Aboriginal Arrival

Pre-contact is the time frame used to show the migration of Aborigines into Australia.  At this point there is no Europeans, no Torres Strait Islander, no differences within groups, we were only know as Homo sapiens from the landmass now known as South Africa.

Migration was achieved during the closing stages of the Pleistocene epoch, when sea levels were typically much lower than they are today. Repeated episodes of extended glaciation resulted in decreases of sea levels by some 100–150 m. The continental coastline therefore extended much further out into the Timor Sea than it does today, and Australia and New Guinea formed a single landmass (known as Sahul), connected by an extensive land bridge across the Arafura Sea, Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait.


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Aborigines of Australia

In 2011 University of Copenhagen researched the migration of Homo sapiens accross the world. From this study Professor Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen states that Aboriginal Australians were the first modern humans to traverse unknown territory in Asia and Australia.

DNA researchers found that the ancestors of Australian Aboriginals had split from the first modern human populations to leave Africa, 64,000 to 75,000 years ago. This discovery turns on its head the existing theory that Aboriginals arrived in Australia less than 50,000 years ago.


"This new DNA study powerfully confirms that Aboriginal Australians are one of the oldest living populations in the world, certainly the oldest outside of Africa," agrees evolutionary biologist Professor Darren Curnoe of University New South Wales (UNSW). "Australians are truly one of the world's great human populations and a very ancient one at that, with deep connections to the Australian continent and broader Asian region. About this now there can be no dispute."

Australia Geographic
DNA Confirms Aboriginal Culture one of Earth's Oldest

Journey of Mankind

The Bradshaw Foundation, in association with Stephen Oppenheimer, have created a fantastic virtual global site that show the journey of mankind through time.  This Internet site shows the migration of humans over the period of 160,000 years.

Information is based on a synthesis of mtDNA and Y chromosome evidence with archaeology, climatology and fossil study, Stephen Oppenheimer has tracked the routes and timing of migration, placing it in context with ancient rock art around the world.
Bradshaw Foundation/Stephen Oppenheimer
Journalof Mankind-peopleof theworld

Aboriginal Migration into Australia

Map from "The Ancient Web"
The Ancient Australia


Australia is an old continent, with the Aboriginal peoples history being written in the environment. Once you understand the Aboriginal migrations into Australia, environment issues, Aboriginal lifestyle and current population locations, we understand the location of relevance to obtaining information.

From the Queensland perpective capturing information from Far North Queensland is vital. This does not mean that information within the rest of Queensland is not important. It means that the cultural information within the Far North Queensland is not as corrupted by European enironment manipulation and dictatorship.


Size of Australia

Most people need to understand the scope of Australia, it’s size and geographical obstacles to truly understand the Aboriginal culture prior to contact. Australia is the planet's sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the USA, and Brazil. At 7 692 024 km2, it accounts for just five percent of the world's land area of 149 450 000 km2, and although it is the smallest continental land mass, it is the world's largest island. 


It’s interesting to fit countries into Australia to see the size scale. As demonstrated by Geoscience Australia


Finding you locate groups name

Step One:

View maps to locate group name. ABC Online viewing  www.abc.net.au/indigenous/map/.

Documenting a Democracy internet site which is more user friendly as it allows you to copy sections of the map http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/pathways.asp

Norman Tindale’s Australian Aboriginal Map. http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/archives/collections/tribes

Step Two:  See who is has a claim for this land via the Land Council.  Visit the Queensland Land claim map http://www.nntt.gov.au/Mediation-and-agreement-making-services/Geospatial-services/Maps/Pages/default.aspx

In Queensland there are five regions. The maps pertaining to these regions are large and you need to wait for the map to open,then copy only the section you require for the client.

The region and size of maps are Cape York Region is (pdf 4.4 MB), Gulf of Carpentaria Region (pdf 4.1 MB) ; Northern Queensland Region (pdf 8.8 MB),Southern and Western Queensland Region and the Torres Strait (pdf 4.1 MB)

Step Three: Research what is available through library catalogues.  I prefer to use the [email protected] library catalogue at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS): the major collecting institution and repository for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage: www.aiatsis.gov.au. This library’s catalogue is the best source for you to obtain clan information, their [email protected] online database is fantastic.

Use [email protected] online database in conjunction with the State Library of Queensland OneSearch catalogue. You will get a large hit amount on this database then you just search through the material to find information of relevance. You could skip this search engine and go directly to OneSearch, but be aware that the institution has more informative details on documentations and allows you to search for personal information via this catalogue.

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) developed a Placename Thesauru available at http://www1.aiatsis.gov.au/thesaurus

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