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Other Contact Zones

edited by

Jason Ensor, Iva Polak & Peter Van Der Merwe

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First published in 2007 by Network Books. Typesetting, production and design by Network Books. general editor associate editor editors publisher production cover design cover art Richard Nile Anne-Louise Willoughby Jason Ensor, Iva Polak and Peter Van Der Merwe Richard Nile Nina Divich Nina Divich Ah Xian, ‘China China’ series

© 2007 Copyright is vested in NT21C. Apart from any fair dealing permitted according to the provisions of the Copyright Act, reproduction by any process of any parts of any work may not be undertaken without written permission from the editor of NT21C and the consent of the individual author. Other Contact Zones is an issue of New Talents 21C, vol 7, 2007. National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-publication entry: Other contact zones: new talents 21C. ISBN 9781920845414 ISSN 1834-9080 1. Popular culture—Australia. 2. Australia—Social life and customs. 3. Australia—Social conditions. I. Ensor, Jason. II. Polak, Iva. III. Van Der Merwe, Peter. (Series: New talents 21C; 7). 300.994 www.networkbooks.com.au

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contents
Editorial Jason Ensor, Iva Polak & Peter Van Der Merwe Avoiding guilt in city space: the story of Levinas in my life Angela Hirst Reading the convict body: ‘deviant’ sex and the medical gaze in colonial Australia Catie Gilchrist Anzacs, bushrangers and convicts: an ABC of (dead) heroes in contemporary historical fiction for Australian adolescents Kathryn James Still seeing the captive white woman: the necessity of white deprivation in Australia Kate Foord Isolation: a state of mind Elaine Rabbitt 1 7 17

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‘Madonnas’, ‘seductresses’, ‘pets’ and ‘iron maidens’: are lawyers managing 57 badly? Geraldine Neal Experimenting with change: experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death in Australia in the 1980s Susannah Thompson Grief, medicine and magic: sickness on Aboriginal missions, 1825–1850 Jessie Mitchell Place spirit and intangible cultural heritage in a contested land Amanda Kearney Looking ‘blak’ in anger: Indigenous Australian photographic art in intercultural contact zones Elisabeth Gigler ‘China China’: autoethnography and Ah Xian’s porcelain forms Marita Bullock Representation, the photograph and the performativity of the pose Hamish Morgan 85 67

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Colonists in southern Western Australia and the picturesque: a mode of viewing or a political tool? Jane Davis Climate change messages and strategies by Australian NGOs Nina Hall and Cassandra Star Water myths and water reforms Kristen Henderson Devaluing refugees and refugee activists Andrew Herd Protest from the fringe: opposing Australia’s education aid reform Eugene Sebastian Speech act theory, maledictive force and vilification in Australia Nicole Asquith A case for suppression: an examination of the Russian Workers’ Association in World War I era censors’ reports Louise Curtis The ‘liminal-norm’? A survey of recent media responses to Australian theatre Elissa Goodrich Unsolicited manuscripts ‘unwelcome’: the commercial implications John Power Notes Contributors

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Editorial
Jason Ensor, Iva Polak and Peter Van Der Merwe
The year 2006, which marked the tenth anniversary of John Howard’s coalition government, was peculiarly bracketed by two interrelated sets of events (and corresponding media flurries) both problematising the symbolism of the national flag: the Cronulla riots of December 2005, and the nation-wide debate in the media over the ‘banning’ of the Australian flag at the hugely popular travelling music festival, the Big Day Out. The year between these two events saw cracks appear in the coalition government’s confidence, with continuing protest against its industrial relations reforms, its refugee policies and its then refusal to bring David Hicks home. The ongoing drought and national water crisis forced the government into an about-turn on its policy on climate change, though its subsequent valorisation of nuclear power elicited a new wave of public outcry. In a year that ended with Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard’s dramatic charge on the Australian Labor Party leadership, and with the government on the back pedal, it is reasonable to suggest that Prime Minister John Howard might be cautious at the prospect of the federal elections at the end of 2007. These political shifts, social conflicts and cultural contestations of 2006 are symbolised by the following two stories involving the flag. In December 2005, the Australian public was mortified as the Cronulla Riots in Sydney grabbed international headlines. Exposing the myths of the ‘lucky country’, and the land of ‘fair go’, the Australian public was confronted with the spectre of racism in the form of anti-Muslim, anti-Middle Eastern rioting that reopened simmering racial tension in Sydney’s west, following the Bankstown gang rapes in 2001, and reignited national debates on the ‘failure’ of multiculturalism. This rhetoric has been used by the Right to deny entry to asylum seekers and anti-war activists, and to force into law draconian ‘Anti-Terror’ legislation, with almost Byzantine ‘sedition’ clauses. The flag-waving, southern-cross tattooed white supremacists of Cronulla have perhaps re-signified the national flag, leaving an almost indelible mark of racism on this national symbol. This new signification of racism was underlined in the national controversy that erupted when the organisers of the Big Day Out, fearing thuggery, requested patrons not to bring Australian flags to the festival. Both the leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister united to ‘condemn … the organisers … for asking people not to bring the Australian flag to the Sydney concert’.1 The organisers rapidly backed down but not before a storm of media debate around the signification of this quintessential national symbol had been elicited. We propose that, in these stories, the Australian national flag has become the surface upon which the battle is being staged to contain and control the Other in an ongoing contestation of the meaning of ‘Australian-ness’. It is because ‘Australian-ness’ is under scrutiny as a fractured and fraught notion, that the national flag no longer simply and unproblematically signifies a unitary concept.

