Timeline For The First People Then And Now


Timeline For First People Then And Now



65,000   Aboriginal occupation in Australia

55,000   Malakunanja II rock shelter south of Malangangerr in the Northern Territory, has archaeological evidence indicating that human beings may have been living in this region over 55,000 years ago

43,000   Mungo Man

8000   The Torres Strait Islands are formed when the land bridge between Australia and New Guinea is submerged by rising seas.

1402-1432  Chinese voyagers may have been in Australian waters

1588-1907   Macassans each year visit north eastern coast of the Northern Territory

1605  Spanish navigator, Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, claimed Vanuatu thinking it was the great southern land

1606  Dutchman Willem Jansz on the Duyfken explores the western coast of Cape York Peninsula. The Dutch explored the waters around the northern, western and southern coasts of Australia.

1606 The Spaniard Luis Vaez De Torres sailed through Torres Strait.

1770 Captain James Cook reached the east coast of Australia. Cook was instructed to take possession of the eastern half of the continent for the British crown.

1771-1828 The French sent eight expeditions to Australia to extend their knowledge of the little known world of Australia and the Pacific

1788   Captain Arthur Phillip and the arrival of the First Fleet from England

1790-1802 Wars of resistance in Sydney region led by Pemulwuy



1813  Crossing of the Blue Mountains

1822-24  Resistance wars in Bathurst region led by Windradyne

1830s  Yagan, resistance leader in Perth, Western Australia

1835  Battle of Pinjarra in Western Australia

1838  Myall Creek Massacre

1869-1937 Protection era

1869   Victorian Board for the Protection of Aborigines

1884  Battle of Battle Mountain in the Kalkadoon wars in north Queensland

1872 and 1879 Torres Strait taken over by Queensland government




1883 NSW Aboriginal Protection Board

1890 Jandamawra (Pigeon)   resistance leader in Western Australia

1901 Federation

1902  About 50 Aboriginal trackers join Boer War

1914 Aboriginal people serve in World War I



1920 Government authorities believed the Aboriginal population to be a ‘dying race’

1928 Coniston Massacre

1937-1965 Assimilation Policy

1938 Day of Mourning

1939  The Cummeragunja Walk-off. Aboriginal people go on strike for the first time.

1939-1945 World War II   Aboriginal people did not have citizenship until 1967 so when Aboriginal soldiers serve in the war they were not even citizens

1958 Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines

1963 Bark Petition

1965-1972 Integration Policy

1965   Freedom Ride

1966  Gurindji walk off

1967  Commonwealth Referendum

1972 Whitlam Government and policy of self-determination

1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy


Aboriginal Tent Embassy1972 Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA)

1973-74 Woodward Reports

1976  Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976 (NT)

1986 Pope John Paul II addresses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Alice Springs.

1989 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC)

1991 Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation

1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody

1992 Mabo decision

1993 Native Title Act 1993

1994 Native Title Tribunal

1996 Wik decision and its 10 point plan

2000 Sydney Olympics – Cathy Freeman

2000  Corroboree 2000

2005 ATSIC is dismantled

2007 Intervention

2008 The Apology

2008  Close The Gap policy

2012 Aboriginal Tent Embassy celebrates it 40th birthday


Aboriginal flag

2012 The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Recognition Bill was passed in Parliament with support from both sides of parliament.

2016   Thirteen Aboriginal candidates run for the federal election

2016    Linda Burney becomes the first woman Aboriginal Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives in Australia’s history

2017  Tracey Moffatt is the first Indigenous Australian artist to represent Australia at the 57th Venice Biennale with a solo exhibition


c. Pemulwuy -art work by Marji Hill 2017

c. Aboriginal Tent Embassy – art work by Marji Hill 2017