Source: William Bradley (1789)
The arrival of European colonisers in 1788 forever changed the ways in which Indigenous people lived. Europeans forced Indigenous people off of Country, removing them from their homes and sacred places and often killing Indigenous people in the process. They introduced foreign species of plants and animals which destroyed ecosystems that had been carefully managed by Indigenous peoples, destroying important sources of food for Indigenous people. They introduced foreign diseases which resulted in the deaths of numerous Indigenous people. And they tried to impose their way of life on Indigenous people, interrupting a chain of culture and knowledge that stretched for thousands of years through the forced removal of Indigenous children, the massacre of whole clans of Indigenous people, and by punishing Indigenous people for using their own language and practising their own culture. But through all these changes, Indigenous people resisted and fought back. Read through the resources below to learn more about contact and conflict between European colonists and Indigenous Australians, and how Indigenous Australians resisted colonisation.