Based on linguistic evidence Tindale (1974) has noted the Darwin area as the lands of the Larakia people. It is highly likely that boundaries and ranges were fluid and varied over time. As a consequence, the patterns recorded in the recent past may represent only the situation at European contact.
Contact between white explorers and the aboriginal people of the Darwin region occurred as early as 1837 when Captain J. Stokes made contact with a party of aborigines (Stokes 1846). George Goyder, leader of the Northern Territory Survey Expedition of 1868 to 1870 reported continuous contact with the aborigines, describing them and making collections of spears, baskets and boomerangs (Stokes 1846; Kerr 1971). Stokes' (1846) diaries contain detailed descriptions of the aborigines of the Darwin area and beyond recording many instances of both friendly contact and unfriendly contact with deaths occurring amongst both groups.
Heavy development on ANU property since its inception has likely obliterated any traces of aboriginal sites or artefacts on the property itself. The likelihood of any intact sites being found on the NARU campus is low, however isolated artefacts may be found on the property.