The New Protection: Indigenous Women and the Contemporary Australian State

Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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Beyond the Hijab Debates: New Conversations on Gender, Race and Religion, 2009, 1, pp. 105 - 117
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Thursday 21 June 2007 is a date indelibly etched in my mind. It had not been a good week for lndigenous Aushalians. Two days earlier a Townsville jury acquitted the police officer charged with the manslaughter of a young Aboriginal man, Mulrunji. Mulrunji had lived on Palm Island, an Aboriginal community in north Queensland with a tragic history. In 1918, the Queensland Government tumed Palm Island into a penal settlement for Indigenous people who dared to question their oppression (Waters 2008: 28). In the years to follow, Palm Island would become notorious for superintendents who administered sadistic punishments and enforced apartheid (Watson 1995:- 149).
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