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Home > The Way We Civilise: Aboriginal Affairs - The Untold Story
The Way We Civilise: Aboriginal Affairs - The Untold Story




The Way We Civilise: Aboriginal Affairs - The Untold Story

Author: Ros Kidd



"This account does not tell a history of 'savages' and 'natives', but it restitutes Aboriginal people as human beings with a knowable and known past." from the Foreword by Marcia LangtonThis is a groundbreaking history of government's intervention in the lives of Aboriginal people. For more than a century, who they married, where they lived, how their wages were managed, all were determined by bureaucrats.Queensland has the highest population of indigenous people in Australia and this comprehensive account, based on previously restricted material, documents the extraordinary history of a century of Aboriginal affairs in the state. It moves beyond racial conflict to provide new perspectives on government practices.The often strained relations between churches and the government reveal the struggles and appalling conditions of under-funded missions and settlements. Documents also show that vested interests unscrupulously competed to retain cheap or unpaid labour.Between 1914 and 1986 three powerful individuals controlled Aboriginal affairs. Kidd describes how they wielded enormous influence over every aspect of the lives of Queensland's Aboriginal population. She reveals the bitter conflicts between state and federal politicians, and examines why governments failed to turn the rhetoric of reform into reality.Timely and significant, this disturbing account is essential to an understanding of Aboriginal grievances today.