In contemporary Australia the topic of land ownership remains a topic of heated debate. In that debate, history itself has become a battleground. On one side, some academic historians have highlighted past injustices towards the indigenous population, who were dispossessed of their land. On the other, conservatives, such as Prime Minister John Howard, have condemned historians for writing what he calls “black armband” history. Rather than acknowledge and apologize for the dispossession of a people and the destruction of a culture, he has argued that it is the ordinary suburban Australians who are made to suffer and feel the guilt for crimes they did not commit, and it is they, not the indigenous population, who deserve compassion. This chapter represents part of that ongoing battle over the interpretation of the past.
|Title of host publication||The River of history|
|Subtitle of host publication||trans-national and trans-disciplinary perspectives on the immanence of the past|
|Place of Publication||Calgary, Canada|
|Publisher||University of Calgary Press|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|