How did the colonization affect the Aboriginal peoples?

When the white settlers came, the Aborigines were dispossessed of their land and, much later, "encouraged" onto reserves, supposedly for their protection. They were forced off their traditional hunting grounds, and certainly herded away from the fertile coastal areas where there was plenty of food. White settlers wrecked the very effective native fishing traps, cleared native habitats and reduced the native food supplies, as well as polluting their water.

Massacres of the indigenous people occurred on a regular basis. The Coniston massacre, the massacre at Myall Creek, the "Battle of Risdon" in Tasmania and many others, all were perpetrated against the Aborigines by the Europeans. There were years of conflict between Tasmanian Aborigines and white settlers which eventually resulted in the loss of the purebred aboriginal race from Tasmania - virtually genocide.

The Europeans also introduced foods and diseases, all of which were perfectly harmless to the white settlers, but lowered the life expectancy of the aboriginal people. Simple diseases like Measles and Influenza had devastating effects on Aborigines. Foods containing wheat and sugar resulted in heart disease and obesity among the indigenous Australians. Europeans introduced new flora and fauna which took over native habitat, leading to the extinction of many plants and animals on which the Aborigines relied.

When the aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their families, this directly led to a loss of culture, language, customs and traditions among the Aborigines. When the Europeans first came to Australia, there were around 250 different aboriginal languages in Australia. There is just a fraction of that number now. Many stories from the aboriginal Dreaming (creation legends) have disappeared forever.