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This issue of New Talents focuses on the power of the (often phantasmal) Other to deconstruct narratives of nation, home and selfhood.
It is a principle of existence (and not a peculiarity of a select group of culturally specific modes of belonging) that we would preserve the other’s unique sense by building a meaningful world in which it would better survive rather than negating or killing it off.2

Uses of the Other in politics are rarely intended to have a negligible effect. Before Australia’s federal government could back US-led ‘pre-emptive strikes against strangers’3 in other lands and exclude foreigners in leaky boats from ever reaching our ‘nation’s blurry edges’4, a re-imagining of the Other needed to be sufficiently underway to curb voter backlash during the late 2001 Federal elections, and to foreclose potential public outcry in the future. Both new and very well-worn national myths about the Other were trotted out in a litany of alarmism: ‘inhumane’5, ‘children overboard’6, ‘economic refugees’7, ‘queue-jumpers’8, ‘a just war’9, ‘war on terror’10, ‘if you want a Taliban for a neighbour, vote Labor’11, ‘a pipeline for terrorists’.12 Being ‘alert but not alarmed’, the threshold of personal responsibility that the Australian public might otherwise have felt towards those who had been politically persecuted and those who had lived under oppressive regimes was lowered by politicians. No longer welcomed as intimate strangers, the Other represented dangers that could ‘come home’.13 Like effigies of undesirable community values, the Other was made by persons in power to bear ‘all those moral, racial, sexual … characteristics one would exclude from oneself or from one’s community’.14 Thus abjected, the Other was essentialised as ‘un-Australian’—that elastic catch-phrase of sedimented, nationalist rhetoric which readily elicits a shared sense of defilement. The language used might collectively be called a ‘strategic redeployment of a traditional “us” and “them” dichotomy’ (though, to adopt a more radical reading, it might be suggested Australia was caught up in a wider ‘US’ and ‘them’ dichotomy).15 In a move that exploited xenophobic tendencies underlying the notion of ‘un-Australian’, it was claimed that the refugee could threaten the modern Australian city. Within a highly charged atmosphere, mainstream meanings of ‘the refugee’ were re-shaped as the nomad, the barbarian, the unwanted body from the periphery. In this way, ‘sentiments that had existed under the surface acquired a tangible form’, crystallising latent nationwide anxiety and fear.16 It was also represented that two Western urban centres sharing our ‘way of life’ had been attacked by this monolithic Other.17 It was argued that our own densely populated urban spaces, which are filled daily with the traffic of ‘ordinary Australians’ exercising somewhat diffusely defined ‘Australian values’18 via civilised, energetic, family-orientated and hard-working endeavours, should be protected from potential similar atrocities. Such a view is committed, perhaps, to maintaining lifestyles and modes of consumption rather than communities and ethics, and though the links made between the ‘subjective perception and the actuality of danger’19 served only to highlight Australia’s subordinated status to other urban centres in the world, from this point onwards the Other would become increasingly associated with some ‘undefinable [sic] quality of danger’,
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particularly when matched up with quite specific racial, ethnic or religious attributes.20 So in Australia we read the newspapers and were advised by our broadcast media that we wanted so much to see the installation of democratic governance in some Other Middle Eastern territories that we were prepared to provide military support in a ‘long drawn-out’21 war ‘that could take … decades’.22 Indeed, one need only tune into contemporary commercial television programs to see how deeply embedded this containing response to the Other has now become in the Western imagination, where the Other is routinised as a locus of suspicion via shows such as NCIS, Threat Matrix (with ‘stories ripped from the headlines’), 24 and, more locally, Sea Patrol and Border Security.23 The leap then (as now) to a perpetual distant conflict with an evil Other has been in some sense legitimised and mobilised by programs like these. Yet surprisingly, ‘relaxed and comfortable’, in our lounge chairs, that the threat represented by the Other was being contained ‘somewhere else a safe distance over the horizon’, we did not seem to be too worried that the nation was becoming weighed down with values which had the power to turn people against each other.24 At their most extreme, these values have found expression in violent outbursts over racially or religiously essentialised differences, and there has slowly appeared, it would seem, a ‘glaring contradiction between the egalitarian, humanitarian, democratic … values said to hold this community together, and the means [it continues to advocate] … for protecting these values’.25 Other Contact Zones challenges this contradiction of a lucky country sustained by processes of forgetting and, even more importantly, the processes of silencing. The only contradiction that Australia as a country should