Koori and Aboriginal History

The area around Port Phillip was the home of the Kulin nation, an alliance of several language groups of Indigenous Australians, whose ancestors had lived in the area for approximately 30,000 years.

The Kulin lived by fishing, hunting and gathering, and made a good living from the rich food sources of Port Phillip and the surrounding grasslands.

With the arrival of Europeans in the area, they were hard hit by introduced diseases, and their decline was hastened by mistreatment, alcohol and venereal disease. They had largely disappeared by the 1870s, and most of the Aboriginal people who live in Melbourne today are descended from immigrants from other parts of Victoria.

Today there a few signs of the Aboriginal past in the Melbourne area. They include a tree near the Melbourne Cricket Ground from which bark was cut to make a canoe, and some middens (accumulations of seashells at feasting areas) around the shores of Port Phillip.





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