Venus shines bright in the sky above Victoria.
Flickr/Indigo Skies Photography
The planets we can see in the sky were known to the ancient Greeks as 'wandering stars'. But they appeared much earlier in the stories and traditions of Australia's Indigenous people.
Humans would have first seen Kata Tjuta very shortly after arriving in Australia 50,000 years ago.
Aboriginal Australians have effectively been on their country for as long as modern human populations have been outside of Africa. We have a limit as to how long ago that was: around 50,000 years.
Detail from Julie Shiels’ 1954 poster White on black: The annihilation of Aboriginal people and their culture cannot be separated from the destruction of nature.
State Library of Victoria
It is 50 years since anthropologist WEH Stanner gave the Boyer Lectures in which he coined the phrase 'the great Australian silence'. How far have we come since?
A new Parramatta is emerging out of the rubble of history.
Artist's impression of the new North Parramatta development/URBANGROWTH NSW/AAP
Sydney's Parramatta is developing fast, building over a rich archaeological history. Finding ways to retain it can help visitors and residents feel a sense of physical connection with those who came before.
Sunset looking across Port Warrender to the Mitchell Plateau on the Kimberley coast. It is in Wunambal Gaambera country.
Mark Jones Films (with permission)
The first people to make it to Australia could have navigated their way by sea crossing, reaching the north-west coastline of the island continent more than 50,000 years ago.
‘The Block’ in Redfern has been a site of struggle and activism for Indigenous inclusion in planning processes.
AAP Image/Paul Miller
While planning policies and practices have contributed to marginalising Indigenous people, planners can now work with them to ensure they have their rightful say in shaping Australian communities.
Participants in A Tasmanian Requiem, a musical performance addressing Tasmania’s Black War.
A Tasmanian Requiem brings together Western and Aboriginal voices to confront the violence of the state's Black War. It shows what a historical reckoning, and reconciliation, might look and sound like.
Detail from William Barak, Figures in possum skin cloaks, 1898, pencil, wash, charcoal solution, gouache and earth pigments on paper, 57.0 x 88.8 cm (image and sheet)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1962
Colony at the NGV pairs colonial art with Indigenous responses, in an effort to create dialogue about Australia's history.
Detail from a reconstruction of a Tasmanian picture board by Simon Barnard (2015).
Kristyn Harman and Nicholas Brodie
In the early days of colonial Tasmania, the British used threatening picture boards to communicate with Aboriginal people, giving them a choice between conciliation and death.
The spread of Pama-Nyungan was likely influenced by climate.
The origin of around 300 of Australia's Aboriginal languages lies in Queensland, about 6,000 years ago.
In July 2017, new research was published that pushed the opening chapters of Australian history back to 65,000 years ago.
Marcella Cheng/The Conversation
When did Australia’s human history begin?
The Conversation, CC BY 16.6 MB (download)
Today's episode of Essays On Air, the audio version of our Friday essay series, seeks to move beyond the view of ancient Australia as a timeless and traditional foundation story.
Christmas Dinner, Mt Margaret Mission 1933.
State Library of Western Australia
Aboriginal missions were notorious for their austerity, but Christmas was a brief time of joy. While celebrations had a sinister assimilationist edge, Aboriginal people often adopted traditions into their own culture.
Mount Mazama, a volcano in Oregon. Indigenous stories preserve tales of its eruption more than 7,000 years ago.
Old stories from around the world tell of drowned islands, volcanic eruptions and upheavals to the land around them. Increasingly we are realising these tales preserve actual memory, often from thousands of years ago.
Mungo Man finally returns to where he was found in the Mungo National Park.
Office of Environment and Heritage/J Spencer
The remains of the first known Australian, Mungo Man, begin their journey home today. Scientists hope they'll still get a chance to study the ancient remains, working with the Traditional Owners.
A cross was erected during the 1996 remembering ceremony of the Sturt Creek massacre.
The local Aboriginal people told stories and painted images of a massacre of their ancestors in the early 20th century, but there was no other evidence that the incident took place. Until now.
Heaven only knows what sort of excursion Wooredy and Truganini thought they had embarked upon on when G.A. Robinson took them to Recherche Bay in 1830 to make an overland trek to the Tasmanian west coast.
Wooredy and his second wife Truganini set off into the Tasmanian wilderness with settler George Robinson in 1830, on a "conciliatory" mission to find other original Tasmanians. Their stories bear witness to a psychological and cultural transition without parallel in modern colonialism.
George Hamilton, Meeting natives on the Campaspi plains, Victoria, June 1836.
National Library of Australia
George Hamilton published An Appeal for the Horse in 1866, a defence of animal welfare well ahead of its time. However, his compassion for Aboriginal people was conspicuously lacking.
The Dove ad published on Facebook, which the company took down after many complaints of racial insensitivity.
Beauty brand Dove caused controversy with an ad seemingly showing a black woman turning white after using its body lotion. While Dove removed the ad, it played into the racist history of skin whitening.
Aboriginal dancers from Pinjarra perform at the unveiling of the counter-memorial in Esplanade Park, Fremantle, April 9 1994.
Courtesy Bruce Scates
A Fremantle monument to three white explorers was revised in 1994 to acknowledge the violence committed against Indigenous owners. As Australia struggles to reconcile its racist past, perhaps this monument shows a way forward.
The Madjedbebe excavation in the Northern Territory.
Dominic O Brien/Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation
A new study pushes back the first known evidence of human activity in Australia – to 65,000 years ago.