cherish and preserve is the contradiction embedded in the antithetical landscape—the vast mythopoetic space inscribed with the sense of cultural belonging—the place we call or would like to call home. The only silence Australia should welcome is the silence of the bush. But the silence that Australia should not tolerate is the silence of politically manipulated discourse which has crystallised to the point where much of the outside world (for the outside world does observe Australia) sees this country as tucked snugly into a comfortably affluent world of sunbathing, surfing, barbies, footy and white picket fences, around one-acre blocks. Insiders might observe that our fences are getting taller and our pickets are getting sharper. Hence, the critical journey proposed by young scholars from within and without the sunburnt country is one triggered by the construction and acknowledgment of responsibility towards the Other. Levinasian ethics applied to a scenario where the immediate physical presence of another human asks us to account for our enjoyment of life, lies at the heart of Angela Hirst’s essay ‘Avoiding guilt in city space: the story of Levinas in my life’. This is followed by a series of papers exploring mechanisms of responsibility and avoidance, with a particular emphasis on the politics of gender representation. In the paper ‘Reading the convict body: “deviant” sex and the medical gaze in colonial Australia’, Catie Gilchrist exposes mechanisms for disciplining the male convict body centred around the notion that the signs of sexual deviance are written on the criminal body. The topic of constructing masculinities in Australian culture is also treated in Kathryn James’s paper ‘Anzacs, bushrangers and
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convicts: an ABC of dead heroes in contemporary historical fiction for Australian adolescents’, in which the author traces and deconstructs the ‘acceptable’ notion of male honour, bravery and altruism in Australian contemporary historical fiction for adolescents. A corresponding issue—the invention of the white woman as an object of fantasy in captivity narratives of early colonial Australia—is exposed by Kate Foord in the article ‘Still seeing the captive white woman: the necessity of white deprivation in Australia’. Still in the field of questioning acceptable representations of gender, Elaine Rabbitt’s article ‘Isolation: a state of mind’, focuses on the women of the unique community of Broome and the ways in which they contest and create multicultural senses of belonging. The ‘socially acceptable’ presentation of women in the modern corporate world is critically analysed by Geraldine Neal in ‘Madonnas, seductresses, pets and iron maidens: are lawyers managing badly?’, in which the author warns us of lingering patriarchal stereotypes in corporate cultures. Another paper focusing primarily on the notion of womanhood is ‘Experimenting with change: experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death in Australia in the 1980s’, by Susannah Thompson. She investigates the other side of the ideal of pregnancy and childbirth as satisfying and fulfilling events in Australian women’s lives by considering changing paradigms of stillbirth or neonatal death. The next group of papers questions established concepts and policies regarding other Australians by exposing the complexities of identity construction in the face of mechanisms of silence and misrecognition. Jessie Mitchell’s paper ‘The social and spiritual impact of disease on the first Aboriginal missions and protectorate stations in NSW and Port Phillip, 1825–1850’ discusses intersections between missionary expertise, Aboriginal agency and colonial struggles within the history of illness, in order to show to what extent sickness shaped the nineteenth-century material and cultural relations between Aboriginal people and missionaries. Amanda Kearney’s ‘Place spirit and intangible cultural heritage in a contested land’, explicates a rarely analysed topic of intangible cultural heritage, the mechanism which, if adopted by the Australian Government, would enable Aboriginal peoples to prove their continuous connection to the land more easily. In ‘Looking “blak” in anger: Indigenous Australian photographic art in intercultural contact zones’, Elisabeth Gigler analyses photographs by Indigenous artist Destiny Deacon to show the potential of Indigenous artworks in creating intercultural dialogues. Exploring the role of photographic presentation in constituting cultural identity is also the topos of Marita Bullock’s ‘China China: autoethnography and Ah Xian’s porcelain forms’, to which this issue of New Talents owes its cover. Bullock engages Xian’s porcelain busts to defamiliarise the basis of Western ethnography used for orientalising the Other. The ambiguity of evading the space of the Other is also problematised in Hamish Morgan’s ‘Representation, the photograph and the performativity of the pose, or, how to try and write about living in an Aboriginal community’, in which the author challenges the photographic capturing of Western selves within Aboriginal space. Othering the acceptable notion of the picturesque when applied to the Other landscape forms the focus of Jane Davis’s ‘Colonists in southern Western Australia and the picturesque: a mode of viewing or a political tool?’ Davis argues

