The British colonists declared that before their arrival to Australia, the entire continent was terra nullius (uninhabited by humans). British colonists used this as justification for taking whatever they wanted. As a large amount of white settlers moved into Australia they began to occupy the fertile land. The Aborigines were pushed further and further away from their traditional lands and into the harsh arid interior. Their families were broken up, their children taken away from them and sent to be "civilised", their sacred sites destroyed and their wild animals hunted.
The killing and exploitation of Aborigines by whites continued well into the twentieth century. The aboriginal population declined from the original 300,000 when the first white settlers arrived to only about 60,000 people during the early twentieth century. It is true to say that Aborigines were second class citizens in their own land. With the exception of the remote parts of Australia, by 1901 Aborigines had lost control over their land. They had no control over their future, their culture was ignored and Aboriginal languages were becoming distinct and regarded with disrespect. State laws were aimed at isolating Aborigines, with the basis of the various governments' protection policies being restriction of Aboriginal rights and the belief that Aborigines should follow the ways of white society.
This assignment will focus on Aboriginal life in the years 1900 through to 1945. A lot more of costs came out of this time slot than benefits towards the means of life for the Aboriginal population.
Federation and Aboriginal Voting Rights .
Federation, which is often seen as a milestone in the development of Australian democracy, represented a backward step for Aboriginal Australians. The exclusion of indigenous Australians from the governance of themselves and the nation did not end with the Constitution and terra nullius.