The Uluru Statement and the First Arrivals

The Uluru Statement is clearly passionately felt. Should it be the basis for constitutional change and for co-sovereignty, as fervently claimed?

Parsing it calmly, the Statement has five elements. The first and critical one is the claim that native tribes possessed Australia “from the Creation”, “from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago”.

The second claim is that the basis for sovereignty is the link with nature, “the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors”. “This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty.”

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The third claim is that this sovereignty from the land has never been extinguished “and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown”. The fourth and fifth claims are the expression of powerlessness and the call for a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

We all have compassion for the sufferers of seemingly endemic domestic violence. The Statement, however, claims to be endorsed by science. It’s therefore worth examining the scientific basis which underpins these claims for co-sovereignty, and doubtless treaty and reparation. Arguably the advances of modern science far outshine any Statement myths.

To say the ancestors were here since “Creation”, or “from the first sunrise”, is off the scale, to be polite. The James Webb Space Telescope, launched in December 2021, is now showing images almost from the start of our universe, the Big Bang at 13.8 billion years ago. The sun itself formed around 4.6 billion years ago. Our planet Earth pluckily arrived around 4.54 billion years ago.

According to Geoscience Australia, the Pilbara landmass existed over 500 million years ago. Our ancient continent Australia was first part of Gondwana, which started separating around 200 million years ago. Australia itself isolated from around 10 to 55 million years ago. Not surprisingly, Australia’s ancient rocks have some of the earliest examples of the start of multi-cellular life, such as eukaryote biomarkers from Mount Isa about 2 billion years ago. Rocks from Jack Hills in Western Australia have the first evidence of the earth’s biosphere forming around 4.1 billion years ago.

We should surely all acknowledge how vastly more ancient this land is compared to any more recent human arrivals. The oldest rocks are around 70,000 to 80,000 times older, and the continent around 200 to 1100 times older.

In fact, our modern species Homo sapiens is relatively recent. Our first ancient human ancestors only separated from apes about 5 to 7 million years ago. Arguably the first great-grandmother of us all, the hominin Lucy, Australopithecus afarensis, discovered in Ethiopia, lived around 3.2 million years ago. Still earlier African hominins lived around 3.4 million years ago. Consensus now is that several waves of ancient humans left Africa from 1 to 2 million years ago. Neanderthals departed stage left towards Europe; Denisovans, Homo erectus and Homo floriensis and perhaps others stage right through Asia. Homo erectus reached Java around 1.5 million years ago and Flores around 1 million years ago. The oldest Homo sapiens fossil dates from around 300,000 years ago. South-East Asia was occupied by these anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens, around 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.

Australia, until quite recently, around 20,000 years ago, was joined with New Guinea and Tasmania, forming a super-continent called Sahul. Above this was another super-continent, Sunda, with much of present Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia and the southern Philippines joined into a great land-mass with South-East Asia. These were separated by the southern Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Flores and Timor, called Wallacea. The sea level was then as much as 120 metres lower than today.  

The key date for ourselves is when anatomically modern humans, including Aboriginal Australians, left Africa. After much debate, consensus is that there was a single main out-of-Africa departure around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago. (There were smaller excursions around 220,000 years ago.) These more modern humans migrated along the southern Asian coast and inland through India and Sunda. Some scientists say they exterminated the ancient hominins they encountered in Sunda. Others say they colonised and displaced them. There was certainly regular inter-breeding with the Denisovans.   

Before we get to the much-debated arrival time into Australia, or rather Sahul, it’s worth jumping across to see who current Indonesian and Malay researchers regard as their first ancestors. This is also a complex and controversial issue. There have been three recent major Asian genealogical reviews in 2021 and 2022. The first Sunda people are considered to be the ancestors of the still surviving Malay and Philippine Negritos, renamed the Orang Asli. The Negrito is the most direct descendant of the original hominin inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula. As B.P. Hoh et al say, “both mtDNA molecular clocking and inference of divergence times using autosomal DNA support the notion the ancestors of Peninsula Malaysia Negrito may be the earliest inhabitant of [SE Asia] at least 50,000 years ago”.

We can surmise, but not yet completely prove without more genealogical data, that these earlier hominin and Negrito inhabitants were comprehensively displaced by the more modern anatomically advanced humans migrating south. Would recognising this earlier colonisation help current Australian Aborigines move past their surely self-harming victimisation belief? Current “victims” were also likely much earlier colonisers and even aggressors with greater spear-throwing and tool-making skills.  

