As Europeans began arriving in the Australian Northern Territory, meetings of locals and intruders were at first cautious, nervous, but generally cordial. Distant officials urged liberality and restraint upon the colonizers, but made no acknowledgement of Aboriginal rights. Uneasy peace ended with the coming of the pastoralists. Individual cases of mutual goodwill are documented, but from the chasm of misunderstanding between cultures and the clash of territorial interests grew hostility and bloodshed and a steady weakening of official resolve.



A Picnic with the Natives by Gordon Reid