For the Indigenous people, land is an important part of their culture. The land is the ‘mother’ which they used to source food and live (Kauffman, 1998, p.1). Before the first settlers arrived in 1788, Australia was known as Terra Nullius meaning a land, as such, belonging to no one (Lindqvist, 2007, p.3). The Indigenous people of Australia were exiled from their own land as the English deemed Australia a land without inhabitants because they did not see the Aboriginals as a civilised race (Aboriginalheritage.org, 2015). The colonisation of Australia was devastating for the Indigenous people who have lived on this land for more than...
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In summary, the rights of Indigenous Australians has significantly changed since 1788, however, Indigenous Australians should have been recognised as the original occupants and owners of Australia. Their land, cultural and human rights were stripped from them because they were seen as an inferior race by European settlers. It then took hundreds of years for the Indigenous people to slowly gain back only some of their rights they had before the settlers arrived. Reconciliation is about Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians uniting and respecting one another. It is about respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and valuing justice and equity for all Australians. Indigenous people were the original owners and inhabitants of Australia and deserve respect and recognition for past treatment and discrimination that was bestowed upon them.
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