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that the early colonial appropriation of the picturesque was an aesthetic and phenomenological, rather than colonial, reaction to the new landscape. The paper ‘Are they hitting the target? Climate change messages and strategies by Australian NGOs’, by Nina Hall and Cassandra Star, changes the theme from the politics of representation to the politics of the environment. By examining climate change campaigns conducted by NGOs, the authors warn that social and policy change can only be achieved by strengthening the legitimacy of such organisations on the national level. In the same vein, Kristen Henderson’s ‘Water myths and water reforms’ warns about the impact of persistent myths that water in Australia can be manipulated at will in contemporary political moves to manage water. Changing to the theme of political praxis, Andrew Herd’s ‘Devaluing refugees and refugee activists’ lays bare the double standards of the government’s measures against asylum seekers, which precipitate continuous public outcry and reactions from activist groups. Keeping the focus on activism, Eugene Sebastian’s paper, ‘Protest from the fringe: opposing Australia’s education and reform’, reveals how a group of international students located outside the framework of citizenry managed to influence public policy from a supposedly disempowered position. Nicole Asquith’s ‘Contemporary Australian vilification law and non-statebased intervention in hate speech’ interrogates the breach of freedom revealed in everyday discourse, and calls for an authorised redistribution of linguistic justice to include marginalised subjects. Louise Curtis’s paper, ‘A case for suppression: an examination of the Russian Workers’ Association in World War I era censors’ reports’ discusses the misrepresentation and censoring of the Russian Workers’ Association during the first world war in Australia. Misrepresentation and overreading are also the focal points of Elissa Goodrich’s ‘The liminal-norm? A critique of recent news media responses to Australian theatre’ in which the author draws attention to mainstream media responses to contemporary Australian theatre which devalue its potential for expressing new ideas and values. The issue closes with John Power’s ‘Unsolicited manuscripts unwelcome: the commercial implications’, which explores the consequences of the policy of large publishing houses in Australia declining to view unsolicited works of fiction from previously unpublished authors. According to Power, this policy not only wantonly neglects local talent, but could cost established publishing houses significant market share in the future. New Talents 21C is proud to present the work of emerging authors and early career researchers. We hope that the stereotypical view of anodyne Australia as presented by its politicians to the outside world is challenged by this often daring and always intellectually rigorous selection of work by young Australian intellectuals flying the flag of critical academic engagement.

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Avoiding guilt in city space: the story of Levinas in my life
Angela Hirst
My being-in-the-world or my ‘place in the sun’, my being at home, have these not also been the usurpation of spaces belonging to the other man whom I have already oppressed or starved, or driven out into a third world; are they not acts of repulsing, excluding, exiling, stripping, killing?1

In my research, I have walked beside (Emmanuel) Levinas down a path towards the space of an ethical encounter with the ‘Other’. In choosing to walk this path, designated by Levinas as a path that leads toward ethics, I have done so with a desire for its destination. But to describe the ethical scene of Levinas’s philosophy is for many to describe a catastrophe of cataclysmic proportions. Levinas conceives of a scenario where the physical presence of another human, a human that stands so close to me that we could embrace, asks me to account for my enjoyment of life. This is ethics, Levinas says. Ethics is to come face to face with someone I do not know, and to acknowledge that I am responsible for his suffering. Ethics is to respond to this Other’s call for help by saying ‘here I am’.2 Ethics is to sacrifice the very food that I eat, to give the ‘bread from my mouth’ to this Other. Levinas describes a scene that many would say was impossible or, at the very least, just a dream. Most other ethical accounts are less demanding. Levinas’s face-to-face encounter requires me to respond directly to the Other, face to face with me. Most other ethical accounts do not personally implicate me. They give me a list of ‘dos and do nots’ that set boundaries around my behaviour. I am limited so that I will never harm another, or will only harm him or her if there is no other possibility. Levinas’s ethics requires me continually to reconfigure my behaviour by responding to the accusations of others. I may formulate my own list of ‘dos and do nots’, but I can never be sure that this list will limit or secure me from the accusations of others whom I am yet to come face to face with. Why am I drawn down this path with Levinas that leads to such cataclysm? Do I want to live in anxiety, terrified of the repercussions of my every movement, my every mouthful? This aspect of Levinas’s ethics makes it seem more dystopic than utopic. Why am I drawn to dystopia? Because I have encountered Levinasian ethics before? I am sure that I am not the only person to face their Levinasian responsibilities. I have come face to face with an Other before and have measured the power of our relation. It felt like a face-to-face encounter: I have had so few like it before, or since. This is the story of my ethical encounter. Walking home late one night, I see a slight, dark figure with a bike leaning against the fence outside my house. I say ‘Hi’ as I approach, and push open the gate to walk up the stairs to my front door. After I turn away, she calls out to me. I cannot make out her face, and I can barely hear her. I walk down the stairs to hear her better. Closer now, I can see that this woman is black, and young. Even

