Category Archives: Politics

I Turn the Podium Over to Paul Keating

It was twenty years ago today….in Redfern Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to be here today at the launch of Australia’s celebration of the 1993 International Year of the World’s Indigenous People. It will be a year of … Continue reading

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Save Art in TAFE

One of the most striking moments in recent Aboriginal art history was the emergence of the Lockhart River Gang in the mid-90s.  Young people, not elders, pioneered a new style of art from remote Queensland that generated excitement and huge … Continue reading

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Cui Bono?

The shadow of war is falling across Northern Australia once again. I think we all knew that Campbell Newman was going to be trouble, in many ways.  The election of the CLP to power in the Territory under the leadership … Continue reading

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Identity, Economy, and Controversy

Last July, in the Dymocks off Alice Springs’ Todd Mall, I was excited to discover a new title by Diane Austin-Broos, A Different Equality: the politics of debate about remote Aboriginal Australia (Allen & Unwin, 2011).  I had greatly enjoyed … Continue reading

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Revisiting Palm Island

It’s sometimes best not to (pre)judge a book by its title. I confess that when I first heard about the publication of Joanne Watson’s Palm Island: through a long lens (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2010), my first reaction was to wonder … Continue reading

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The Dilemmas of Black Politics

It has already been two years since Sarah Maddison published Black Politics: inside the complexity of Aboriginal political culture (Allen & Unwin, 2009), time enough for her to have published a second study (Beyond White Guilt, 2011) that examines the … Continue reading

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Bad Behavior

In the course of my years I have periodically set myself to difficult reading assignments.  At the age of seventeen, I determined to read Ulysses.  Twenty years later, after numerous aborted attempts, I completed all seven volumes of Proust, followed … Continue reading

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Season of the Witch

“When I look over my shoulder, what do you think I see?” asked Donovan.  “Some other cat looking over his shoulder at me.”  If not the season of the witch, it is the season of the Intervention, as last week’s … Continue reading

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Eating Our Shadows

Four years ago this week, in 2007, I was touring through community based art centres in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, buoyed by the recent outpourings of support for the art centres that had emerged from the Senate Inquiry … Continue reading

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Side by Side, Yolngu and Balanda

In his article, “Mutual Conversion?: The Methodist Church and the Yolngu,with particular reference to Yirrkala” (Humanities Research, vol. XII, no. 1, 2005, pp. 41-53), Howard Morphy essays a preliminary history of the Methodist Overseas Mission in Arnhem Land.  Admitting that … Continue reading

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