My Queensland – Finding a voice

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  • Published 20080808
  • ISBN: 9780733322839
  • Extent: 296 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

Think Queensland and I immediately conjure apartheid births and prototypes, stolen Aboriginal wages, native title rise and fall, the National Party, the Country Party, and any other Queensland wheat-belt-born party with a minority to vilify. But maybe this is all in the past? Our new prime minister defies my immediate judgment by being Queensland born and bred and a free thinker, and the state’s first female premier is standing up against racism within the ministry. Queensland may be the home of backwards immigration and Aboriginal rights policy but it is also a land with an intact heartbeat, home to many of our country’s Indigenous heroes: Eddie Mabo, Cathy Freeman, Sam Watson, Jackie Huggins, Justine Saunders, Rosie Barkus and Chris Sarra. Indigenous communities in Queensland contribute enormously to the cultural and psychological landscape of Australian identity.

Is it a state still steeped in dirty secrets and old assimilation thinking? If it has this wealth of Indigenous warriors and heroes in sports, arts, politics and justice, why has it been a stomping ground for racist and dividing powers? I ask in my lifetime, what has changed for my people.

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