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with her face in shadow I can see she has been beaten. Her nose is bleeding. Not looking at me she says, ‘Can I have a light?’ I run upstairs, find matches and return to the fence, matches in hand. I pass them over to her. She does not take them. Instead, balancing, one hand gripping the bike, she pushes a bent cigarette into her mouth and leans her face towards me, keeping her eyes fixed on the street. The bike that holds her up crashes onto the footpath. I wait for her to steady herself before I strike a match and light her up. She takes a couple of drags and she starts talking. ‘Drinking down the park … beaten by some fella there … can I come in?’ I ask her where she lives, what her name is. ‘My name is Manny … can I stay the night?’ I think of my housemates asleep inside. Stay the night? Panicking, should I wake them up? Should I ask if Manny can stay? I do not even know her. Should she stay? What should I say? I rack my brains for ‘the right thing’ to say. But I can’t think. I hear myself say ‘Yes’. I help her undress and shower, washing the blood and alcohol off her face. I give her dry clothes and put her to sleep in my bed. I shut the door and set myself up to sit out the night awake. By relinquishing my sleep to keep watch, I hope to make up for the fact that I did not ask my housemates about Manny. I worry that the night watch will not make up for my decision. I wake Manny up and get her out of the house at daybreak. When my housemates wake, I tell them. They are critical of me. I cannot explain my actions. I try to say that I was concerned about disturbing them, but this is not the reason I let them sleep. I was terrified that they would say, ‘Call the police’, ‘Call a taxi’, ‘Call an ambulance’. At the moment of Manny’s request, I felt that there was no ‘choice’, no ‘desire’ even, to say anything but ‘Yes, here I am’. This encounter revealed to me that my efforts to ‘reconcile’ what I see as my ethical-behaviour-from-a-distance contains its own violences. I have always thought that if I behaved in a certain way, generally, with a general attitude of respect towards Indigenous peoples, that this would be enough. I have done my duty and I can sleep well at night knowing that I am not a racist. When Manny ruptured my ‘political’ night, I realised that I ‘owed’ her so much more than an ‘attitude of respect’. Years after this encounter, I realise the impossibility of reconciling my desire to do the right thing with my desire to maintain my love of life without guilt. This is the aspect of Levinas’s ethics that I am drawn to. He refuses to resolve the contradiction between my enjoyment of the world and my responsibility to Others whom I have not (even) intentionally harmed. He says ‘Enjoy yourself, savour the flavours, love your life’. I can relate to this. I have no intention of living life always anxious. Levinas’s ethics does not deny me my love of life, but emphasises that it is my satiety and security which causes the suffering of the Other. In Levinas’s ethics, I must accept this contradiction not as a life based on a series of hypocritical actions that must be rectified, but as a paradox that will never resolve itself. Happiness is accompanied by angst. The problem that I do see with this paradoxical element of Levinas’s ethics is his selectivity about which particular anxiety he is willing to face. While accepting guilt for those whom I harm unintentionally, I am able to deny any guilt for those whom I harm intentionally. There is no room for me to face the non-human world,
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which I can feel free to exploit so that I have a full stomach when next I face another human. He qualifies this with the possibility of addressing the non-human through the eyes of the other human who faces me. By extending my responsibilities to the ‘Other’s others’ in this way, I then attend to my responsibility to the non-human (and for woman, though less explicitly). But this is always indirectly, always mediated by the human I encounter, always generalised. I can have intentions of behaving in a responsible way toward him or her, and this seems to be enough for Levinas. This means that I need never encounter any space where I would be forced to accept that I have done the non(hu)man harm that I did not intend. So I walk with Levinas along his ethical path with a little reticence. I want to reach his destination, yet I cannot help anticipating a fuller, more devastating, more all-encompassing anxiety to meet me at the end. The path that I now see is his path. It is a secure journey for me, so that I will have the strength (and responsibility) to face the other human at the end. But in the process, I see his perspective on the world: a dense thicket of nothingness, a world made useful, beautiful even, only by the existence of paths cut through it, such as his human paths. I listen to his choices, his theories, his ethics, his perspective on the thicket through which he cuts his path. We cut this path together, Levinas and I, until finally we encounter the other human. Here, at the ultimate ethical moment, the event occurs (as it occurred between me and Manny). Each of us, both Levinas and I, encounter a face: our guilt and our responsibility. At this moment, reflected back to us in the eyes of the ethical Other, we see behind us the thicket we have cut through. And we recognise the suffering of all those other beings-in-the-world that have been pushed aside by the ruthless and self-regarding construction of our path through it. And so we begin to make indirect responses to them. Now, forever changed by this experience, we recommence our journey carrying our new companion (Manny) with us through the thicket. Not for long, though, for our path is now forever and infinitely open to the faces of other humans and non-humans. Now that the first ethical encounter is over, I realise one more thing. Despite all the sacrifice that it has required from the non-human world, despite the impossibility of my ignoring the face of another human, I can barely recall encountering the face at all in the sense that Levinas describes. Yes, I recall Manny, but where are all the Other’s others? Once I have encountered one human, should not my path open up to all the others? Perhaps my path has always been open to all the other faces? Perhaps in the thicket there exists not just the nonhuman world yet to be possessed, not just the women used as walls against the thicket, but thousands—an infinity—of other humans who we have pushed aside as we stride together towards our first ethical encounter. I have encountered Manny, yet how many destitute others have I avoided? I am conscious that there have been many. I am aware that I have avoided my obligations to them. Would I want my encounter with Manny to have come earlier, before I had ‘my share’ of the world? And, perhaps, now that I have had this encounter with Manny, I will try to stay on the path, to avoid the faces of all those needy others in the thicket. How I undertake to stay on the path is the focus of the rest of this paper:
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Other Contact Zones Of course, within the human neighbourhood the sixth commandment [thou shall not kill] can hardly be said to have been scrupulously obeyed; it is, as Levinas says, an ‘authority … without force’. The face is a ‘demand’ that remains as the possibility of ethics whether we accept or deny that ‘demand’.3

