Unsettled Great South Land? 'Um' indeed

Kathrine Galloway

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceProfessional

Abstract

[Extract]
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, in a speech concerning foreign investment is reported as having said


I guess our country owes its existence to a form of foreign investment by the British government in the then unsettled or, um, scarcely settled, Great South Land.
Similarly, this week New Matilda reported on Rolf Harris' racism, noting his 2008 comments that

The attitude is that in their [ie Aboriginal peoples'] original way of life they would really wreck the surrounding countryside that they lived in and they would leave all the garbage and they would go walkabout to the next place.
Without addressing the implications of the Prime Minister's equating English acquisition of Australian territory with the benign sounding 'foreign investment', the allegation of a 'scarcely settled' land deserves correction. Like Rolf Harris' statement, it represents a misunderstanding of the nature of connection, occupation and use of land by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. While I cannot speak for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, I believe that I can point out the obvious mistake in these outdated notions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurl: Property law, women and law, contemporary legal issues
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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