Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
have inhabited Australia for at least 40,000 years.
Recent evidence indicates that it could be as long as 60,000 years.
Aboriginal people originally came from South East Asia, they first entered
Australia from the north. It was a very different place to that of today,
the land mass stretched from Tasmania to New Guinea. During this time there
have been significant geographic and climate changes in Australia. The oceans
was probably one hundred meters lower than today. 20,000 years ago the last
of the great ice ages gripped Australia rendering the land more hospitable
with vast deserts reaching into Victoria and parts of Tasmania.
The Aboriginal people existed in relatively cultural isolation they developed
their own solutions to problems that resulted in a stable and efficient
way of life that remained largely unchanged until European settlement.
The population of Aboriginal Australia at the time Europeans arrived in
1788 is estimated at between 250,000 and 500,000.