Human alterity is a force. If the other human gets close enough to me, I cannot avoid confronting their alterity. When they knock on my door and I open it, it opens me up to my desire and to my guilt. Their alterity exposes me to a violence that I, without my conscious knowledge or intent, inflicted on the Other. I do not question whether they are right or wrong when they accuse me. I may not know the violence, but I know they are right. There is no need to question whether they are right or wrong in their accusations because Levinas’s conception of human alterity already has the authority to wrench open my subjectivity in this way. Possessing authority is unique to human alterity. The non-human world is filled with other sorts of otherness—everything in the non-human world has its otherness—but none of their ‘alterity’ has the force to confront me with my guilt. But it does not necessarily follow that the Other who confronts me with my guilt will receive an adequate response. The Other may have authority over my subjectivity, but it does not follow that he possesses power over my actions. Even if the Other opens me up to my guilt, I can still deny the Other’s help. Human alterity holds no physical control over me. It does not arrest my ability to satiate myself, to enjoy the world, nor to deny the request of the other human. But this is the power that the ‘alterity’ of the non-human world could hold over me. If I step outside the walls of my dwelling, I may be subsumed by the elemental. Decisions normally mine to make—how and when to eat, when and why to deny the Other— can be removed from my grasp by a world gone ‘wild’ with imperturbable being. The ‘alterity’ of the ‘wild’ world could rupture the security of my future happiness. It does this by taking away my ability to possess and control. But human alterity, too, can rupture the security of my future happiness, or, at least, my future happiness untainted by guilt. If I deny the other human knocking on my door, if I am free to decide not to sacrifice my autonomy for his wellbeing, I will still be heavily burdened and inhibited by my infinite guilt. I cannot avoid encountering guilt. A friend describes her experience of living in Berlin in the winter with her newborn baby. To get to her home she has to walk past the bodies of people sheltering from the cold shivering in the entranceway to her apartment block. She can rationalise walking on without a direct response to their suffering partly because she has responsibilities to her child. But these responsibilities do not secure her against guilt for their suffering. Guilt follows her as she walks up the stairs, a shadowy mauvaise conscience, and it cannot be shaken off by justification. She may be able to avoid the suffering homeless people in her entranceway, but her guilt inhabits the apartment with her. But perhaps there are ways that I can avoid my guilt? So far in my research I have described several ways to avoid guilt on my path to the ethical encounter. But until now, what I have avoided is the ‘alterity’ of the non-human world. Perhaps, these ways to avoid the ‘alterity’ of the non-human world can also be applied to avoid human alterity, and, consequently, to avoid my guilt? In this paper, I explore

