The Endeavour circumnavigated and mapped New Zealand before travelling west, where on 19 April 1770 Captain James Cook spotted and claimed the east coast of Australia for the Crown. He named it New South Wales.
Cook's first voyage charted over 8000km of coastline throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. While some of these territories were already known to Europeans, the accuracy and extent of his maps were impressive for the time, according to Dr David Andrew Roberts of the University of New England.
David says Cook was "part of a great age of exploration…who became a national hero," but "there has been a tendency to overplay his role in the establishment of Australia."
"Like all explorers," says David, "perhaps his greatest legacy is more symbolic than tangible."
In 1770 when Captain James Cook claimed the eastern portion of the Australian continent in the King's name, he was also aware of the land's Aboriginal inhabitants. The British, however, did not perceive the several hundred tribes of Aboriginal people who lived there as owners of the land. They believed that it was a 'terra nullius' (territory belonging to nobody) and therefore it was free for them to use for themselves.
In 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip and 1,500 convicts, crew, marines and civilians arrived at Sydney Cove. In the 10 years that followed, it's estimated that the Indigenous population of Australia was reduced by 90%. Three main reasons for this dramatic population decline were:
The introduction of new diseases
Settler acquisition of Indigenous lands
Direct and violent conflict with the colonisers
The most immediate consequence of colonisation was a wave of epidemic diseases including smallpox, measles and influenza, which spread ahead of the frontier and annihilated many Indigenous communities. Governor Phillip reported that smallpox had killed half of the Indigenous people in the Sydney region within fourteen months of the arrival of the First Fleet. The sexual abuse and exploitation of Indigenous girls and women also introduced venereal disease to Indigenous people in epidemic proportions.
Having been deprived of American colonies following the emergence of the United States, Britain in the 1780s was desperate to find an alternative territory for its miscreants. Australia, recently claimed for the empire by Captain Cook, seemed to fit the bill. It had been inhabited by Aborigines for millennia but, despite a few tentative voyages, no other European power had established a lasting settlement on the continent. Britain took the lead. The first fleet of convicts arrived in January 1788 and a fledgling penal colony was established in what is now Sydney.
For a while these men clung precariously to their brave little huddle of tents and mud and wattle huts along the foreshore of Sydney Cove, Morton Bay in the now Queensland and odd places in between.
From 1815 when the way across the Great Divide was found from Sydney Town, the explorers and next the land takers and the bush workers pushed further and further into the hinterland The land takers, legally or otherwise 'squatted' and established sheep runs.
Squatter, in 19th-century Australian history, an illegal occupier of crown grazing land beyond the prescribed limits of settlement.
The inroad of squatters contributed to the growth of the country’s wool industry and to the development of a powerful social class in Australian life. By the late 1840s the authorities recognized the economic good derived from the squatters’ activity and issued them leases for their sheep runs and tenure extending as long as 14 years.
By this time the squatters had a hold on the land; many had become wealthy grandees prefering to be called 'graziers' or 'pastrolists'
The 'selectors huts were very basic
The 'Squatters homes were very grand
And then there were the tents
The 1850s saw a large influx of immigrants, as well as thousands of miners drawn to Australia by the gold strikes. A cry for land was raised from this quarter, which challenged the squatters’ position. The cry was strong enough to prompt the Legislative Assemblies of the various colonies to pass “selection” acts in subsequent years. Generally, these provided for the sale of land at auction, forcing squatters to bid against prospective farmers for the land that they already controlled by leasehold. The wealthy squatters were able to purchase the choicest land, but much grazing area fell into the hands of small farmers, who found the agricultural yield disappointing. Their hostility against the selectors and their rugged pioneer ethos led the squatters often to resist social and political change.
In many ways the early history of Australia is hard to detach from the story of its mother country. The kinds of people, settler and convict, who came to the continent reflected the social and political situation in Britain at the time. It provides, an acute focus on the problems of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
The settlers brought with them their Eurocentrism and they didn’t realise how dry this continent was. British yeomen tried to advance into South Australia and Western Australia but it was impossible because these places are deserts. It showed a great incomprehension of the country that they were coming to. These people should have perished on the desert shores and in many cases they came close to doing so. They also went mad and committed suicide, but ultimately they stayed.
