Timeline results for 1770 to 1899

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  1. The Kalkadoon Wars in Queensland last from 1870 to 1890. About 900 Kalkadoon people are killed as they fight to protect their land. The war culminates in the battle of Battle Mountain in 1884. In 1972 Minister for the Army Bob Katter Snr. names an army helicopter ‘Kalkadoon’ at a ceremony with Kalkadoon people in Mt. Isa in recognition of their fighting spirit.


  1. The London Missionary Society arrives in the Torres Strait Islands and introduces Christianity to the Islanders. The first landing is at Darnley Island (Erub) on 1st July 1871, which is now celebrated annually with the ‘Coming of the Light’ celebrations.


  1. Health

    A devastating measles epidemic, brought on by European explorers, cuts through through the Torres Strait Islands at the height of the pearl-shell fishery and reduces the population of the whole area by almost 25% because Islanders had no natural immunity. On some islands 50 to 80% of the population succumbs to the disease.


  1. Truganini dies in Hobart aged 73. Against her wishes the Tasmanian Museum displays her bones. 100 years later members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community cremate and scatter them onto the water. The Tasmanian government does not recognise the Aboriginal heritage of people of Aboriginal descent and claims the “last Tasmanian Aboriginal person” has died. A falsehood many still believe today.


  1. The Hermansburg Mission is established on the Finke River, Northern Territory by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia and the Hermannsburg Mission Society of North Germany.

  2. Settlers in the Daintree River Area of Queensland are killed by Aboriginal people.


  1. The Torres Strait is annexed by Queensland. Torres Strait Islanders are not dispersed from their homelands like Aboriginal people.


  1. Department of Public Instruction formed. About 200 Aboriginal children enrolled in public schools.


  1. A Protector of Aborigines is appointed in NSW. He has the power to create reserves and to force Aboriginal people to live there.


  1. ‘Mission’ schools are set up on reserves with untrained teachers (mostly Managers’ wives): 13 Aboriginal schools by 1900, 40 by 1930. They are often the only option for Aboriginal children who were excluded from public schools. ‘Aboriginal’ (‘mission’ or reserve) schools were only set up where there were sufficient numbers to justify the expense.

  2. White parents object to about 16 Aboriginal children attending a public school at Yass. The Minister for Education, George Reid, stops the children from attending stating that although in general creed or colour should not exclude a child “cases may arise, especially amongst the Aboriginal tribes, where the admission of a child or children may be prejudicial to the whole school”.

  3. The Aboriginal Protection Board is established in NSW. Aboriginal people at Maloga Mission on the Murray River are moved to Cumeroogunga. By the end of the 1880s several reserves have been established in NSW. Reserves are set up far enough from towns to limit contact with Europeans. Segregation is a key part of Aboriginal protection policy.


  1. Massacre of Aboriginal people on the McKinlay River, Northern Territory. The perpetrators are exonerated by an official inquiry.


  1. Royal Commission appointed in Queensland to investigate the recruitment of South Sea Islanders for plantation work finds there have been widespread kidnappings. Queensland Parliament prohibits the recruitment of South Sea Islanders from the end of 1890. The Act is later suspended due to the economic depression and outcry from plantation owners.

  2. John Batman negotiates a treaty with the Kulin people but this was declared invalid by the Governor of Victoria as it was carried out by a private citizen rather than the Crown. Little more was heard of treaties for nearly 100 years.

  3. The Queensland Elections Act 1885 excludes all Aboriginal people from voting.


  1. The Victorian Aborigines Protection Act excludes ‘half-castes’ from their definition of an Aboriginal person. As a result nearly half the residents of the missions and reserves have to leave their homes.

  2. Victorian Board for the Protection of Aborigines is empowered to apprentice Aboriginal children when they reach 13. Children require permission to visit their families on the stations.

  3. Western Australian Aborigines Protection Board is established.

  4. Men and women of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve (60 kms north-east from Melbourne) fight the Aboriginal Protection Board which wants to break up the successful community that’s growing hops and doing better than neighbouring white farms. Walking to Melbourne, they deliver a petition to the Victorian government. But the majority of the residents are removed under the Protection Act which cripples Coranderrk as an enterprise. The government closes it in 1924.

Cite this page

Korff, J 2024, Timeline results for 1770 to 1899, <https://stage.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=5&q=&category=any&yearFrom=1770&yearTo=1899>, retrieved 22 June 2024

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