On the 29th o April, 1977 Captain Cook, commander of a British fleet, landed on the eastern shore of Australia, in an attempt to claim the land under the name of Britain. The land was to be claimed by Britain as a land where the British government could send convicts; in an attempt to ease the struggle in the over flowing prisons. Upon Cooks arrival, he was ordered to follow three rules of claiming a foreign land. They were;
1. If the land was not claimed, owned or inhabited by another country or race, Britain could just claim the land as their own.
2. If the land was already claimed or owned by another country or people, then Britain could easily ask to have, or more likely, purchase some of the desired land. Through under British law, they could not steal the land as their own.
3. If the people who owned the land decided not to give or sell any of it, Britain could declare was on them, to most probably reveal the superior country. During, and after the war, under British law, Britain was still unable to claim any already claimed land as their own, without the permission of the owners.
Cook used none of these methods upon his arrival of Australia. Upon his arrival of Australia the country was already inhabited by the local Aboriginal people. Even though Cook presumably had a knowledge of the laws of claiming land, he did not abide by them. The British settlers instead just took the land as their own, with no regard for the Aboriginal people, starting a war, of sorts, that continues to this very day.
(Board of Studies, NSW)
White settlers moved into Central Queensland in hopes to find suitable land for their cattle to graze on. In their search this, much like the majority of the other land that had been “Settled” was inhabited by the local Aboriginal people. Again, much like the other portions of land that had ‘settled’, the ‘white settlers’ took the Aboriginal people with no regard, killing and wounding them as a way to claim the land. One of the vile acts that the white people did to the Aboriginals during those times was the raping and sexual mistreatment of many of the Aboriginal women. Probably the worst group to commit such acts was the Frasier Brothers. Boys who grew up on a station raped countless, some what defenceless, women, with no conscience or remorse.
Not only did the Indians and Europeans use the land differently but also defined ownership of the land differently. The Indian woman defined and claimed the land as theirs by the crops planted and the rest of the land could be free for improvement. The Europeans viewed that, ‘“To define property is thus to represent boundaries between people; equally, it is to articulate at least one set of conscious boundaries between ...
This statement shows Aboriginals are inferior and have no rights or sovereignty over the land. Therefore the Europeans are superior by law to them. Lambert (2012. pg12) writes that Europeans regarded Torres Islanders and Aboriginals way of life and land use was “not being used in a fashion that European legal and property systems approved”. The information from both sources shows Europeans confirmed that land is not owned by anyone, unless there is a legal document to prove ownership therefore Europeans believed Aboriginals and Torres Islanders did not own the land even though they live there. Lambert (2012) suggests Europeans were “very liberal” compared to the Torres Islander and Aboriginals. The Proclamation 1835 was written after the Batman Deed however shows no evidence there was a treaty previously between John Batman and Dutigalla people. This also demonstrates Torres Islanders sovereignty is not regarded by the Europeans. (WC: 196). Jeff Lambert states the land was perceived as “unoccupied land” as “Aborigines demonstrated their affinity with the land in sustainability, cultural and spiritual terms” (Lambert 2012.pg 13), these actions were not
The National Apology of 2008 is the latest addition to the key aspects of Australia’s reconciliation towards the Indigenous owners of our land. A part of this movement towards reconciliation is the recognition of Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders rights to their land. Upon arrival in Australia, Australia was deemed by the British as terra nullius, land belonging to no one. This subsequently meant that Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders were never recognised as the traditional owners. Eddie Mabo has made a highly significant contribution to the rights and freedoms of Indigenous Australians as he was the forefather of a long-lasting court case in 1982 fighting for the land rights of the Torres Strait Islanders. Eddie Mabo’s introduction of the Native Title Act has provided Indigenous Australians with the opportunity to state claim to their land, legally recognising the Indigenous and the Torres Strait Islanders as the traditional owners.
Both Keating’s and Rudd’s speeches are firmly based on the ideas of recognition and reconciliation for the wrongs that European settlers, and their decedents, have inflicted on Indigenous Australians. To explore this idea I believe that it is necessary to take a closer look at both the plight of Eddie Mabo and the stories of the Stolen Generation.
