For perhaps 50 000 years, possibly much longer, Aboriginal peoples in Victoria have responded to massive environmental changes as significant as any in the last two million years. Aborigines no doubt often saw the Endeavour as it coasted south-eastern Australia, for Cook recorded seeing their fires. Yet an Aboriginal—European encounter did not eventuate on the Victorian coastline until the wreck of the Sydney Cove in 1797 (of which we have few details), followed by a meeting in 1802 when the Lady Nelson surveyed Port Phillip. An Aboriginal death count of 2000 with only 59 Europeans killed by Aborigines, attributes to Victoria by far the highest black/white death ratio of any Australian frontier, whereas much evidence suggests it was one of the least violent of frontiers. Colonialism has technically ended in Victoria with policies that seek to give Aboriginal Victorians equity and justice, and the right to maintain their distinctive cultural ideas.