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I acknowledge deeply and regret Parliaments own role in endorsing the policies and actions of successive governments which devastated Aboriginal communities and inflicted and continue to inflict grief and suffering upon Aboriginal families and communities Bob Carr Premier of New South Wales Clark Aborigines have become the minority in Australia a country they used to be the sole occupants of Their relationship to the government as a minority has affected them profusely Many of the policies the government has constructed for them have changed their customs religion and ways of life Aborigines have populated Australia for over forty thousand years it is believed that they originated from Asia at about that time Australia the last discovered continent was found by the Spanish in the mid 1500s but they did little with that knowledge After capturing a group of Spaniards in 1767 the British learned of its existence The British rediscovered it in 1770 In 1788 the British began colonizing the continent with convicts in the area known as Botany Bay in New South Wales Their thoughts for creating the penal colony were that it was inaccessible and therefore difficult to escape and that the small group of natives present in the area could be easily cowed Bartlett 34 During colonization the government began pacification of the native tribes Through this process it is estimated that around twenty thousand natives died of a population at the time estimated to be around three hundred thousand Many Aborigines were massacred at this time After this policy of pacification the British began a new movement of segregation In this policy through government command Aborigines were gathered up and forced to live on reserves or missions run by the church separated from the rest of the country Similarly this occurred to the Native inhabitants of the US as well as Canada Many of the Native people died at this time from diseases unknown to them introduced by the
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