This is a timeline of Aboriginal history of Western Australia.
Aboriginal life in the two centuries from 1629 to 1829, was characterized by the increased presence of Europeans around the Western Australian coastline. First contact appears to have been characterized by open trust and curiosity, with Aborigines willing to defend themselves against any unwarranted intrusion.
The settlement of Western Australia by Europeans, under James Stirling, in the early 1840s, created a new generation of colony born young men who were engaged in hostilities with Aborigines and the imprisonment of those who dared question their authority. The settlement proceeded with the expropriation of land and the exploitation of cheap labour and the extermination of any resistance by Aborigines.
The sixty years from 1881 to the 1940s can be neatly divided into two by the passage of the 1905 Aboriginal Act, which created institutionalised racism and created what amounted to Aboriginal "concentration camps" in which the Aboriginal people were to be confined until the race became extinct. It began with the Fairburn Report which first drew attention to the "Aboriginal Problem." This institutionalised racism, like the racism of the Nazi period in Germany, the racism of the southern states of the US, and the racism of South Africa, reached its peak in the 1930s. The "final solution to the Aboriginal problem" was to take all children from Aboriginal parents, who were considered as "biologically capable of having children, but not socially capable of raising them." This "solution" continued beyond this period until well into the 1970s. The major task confronting Aboriginal people throughout this period was how their cultures could survive.
I think it is our duty not to allow these children, whose blood is half-British, to grow up as vagrants and outcasts, as their mothers are now. There is a large number of absolutely worthless black and half-castes about who grow up to lives of prostitution and idleness; they are a perfect nuisance; if they were taken away from their surroundings of temptation much good might be done with them. There is no power to do this now, consequently a half – caste who possesses few of the virtues and nearly all the vices of whites, grows up to be a mischievous and very immoral subject. This Bill will tend, in a great measure, to remedy this abuse. I may say it may appear to be a cruel thing to tear away an Aborigine child from its mother, but it is necessary in some cases to be cruel to be kind.
This period began with the Great Stockman's Strike of 1946. It, like the other periods, can be divided into two by the events of 1967, in which Aboriginal people were recognised as Australian, and by the passage of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, which for the first time since 1829 recognised Aboriginal people as equal under Australian law. The passing of the Mabo and Wik High Court Decisions, which recognised Aboriginal people as in possession of the land at the date of European settlement, is an appendix to these changes. This period is still not complete, as the Western Australian Labor and Liberal Coalition governments are still resisting the Native Title claim of the Noongar people.
The Noongar are Aboriginal Australian peoples who live in the south-west corner of Western Australia, from Geraldton on the west coast to Esperance on the south coast. There are 14 different groups in the Noongar cultural bloc: Amangu, Ballardong, Yued, Kaneang, Koreng, Mineng, Njakinjaki, Njunga, Pibelmen, Pindjarup, Wadandi, Whadjuk, Wiilman and Wudjari. The Noongar people refer to their land as Noongar boodja.
Yagan was an Aboriginal Australian warrior from the Noongar people. Yagan was pursued by the local authorities after he killed Erin Entwhistle, a servant of farmer Archibald Butler. It was an act of retaliation after Thomas Smedley, another of Butler's servants, shot at a group of Noongar people stealing potatoes and fowls, killing one of them. The government offered a bounty for Yagan's capture, dead or alive, and a young settler, William Keats, shot and killed him. He is considered a legendary figure by the Noongar.
Heirisson Island is an island in the Swan River in Western Australia at the eastern end of Perth Water, between the suburbs of East Perth and Victoria Park. It occupies an area of 285600 m2, and is connected to the two foreshores by The Causeway. The next upstream island is Kuljak Island, then Ron Courtney Island, with no islands in the Swan River downstream between Heirisson Island and the Indian Ocean other than the artificial islet in Elizabeth Quay.
Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Chidley Irwin, KH was acting Governor of Western Australia from 1847 to 1848.
Robert Menli Lyon was a pioneering Western Australian settler who became one of the earliest outspoken advocates for Indigenous Australian rights and welfare in the colony. He published the first information on the Aboriginal language of the Perth area.