The claim for a 65,000-year arrival date into Australia, much-repeated by, for example, Noel Pearson, the Australian Curriculum and the Prime Minister, is still scientifically controversial. This needs a deep dive into the vast current research into palaeoanthropology and palaeogenetics. There is almost a battle between the 65,000-year claimants and those of the 50,000-year alternative. The 65,000-year  claim was made in a 2017 paper about Madjedbebe in Arnhem Land. It was then comprehensively refuted in a 2018 review, which review preferred 50,000 years, due to such things as “anomalous mismatches” between genetic timelines and archaeological chronologies. Counter-arguments were further politely discounted in a follow-up paper in 2020, again due to current genomic research, which reconfirmed 50,000 years. Some researchers say archaic humans may actually have reached Sahul. All acknowledge the great seafaring skills of the first arrivals in crossing from either Flores or Timor to Sahul.

Further extensive research in 2021 (about the role of termites in displacing archaeological finds) also concluded that “the early [65,000-year] dates for human presence at Madjedbebe and Nauwalabila must be rejected”.

Clarkson et al fired back in a mid-2022 review, repeating their 65,000-year claim. This claimed global significance for in particular two Madjedbebe artefacts, arguably dated between 68,000 and 50,000 years ago. While their review had massive research on grindstones, it curtly rejected the termite displacement argument and concluded that there is “currently no sustainable evidence upon which to dismiss the Madjedbebe chronology and its associated artefactual sequence”. Moreover, it arguably did not fully address the earlier genomic arguments and counter-evidence.

While Australian recent research has seemingly focused on archaeology, Asian research has built on many recent genomic advances to establish common ancestry and origins. As the renowned palaeoarchaeologist Paul Pettitt says in his wide-ranging new book, Homo Sapiens Rediscovered, “We are indeed at the frontiers of palaeogenetics … It’s hard to keep up with the stunning advances of palaeogenetics, accounts of which read like a sci-fi novel.” On Madjedbebe, Pettitt is also sceptical: “dates for the sediments in which the archaeology accumulated were very imprecise, and while they could have been as old as 65,000 years ago they could also have been much younger … We’re on safer ground around 55,000 years ago.”

Recent Asian genomic researchers also queried the 65,000-year claim. As they say, their calculated divergence at 50,000 years between Negritos and Eurasia would then be after the 65,000-year claim between Australian Aborigines and Eurasia, instead of before. They wisely say that comprehensive investigations are needed before any conclusion is made.   

However, a 2021 PhD thesis astonishingly said, “from genome-wide GWAS genotyping this study revealed that 11% of [Aboriginal] Australian ancestry came from Southern India, with divergence times estimated about [36,000 years ago]”. This tantalising significant early Southern Indian input would then continue well after the arrival dates into Sahul. It also reports, “Archaeological and genetic data broadly converge regarding the dates of the first settlement of Sahul (50,000 to 55,000 years ago).” Another recent 2022 genomic survey clears things up somewhat:

Present-day Australasians and Asians show that they likely derived from a single dispersal out of Africa, rapidly differentiating into three main lineages … Rapid diversification of an ancestral Asian population led to at least three Asian lineages, associated with Australasians and Negritos, South Asians and Andamanese Islanders, and East and Southeast Asians … Later genetic studies also established that separation from African populations likely occurred 65,000–45,000 years ago.

In summary, the Uluru Statement’s creation claim is wildly inaccurate, to say the least. The claim to have arrived 60,000 to 65,000 years ago is still unproven and much contested. Whatever the arrival date, it is surely immaterial compared to the vast age of this great continent, to which we all now belong. How can you claim to own something in perpetuity, when you have only been here for a minor part of its existence? The scientific basis for the Statement and the Voice is indeed shaky. It surely should not underpin the dizzy panoply of other claims, whether they are separately justified or not.

As the Smithsonian Institute says, we are all “One Species, Living Worldwide”. They sagely continue:

The DNA of all human beings living today is 99.9% alike. We all have roots extending back 300,000 years to the emergence of the first modern humans in Africa, and back more than 6 million years to the evolution of the earliest human species in Africa. This amazing story of adaptation and survival is written in the language of our genes, in every cell of our bodies—as well as in the fossil and behavioral evidence. This ancient heritage is yours.

