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Non-Indigenous

relationships with
environments

Learning Intentions
You should be able to:
Describe the influence of key historical events
on perceptions of non-Indigenous people on
outdoor environments
Analyse how these perceptions influenced
interactions with environments
Analyse the influence of non-Indigenous
relationships shaped Indigenous relationships
Evaluate the impacts of non-Indigenous
interactions on outdoor environments

Terra nullius

European Perceptions
Early

Europeans arrived into Australia throughout the


1800s A land of Promise, to be conquered and
harnessed.

Concept of Ownership

TERRA NULLIUS: legal term used to describe land tenure in


Australia from the time of the First Fleet. The concept that the
land was owned or possessed by nobody. The British govt
failed to recognise Aboriginal form of land use and their social
and legal structure and so claimed it as their own.

This

was the case in Australia until the 1992 Mabo Land


rights decision

1.

What colonial perceptions of


environments are present in the
concept of terra nullius?

2. Was Captain Cook right to declare


terra nullius ? Why/why not?

Concept

of ownership gave the European


Settlers legal rights:
a squatter who held a certain run, held
that tract of land as his own, and could
not only turn off any flock or bird
intruding thereon but anyone

Settlers Perceptions
Early

settlers saw the environment in terms


of WORTHSHIP

What profit they could derive from it. I own it,

The

environment was there to be used for


man: a RESOURCE:
Ill

own it, Ill cultivate it, It is my adversary, I must


conquer it and it will bring me money

Settlers Perceptions
Saw

the Australian environment as


harsh, hostile and alien; something that
needed to be controlled or manipulated

Major

Mitchell early explorer of the


Grampians region. Read his early
accounts of the region can you find the
common perception of harsh
environments in his writings?

Settlers Perceptions

Saw the Australian environment as harsh, hostile and


alien; something that needed to be controlled or
manipulated

Viewed Australias plants and animals as worthless,


particularly in arid zones led to settlement of the
eastern seaboard.

Believed there was a limitless supply of resources so, at


first, no need for conservation: land cleared for farms

Conservation virtually non existent; indigenous


perceptions and practices ignored.

Land Practices
SQUATTERS AND EARLY SETTLERS
Cleared land for farming: grazing/ crops:, removal of
soil nutrition, start of soil erosion and compaction,
siltation of waterways, didnt allow pastures to
recover
Hunted native animals: firearms
Introduced other animals: cattle, sheep for grazing:
soil compaction and erosion, aggressive grazers,
selective grazing, altered floristics
Introduction of foxes, rabbits, hares
Altered river channels via dams and causeways

Land Practices
Planted foreign trees from homeland: competed with
native species, became invasive
Fenced land: restricted access to aboriginals
traditional lands
Introduced domestic animals: dogs, cats; preyed on
native animals, escaped and became feral
Allowed stock to wader in creeks: polluted water
sources, eroded creek beds, saltation
Used resources to build homes, machinery, tools:
selective logging
Mined to gather materials for large houses

Commercial uses:
Export

Industries:

Sealing & Whaling, Timber extraction,


Sheep & Cattle Grazing

Commercial uses cont


Recreational

Interactions:

Recreational Hunting: rabbits, dogs and foxes,


deer

Conservation:

Not a priority
Undertook investigations when land
productivity dropped and put new strategies in
place
driven

by economics, not environmental concern

Environmental Perceptions:
Changes over Time
USING THE TEMPLATE PROVIDED, compile a digital
summary of key dates/historical events surrounding
early settlement in Melbourne, and look for descriptions
of early settlers, early explorers, and a collage of
images, to capture early non-Indigenous perceptions,
relationships and interactions with the environment.
Useful websites:
http://www.majormitchellexpedition.com/gallery/galleryarchive
/
http://home.iprimus.com.au/foo7/rombook1vic.html# 6
http://www.australianhistory.org/ landing
http://home.iprimus.com.au/foo7/houses.html# 3