A range of serious social problems confront the leadership of Aboriginal Australia.Yet there has also been major progress in recent times, as Australia's first peoples develop their own national and regional institutions - and political strength - to meet the challenges of the modern era.Some of the evidence points to dates over 60,000 years old.The hallmark of Aboriginal culture is 'oneness with nature'.This quite recent forced removal of children on a massive scale - known as the 'Stolen Generation' - came to widespread attention only in the late 1990's.The current Australian Government has refused to make a formal apology over the 'Stolen Generation' (in contrast to President Clinton's apology for the historical wrong of black slavery, and successive Australian Governments' demands for the Japanese to give a full apology for crimes committed during World War 2).With very few simple tools, used with incredible skill, the Aboriginal learned to live in the harsh and inhospitable Australian outback.
Recent dating of the earliest known archaeological sites on the Australian continent - using thermo-luminescence and other modern dating techniques - have pushed back the date for Aboriginal presence in Australia to at least 40,000 years.
When at rest, Aborigines lived in open camps, caves or simple structures made from bark, leaves or other vegetation.
Their technology was both simple and sophisticated.
The lack of indigenous systems of land ownership (in the European tradition of private land ownership) was used to give credence the idea of Terra Nullius.
The basic idea was that it was impossible to rob Aboriginal people of land, as they'd previously never owned land.