Surely, we should celebrate and honour our common humanity in this vast ancient land, not seek to divide by race, as the Voice now so immodestly and sadly demands.

Howard Tweedie was born in Penang, Malaysia, with Scottish, Malay and Australian heritage.


Selected references

Clarkson et al, “Human occupation of northern Australia by 65,000 years ago”, (2017) Nature 547 (7663): 306–310)

Clarkson, C. et al. Reply to comments on Clarkson et al. (2017) ‘Human occupation of northern Australia by 65,000 years ago’. Aust. Archaeol. 84, 84–89 (2018).

O’Connell, Allen et al, “When did Homo sapiens first reach Southeast Asia and Sahul?”, (2018) PNAS 115(34): 8842-8490)

Allen, O’Connell et al, “A different paradigm for the colonisation of Sahul”, Archaeology in Oceania, Vol.55 (2020): 182–191)

Clarkson, C., et al. “Human occupation of northern India spans the Toba super-eruption ~74,000 years ago”. Nat. Comm. 11, 961 (2020).

Williams, M. A., Spooner, N. A., McDonnell, K. & O’Connell, J. F. “Identifying disturbance in archaeological sites in tropical northern Australia: Implications for previously proposed 65,000-year continental occupation date”, Geoarchaeology 36(1), 92–108 (2021). 

Hayes, E.H., Fullagar, R., Field, J.H., Clarkson et al. “65,000-years of continuous grinding stone use at Madjedbebe, Northern Australia“, Sci Rep 12, 11747 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-15174-x)

BP Hoh, Deng, Xu, “The Peopling & Migration History of the Natives of Peninsular Malaysia & Borneo : A Glimpse on the Studies Over the Past 100 years”, Frontiers in Genetics, (27jan 2022)

Jinam TA, Phipps ME, Aghakhanian F, Majumder PP, Datar F, Stoneking M, et al. “Discerning the Origins of the Negritos, First Sundaland People: Deep Divergence and Archaic Admixture”, Genome Biol Evol (2017); 9(8):2013-2022

Núñez Castillo, Mélida Inés (20 December 2021). “Ancient genetic landscape of archaeological human remains from Panama, South America and Oceania described through STR genotype frequencies and mitochondrial DNA sequences”. Dissertation. doi:10.53846/goediss-9012. S2CID 247052631).

Pettitt Paul, “Homo Sapiens Rediscovered”, Thames and Hudson (15 November 2022), ISBN 9780500252635

Yang M. “A genetic history of migration, diversification, and admixture in Asia”, Hum Popul Genet Genom. (2022); 2(1):0001. https://doi.org/10.47248/hpgg2202010001).  

See also : https://australian.museum/learn/science/human-evolution/the-spread-of-people-to-australia/, Fran Dorey, updated 09/12/21



25 thoughts on “The Uluru Statement and the First Arrivals

  • Dalone says:

    “Counter-arguments were further politely discounted in a follow-up paper in 2020, again due to current genomic research, which reconfirmed 50,000 years. Some researchers say archaic humans may actually have reached Sahul. All acknowledge the great seafaring skills of the first arrivals in crossing from either Flores or Timor to Sahul.”

    I’m sure science will eventually pinpoint how long ago it was when humans first reached our shores, and exactly who they were, however I seriously doubt that their claimed, ‘great seafaring skills’ will be discovered, no matter how hard they look.

    I find it so unlikely that such primitive people who existed 50 or 65,000 years ago would have even considered pushing off from Indonesia or elsewhere, to explore what was over the horizon.

    They would not have had sailing boats or likely even rowing type boats, in fact, I seriously doubt they even had what we would call a boat.
    I believe it is more likely that they had flotation devices such as a tree trunk, a bundle of bamboo, or a flimsy type of raft suitable only for calm inland or close coastal waters.

    Yet had they done so, why would they not have continued doing so right up until we arrived? Of course by that time they would have had sailing boats like the Makassans did.
    Plus they would have gone back and forth over tens of thousands of years, like the Makassans did over the last few hundred, as their sea-faring and shipbuilding improved.

    But they did not, and we know that because they remained primitive stone-age hunter-gatherers right up until we arrived.
    Even the ones here who traded with Makassans improved only slightly, gaining dug-out canoes and steel/iron tools etc.

