7. What was Australia like before Europeans arrived? (Part II)

Dad and Me Love History

11-05-2018 • 20 mins

It’s the final part of our Australia adventure, and we spend the day with Mark Jones and his family. Mark runs Straddie Adventures, aboriginal culture tour specialists on Queensland’s North Stradbroke Island (known as ‘Straddie’).

We apologise for some poor sound quality (it gets better): hunting conditions – with Dad paddling furiously at the rear of the kayak and James standing on the bow, holding a 12-foot spear – are a bit different to studio conditions! To find out what happens after 8-year-old James throws that spear, listen on…

After our kayaking and spearing adventure, we go back to Mark’s family home, where his wife Michelle cooked us up a treat, aboriginal-style. And Mark explains about aboriginal culture and describes some aboriginal artwork he’s been working on. James explains the Kangaroo Dance his group created at Clearwater Bay School – with music performed by James Rita and Connie (while Dylan is the dancing kangaroo).

Questions for after you’ve listened:

  1. What does stingray taste like?
  2. The ‘barb’ on the tip of a stingray’s tail is like a sharp, jagged knife blade! What weapon in medieval Europe was a bit like the stingray’s barb?
  3. Give examples of what girls are allowed to hunt in aboriginal culture.
  4. What are boys allowed to hunt that girls aren’t in traditional aboriginal culture?
  5. In history, we often rely on documents to tell us about the past. In aboriginal culture, how do people learn about the past?
  6. Europeans killed many aborigines when they took over Australia. Later, white British people ruled the land and they would not allow aborigines to continue their culture. What movie can you ask your parents to watch to find out more about this?
  7. ANZAC Day, April 25, is a public holiday in Australia – a day when people remember those who have been killed in war. Mark tells us about aboriginal and white men who had fought in war together. Later, when they went to the pub, who did the pub owner refuse to serve drinks to and why do you think that happened?
  8. Aboriginal dances tell real stories. What was the story James’ group danced at school all about?

See our webpage for photos from our adventure!

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Podcast cover art by Molly Austin

Aboriginal music from the Yugambeh Language Group – performed by Luther Cora at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

The Kangaroo Dance was created and performed by Dylan, Rita, Connie and James from Clearwater Bay School

Additional music (‘Funin and Sunin’) from Kevin MacLeod

Sounds effects are BBC Copyright and are used under the RemArc Licence