Impact of colonial settlement on the environment

Black and white photograph of an akubra hat on cracked hard soil affected by drought

Burrinjuck Dam in drought


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have lived on the Australian continent for tens of thousands of years and they learned to respect and care for the fragile land. When people from Britain and other parts of the world began settling in Australia from 1788, they found the environment very different to the lands they had left. The animals and farming practices they brought with them, as well as industry and mining, have had a significant impact on the environment.

Get thinking

  • In what ways was the Australian environment different to Britain in 1788?
  • Why do you think colonial settlers brought animals and crop seeds with them to Australia?
  • How has colonisation affected the Australian environment?

Get going

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