    So how did they arrive? The only answer I see is that it was accidental, washed up onto our shores after being swept out to sea during tsunamis or cyclones or other weather or geological events.

    Over 50,000 years there would have been many many thousands of such happenings and most of these primitive people, clinging to tree trunks or other floating material would have perished at sea, for sure.
    But some would have survived and even a single pregnant woman would have been enough to kick-start the population.
    Which I understand is how the dingo population probably began, from a single pregnant female.

    Over time though, and in different areas, more and more people would find themselves washed up onto our shores, perhaps a couple one time or even half a dozen people, although one or two are more likely.

    I await more research papers on the subject, meanwhile we suffer this Uluru Statement in the hope if fails badly at the ballot box.

    • HOWARD TWEEDIE says:

      Thanks for the comment. Dr Amy Way from the Australian Museum Research Institute gives a good recent summary for the first early crossings, perhaps with large bamboo rafts, and in particular the organisational skills needed,

      Way A, “The Initial Peopling of Australia”, Australian Museum Research Institute, 1/6/20 https://australian.museum/blog/amri-news/this-month-in-australian-archaeology/

      • john.singer says:

        Although Dr Alan Thorne proved the possibility of Bamboo rafts in an episode of “Man on the Rim”. After seeing the Pumice produced by recent volcanic activity I believe they held big lumps of pumice in fishing netting as their floatation device.

      • Dalone says:

        Thank you for commenting Howard and for providing the work done by Dr Amy Mosig Way, Archaeologist, Australian Museum Research Institute, which of course I find, well, over the top, to put it bluntly.
        Below is her conclusion.

        “Allen and O’Connell (2020) make a strong case for a large founding population for Sahul, of a least hundreds and possibly thousands of people, who arrived in a relatively short time span. This means that the initial peopling of Australia must have been much more complex than previously considered. It would have required extensive planning and large-scale sea-craft construction. First occupation would have involved deliberate and concerted effort to build the watercraft needed to transport this many people and to motivate this many people to set off on a long-distance open-sea voyage. We can no longer think of this as a minimalist event. Rather, this is ‘the first great maritime migration’ by modern humans (Norman et al. 2018).”
        Aboriginals arrived in Tasmania 35,000 – 40,000 years ago. They did not have hafted stone axes nor did they have stone etc spear points.

        Historicising and Contextualising References to Ethnographic Wooden Spear Use.
        Annemieke Milks.
        “This section illustrates the problematic academic history linking so-called ‘simple’ technologies, including ‘simple’ weapons (cf. Shea & Sisk 2010) with cognitive abilities.
        The best-known examples of recent hunter-gatherers using wooden spears are the Aboriginal Tasmanians
        (Tasmania, Australia), and the Tiwi who inhabit Melville and Bathurst Islands (Northern Territory, Australia).

        The Tiwi and Tasmanians used wooden spears in terrestrial and aquatic hunting, and in interpersonal and collec-tive violence (Goodale 1971; Robinson 1966; Roth 1890; Spencer 1914).
        Prior to colonial contact the Tiwi and Tasmanians did not manufacture composite spears or
        ‘complex’ projectiles.

        As a result of the lack of these technologies, their technocomplexes were determined to be
        ‘simple’ (e.g. Hiatt 1968; McGrew 1987; Oswalt 1976).”
        Yet we are told by Dr Amy Way, that groups of these very primitive humans (who usually lived in small family groups) would have been able to organise hundreds, or even thousands of people, to manufacture rafts that could accommodate, feed and water, 50 – 100 humans for a week on the open sea.

        “The best theory is that the rafts or boats were made of large diameter bamboo, which would have been readily available, floats well and is easy to work with. A large bamboo raft could keep 50-100 people seaborne almost indefinitely and would have been able to carry people for 4-7 days.”

        I doubt these early people would ever have even seen a group of 100 people in the one place, at the one time, in their lives.

    • Jeffrey Persson says:

      Just another bunch of immigrants

  • Dallas Beaufort says:

    Given the weather anomalies, my joining of the dots, place these Aboriginal nomads here on Australia less than 12000 years ago, while the Tasmanian seafaring curly haired tribes in Tasmania. a tad earlier.

