'We cannot help but wonder why it has taken the white Australians just on 200 years to recognise us as a race of people' Bill Onus, 1967
Aboriginal people were the original landowners in Australia, yet this was easily forgotten by Europeans settling this old continent. Labelled as a primitive and dying race, by the end of the nineteenth century most Aborigines were denied the right to vote, to determine where their families would live and to maintain their cultural traditions.
In this groundbreaking work, Bain Attwood charts a century-long struggle for rights for Aborigines in Australia. He tracks the ever-shifting perceptions of race and history and how these impacted on the ideals and goals of campaigners for rights for indigenous people. He looks at prominent Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal campaigners and what motivated their involvement in key incidents and movements. Drawing on oral and documentary sources, he investigates how they found enough common ground to fight together for justice and equality for Aboriginal people.
Rights for Aborigines illuminates questions of race, history, political and social rights that are central to our understanding of relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.