Rights for Aborigines  book cover
1st Edition

Rights for Aborigines

ISBN 9781864489835
Published July 1, 2003 by Routledge
424 Pages

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Book Description

'We cannot help but wonder why it has taken the white Australians just on 200 years to recognise us as a race of people' Bill Onus, 1967

Aboriginal people were the original landowners in Australia, yet this was easily forgotten by Europeans settling this old continent. Labelled as a primitive and dying race, by the end of the nineteenth century most Aborigines were denied the right to vote, to determine where their families would live and to maintain their cultural traditions.

In this groundbreaking work, Bain Attwood charts a century-long struggle for rights for Aborigines in Australia. He tracks the ever-shifting perceptions of race and history and how these impacted on the ideals and goals of campaigners for rights for indigenous people. He looks at prominent Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal campaigners and what motivated their involvement in key incidents and movements. Drawing on oral and documentary sources, he investigates how they found enough common ground to fight together for justice and equality for Aboriginal people.

Rights for Aborigines illuminates questions of race, history, political and social rights that are central to our understanding of relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Table of Contents





Part I: Blacks

1 My father's country

2 Clamouring for the right to a little of their father's land

3 A memorial of death

Part II: Whites

4 The public conscience

5 That I might tell the true story of these people

Part III: Citizenship

6 A place in the community as workers and citizens

7 Equal rights, equal rights

8 To be recognised as a race of people

Part IV: Land

9 This aboriginal people's place

10 Where the ancestors walked

Part V: Power

11 Still me talk long Gurindji

12 From time immemorial

13 Thinking black


Bibliographical notes


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Bain Attwood is Associate Professor of History at Monash University and a leading scholar in cross-cultural history. He is author of The Making of the Aborigines and editor of In the Age of Mabo, Telling Stories and Frontier Conflict.