  • March says:

    Creation myths of Ayers Rock include the Dingo suggesting the “oldest living Culture” there goes back “only” about 4000 years or so, likely coinciding with a wetter climate that provided a means to travel to the center. This about the same age as the roots of Judaism. There are older carvings at Ayers Rock – also part of the creation story and not understood by the current group but not reliably dated. Oldest dates in central Australia are from the Cleland Hills in Western MacDonnald Ranges (radiocarbon 22k-12kBP). The dating and mythology points to changes in culture with successive waves of new arrivals and certainly not a continuous culture going back to first arrivals about 50000 years ago.

    • NarelleG says:

      @March – agreed.
      There are many stories along the east coast NSW that places arrival of contemporary aborigines ( those here in 1788) approx 5,000 years ago.

      Along the time of the dingo.
      The dingo killed off the thylacine on the mainland.

      The inhabitants of Tasmania arrived much earlier – scientific evidence showing different stature.
      {As regards the Constitution, the founders were wise enough NOT to put any emerging sciences into an important legal document.}

      I seriously don’t think they gave science a thought – otherwise why call them ‘first nations’.
      It was far easier to plagiarise :
      Out of Africa: Uluru statement from the heart

      Chris Merritt
      The Australian

      ‘the most poetic part of this document, the section that refers to sovereignty as a spiritual notion, is not original and the real author was referring to Africans, not Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
      It was copied from a 1975 ruling of the International Court of Justice that concerned the people of the Western Sahara.

      The primary author of that passage was a gifted jurist from Zaire, Nicolas Bayona-Ba-Meya, whose submission to the court was picked up and incorporated in the ruling handed down by judge Fouad Ammoun, the court’s Lebanese vice-president.

      This link between the Uluru statement and the work of Bayona-Ba-Meya and Fouad Ammoun is outlined in a new book on the voice by Jesuit priest and lawyer Frank Brennan.’

      Thylacine remained.

  • colin_jory says:

    It has always amused me that the idealogues who are the loudest in asserting that Australia’s aborigines have a right to the continent as their private property, with the rest of us to be their tenants, are the same pervasively Marxist white Leftists who otherwise insist that nobody anywhere has a right to private property: “Property is theft”.

    • cbattle1 says:

      What you observe about the Lefty doctrine on property is true, colin_jory, but I think the Lefties have a primordial longing for some kind of spiritual experience of connection to something more profound than “dialectical materialism”, and so they are satisfying that hunger vicariously through support of the Aboriginal Story.

  • ianl says:

    An excellent article.

    I greatly appreciate the effort Howard T displays in summarising relevant geology. This geological knowledge underpins it all, of course. That it has appeared in an article here surprises me some since I had mostly given up presenting such information on the basis that no one was interested … I don’t at all mind being wrong here.

    One would expect, though, that activists, politicians, bureaucrats, MSM (in short, the self-described “elites”), will studiously ignore this.

  • James McKenzie says:

    Have received this: an estimate of 80 Tel Nos then checked on the Aboriginal population in the NT that equates one Tel No to 775 aboriginals. As social benefits advantage such the real number maybe 600. Then behind each Tel No there maybe at least four staff so one person for 150 of them.

    Then above that there are similar departments in the NT for everyone then there is the Federal level.

    This cries out for a Royal Commission as there are rorts everywhere.

    “C:\Users\61450\Documents\Greater Northern Commissions.pdf”

  • James McKenzie says:

    Sorry ref: funny cannot paste. Not a problem get a copy of the NT telephone directory to validate.

    • Dalone says:

      I may not fully understand your post, James.

      “an estimate of 80 Tel Nos then checked on the Aboriginal population in the NT that equates one Tel No to 775 aboriginals.”

      But it appears you are suggesting that amongst NT Aboriginals there is only one phone per 775 people.

      This would be terribly inaccurate and perhaps the problem comes from looking at a current telephone book because I am sure you will find that very very few Aboriginal people have their mobile numbers in the phone book, albeit, large numbers have mobile phones.

      • Lawrie Ayres says:

        I think he means there are 80 telephone numbers for various Aboriginal departments or sub-departments from which he estimates that there are very many bureaucrats per Aborigine at just one level of government. to which must be added two more levels all with more bureaucrats. IOW there are a lot of people making a living out of closing the gap in which case it is beneficial not to close the gap even if that means permanent victimhood for Aborigines. According to Marxist theology the Aborigine successfully survived in this harsh land for however long they say yet cannot survive when every whim is satisfied by taxpayer largesse. The remedy is more bureaucrats and lots more money. I have noted that Torres Strait Islanders who have thrown in their lot with the locals have a far more sophisticated society and dress code. New Guineans are more advanced still and Indonesians more so again. Aborigines appear to be Homo Sapiens poor cousins at the dead end of the branch of progress, a cultural cul de sac.

