poverty, poor environmental health and mental distress, a high death rate for infants and small children, and appallingly high rates of suicide, violence and substance abuse.
As will become clear, patterns of ill-health lock into the struggles around land rights. At a concrete level, however, almost all IndigenousAustralians, including those who live beyond the immediate scope of land rights, are affected by high levels of disease. Questions of Aboriginal health often have a curious status. The linkage between Aboriginal ill-health and what could
This book argues for greater openness in the ways we approach human rights and international rights promotion, and in so doing brings some new understanding to old debates. Starting with the realities of abuse rather than the liberal architecture of rights, it casts human rights as a language for probing the political dimensions of suffering. Seen in this context, the predominant Western models of right generate a substantial but also problematic and not always emancipatory array of practices. These models are far from answering the questions about the nature of political community that are raised by the systemic infliction of suffering. Rather than a simple message from ‘us’ to ‘them’, then, rights promotion is a long and difficult conversation about the relationship between political organisations and suffering. Three case studies are explored: the Tiananmen Square massacre, East Timor's violent modern history and the circumstances of indigenous Australians. The purpose of these discussions is not to elaborate on a new theory of rights, but to work towards rights practices that are more responsive to the spectrum of injury that we inflict and endure.
received training to be ‘native nurses’ who worked in hospitals on
In this chapter, an indigenous historical lens is applied to the status of
Indigenous nurses and midwives in Australia. I explore the establishment
of Australia’s nursing profession, and compare training of white nurses
with training received by ‘native nurses’. I suggest that Australia failed to
respond to the British Colonial Nursing Service’s agenda and argue that
this failure, in part, contributed to the poor health status experienced by
IndigenousAustralians. I propose that four issues
Louisa Atkinson’s recasting of the Australian landscape
how IndigenousAustralians used them as food. 2 This example typifies Atkinson’s immersive and experiential interest in plant-life: she once sent a jar of ‘native cranberry’ jam to the Sydney Horticultural Society to allow its members to taste a fruit about which she had written. 3 She celebrated native plants and wildlife, learning about them from the Indigenous men and women she knew. She even attempted to introduce a ‘Native Arts’ column to the Illustrated Sydney News in the early 1850s that would deal with IndigenousAustralian culture. The feature ran
East Timor in the creation and perpetuation of a pattern of severe and embedded abuse. That failure to pay attention to concrete circumstances marked the ‘realism’ of the prevailing international attitudes on East Timor; to what extent might it also characterise the current liberal approaches?
The third case study, which looks at the ‘place’ of IndigenousAustralians within Australian political life, returns to a liberal rights focus – in this case not involving the language of international rights talk but rather concerning the ideals
Wordlists, songs, and knowledge production on the colonial Australian
Empire. In Australia, James Cook’s Endeavour journals provide the first hundred or so Indigenous words collected, in the Guugu Yimidhirr language of Cape York Peninsula. Early attempts to learn Australian Indigenous languages tended to be undertaken by individuals marked by a personal curiosity and, often, close relationships with particular Indigenous individuals or groups. Yet because of the vast array and complexity of IndigenousAustralian languages – estimated to be over 300 in the precolonial period – the task was difficult; the work was local and inchoate
taken as already settled, and sometimes quite reasonably so. Frequently, however, as the later discussion of the health of IndigenousAustralians indicates, such analyses assume or demand a crucial zone of uniformity, whether within the state or more broadly – a realm of public discourse that is declared to be neutral and open to all citizens and others, but one that is repeatedly exclusionary. Moreover, it is easy to overlook or forget these practices of exclusion, simply because within states they have proved relatively effective, so that, for example
performance of Corroboree , composed by John Anthill, whose works
also feature in the film, and performed in blackface. Those few
IndigenousAustralians who are featured are always performing their
difference – by throwing boomerangs or dancing. A popular shot in royal
reportage generally is that of crowds improvising viewing positions –
climbing trees, flagpoles or onto roofs to catch a royal glimpse. Such
Britain. 27 Yet they also signal its declining relevance in an
increasingly multicultural society with the narrow focus on the ‘Anglo’
white male dissipating in the films of the 1990s and beyond. Felicity
Collins and Therese Davis demonstrate the rupture that the Mabo decision
of 1992 (a High Court decision that allowed IndigenousAustralians to
claim their land rights) brought to Australian cinema, 28 introducing a
, the southern subtropical zone Coetzee appears to outline in actuality forms the most inhabited part of the hemisphere.) We notice, however, the extent to which this ‘one south’ defies expression, even for a writer as magisterially fluent as Coetzee. It can only be designated in so many unspecific phrases: ‘in a certain way … in a certain way … in a certain way’.
For IndigenousAustralian writer Alexis Wright in her phantasmagoric epic Carpentaria (2006), set in the Gulf country of north-western Queensland, the south is at times the place from which corrupt and