Australian "native police" forces
Piquet, Martine (2011), Australian "native police" forces, Identités, Images, Représentation(s) / Identities, Images, Representation(s), 2011-08, La Rochelle, France
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference titleIdentités, Images, Représentation(s) / Identities, Images, Representation(s)
Conference cityLa Rochelle
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract (EN)In the nineteenth century, because of their superior knowledge of the bush and their ability to track, Aboriginal men were enrolled as uniformed, armed and mounted troopers in various ‘native police’ forces under the command of white officers – in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The duties of those forces included policing violence on the frontier, helping track people lost in the bush, escorting travellers, or even delivering mail across the colony in Victoria. Although their main mission was to keep the peace between Aborigines and white settlers in the frontier districts, in reality, they helped to crush the resistance of native traditional owners and open the land to European settlement, and the Queensland ‘native police’ corps in particular has a sad record of exactions committed against their own people, as documented by Jonathan Richards’s The Secret War: A True History of Queensland’s Native Police (2008). This paper proposes to look into the ambiguous part Aboriginal troopers were made to play in a context in which Australian indigenous people were thought to be dying out and irreversibly destined to disappear from the face of the earth.
Subjects / KeywordsPolice indigène australienne (19e debut 20e)
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