Beeliar is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Cockburn. The name refers to the Beeliar people, a group of Aboriginal Australians who had land rights over the southern half of Perth's metropolitan area. The suburb contains the Thomsons Lake Nature Reserve.
Midgegooroo was an Aboriginal Australian elder of the Nyungar nation, who played a key role in Aboriginal resistance to white settlement in the area of Perth, Western Australia. Everything documented about Midgegooroo is mediated through the eyes of the colonisers, some of whom, notably G.F. Moore, Robert Menli Lyon and Francis Armstrong, derived their information from discussions with contemporary Noongar people, in particular the son of Midgegooroo, Yagan. Largely due to his exploits in opposing colonisation and his relationship with Lyon and Moore, Yagan has a much sharper historical profile than his father. Midgegooroo was executed by firing squad and without trial under the authority of Lieutenant Governor Frederick Irwin in 1833.
The Bindjareb, Binjareb, Pindjarup or Pinjareb are an Indigenous Noongar people that occupy part of the South West of Western Australia.
Whadjuk, alternatively Witjari, are Noongar people of the Western Australian region of the Perth bioregion of the Swan Coastal Plain.
The Australian colonies and in the nineteenth century created offices involved in dealing with indigenous people in the jurisdictions.
The Moore River Native Settlement was the name of the now defunct Aboriginal settlement and internment camp located 135 kilometres (84 mi) north of Perth and 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) west of Mogumber in Western Australia, near the headwaters of the Moore River.
The Pinjarra massacre, also known as the Battle of Pinjarra, occurred on 28 October 1834 in Pinjarra, Western Australia when a group of Binjareb Noongar people were attacked by a detachment of 25 soldiers, police, and settlers led by Governor James Stirling. According to Stirling, "about 60 or 70" of the Binjareb people were present at the camp and John Roe, who also participated, estimated about 70–80. This roughly agrees with an estimate of 70 by an unidentified eyewitness. The attack at Pinjarra was in response to sustained aggression by the Binjarebs, including robberies and murder of settlers and members of other Nyungar tribes.
Calyute, also known as Kalyute, Galyute or Wongir, was an Indigenous Australian resistance leader who was involved in a number of reprisal attacks with white settlers and members of other tribes in the early days of the Swan River Colony, in Western Australia. He was a member of the Pindjarup people from around the Murray River area south of Perth. Calyute's family included two brothers, Woodan and Yanmar, two wives, Mindup and Yamup, and two sons, Ninia and Monang.
Marribank, earlier known as Carrolup, is a locality in the Shire of Kojonup, Western Australia, approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) north-west of Katanning. It was the site of one of two large native settlements for Indigenous Australians established by the office of the Protector of Aborigines of the Western Australian state government. The settlement was one place that the Stolen Generations were taken after being separated from their families. Artworks produced by children at Carrolup are some of the only extant objects produced by members of the Stolen Generations across Australia.
The history of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Western Australia has been dated as existing for 50-70 thousand years before European contact. This article only deals with documented history from non indigenous sources since European settlement in Perth.
The Forrest River massacre, or Oombulgurri massacre of June 1926, was a massacre of Indigenous Australian people by a group of law enforcement personnel and civilians in the wake of the killing of a pastoralist in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Half-Caste Act was the common name given to Acts of Parliament passed in Victoria and Western Australia in 1886. They became the model for legislation to control Aboriginal people throughout Australia - Queensland's Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897, NSW/ACT's Aboriginal Protection Act 1909, the Northern Territory Aboriginals Act 1910, South Australia's Aborigines Act 1911, and Tasmania's Cape Barren Island Reserve Act 1912.
William Harris (1867–1931) was an early Western Australian activist for Aboriginal civil rights. He has been called "the most significant voice of a generation with the education and social standing to assert their rights as British subjects".
Charles Augustus John Symmons (1804-1887) was an official of the British government posted at the Swan River Colony, assuming a role as "protector" and later police officer in the early decades of European settlement in Southwest Australia.
Yued is a region inhabited by the Yued people, one of the fourteen groups of Noongar Aboriginal Australians who have lived in the South West corner of Western Australia for approximately 40,000 years.