This essay focuses on the cultural, political, and economic history of Australia – Aboriginal settlement and subsistence, British discovery and colonization, and Australian independence and transformation. I include an addendum on Norfolk Island, part of Australia since 1914. I wrote these lectures for Stanford Travel/Study’s Australia Air Expedition (June-July 2007).
I begin with the Melanesian diaspora – the subsistence strategies of the Papuans in New Guinea and the Aborigines in Australia, the Papuan development of agriculture, and the cultural differences between the Papuans and the Aborigines. I next discuss British colonization (late- 18th and 19th centuries) – conquest of Aboriginal territories, convict settlements, and wool and gold exports. I continue with independent Australia (20th century) – World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, postwar growth, and cultural conflicts. I then examine key 21st-century issues – Aboriginal land rights, protectionism, and multiculturalism.
I close with Norfolk Island – convict settlement, in-migration of Pitcairn Islanders, and changes since the 1850s (whaling, bananas, and tourism). I append a time line, a bibliography, and a description of sites that I visited in Australia.
Sydney, Canberra, Great Barrier Reef, Burnie, Tasmania,New South Wales, Strahan, Tasmania, Adelaide and Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Kalgoorlie, Perth, and Fremantle, Western Australia, Darwin and Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Flinders Reef, Queensland, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Hardy Reef, Queensland Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Port Douglas and Daintree National Park, Queensland, Lizard Island, , Tasmania, Pitcarin,