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The Aboriginals of Australia

Frontier is considered television’s first comprehensive account of Australia’s hundred and fifty year land war. Between 1788 and 1938, thousands of whites and tens of thousands of blacks died in racial violence across the continent. Frontier is compulsive viewing for everyone interested in Australia’s national debate on reconciliation.

Ep 1 – They Must Always Consider Us As Enemies (1788-1830)
Soldier/Administrator David Collins sailed to Sydney with the First Fleet. He became the first official to acknowledge that blacks and whites were locked in a grim struggle for the land. When a second settlement in Tasmania was established it too became embroiled in a ‘Black War’. Fighting ended only after a verbal treaty acknowledged some Aboriginal rights in the land, however the Government broke its promises and Aborigines were rewarded with exile.

Ep 2 – Worse Than Slavery Itself (1830-1860)
By 1830 Humanitarians and Missionaries began to take up the anti-slavery campaign with the official message to Australia that Aboriginals had legal rights as subjects of the crown. However the new mood did not go down well on the Frontier and horrific massacres took place.

Ep 3 – The Government Should Shut Its Eyes (1860-1938)
When the land wars moved north to Queensland the Aborigines resisted. An estimated ten thousand Aborigines were shot dead with the Colonial Government turning a blind eye. Blacks would be imprisoned on reserves, have their children taken from them and be encouraged to breed themselves out. But even as massacres continued Aborigines started to organise politically and would inform white Australia that they had no intention of dying away.

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