Jun 082020

Read Jim Poulter's article entitled the collisions of worlds (pdf).

The sections in the article are:

  • The darkest day in Australian History.
  • Just imagine Coronavirus 100 time worse.
  • The social effects of our greatest pandemic.
  • Aboriginal resistance to colonisation.
  • The history of the Yarra.
  • Place names and meanings in Manningham.

One year after the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in January 1788, a smallpox plague mysteriously broke out in April 1789. It spread through the whole country, killing 90% of the Australian population. The event is preserved in legend, story and song.

The cause, course and impacts of this first ever Australian pandemic are discussed in the first three sections. The nature of Aboriginal resistance is then discussed, with the focus in the final two sections shifting locally to Melbourne’s Yarra Valley.