Early Ad Hoc Settlements
Aborigines are a dignified race, with a sustainable, spiritual culture that enabled their people to become wiser as they grew older, and keep things on a balanced, even keel over tens of thousands of years, and included living in harmony with the environment. They have a very long history being able to really enjoying basic subsistence living, where their necessities were met, whilst minimising their material needs, to enable them to be mobile. So they have never needed a lot. Living attuned to nature ensured they were well nourished, and enabled them to be the absolute masters of thriving on meagre resources, through employing naturally skilful means.
Traditional Aboriginal groups were generally highly mobile, moving to various places within tribal boundaries in sequences and patterns that best addressed food, water, land management and ceremonial requirements. They were able to do this without becoming a problem to one another, at any level, throughout the entire continent. Being attuned to nature nourished them and kept them realistic and sensible, and together with their wisdom culture, enabled them to live sustainably over tens of millennia.
Traditional, sustainable living continued unabated up until European settlement, which tended to move Aboriginal groups away from the most fertile and productive traditional lands, that they wanted for their own settlements, which included cities, towns, ports, farms and mining sites. Later, this also included clearing a huge area for nuclear weapons testing. In all instances, it was for the sole benefit of European settlers, who instigated and imposed the moves for their own purposes. In all cases, it removed people from land that they had a detailed knowledge of, and a sacred, intimate, sustaining relationship with. “Progress” was always to the detriment of the local indigenous people, and ecologically detrimental to their custodial lands.
Relocation was probably never a negotiated outcome, but imposed, often at gunpoint, and in many instances, the people being relocated had no advanced notice of the move and no knowledge of where they were being taken. Usually, it was away from fertile land that sustained them and onto barren land that settlers had no use for, and often was great distances from their own traditional lands, with a different ecology, and on other tribes’ traditional lands. In many cases, it involved herding them into confined areas called “ration stations”. This artificially concentrated grouping of peoples was highly taxing on the surrounding land, and before long they could no longer support their hunting, collecting and firewood requirements, resulting in an enforced dependency on continued supply of rations.
Creating ad hoc settlements brought with it a number of health problems. Nutrition became a serious problem because Aboriginal people were only ever orientated to eating natural, highly concentrated, nutritious food, and now found themselves placed on a refined (low in nutritional qualities) diet of white flour, white sugar, tea and tobacco, each of which lowers vitality and health. Hygiene became problematic, because of clustering people into permanently dense, overcrowded, stationary living conditions, whereas traditionally, they could move and renew their environment, as often as they liked.
Ad hoc settlements deprived them of nomadic living, and all of its healthy lifestyle advantages, including total fitness, robust health, and a complete, eat-as-you-go diet.