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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am
CNN explains Australia Day:
January 26 marks the day in 1788 when a fleet of settlers and convicts from Britain arrived in what was to become Sydney to begin the new colony of New South Wales.
But among Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the land, the day is known as “Invasion Day.”
And the day the original inhabitants arrived is known as Burn Everything Day:
Settlers who came to Australia 50,000 years ago and set fires that burned off natural flora and fauna may have triggered a cataclysmic weather change that turned the continent’s interior into the dry desert it is today, United States and Australian researchers say.
Their study, reported in the latest issue of the journal, Geology, supports arguments that early settlers literally changed the landscape of the continent with fire.
People are also blamed for killing off 85 per cent of Australia’s huge animals, including an ostrich-sized bird, 19 species of marsupials, a 7.5m lizard and a Volkswagen-sized tortoise.
These practices have become known as “living in harmony with the environment” and “maintaining a balance with nature”.