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Indigenous and Other Australians since 1901
Detail from Gulach (2006) by Terry Ngamandara Wilson
How are we to understand the current impasse in the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. One way to answer this question is to construct an historical narrative. Any such narrative requires the author to make debatable interpretive decisions: when to start the story? What characters are important? Can we understand their motives? What are the phases of the story, the turning-points? How to describe the ‘now’ at which the story terminates. There will always be more than one reasonable way to answer such questions, and in this paper I offer my answers – largely in the form of a summary of my 135 thousand word book ‘Indigenous and other Australians since 1901’ (2017). The paper will be of interest both to those who have read the book (and who may wish to debate its arguments, methods and stories) and those who have not read (and may not ever read) the book. I am keen to dialogue with both categories of reader.
Bio: Professor Tim Rowse is Emeritus Professor in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. Although much of what he writes can best be described as History, his formal training has been in Government, Sociology and Anthropology. He has taught at Macquarie University, the Australian National University and Harvard University (where he held the Australian Studies chair in 2003-4), and he has held research appointments at the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and the ANU. Since the early 1980s, his research has focused on the relationships between Indigenous and other Australians, in Central Australia (where he lived from 1989 to 1996) and in the national political sphere. His most recent book, Indigenous and Other Australians since 1901, was published by UNSW Press in 2017.