The nature of contact between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and early traders, explorers and settlers

PLEASE NOTE: This case study contains names, images and/or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Case Study Overview

There have been some wonderful moments in Australian history – great inventions, amazing heroes, terrific teamwork, examples of mateship and stories of men and women serving their country in times of war. We pride ourselves on giving everyone who comes to our country a fair go. But it has not always been like this. There have been times in our past when there was much violence and hatred; times when the European settlers forcefully took the land from the Aboriginal people destroying a lifestyle that had lasted for many thousands of years.

In this unit you find out who were the first people to make contact with the Aborigines; how the explorers and free settlers looked upon Australia’s traditional people; whether the first contacts were mainly cases of conflict or cooperation and what the results of this contact were for Aboriginal lifestyle

This unit of study is presented as a website which includes interactive elements, videos, PDF and worksheets (in Word Doc format). The unit is compatible with computers and iPads.

Case study unit of work inquiry structure

  • Activity 1 Exploring Conflict and Cooperation
  • Activity 2 Picture study of conflict and cooperation
  • Activity 3 Story study – The Macassan Traders
  • Activity 4 Early descriptions of the Aborigines
  • Activity 5 Timeline of British – Aboriginal Contact
  • Activity 6 How did European contact affect the lifestyles of the Aborigines?
  • Activity 7 Knowledge quiz

For Primary Students

• First Contacts

Case Study Resources

  • Interactive website
  • Print Resources (PDF)
  • Worksheets (DOC)
  • High Quality Video
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