But there is good reason to question a 65,000-year date, and the extent to which this contrasts with the sudden wave of archaeological sites that sweep across Australia shortly after 50,000 years ago.These sites include Barrow Island and Carpenters Gap in the Kimberley, Devils Lair south of Perth, Willandra Lakes in NSW, and Warratyi rockshelter in the Flinders Ranges.Archaeological dates are shown in black, with 1 kya = 1,000 years ago. Archaeological sites and dates (shown above) closely match the genetic estimates.This indicates a very rapid movement throughout Australia 48,000-50,000 years ago.Their ancestors arrived shortly after 50,000 years ago – effectively forever, given that modern human populations only moved out of Africa 50,000-55,000 years ago.
Analysis of maternal genetic lineages revealed that Aboriginal populations moved into Australia around 50,000 years ago.
Their ancestors and traditional learnings tell them of this history, and their precise place within it.
Our review of the scientific evidence, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that for all practical purposes, this is indeed the case.
They rapidly swept around the west and east coasts in parallel movements - meeting around the Nullarbor just west of modern-day Adelaide.
Map of the original colonisation of Australia showing different genetic markers carried by Aboriginal populations (in red), and the vegetation zones at the time.
On 21-23 April 1937, there was a conference held of "Chief Protectors and Boards controlling aborigines in the States and the Northern Territory." The proceedings of this conference clearly detail the degree of control that the state and territory governments had over Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at that time.