Although farming was tricky, the settlers discovered that the climate was suitable for livestock and especially sheep. Useful for their meat and wool, sheep farming had become a mainstay of the Australian economy by the middle decades of the 19th century.
As settlements expanded they came into greater conflict with the Aboriginal people who had lived in Australia for at least 50,000 years. This was, the countervailing tragedy of Australian history.
The Aborigines considered that the country was theirs and any animals on it were theirs as well. So they began killing the livestock of settlers, and maybe they would also kill a convict shepherd because he was messing with their women or had stolen stuff from them. This is when the carbines came out and, when it came to a showdown, white mans technology and firepower was greater.
Through frontier wars, massacres and the introduction of diseases, the Aboriginal population was devastated. The settlers took over swathes of territory, effecting a cultural as well as physical dispossession. We can lose our house in the suburbs that we’ve had for 20 years and we’ll survive, but if you separate the Aboriginals from their traditional land, which is their source of food and social cohesion, then you are depriving them of more than real estate.
Devastation Of The Land
By 1852, wrote John Gould, Cape Jervis and it's vicinity in South Australia was for the most part occupied by industrious settlers and 'the Kangaroos' so numerous in Flinders time and the Emu have disappeared.
Of the Platypus Gould said "in 1863 The diminution of it's numbers is solely due to the wholesale destruction delt ou to it by the 'settlers' which if not restrained will ere long lead to the utter extirpation of this harmless and inoffensive animal. It is in fact often killed from mere wantonness"
Even though edible fur bearing creatures were by 1863 were fairly scarce near the coast, they still abounded inland where the Aboriginal still held domination and took no more than he needed to feed the tribe.
Then came the great extermination and for this the sheep farmers were almost entirely responsible.When the gold rush finished a large proportion of the miners and their sons moved from station to station working for the station owners doing jobs such as 'tank sinking' timber splitting, shearing, boundary riding and droving
The squatters and settlers were 'hungry' men and had no feeling for the countryside, so they sweated in the sun, slashed down the native vegetation in the expectation that more 'feed would grow. This is why today we see kilometer after kilometer of dreary, treeless artificiality.
The philosophy of these people is nowhere better illustrated than in the fertile Western Districts of Victoria of which the inhabitants are so 'proud'
Here you will see kilometer after kilometer of drab flatness, broken only by the unsightly windbreaks of cyprus and tatty sugar gum.
The thing to do was kill off all the large native animals on their place and this meant the Kangaroos but they also butchered every Koala, Paddymelon, Bilby and Bustard.
John Gould said "Short-sighted indeed are the Anglo Australians or they would have made laws for the preservation of the indigenous animals and doubly short-sighted are they for introducing animals from a different climate"
In Australia, about two thirds of agricultural land is degraded. The major types of land degradation are soil erosion, soil salinity, soil acidity and soil contamination. Also mentioned when discussing these are nutrient loss and soil structure decline.
When vegetation is removed from soil surfaces they become susceptible to erosion either by wind or water and frequently both these agents of erosion combine to remove surface soil. It is important to appreciate that soil erosion is a natural phenomenon and has occurred in Australia over the millennia. But since European settlement Australia State of the Environment reports have indicated that the rate of soil loss has increased by orders of magnitude, doubling in the inland rangelands, being five-fold greater where native pastures have been replaced by introduced pasture species in higher rainfall areas and being up to 50 times greater on sloping land used for cereal cropping.
Pastoralists and graziers have never learned to 'live with the land' the degradation continue even today
Soil salinity in Australia is not a new phenomenon. Salt derived from the oceans has been deposited by rain, wind and marine ingressions (land previously submerged beneath the sea) over millions of years then leached through soils into underground aquifers and ground water until natural equilibria have been established. Secondary salinity has been brought about by vegetation clearance and the way land has been used in the past 200 years. The National Land and Resources Audit in 2001 estimated that about 2.4 million ha of land across Australia is saline with a total of 5.4 million ha deemed to be at risk.
