Indigenous contact | State Library of New South Wales

First Impressions of the Indigenous People

Europeans kept drawings and journals to record their impressions of Australia in 1787. What did they notice when they saw Aboriginal people for the first time?        

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View the drawings done by the European visitors 


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Click on the book to read and hear some observations and first impressions. More of the journal

Interview with native women

Click on the painting to learn about the language in the journal

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  • What are the differences between your descriptions and Hunter's descriptions?
  • What sort of people would he be used to seeing in his own country?
  • Would ideas of handsomeness and beauty be the same in different parts of the world?
  • Choose some other words and phrases from the journal and write how you might say them today. 
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