        The question remains; in the however many thousands of years what progress was made if any? They had a bounteous land as has been proven by European settlement but achieved nothing. Sooner or later they were doomed to be taken over by a superior society. Luckily for them it was a British one.


    Who got here first and when is rubbery, petty and is of significance only to the apartheid push to divide Australians by race. It is God’s country. All Australians welcome.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

    Those of us bush born and bred probably have more than a passing basic knowledge of aboriginals and the bottom line is that they are like any other human being, good, bad, indifferent, smart, or dumb, so in essence people just as we all are. Some show remarkable powers of observation and appear to have sixth sense, power of sight, the ability to find their way on the darkest of nights, and stuff like that but many things supposedly attributed to them by august bodies as in the ABC, SBS, etc. including that nice professor Pascoe state that they were the first astronomers, artists, and goodness knows what amuse me when as an aeronautical person for over fifty years I and many of my kind can’t see a blessed Emu in the coal sack near our Great Cross and those of us who are familiar with these people wonder when they are depicted on Raine Island for instance laying claim to Turtles nesting when Raine Island is way out of sight of land and getting there through treacherous reef openings is not fun as Bligh found out in that locale all those years ago, so why go there when there was/is ample tucker and fresh water all along the mainland coast? Why would a hunter gatherer living a life where there were more meal times than meals ascend a steep sided hill to declare it a scared site when there was no tucker or water there? Then of course the 65 thousand years to forever occupation is bruited about so how did they first determine that, how come a peoples who couldn’t read or write determine their history when we ordinary folk have to use organisations as in –Ancestry.com– to determine our ancestry going back a century or so and we and our ancestors were/are literate. Believe you me, you can travel far and wide and find very little evidence to even know they were here, a few scratchings on a sandstone rock face, the very odd painting and a few stone chips plus a rock that might be a stone axe depending on ones imagination (I only know of two paintings in Cape York Peninsular) so the only people who could determine their origins would be archaeologists and aboriginal archeologists would have been very thin on the ground when this 65 thousands to the beginnings of time theory became a talking point for the likes of Mr. Peterson. One wonders about the Wallace line determined in the mid 1800’s or the Weber line from about 1900 and what effect it may have had on migration other than animal migration sixty and more thousand years ago. The only people to be able to shed light on the matter are the archaeologists and not from a people who have leaders who appear to be a bunch of con artists and power hungry rent seekers.

  • john.singer says:

    Thank you Howard Tweedie for summarising some of the vast range of reasons why the Uluru Statement should not be adopted by Government. The problem was created by Judges, Lawyers and Legislators with little scientific knowledge and zero interest in the advancement of scientific knowledge. This disinterest was then injected into school and university curricula to further the lack of knowledge in the community.
    I recommend that the layman seeking a little history of Australia as a land mass take a tour of Hughenden and Richmond in Queensland to learn a little of the “monsters” that inhabited our seas. To Winton in Queensland to learn a little of the Dinosaurs (many unique to our continent) that roamed our soil and perhaps to Cervantes and Shark Bay in Western Australia and learn about the Stromatolites that first put Oxygen into our Atmosphere. The Stromatolites in Shark Bay are still living
    As regards the Constitution, the founders were wise enough NOT to put any emerging sciences into an important legal document.

  • Phillip says:

    Thank you for the researched article. In today’s progressive language, the dreamers refer to a small proportion of our society as ‘First Nations’ people. The term Nation, being a real furphy as we know the nomads roaming the continent before British settlement were individual tribal groups with NIL political collective to substantiate a Nation.
    A Nation would survive on adherence to a positive economy, to promotes its engineering, education, health, housing and welfare etc for a prosperous National system.
    If these very early settlers did not bring an economy and engineering then they did not create a Nation.
    The Romans are the bastion of creating the western civilized world and nationhood on the elements of a strong economy. A practice and spirit advanced by the British settlers onto the nation of Australia.
    Lobbing up with just a spear and skimpy clothing with zero intent of creating a Nation 60,000 years ago does not give merit to a modern day minority collective of citizens thinking they own the place.

