The British initially thought Victoria's rapid colonisation in the 1830s was illegal, and authorities were concerned by its violence

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Indigenous News

Aboriginal,Colonization,Settlement

Hearings at Victoria's Yoorrook Justice Commission have shone a light on the violence that underpinned the state's colonisation in the 1830s, truths the commission hopes will pave the way to a more mature understanding of Victoria's past and present.

The British initially thought Victoria's rapid colonisation in the 1830s was illegal, and authorities were concerned by its violenceWhen people think about the colonisation of Australia, they might think about it starting in 1788.

Multiple witnesses told Yoorrook the initial settlement of Victoria was considered illegal by the British government, which had placed limits on the spread of settlement and considered those who went beyond this to be stealing land from the British crown. "Victoria, indeed, Australia is having difficulty coming to terms with the truth about the true history and settlement of this country," Wergaia/Wamba Wamba elder and commission chair Eleanor Bourke said.Professor Bourke said the effort to document the state's distressing past through truth-telling was essential.

The 86-year-old has been alive for nearly half the time that Europeans have remained in Victoria, since the settlement of Portland.The early settlements of Victoria were considered illegal by the British at the time The subsequent spread of settlers throughout Victoria against the wishes of the colonial government spiralled into what Professor Henry Reynolds labelled "a disaster they couldn't control".Professor Reynolds said the boundary of settlement was an area about 300 kilometres from Sydney and those who travelled beyond it had "no legal justification for doing so".

Based on the research of Federation University historian Professor Ian D Clark, she also referenced a November 1840 massacre, where an "overseer for the Henty brothers" killed a number of Aboriginal people.Colonial authorities of the 1830s were concerned about violence against Aboriginal people In 1837, a British government committee report on Aboriginal people expressed serious concern about the suffering of Indigenous people in Australia.

Squatters travelled from Tasmania and from the north over the Murray, against the wishes of the colonial government. "This was one of the most tragic periods for First Nations people … both because of the speed of the occupation and undoubtedly the amount of violence and the killing that took place in this period," Professor Reynolds said.There were 49 known massacres in Victoria , in which 1,045 Aboriginal people were killed.

Aboriginal Colonization Settlement History Yoorrook Yoorrook Justice Commission Truth-Telling

 

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