Prize in the 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. He says, "Aboriginal people have always had a story to tell. We have always been storytellers and artists and singers and dancers and we've just brought this into the general Australian culture. Non-Aboriginal Australians enjoy it and are starting to embrace it". This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
Aboriginal communities across northern and western Australia have helped to develop seasonal calendars based on their ecological knowledge. The calendars link meteorological patterns with changes in plant and animal life across the year.