  • pmprociv says:

    As others above have commented, what’s a few thousand years here or there got to do with having a special house of parliament created just for your mob? There were no national parliaments in traditional culture. And, as if to compound the stupidity, just the other day, I read that a judge was to visit the Torres Strait islands in relation to the claim that our government was responsible for rising sea levels drowning their villages! This process has been going on steadily since the last glacial maximum, ca. 20-25K years ago (when there we no TS islands, or even TS). Several of the local spokesmen/grifters were quoted as saying their culture was 60,000 years old! Such a pity these folk either don’t know any real history, or are simply manipulative liars, taking full advantage of passing bandwagons. And they still demand to have CO2-belching motor vehicles, air transport and tinnies with outboards. What’s the bet the judge decides they deserve compensation, from us? Stupidity knows no bounds . . .

  • Mike O'Ceirin says:

    It is all very well to say this is a very old culture but very few ask is it a culture fit for the 21st century. I see there are many problems which contribute to the poor living standards within remote aboriginal communities. It is a blatant claim for power by a activist group and if given it they will cause us all great problems. I see anyone that has joined the Australian community by marriage as having no special claim. In this mad world though there is a simple solution I have been Caucasian all my life but now I self identify as aboriginal!

  • cbattle1 says:

    Among the many things that have been put down the Orwellian “Memory-Hole” in the past few decades, is the anthropological system of hierarchical development of human cultures, based on the type of tools that the culture produced, starting with “stone age”, followed by “bronze” and “iron” ages. The stone-age was divided into the “Paleolithic” and the “Neolithic”, meaning “Old Stone Age” and “New Stone Age” respectively.
    The Aboriginal people of Australia (excepting the Torres Strait Islanders) were still in the Paleolithic age when Europeans arrived. In contrast, the Polynesians, such as the Tahitians and Māori were Neolithic cultures, and the cultural divide is huge. Concepts of “treaty” and “sovereignty” are completely incompatible between a Paleolithic culture and a modern Western culture, as in the former their is no government and thus no representative that can sign a treaty on the behalf of the culture.
    It is impossible to connect an Aboriginal person living today with some human artifact found in the ground or engraved on a rock…. there is no history, no provenance.

  • Stan Yeaman says:

    Let’s condider Mungo Man, and Woman. Their remains have been accurately dated by carbon14 at 42,000years. The bodies had been cremated, thus destroying all DNA material. That means there is no scientific way of linking them to present day people who claim to be aborigines, meaning ‘original inhabitants’. Mungo Man and Woman may, or may not, have been the true original inhabitants, ie aborigines, but there is no means of proving beyond all reasonable doubt that Mungo Man and Woman are related in any way to present-day claimants to aboriginality or that Mungo Man, and his woman, were the original inhabitants. Thus, any link is pure imagination, speculative and without proof. No court could possibly accept there is any proven descent from Mungo Man to present claimants of aboriginality. Thus, the only claim present claimants of aboriginality can make is their ancestors were here before the British, and no more.


    Thanks for the comment. Actually we do know about Mungo Man. The 2016 PNAS study extensively re-evaluated with the latest DNA techniques the Mungo and Kow Swamp remains with local approvals. One rather startling finding was that, while Mungo Man was indeed re-dated at around 42,000 years ago, the “Mungo Man (WLH3) sample contained no Aboriginal Australian DNA” [!]. Where he came from and why he was there remains a puzzle.

    Heupink TH et al, “Ancient mtDNA sequences from the First Australians revisited”, PNAS June 6, 2016, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1521066113

  • simonbenson65 says:

    One of the saddest aspects of all this is that teachers and school associations are trying to do their level best to indoctrinate teachers and our school aged children to such a degree that if a student so much as questions the pro-First Nations narrative – it is apparently offensive now to even write the acronym “ATSI” – they are castigated by their school and letters are sent home that their child “dared to question” alleged facts surround how long our First Nations people groups have been here. Just when you thought we were raising kids to be genuine inquirers and original thinkers, think again. Not when it comes to the left in the First Nations industry, who are making a lot of money out of all this, including lawyers and academics behind the push, who are, I might add, almost all white, pushing their particular barrow of muck. You can tell how dodgy a claim is when the left will truck no one and nothing interfering with the fake narrative they are peddling to our kids.

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