In 1802, Matthew Flinders circumnavigated the Australian continent to lay claim to the area as British territory and to stop the French Empire from colonising Australia. During Flinders’ expedition, he mapped the South Australian coastline in search of suitable water supplies and harbours for the British to build colonies on the southern coast of Australia. In 1836, the British officially colonised Karta Kangaroo Island under the control of the South Australian Company setting up the township of Kingscote. However, when the South Australian Company arrived on the island. It had already been inhabited by American commercial whalers and sealers. After less than a year on Karta, the British colonists discuss there was insufficient water to hold a large population on the island and from the vantage point of Kingscote colonel William Light decided they colonise the mainland of South Australia. In 1836, the British colonised the mainland of South Australia setting up the city of Adelaide and from there they colonised the rest of South Australia.
During this process of British colonisation, Nunga people were killed or removed from their homeland and segregated from European colonists on isolated Christian missionaries like Raukkan (Port Mclay), Point Pearce, Poonindie etc. On the missions, Nunga were stopped from speaking their traditional languages and practicing culture. They were forced to assimilate into western culture by speaking only English and practicing Christian culture. Fair skinned mixed raced Nunga with European ancestry were removed from the Missions and assimilated within the European population of South Australia. During the Stolen Generation (1880’s to 1967) Mixed race Children were taken from their families and brought up by European families. Mixed race adults worked under slave-like conditions as domestic servants or cheap labourers being only paid in food and shelter. Much of the poor treatment of Aboriginal people didn’t end until the 1967 referendum.
Territorial Encounters attempts to explain how South Australia was colonised by the British Empire and how Aboriginal were dispossessed of their traditional homeland that they had owned for 60000 years.
*Nunga means South Australian Aboriginal people or person (Nunga Kriol)