However, I would suggest that if a civilization be defined by the degree of polishing of an individual's mind and the building of his or her character, and if that culture reflects the measure of our self-discipline as well as our level of consciousness, then the Australian Aboriginals are actually one of the most civilized and highly cultured peoples in the world today." Contemporary Aboriginal art is typified by 'dotted' painting, a system which was developed in the 1970's and which became an immediate and lucrative seller in the international market.It has been suggested that this type of art was designed as a means of disguising the 'sacred' or 'restricted' parts of their stories, but whatever the truth, it is now recognised as the dominant modern form of Aboriginal art.The nomadic lifestyle has certain restrictions associated with it such as the number of possessions one can carry, and a strong dependence on natures harvest but it also restricts the development of industry, agriculture, townships, cities and many of the most important foundations upon which complex civilisations are built.

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Dispersing across the Australian continent over time, the ancient peoples expanded and differentiated into hundreds of distinct groups, each with its own language and culture.

Four hundred and more distinct Australian Aboriginal groups have been identified across the continent, distinguished by unique names designating their ancestral languages, dialects, or distinctive speech patterns.

The first recorded outside contact with Aboriginals was with Dutch sailors such as William Janszoon and Dirk Hartog in the early 1600s.

They were travelling from Holland to the Dutch Colonies in Indonesia, (the Spice Islands), and decided to leave the 'Island' alone.

A former professor of comparative religion at Madras University, as well as director of the Maha Bodhi Society of Sri Lanka, chief Sanghanayaka of the Theravada Order of Buddhist monks in India and secretary general of the World Sangha Council, Dr.

Nandisvara had recently returned from a research expedition with an anthropological team in Australia, where he had lived for some time with a native Aboriginal community. Nandisvara makes the following statement:"To those who judge the degree of a culture by the degree of its technological sophistication, the fact that the Australian natives live in the same fashion now as they did thousands of years ago may imply that they are uncivilized or uncultured.

As is seen in many of the European colonisations, warfare wasn't a necessary strategy for domination as the locals had no resistance to the deadly viruses carried by the sailors and convicts such as smallpox, syphilis and influenza.

In less than a year, over half the indigenous population living in the Sydney Basin had died from European diseases.

Recent government statistics counted approximately 400,000 aboriginal people, or about 2% of Australia's total population.