The predominant cause of land degradation in Australia has been the permanent removal of native vegetation particularly in the wheat/sheep and higher rainfall zones (see map) and the way this cleared land has been used. While dramatic vegetation changes occurred during the 40,000 years or more of Indigenous occupation due to climate variations and to a lesser extent the Aboriginal use of fire, no permanent loss of vegetation occurred due to human intervention. Over the 200 plus years since European settlement, about 13% of Australia has been cleared with much greater rates of clearance in the sheep/ wheat and higher rainfall zones (see map). The condition of the remainder is variable and masks underlying decline in many ecological communities. Broadscale mechanical removal of vegetation allowed cropping and the establishment of introduced pasture species
Overall, Australia has lost nearly 40% of its forests, but much of the remaining native vegetation is highly fragmented. As European colonists expanded in the late 18th and the early 19th centuries, deforestation occurred mainly on the most fertile soils nearest to the coast. In the 1950s, southwestern Western Australia was largely cleared for wheat production, subsequently leading to its designation as a Global Biodiversity Hotspot given its high number of endemic plant species and rapid clearing rates. Since the 1970s, the greatest rates of forest clearance have been in southeastern Queensland and northern New South Wales, although Victoria is the most cleared state. Today, degradation is occurring in the largely forested tropical north due to rapidly expanding invasive weed species and altered fire regimes. Without clear policies to regenerate degraded forests and protect existing tracts at a massive scale, Australia stands to lose a large proportion of its remaining endemic biodiversity.
Other examples of unintended consequences are the introduction of animal pests such as the rabbit and management failures that have allowed other feral animals (goats, pigs, camels, etc) to increase in numbers and exert grazing pressure on plant communities already stressed due to grazing by domestic animals, particularly in periods of drought.
Attitudes Of The Early Settlers
As mentioned earlier, in many ways the early history of Australia is hard to detach from the story of its mother country. These people had no appreciation for the difference of Australia and no appreciation of it's old fragile soil.
The shadowy, ever changing green and blue canyons of the Blue Mountains were described as "a dreary monotony of form and colour" but the same traveller said when sighting a hawthorn bush in Tasmania "It seemed like being on the right side of the earth again"
To many settlers it was not only the season that were reversed and therefore 'wrong' but they found it distressing indeed to be compelled to eat Christmas pudding at 100 degrees fahrenheit in the shade.
Other aspects of Australia to the settlers were equally tiring for example the trees shed their bark and not their leaves as properly organised trees should. The Cuckoos sing at night and not in the day, what they were actually referring to was the song of the Boobook Owl
As the early decades passed and the settlers began to make their homes here they generally remained apprehensive of the new land and many were appalled by it. The wild grandeur of the upland plateau and the golden emptiness of the plains startled men and women who came from places like Cornwall in England and the Scottish Highlands which to them were the acme of spaciousness.
The bush to the early settlers was the enemy, it brooded somberly outside their brave and often pathetic little attempts at civilisation, it crowded in on them during times of drought and flood. This land, not they were alien, and this is clearly shown in the work of the early colonial artists when they painted a billabong as a Sussex village pond.
Not only did the early settlers resist complying with the country and the animals they also refused to dress according to the climate and continued wearing cloths more suited to the cold weather of England.
The young boys wore the same clothes as the girls which were frocks! When the boys were around the age of five, they were given their first shirt and long trousers. When the boys went swimming they stripped off their clothes and went in naked. At night -time they wore a night shirt. If the boy’s family was rich they would have boots and woollen socks. Girls wore clothes that were basically the same as their mothers. Girls later wore a junior corset. When they were older their corsets were laced up tighter to give their body a fashionable figure. When they went to school sometimes the teacher strapped them to a board to make the girls have a straight back.
Women wore dresses which touched the ground and were made from fairly heavy material, under the dresses there were several layers of petticoats and long pantaloons and stockings.