This essay is about the land rights of of Australia and how Eddie Marbo was not happy about his land been taken away from him. In May 1982 Eddie Marbo and four other people of the Murray Islands began to take action in the high court of Australia and confirming their land rights. Eddie Marbo was a torres islander who thought that the Australian laws were wrong and who went to fight and try and change them. He was born in 1936 on Mer which is known as Murray Island. The British Crown in the form of the colony of Queensland became of the sovereign of the islands when they were annexed in1978. They claimed continued enjoyment of there land rights and that had not been validly extinguished by the sovereign. (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012)
There is little said about aboriginal people in early Australian history books. What we do know is that the view of Non-Aboriginal people was very ethnocentric. The opinion was that Aboriginal was that they were savages and little regard was made for the fact that Aboriginal people had to live off this land that was now being used for agriculture. Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal relations during the nineteenth century consisted of violent disputes over the ownership of land, food and water. During this period Aboriginal children were taken from their families and used as a source of labour for European farmers. “The greatest advantage of young Aboriginal servants was that they came cheap and were never paid beyond the provision of variable quantities of food and clothing. As a result any European on or near the frontier, quite regardless of their own circumstances, could acquire and maintain a personal servant” (Arrufat 1930).
Colonisation of Australia began in 1788, when Englishman Captain Cook claimed the land as an empty, uninhabited, continent giving it the classification Terra Nullius and leaving it open to colonization. Eckermann (2010), stated that the English failed to recognise the aboriginal tribes as civilized, co-inhibiters of the land, feeling they had no right to a claim.
In 1992, the doctrine of terra nullius was overruled by the High Court in the case Mabo v Queensland (No.2)  HCA 23. After recognising that the Meriam people of Murray Island in the Torres Straits were native title landholders of their traditional land, the court also held that native title existed for all the Indigenous people in Australia prior to European contact. To make the legal position of landholders and the processes that must be followed in claiming native title clear, the federal government passed the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). The Native Title, which was drafted in 1993, attempted to provide a fair and just method of dealing with land in the future. However one of the fundamental flaws of the native title system is that the concept of native title was based on the prejudiced principle that the Crown had the power to extinguish traditional indigenous ownership of the land. Although the government could have been able to amend the flaws of the Native Title Act following the High Court’s decision in relation to the Wik Case, which laid the rules for co-existence and reconciliation of shared interests in the land, they failed to do so. Amendments to the Native Title Act in 1998 undermined any benefits the Indigenous people could have received, and provided the already-powerful non-Indige...
The connection Indigenous Australians have with the land was established, and maintained, by The Dreamings, passed down through generations binding Indigenous Australians to the land (National Film & Sound Archive, 2015). National Film & Sound Archive (2015), highlight that land and being can not be separated for Indigenous Australians as they form part of the land and are accountable for the preservation of the land. Indigenous Australian land rights originated from an intricate social process constructed on traditional core values; where the rights of the land were established on principles of descendants, kinship and marriage (Dodds, 1998). However, despite this, the British colonisation of Australia in 1788 brought about change when the land was declared Terra Nullius (Short, 2007). Short (2007) stated that as a result of Australia being declared Terra Nullius, Indigenous Australians had no legitimate claim to their land. Hence, British colonisers dispossessing Indigenous Australians of their land rights as the customs established by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were not recognised or taken into consideration by the British Government (Short,
The first Europeans to settle Australia treated the Aboriginals in a brutal, unfair manor. They downgraded Aboriginals to a lower status as human beings. They tried to force the Aboriginals to conform to the western way of life for more than 200 years. It is only fairly recently that the Aboriginals have finally been able to gain back some of their indigenous rights and traditions.
After the First Fleet arrived on the continent in 1788, the British tried to set up a relationship with the Aborigines that was benevolent and peaceful, as Governor Philip instructed; however their actions did not reflect this same idea. Their interactions commonly ended with violence, and occasionally death, particularly in the Myall Creek Massacre. On June 10, 1838 there were twelve British men came into contact with thirty of the Aboriginals, or people of Wirrayaraay, at Myall Creek. Up until this time, the British people who settled in the area became increasingly skeptical of the native Australians, and this nervousness led to a series of conflicts with these native people; these conflicts ended with the death of the thirty aboriginals at Myall Creek. This massacre is a prime example of how the natives were impacted by the British settlers, because it was one of the most tragic of the frontier conflicts between the peoples. Not only were these natives killed on June 10th, these Wirrayaraay people were first rounded up, and then tied together before being killed by the British settlers soon after. The British settlers who tied up and murdered these natives were British convicts who were freed, and allowed to pursue the native tribes. This massacre exhibits the impacts of the British settlers on the Australian natives, because it shows how they were affected by the brutal treatment by the British convicts, who made up a majority of the British
In March 1967 Britain agreed that it might be possible to cede sovereignty of the Falklands to Argentina, as long as the islanders agreed. (7) While the Argentines may have viewed this as a major concession, Britain had really given up very little. The Falkland islanders were quite resolute in their desire to remain subjects of the Queen.