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Chesterman, John

John Chesterman is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Melbourne. His books include Poverty Law and Social Change: The Story of the Fitzroy Legal Service and (as co-author) Citizens Without Rights: Aborigines and Australian Citizenship.
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Civil Rights: How Indigenous Australians Won Formal Equality

Picture of Civil Rights: How Indigenous Australians Won Formal Equality
Australians know very little about how Indigenous Australians came to gain the civil rights that other Australians had long taken for granted. One of the key reasons for this is the entrenched belief that civil rights were handed to Indigenous people and not won by them. In this book John Chesterman draws on government and other archival material from around the country to make a compelling case that Indigenous people, together with non-Indigenous supporters, did effectively agitate for civil rights, and that this activism, in conjunction with international pressure, led to legal reforms. Chesterman argues that these struggles have laid important foundations for future dealings between Indigenous people and Australian governments.