"Wominjeka" profiles Victorian Koorie culture and Koorie organisations across Victoria. This excerpt relates the invasion by European Settlers in the late 1700s and onwards.
What must the old people have thought the first time they saw a huge white ship sail over the horizon. Some of them who remembered the experience told of monstrous birds or trees growing out of the sea. People were afraid and hid their children in the bush. The old people first thought the white men were relatives returned from the spirit world. The fact that they had forgotten their language and customs was explained by their long journey from death back to life. Koori’s gradually realized that the settlers were ordinary men and women and these people were not visitors but intended to stay. Aboriginal customary law allowed for people to travel through each other territory but taking possession of another’s land and resources was unimaginable.
There was a lot of people from Lake Condah that went to the War. There was soldiers in the First World War. Five of my dad’s brothers…he and his brothers, there were five of them, went overseas and fought…an’ they were in the Light Horse…an’ everywhere else, they fought…Gallipoli , an’ all those places where the horror of war was worst, they were there in the middle of the fighting. I think why they went to war was because they really believed that the country was theirs…that Australia was their own an’ I believe that they went to war to fight and protect it from the enemy but when they came home the bad thing was that they never got any reward.
At a Referendum in 1967 with the YES vote of over 90% Australians amended the Constitution which allowed Aboriginals to be counted as human beings in the National Census.
Story education resources
Education State Library of Victoria: Indigenous Australians
These cartoons and images illustrate changing attitudes to Indigenous people, and their struggle for rights in Australia. These materials and the worksheets can be used to help students evaluate sources, compare images and study a single image in detail. VELS Level 5.
Education State Library of Victoria: The impact of colonisation
These materials and the worksheets can be used to help students evaluate a series of cartoons and illustrations that look at the impact of settlement on Indigenous people, and the way Indigenous people were viewed by Europeans. VCE Australian History.
Education State Library of Victoria: John Batman's treaty
These resources and worksheets relate to John Batman’s attempt to ‘purchase' the land around Port Phillip Bay on the behalf of the Port Phillip Association. Batman brought with him legal documents, which were allegedly signed by Indigenous leaders on the Yarra. Students can evaluate sources and analyse documents. VCE Australian History