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strategies of avoidance. Both to frame and personalise this discussion, I again use my experiences of avoidance and guilt in the city in which I live. Avoiding guilt in city space I experienced with Manny what seemed to me to be a face-to-face ethical encounter. Even though this experience helps me to believe that such encounters are possible and do occur, it has never occurred again. After my encounter with Manny, my life and lifestyle have continued in a way not dissimilar to the time before our encounter—with one notable difference: my wrenching desire to write a thesis to explore the implications of avoidance in my city. My first explanation for why I am not (consciously) confronted more often is because I do not often enough come into (physical) contact with those who seem to be suffering in the way that Levinas says the ethical Other suffers. I am a white, middle-class Australian living in an inner-city suburb of a capital city. My privileged socio-economic and geographic location affords me a built-in ‘strategy’ for avoiding ethical confrontation. This is not a conscious ‘strategy’ as such. The mechanisms of my isolation from need have largely been set in place for me; I have inherited them. Being who I am and living where I do, I am physically removed from obvious sites of suffering. All I need to do to maintain this isolation is stay here: off site, out of sight. This mode of avoidance works on the path in a similar way to how it works in the home to avoid my confronting the production of my food. From the beginning, attaining and maintaining my distance from the world is my strategy to attain and maintain security in it. Technological methods of food production displace the work of my hands: I do not have to touch the world in order to possess it. I can withdraw further and further until it is not possible to see the processes of production and destruction. And if I cannot see them, I do not have to think about them. Along with the millions of animals that are slaughtered for human consumption, are the millions of human faces that I avoid—because they are not proximate. David Harvey reflects on the effectiveness of this strategy:
we can in practice consume our meal without the slightest knowledge of the intricate geography of production and the myriad social relations embedded in the system that puts it on our table … we cannot see the fingerprints of exploitation upon them …4

Faces working in sweatshops or on cash crops to produce goods that I buy, faces on temporary protection visas working in the abattoirs doing large-scale killing that I do not want to see or think about when I eat meat, are distanced from my inner-city sanctum. Because these faces are so distanced, there is no exposure to their alterity. Because I am not exposed to their alterity, there is no exposure to my guilt. If I cannot see them, if I am not exposed to my guilt for their infinitely less secure dwellings-in-the-world, then I do not even have to think about them. I continue to not-grasp the fact that these people are the procurers and securers of my nourishment. Yet, I am aware of the existence of these faces and their suffering from a distance. Nonetheless, the way I recognise this is quite distinct from the way that
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I would recognise it if I were face to face with one of these people. Perhaps I have become aware of their suffering in a magazine or television exposé. Because the physical presence of their bodies is so distant as to be absent, I have a radically diminished access to their alterity. And if I have no face-to-face encounter with their alterity, I have no wrenching desire, no absolute exposure, to change their suffering into my guilt. I may recognise their suffering with my attentive, thoughtful consciousness. I may respond in a generalised way: I may boycott sweatshop products, I may vote for a government that gives asylum seekers permanent refugee status. But will I feel the guilt of personal responsibility for the suffering of these faces? Probably not. If I am not exposed to the guilt of my mauvaise conscience that wrenches open my subjectivity whenever I am proximate to them, then perhaps I will also not be exposed to the most cataclysmic accusation of my mauvaise conscience: I can never do enough. When this realisation—I can never do enough—comes to me through the face of the Other, my response is infinite: I can never do enough, and yet I am infinitely obliged to try. But when the face of the Other is absent, or so distant as to be absent, the reverse occurs. Without my mauvaise conscience continually tugging at my guilt, my never being able to do enough retires into futility. Without my mauvaise conscience, I resign from trying. I will, in my inactivity, with an air of resignation say ‘I can never do “enough”’. Without my mauvaise conscience tugging at the end of the rope, my bonne conscience decides whether or not to see suffering. With my bonne conscience again in control, I retire from asking will I bother listening to this exposé? Do I really want to expose myself? Do I really want to change my behaviour? Does changing my behaviour really make any ‘difference’? Why do I need to be guilty? It is not my problem. The fact I am isolated from most needy faces in my city does not ultimately isolate me from their needs. In fact, the limitations of my strategies (conscious or unconscious) for distancing myself from their suffering are paralleled by the limitations of my (conscious or unconscious) strategies for distancing myself from, for example, food production: I can avoid the violences of the production and destruction of animals for food by keeping a concrete distance between my dwelling and the abattoirs. But the strategy no longer works when the time comes for me to eat—again I am confronted with their elemental side in a slab of dead meat. I must devise strategies to maintain my distance from this meat that I am about to eat. And it is the same again for my avoidance of guilt towards the Other’s others. There will always be faces who suffer and live in my city (Manny). As in the case of my eating meat, I must find a way to maintain my distance from them. In the inner city suburb in which I live there is suffering around me. The old man who lives next door in my block of flats gets food from the Salvos. At night and all through the day, I hear the quiet knocks and requests from heroin addicts at another neighbour’s door. An endangered and dwindling form of habitation, there are still several boarding houses on my street, filled with middle-aged men. People beg for spare change on the main street, just off mine. And yet, so rarely does this suffering end in the ethical encounter. I may be aware of the ‘situation’ of faces ‘less fortunate’ than I, but I am rarely confronted in a conscious and very personal way with their real suffering and need. I rarely