Men persisted with the typical English style of dress, long trousers of heavy material, a waistcoat and a jacket. Along with this there was a tie, thick woolen socks and strong heavy boots.
Dress of the lower class working people
Dress of the upper class or squatters wives.
Even a days outing called for full dress and all the accessories
Warning Graphic... https://www.kangawatch.com/ex-roo-shooters-what-they-say
Warning Graphic https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rb8bwTFc9XI
The following is Colonialism personified,this person/people are indeed Settlers on this Ancestral Home of Kangaroo yet they call the land...our Indigenous Land,their own.
Farming is a privilege not a right and we Indigenous People have been farming here for thousands of years and doing so in balance and with Respect to those such as Kangaroo, who are the Dreaming of Country who have themselves, been here for millions of years in complete balance on this their Ancestral Home.
What you see in this video/article is arrogant greedy discontent & astounding ignorance,to this person/people nothing matters except Sheep who are not only introduced but who have no place on Country, it being a hot dry landscape and Sheep having irreversible negative impacts upon Country via pollution of the their waste, their urine being heavy in nitrogen, they are hard hoofed animals who compact soils and cause irreversible soil erosion. They are water dependent and root grazing animals, Kangaroo do not impact in any way of the aforementioned, especially as they are top grazers and have soft padded feet of which the long toe nails, aerate the soils, Kangaroo are not water dependent and are able to top up their water table via moisture absorption through forage and their urine is not high in nitrogen and if Kangaroo did,impact THEIR own Indigenous Landscape as is being perceived in this video:article of delusional rant https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.nine.com.au/article/ee2aa1fb-89bc-4f47-ad74-ffde8a15475f
then they would’ve wiped themselves out many thousands of years ago.
What you are seeing in the above article and video is not only Colonialism personified it shows complete ignorance of the big picture.
These Kangaroos are clearly being chased hence the mob behaviour and to say this is a stampede...well, if only...stampeding is the natural action of Livestock.
Not only are these Kangaroos panicked and being chased but these animals thanks to the greed of the Commercial Kangaroo Killing Industry, with Shooting quotas of 15-20% or more, of population estimates, exceeding actual Kangaroo population growth rates (kangaroosatrisk.org) and with 95% Habitat loss across NSW alone ( Dawson T 2012) these large mobs mostly consist of fractured mobs who are forced together as a result of ongoing habitat loss, exclusion Fencing such as Cluster Fencing and of whom are not only impacted by the above but also the horrors of Drought with upto 100% juvenile mortality rates, and adult Kangaroos with up to 60% mortality rates and also we have the situation of ongoing poisoning.
To say or even imply that Australia is overrun by Kangaroos shows not only sheer ignorance it shows how dumbed down some have become to actual factual evidence from various people who actually live, with, work extensively with Kangaroos such as Wildlife Carers, Independent Kangaroo Population Research Analysts, Ecologists, Wildlife Conservation Biologists and even Ray Borda CEO of KIAA Commercial Kangaroo Killing Industry.
Australia stated in June 2018 there are declines in Kangaroo populations in NSW & the NSW DPI also stating significant and ongoing declines,as politicians such as Mark Pearson MP and Senator Lee Rhiannon have also stated, and used the DPI Figures to reiterate that fact...so perhaps one would suggest those writing articles as the one above actually research factual information.
Kangaroos don’t impact livestock...livestock, greedy unsustainable Farming is having a devastating impact upon Kangaroos.
As an Indigenous Woman I’m appalled at the ignorance, greed and total disrespect shown by those in this video and article who are standing on my Ancestral Home with no clue that those they are persecuting are in fact not only Sacred Totem Animals but the Dreaming of Country.
Kangaroos are one of the most persecuted animals in this Country and that’s all due to ingrained Colonialism.
I’m honoured to live with Kangaroos and I enjoy nothing more than educating people about them and showing the many Tourists and members of the public I engage with Kangaroos here living peacefully in their habitat..unfortunately more and more of our Kangaroos are losing the fight as more and more of their natural home is taken.
Aunty Ro Mudyin Godwin.
The Art of The Colonial Kangaroo Hunt