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Listed under:  History  >  Aboriginal history
Video

The history of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on the lawns of the Old Parliament House in 1972 only to be forcibly removed a few months later. Why do you think the reporter compares the protest in Canberra to events in Louisiana and Mississippi in USA? What are the protesters chanting? See if you can find out what happened ...

Audio

Jimmy Little outlines his views on racism, 2008

This is an edited sound recording, from July 2008, of Indigenous singer-songwriter Jimmy Little. Little tells how his parents lived on an Aboriginal mission, with their movements very restricted. He also recalls going to a movie theatre where people were separated by race, but says examples of racism such as these were ...

Audio

May O'Brien recalls the traditional bush lifestyle of her childhood, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of an interview with Western Australian Aboriginal educator and author May O'Brien. She recalls the traditional bush lifestyle of her childhood in the eastern goldfields region of WA. She describes living in comfortable humpies made from bush materials and how she was taught traditional ...

Image

Three Indigenous Australians, c1850

This is a watercolour painted by Samuel Gill in about 1850, entitled 'Two natives and child by a creek'. The painting, which measures 10 cm x 12 cm, is also known as 'Aborigine with barbed spear'. The location is unidentified. The image shows three Indigenous Australians - a man, a woman, and a child aged about three. All ...

Audio

Bonita Mabo recalls Eddie Mabo’s land rights battle, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Bonita Mabo, widow of Indigenous land rights activist Eddie Mabo. She recalls how her husband declared he would fight for recognition as the owner of his traditional land on Mer Island, also known as Murray Island, in the Torres Strait after learning it was officially regarded as crown ...

Audio

May O'Brien talks about Aboriginal storytelling, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of an interview with Western Australian Aboriginal educator and author May O'Brien. O'Brien says that in her early life she was told Aboriginal stories orally and in drawings in the sand. She says that when she puts Aboriginal stories in writing, she thinks carefully about the words she ...

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'The dawn of art', 1880s

This is a set of six drawings by the Aboriginal artists Ilontereba, Mindilpilpil and Billiamook. The set is prominently titled 'THE DAWN OF ART' with smaller text stating that it shows 'Original Sketches and Drawings by Aboriginal Natives of the Northern Territory of South Australia executed without the aid of a master. ...

Audio

Alf Turner remembers his grandfather, William Cooper, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Alf Turner, grandson of Indigenous activist William Cooper. Turner describes moving to Melbourne to live with his grandparents in about 1936 in the house then used for meetings of the Australian Aborigines' League (AAL). He recalls Cooper's frustration at the lack of results from the ...

Image

Rock painting, Carnarvon Gorge, 1938 - item 1 of 2

This sepia photograph of an Indigenous rock painting shows several stencilled hands and what appear to be boomerangs. In some of the images three fingers and thumb are prominent and in the central image the little finger is bent. The images appear to be well preserved. The photograph was taken in 1938 at Carnarvon Gorge ...

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Rock painting, Carnarvon Gorge, 1938 - item 2 of 2

This 1938 sepia photograph of a large Indigenous rock painting displays many stencilled hands, boomerangs, coolamons and a net-like shape, possibly representing a cycad, on a cliff wall in Carnarvon Gorge in central Queensland. A large rock near the wall shows some engraved art. The photograph was taken during the second ...

Audio

Ron Merkel discusses the native title claim process, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of former Federal Court of Australia judge Ron Merkel talking about the process required for lndigenous communities to mount native title claims. Merkel outlines the criteria for native title to be recognised by the Court. He also talks about how the native title process has involved oral ...

Audio

Brian Clouston describes the success of 'We are going', 2007

This is an edited sound recording of Brian Clouston, the founder of Brisbane-based Jacaranda Press, discussing the publication in 1964 of 'We are going', a book of poetry by Oodgeroo Noonuccal (known at the time as Kath Walker). Clouston describes the 'phenomenal' success of the book, and outlines why he believes it was ...

Image

Rainforest shield, c1890s

This is a wooden shield from the Aboriginal people of the rainforest region of north-eastern Queensland. Known as a 'rainforest shield', it is painted yellow, red, white and black using natural pigments. Collected in the 1890s, it is 96 cm long x 37 cm wide.

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Stone axes and picks, early 1900s

This is an image showing six stone axes and picks made by people of the Warumungu and Tjingali groups near Tennant Creek in central Northern Territory. On average, the axes are 50 cm long and 20 cm wide, while the picks are 40 cm long and 25 cm wide.

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Pandanus baskets, 1912-13

These are four conical pandanus baskets from western Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. All are painted with natural pigments and date from 1912-13. They are between 43 cm and 76 cm high and their diameters range from 14 cm to 24 cm.

Audio

May O'Brien recalls school at the Mount Margaret Mission, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of an interview with Western Australian Aboriginal educator and author May O'Brien. She gives an account of the police practice of removing Aboriginal children from their families in line with government policies of the time. She recalls being fearful as a child of being removed and taken ...

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Kimberley points, late 19th century

This image shows five small, sharp cutting blades known as 'Kimberley points' that were made of different coloured glass and ceramic materials by Indigenous Australian craftspeople in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. They are an average of 8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The points at top right and bottom left show ...

Interactive

North West Sydney has an ancient history

Students examine the diverse roles that historians and archaeologists play in investigating our ancient Aboriginal past. Coverage focuses on several key Aboriginal sites and then narrows to examine recent archaeological finds in Sydney’s North West and what they reveal about the nature and longevity of Aboriginal occupation ...

Interactive

Who lived here first and how do we know?

In this lesson students explore the importance of country and place to Aboriginal people, with a focus on the Darug proper of the North West Sydney region. Students examine a range of evidence about the Darug to help answer the questions ‘Who lived here first?’ and ‘How do we know?’.

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Forehead ornament, c1916

This is an Aboriginal forehead ornament from the Northern Territory, believed to have been made in the early 1900s. It comprises more than 30 kangaroo teeth, each embedded in beeswax and then attached to a string. Lengths of string extend out at both ends of the ornament. The ornament is 45 cm long and 9.5 cm wide.