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Australian Aborigines and Institutional Racism

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Australian Aborigines and Institutional Racism. Australian Aborigines and Institutional Racism. Aborigines arrive in Australia 40-60,000 years ago 1788. Britain establishes prison colony in Sydney British possession justified on the basis of “terra nullius” (no man’s land)

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Australian Aborigines and

Institutional Racism

australian aborigines and institutional racism
Australian Aborigines and Institutional Racism
  • Aborigines arrive in Australia 40-60,000 years ago
  • 1788. Britain establishes prison colony in Sydney
  • British possession justified on the basis of “terra nullius” (no man’s land)
  • Contact with European civilization brings disease, death through war, massacres, cultural disintegration
australian aborigines and institutional racism1
Australian Aborigines and Institutional Racism
  • 19th Century. Aborigines seen by European racial theory as subhuman – destined to die out
  • 20th Century. Assimilation policy: Aboriginal culture deemed inferior to white culture
  • Aborigines must “assimilate”. Adopt white cultural and social practices
australian aborigines and institutional racism2
Australian Aborigines and Institutional Racism
  • Aborigines placed in reservations controlled by white administrators
  • All aspects of life – work, marriage, movement, social and cultural practices - controlled by white administrators
  • Aboriginal children (particularly half-castes) taken from their parents and tribes
  • The “stolen” children educated to become farm labourers and domestic servants
aboriginal resistance
Aboriginal resistance
  • Wars and resistance against the invaders
  • Maintenance of culture despite suppression
  • Formation of Aboriginal organizations to fight for rights
aboriginal resistance1
Aboriginal Resistance
  • Fight for citizenship (achieved in 1967)
  • Strikes by Aboriginal workers in big cattle farms
  • Agitation for land rights High Court of Australia overturns “terra nullius’ in the Mabo and Wik cases in the 1990’s
aboriginal resistance2
Aboriginal Resistance
  • Agitation for recognition of “the stolen children”. Acknowledged in the “Bringing them back home” report
  • Official apology by the Rudd government
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But…
  • Aborigines still have
    • The highest death rate of all Australians
    • The highest infant mortality rate
    • The lowest income
    • The worst health
    • The highest imprisonment rate
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