Captain Cook Discovered Australia

Good Essays
Subject: Effective Writing (EL1010)

Topic: “Captain James Cook discovered Australia”. Discuss

Grade Awarded: Distinction

Lecturer’s Comments: A thoughtful, well-structured essay. The introduction is perhaps a little long in comparison with the overall length of the essay. (Note: This sample is provided in the exact form it was submitted and corrections and comments made in the text by the lecturer are not included. A Reference List was submitted by the student but this has not been included in the sample.)

They came in to the little town
A semi-naked band subdued and silent,
All that remained of their tribe.
They came here to the place of their old bora ground
Where now the many white men hurry about like ants.
Notice of estate agent reads: 'Rubbish May be Tipped Here.'
Now it half covers the traces of the old bora ring.
They sit and are confused, they cannot say their thoughts:
'We are as strangers here now, but the white tribe are the strangers.'
(from 'We are Going', Noonuccal 193).

This passage from the poem We are Going (by Oodgeroo Noonuccal) gives an illustration of how the Aborigines would have felt with the invasion by Europeans, of the land which they occupied for 1000s of years. The arrival of the Europeans 'created a confrontation between two societies with radically different ways of living' (Berzins 19). The two cultures disagreed or had misunderstandings because they held different concepts and ideas about life, particularly about the land. The Europeans considered Australia to be 'terra nullius' or unoccupied land, despite encountering the natives. Explorers saw no fences or borders which in their culture would symbolise some sort of ownership over the earth, therefore they regarded Australia to be land for the taking. However, Aborigines believed that the land itself was communal property and that a large piece of country should not belong to any individual - the land belonged to the whole tribe (Ward 13). Yet

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