A little about the history of the Great Southern Land….
Australia, as we now know it, covers some 3 million square miles (7.7 million square kilometres) of land. It is thought that in a period of lower sea levels (70-40,000 years), when Australia was perhaps joined to New Guinea and within reach of Asia by canoe, man first reached the continent. From these beginning emerged some 250 nations of Australian aboriginals.
A diverse range of nations and languages and a rich oral history developed over many thousands of generations. Across these generations the basis of the aboriginal culture was hunting and gathering with a limited use of stone tools. However, that does not mean it was unchanging. Rather it adapted so as to be finely in tune with the diverse range of environments that existed across the vast land.
The population over time reached stability, and harmony with the environment, and was never thought to be more than 750,000 in number.
Almost invisible to any outside modern culture was the aboriginal’s complex oral history, their reverence and oneness with the land, and their belief in the Dreamtime- a fusion of faith, knowledge and ritual that dominated their lives and approach to the outside world.
When the white man arrived, the aboriginal nations knew nothing, and had drawn virtually nothing, from the vast range of civilisations that had risen and fallen in parallel to their history .
For the Australian aboriginal an ocean horizon had bounded their culture from time immemorial. To the expansionist, white explorers sailing inevitably towards this Great Southern Land, they stood naked, with virtually nothing the white man could comprehend, or value.
We are now witness to the age of European discovery and the aboriginals are unique, of their own time, and totally vulnerable….