Australia

Targeted Groups
Perpetrators
Alert Status
Genocide Stage(s)
  • Indigenous Australians (Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people )


  • Government 

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Stage 3: Discrimination
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In 1788, the British began to colonize Australia, disrupting the lives and culture of the Aboriginal people. The colonizers brought disease--smallpox--with them and took the indigenous land and food sources. There was also a common practice of raping indigenous women and capturing many for slavery. Later, there was a large campaign for assimilation in which children were separated from their families. The Frontier Wars and Genocide was a movement to kill off the indigenous resistance. Reports have stated that 40,000-65,000 indigenous people were killed for over a century. Some are even higher. Over the decades, the Aboriginal people faced racist policies--similar to Jim Crow-era laws and became impoverished. Reform began in the late sixties, but, today, indigenous groups are still fighting policies that disregard their cultural heritage and their history. 

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Page last updated:
7/20/21
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Staying strong: Responding to racism

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Australia: Aboriginal peoples

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Discrimination against Indigenous Australians has risen dramatically, survey finds