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There are almost 300,000 Aborigines in Australia. About 34,500 live in Sydney. There is debate about when Aborigines migrated to Australia from Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian archipelago. There is evidence of occupation about 50,000 to 60,000 years ago. The earliest archaeological evidence of Aboriginal occupation of the Sydney area is 15,000 years ago at Emu Plains in Sydney's west. Captain Cook guessed that the population of Aborigines for all of Australia would have been about 150,000. Recent estimates are that the Aboriginal population was about 750,000 in 1788. Governor Phillip guessed that there were no more that 1500 Aborigines living in the Sydney area. The first official census of Aborigines did not take place until 1971. Aboriginal people throughout the Sydney area identified themselves more strongly as members of smaller clans or bands. There were an estimated 29 different bands liming in the Sydney area, and between seven and eleven based near the shares of Sydney Harbour and the nearby coast. Each band had approximately fifty members. The general collection of beliefs is known as the Dreaming. The Dreaming not only explains the past and how the present came to be, but also prescribes codes of conduct for important events. When Arthur Phillip was given his instructions from the British government before the First Fleet sailed, he was not instructed to negotiate or enter into treaties with the Aborigines for the use of purchase of land. To Europeans, possession or title to land depended on working or cultivating it. Cook had observed on his journey on the Endeavour that Aborigines did not work or improve the land, so that it was terra nullius, and therefore able to be claimed by the British government. The official instructions from the King, however, ordered Phillip to treat the Aborigines in a conciliatory fashion and that any wrongdoing towards them was to be punished. The critical difference between European and Aboriginal notions of land possession and ownership was that, for the Aborigines, there was no conception of the right of an individual to hold property to the exclusion of everyone else. For the colonists, there was no conception of anything else. Aborigines were closely connected to the land, but in a wider and more collective sense, not in the personal legalistic manner land was possessed in European society. From the outset, the stage was set for a fundamental and irreconcilable clash between cultures, which would soon impoverish the lives of Australia's indigenous people. Phillip's initial with the Aborigines was at Botany Bay. When he approached a group of armed Aborigines, they readily laid down their arms when Phillip indicated that they should. But they were not happy about the new arrivals and as the ships of the First Fleet sailed around to Port Jackson, Aborigines stood along the shores of the coast and harbour shouting 'warra warra' (go away). Thought the Aborigines were not aggressive, Phillip was impressed by their lack of fear, and named Manly Cove on the north side of Port Jackson in honour of 'their confidence and manly behaviour'. Word Count: 511

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