SOR1: Dispossession

Separation from the Land

  • For Aboriginal people, loss of Land is the same as loss of spiritual identity
    • Results in inability to fulfill ritual responsibilities, and a loss of purpose
  • Land is inextricably connected to kinship, ceremonial life, family connections and relationships
  • Loss of land resulted in the destruction of totemic responsibilities

Order of events

  • 1788: settlement and establishment of Terra Nullius, marked the start of the removal of tribes from the Land
  • 1820s-1850s: government and churches established missions and reserves
  • Imposed Chrisitianity and European culture/lifestyle
  • Objected to most aspects of Aboriginal spirituality

Flowchart of the effects of dispossession

Separation from Kinship Groups

  • Destroyed kinship and the identity of Aboriginal communities
  • Wiped out thousands of years of stories and culture, which is irretrievable without those kinship ties

Order of events

  • 1838: Policy of Protection forcibly placed Aboriginal people on missions and reserves, which resulted in the mass dispossession of Aboriginal people
    • Deliberate attempt to destroy Aboriginal spirituality
    • Resulted in the destruction of kinship, traditional gender roles, culture, language, etc.
  • 1901: Policy of Assimilation removed mixed Aboriginal people from kinship groups
    • Assimilated mixed children were not permitted to visit Aboriginal relatives, which was detrimental to the all-encompassing nature of Aboriginal spirituality

Stolen Generations

  • From the late 1800s to the 1970s, forced separation of Aboriginal children from their families was Government policy
  • As many as 100000 children were removed in a deliberate attempt to remove their Aboriginal identity and deteriorate the Aboriginal culture
  • Bringing Them Home Report:
  • Revealed the loss of Heritage, Culture, Language, Land and Community
  • Made 54 recommendations to the government, e.g. 7a, which recommended for a National Sorry Day to be held annually
  • Life expectancy: Aboriginal life expectancy is 20 years below the Australian average
  • Indicative of a poor, subordinate class in Australian society
  • Caused by the loss of land and disconnection with family and kinship groups
Pranav Sharma
Pranav Sharma
Site Owner

UNSW Student, site owner and developer.