Untill recently, it was believed the Aboriginees descended from a group that reached Australia via the Torres Strait from Asia, about 40.000 to 50.000 years ago.
Both worlds were connected in those days. Recent findings in the Kimberley district however seem to indicate the origin of the population would be much older. About 176.000 years old.
In 1788, after the first invasion of Europeans, there were about 300.000 Aboriginees on the continent of Australia, mainly in the eastern and southern territories, and on Tasmania. Those people knew nothing about shelters as we know them. They used tree bark as protection against the elements, and slept on the ground.
Notwithstanding their low number, there were about 300 different languages, and 500 to 1.000 tribes. They possessed no land. The whole concept of possession was unknown to them.
The world of the Aboriginees, their culture, their ceremonies, their daily life, their laws, are all ruled by the dreamtime.