An Epic Story of Endurance and a Journey of the Spirit

We were here. Before the English arrived, before the Makassins sailed from the north, before the Dutch landed. Back in age when giant animals roamed the land.

Over 50,000 years ago, our people made the first open sea voyage in human history as we left Africa to discover Australia. Our footprints were the first in a startling land filled with strange and deadly plant and animal forms that had been developing in isolation for 65 million years.  

Film Screening

A glorious film tells the epic story of Aboriginal settlement of Australia. They were the original pioneers of all humankind who embarked on a journey out of Africa to cross oceans. It is a story of ancient life on the driest continent on earth through the greatest environmental changes experienced in human history: ice ages, extreme drought, and inundating seas. It is chronicled through astonishing archaeological discoveries, ancient oral histories, and the largest and oldest art galleries on earth.

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Australia’s first inhabitants were the first people to believe in an afterlife, cremate their dead, engrave representations of the human face, and depict human sound and emotion. They created new technologies, designed ornamentation, engaged in trade, and crafted the earliest documents of war. Ultimately, they developed a sustainable society based on shared religious tradition and far-reaching social networks across the length and breadth of Australia. Profoundly moving stories of descendents who preserve their past and their family history demonstrate a continuity of tradition that is unequaled on earth.

Prof. Peter Veth, one of the stars of the film will introduce the evening and then lead a discussion and answer questions following the screening, taking place on Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

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The following Thursday, January 28, 2016. Prof. Veth explores the meaning and significance of Aboriginal art. As humans, we are constantly creating art. Australian Aboriginal rock art represents one of the oldest living traditions on the planet and informs us about the very nature of our cognitive origins.

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Aboriginal art is unique and exceptional because of its age and because, alone among all art traditions, it allows us a peek into the ancient mind, revealing their preoccupations and motives. Why did this group of people feel so compelled to decorate their landscape and what meaning did it hold for them? Why does art make us human?

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Prof. Veth and his team just made international news a few weeks ago with their announcement of a discovery that pushed back the earliest settlement of Australia to more than 50,000 years. Hear one of the world’s leading experts on rock art and Aboriginal life at his talk on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

For more information on the film and about Prof. Peter Veth, please see the following links:



Film Screening: 6:30 pm., Wed. Jan. 27, 2016, Houston Museum of Natural Science

Lecture: 6:30 pm., Thursday., Jan. 28, 2016, Houston Museum of Natural Science

For more information, call 832.634.6344 or visit


AIA-Houston is grateful to Schlumberger for their generous support. In addition, we also extend thanks the Australian Chamber of Commerce and the Houston