Contribution to the Sydney Sentinel, New South Whales
By Elena Mendez Leal
December 2, 1850
My Christian conscience will no longer allow me to remain silent on practices in this country that greatly disturb me regarding British treatment of the aboriginal people who originally inhabited this continent. I bear witness that they have been systematically stripped of their homeland and customs by our very own mother England. I know many here and in England think that Australia is terra nullius, a place free for our exploration and occupation. We marked this land as our own, without forging or honoring treaties or providing compensation with its occupants. That we met resistance surely cannot be a surprise, yet we have utilized this opposition as justification to persecute and punish those of different outward appearance and culture. As I have travelled this land and spent time with it’s original peoples, I must bear witness that that this was not some empty landmass ready for the British Empire to swallow up, but a complex network of over 250 aboriginal nations channeling over the continent.
British occupation of this land is illegitimate. At one point, approximately 15 years ago in 1835 the Crown formed the first and only treaty to this date known as the “Batman’s Treaty” offering supplies and materials to the natives in exchange for 600,000 acres of land. However, later that very year that same year, said treaty was revoked by Governor, Sir Richard Bourke proclaiming that the land initially belonged to the crown and no-one prior and thus all found in possession would be marked as trespassers.
Copy of Original Governor Bourke's Proclamation 1835
Many justify this usurpation by holding that the natives truly had no concept of property. This is patently false. My impressions are indeed supported by fellow colonist, the renown, Dr. John Demoure Lang whose research elucidates the Natives development of society and property boundaries. In a letter addressed to Liverpool in 1841. In fact, that the natives “although universally a wandering race with respect to places of habitation, their [aborigines] wandering are circumscribed by certain well-defined limits, beyond which they seldom pass […] In short, every tribe has its own district, the boundaries of which are well known to the natives generally”. The natives already had a developed property layout that they maintained and kept and could easily mark the boundaries of their said hunting/territorial grounds, all land and animals within these boundaries thereby belonging to a particular tribe and theft of such being a most egregious offense demanding redress. We Europeans have paid no respect to these aboriginal divisions of territory and have driven them off whether by violence, disease or our blasted cattle and persecuted most severely those who dare oppose us by asserting their ownership of all we declared ours.
The British have brutally enforced their rule through violence and forced assimilation. The population tallying couple hundred thousand of aborigines originally on this continent has been cut in half by disease, constant massacres, forced relocation, and unprosecuted violence by foreigners. Three years prior and still occurring to this day and English inhabitants have terrorized and slaughtered the natives in forms of indiscriminate “revenge” for any white casualties.
Myall Creek Massacre (30 unarmed aborigines slaughtered)
British forces on many occasions have instigated marches and massacres of natives–only two years ago the New South Wales Police Troopers were sent to Queensland to kill natives to open more room for settlers to take over more land. Even fellow colonists with kind disposition towards aborigines, regard all natives as un-civilized, beneath us. Thus they reason, we ultimately do them a kindness, for their own good, to indoctrinate them in our civilized ways, whether they desire this or not. Indeed, when Governor Macquarie came into power in 1810 he thought it best to assimilate the natives into the European customs and even permitted that if they resisted his laws he would allow shooting to be afflicted upon them. Appallingly, via the same reasoning religious institutions often kidnap indigenous children in order to drill the holy beliefs into their heads.
Britain has not sought to develop this continent for the benefit of its peoples neither aboriginal nor colonist. It has appropriated all land for the Crown to bestow, sell or use as an immigration incentive, land for which it paid nothing. It has used Australia as a dumping ground for those it wished to persecute or those it did not want and worst those of evil character and deed. Furthermore it has enslaved many of these people to the Crown or to private citizens it designates. Thus for the sake of Empire and its own enrichment, England has provided itself with a source of free labor to plunder the raw materials and wealth of this land without concern for what it destroys. The pastoral grounds used for sheep and cattle have hurt the aboriginal people and kept them from their hunting grounds and main sources of food. From our industry the Crown and those it favors have acquired for themselves a subservient source of the supplies to enrich the mother country. To wit, we have displaced Germany as the main as the main supplier of wool to British industry, a very convenient and subservient one at that. 
The Crown has also since the 1820’s increasingly withdrawn its financial support and insisted that the Colonial Fund assume more and more of the public expenditures of this colony. As we assume this burden in greater proportion I suggest to you that we demand an increased participation in our own governance, and that in true Christian spirit we include those of every class who live and toil in Australia especially and in particular the aboriginal peoples who have been so grievously wronged by the expansion of the British empire and by the improving fortunes of many of us.
 Andrew D. Bourdon, The British Colonization of Australia, in Relation to Genocide, page 1, http://libertarianactivism.com/writings/austbritgenocidepdf.pdf.
 ”European discovery and the Colonization of Australia,” AustralianGovernment: Your connection with government, last modified January 11, 2008, http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/European-discovery-and-colonization.
 John Dunmore Lang, “Property in Land Letter to Friend’ ” (1845), in Journals of Expeditions of Discovery into Central Australia, and Overland from Adelaide to King George’s Sound in the Years 1840-1, by Edward John Eyre, comp. Edward John Eyre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, November 8,2011), vol 2:page #199.
 Andrew D. Bourdon, The British Colonization of Australia, in Relation
to Genocide, page 5, http://libertarianactivism.com/writings/austbritgenocidepdf.pdf.
 Unknown, “Timeline,” CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA: AN ABORIGINAL
 Unknown, “Consequences of British Colonization for Aboriginal People,”Skwrik: Interactive Schooling, http://www.skwirk.com.au/p-c_s-17_u-504_t-1361_c-5239/explorers-before-the british/qld/sose/colonization:-resources,-power-and-exploration/British-colonization-of-Australia.
 Andrew D. Bourdon, The British Colonization of Australia, in Relation to Genocide, page 8, http://libertarianactivism.com/writings/austbritgenocidepdf.pdf.
 Forming a Colonial Economy: Australia 1810-1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), page #85.
 Economic History Association, s.v. “The Economic History of Australia from 1788: An Introduction,” by Backend, accessed December 6, 2011, last modified February 4, 2010, http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/attard.australia.
 Forming a Colonial Economy: Australia 1810-1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), page #84.
Figure 1: Bourke. “Proclamation of Governor Bourke.” Proclamation . October 10, 1835. National Archives of the United Kingdom. Colonial Office of the British Government.
Figure 2: “Myall Creek Massacre.” European settlement Australia. http://www.janesoceania.com/australia_europeans/myall.jpg