Posts Tagged ‘indigenous Australians’

A hypermanic episode and what it reveals politically

October 3, 2006

Bob Gould

Green Left Weekly discussion list, October 3, 2006

Last Saturday evening, out of the blue, Dave Riley posted an eccentric, frothing-at-the-mouth attack on me and followed it up with another equally hysterical piece.


Fabricating history on Australia’s colonial frontier

November 23, 2000

McGuinness, Windschuttle, Quadrant and massacres of Aborigines

Bob Gould


In the year 2000 Keith Windschuttle published, in Quadrant, a long article accusing a number of historians, including Henry Reynolds and Lyndall Ryan, of exaggerating the scale of massacres of Aboriginal people on the Australian colonial frontier.



The fate and future of Aboriginal Australians

June 7, 1999

And the story of other people of colour in Australia: Kanaks, Polynesians, Torres Strait Islanders, American and African Blacks

Bob Gould

There is a lot of debate about the history and antiquity of human settlement in Australia. The question of establishing the date of earliest settlement has become highly charged. There is a raging academic controversy over dating and identifying a whole school of cave art in Arnhem Land. One academic has even asserted that these paintings were produced by some people other than the ancestors of the present Aboriginal inhabitants, implying that these forebears would have been too primitive to produce such complex and spectacular works of art. Tim Flannery has constructed a sweeping narrative, attractive to many, that ancient Australians almost single-handedly, by hunting and with the overuse of fire, wiped out most of the extinct large animals such as the dyptodron. This value-loaded story is contested by other scientists and scholars such as Professor Marcia Langton, Dr David Bowman, Professor John Chappell, John Benson and James Kohen, author of Aboriginal Environmental Impacts. Some of them make the powerful methodological point that it’s an extraordinarily wide-ranging, ideologically driven conclusion from very limited and contradictory evidence.