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know the name of the Other that suffers in my own street. I have rarely met them face to face and looked into—let alone through—their eyes. There are meetings that resemble ‘encounters’ but are not encounters. I am stopped for spare change in the street and I give it; I help a sun-stroked man find his way back to the house he had forgotten. A gentle young man asked me for a hug and refused to let go when I hugged him. Then there was the time I gave my bed to Manny after she had been beaten up and could not get home. This single encounter with Manny was so overwhelming that now even meetings in the street (the non-encounters) threaten my security. Some weeks after I first gave my bed to Manny for the night, she turns up at my house again. This time, I am not home. She tells my housemates she was sleeping at her cousin’s place up the road, but he had made ‘a move’ on her, been violent, so she was not going back. Could she stay the night? When I get home, my friends and I discuss it, and decide that yes, just this once more, she can stay. We set her up a bed. She sleeps. She leaves in the morning. A week later, Manny calls me on the phone. A man in the hostel she was living in beat her. She needs to leave, can she and a friend have a lift to her friend’s home in an outlying suburb? I say yes. I drive to the hostel. She has been brutally beaten. Her face was so swollen I can hardly see one of her eyes. She moves slowly and stiffly, as if her legs might break. Her arm is in a sling. We get in the car and I ask for directions. Instead, I get more requests—can I drop by her friend’s boyfriend’s house to see if he is there? Can I drop her friend to the park and stop for a drink? I do these things. Then her friend doesn’t want to go to the suburbs anymore. Manny says that maybe her aunty will let her stay at her place. I drive her there. She is home. Aunty Christine is exasperated with Manny. She says Manny gets into fights all the time—gets drunk, and starts fights. This is not what Manny told me. Aunty Christine says she can stay one night, but that Manny has to find a hostel to stay in after that. She has no room. And Manny’s family will not take her back. I leave saying that I will find her a hostel to stay in. When I get home, I phone every hostel in the inner city. None will take her. They either know or know of Manny and her fighting. The only place is across town, and expensive—and they want four weeks rent in advance. I will pay for it, but think that Manny will not want to stay there, so far from the park where she hangs out. I call Aunty Christine the next morning and tell her I am having problems. She has softened up, and says it is okay for Manny to stay with her but that she needs a bigger place to rent. I say I will help her. When she finds some places, I will drive her to see them, and then help her move. She should give me a ring as soon as she has looked into it. Then I will wipe my hands of Manny. I feel manipulated. She has relied on me, and (maybe) lied to me about her injuries. Luckily for me, she does not ring and her aunty does not ring. I do not feel ‘responsible’, but nor do I want to feel guilty for not responding. If distance is the key to avoiding human need, what do I do now to reinstate some distance between myself and the human who needed or still needs me? What I think emerges at times like this is an emotion that Levinas usually associates with my engagement with the non-human world—that is, anxiety. Anxiety is the feeling that I have when I find my (imagined) control of the future

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being taken away from me, or foiled, by the unpredictable ‘alterity’ of the nonhuman world. In the situation I now find myself in, anxiety is evoked. I am anxious because if I go out on the street, I think there is a good chance that someone like Manny, perhaps even Manny herself, will ask something of me. The strategy that one can adapt to avoid the Other in this case is the straightforward strategy of maintaining distance: stay at home. Levinas condones using the dwelling to lock out the elemental; but I can also use ‘dwelling’ to lock out human alterity and need. In my flat, I am in a static mode of dwelling. I can close the door. I can stay out of view of the window. I can remain securely inside. If someone knocks, I can pretend that I am not home. My fear of what I might confront if I open the door gives me reason not to open the door. For the difference between fearing for my future happiness in the ‘face’ of the non-human world, and fearing for my future happiness face to face with the Other, is really not much difference at all. However, in my everyday negotiations around ethics, I am more likely to encounter a metaphorical ‘knocking’. On the street, when there are no walls that I can hide behind, I am most vulnerable to being ‘encountered’. However, I need not isolate myself at home if I do not want to be approached. Why? The dwelling is not necessarily just a static spatial relationship that I have with the world. It is also a space I can inhabit around me, when I am outside. I take an attitude of confidence out with me into the streets: ‘The “at home” [Le “chez soi”] is not a container but a site where I can …’5 I can walk into the street with security. The world is the site (‘lieu’) of my dwelling. ‘Everything is here, everything belongs to me; everything is caught up in advance with the primordial occupying of a site, everything is comprehended’.6 When I leave my home, my dwelling in the world takes on the characteristics of a ‘sojourn’.7 Regardless of whether or not I am in fact able to lock out the world’s otherness, I believe that I can, and behave as though I can. Still, this does not explain how I can avoid my guilt if someone ‘knocks’ into me on my sojourn down the street. There is no use in my relying upon an attitude of security to lock out anxiety because I am already anxious about being faced by the Other. Instead, that sojourn takes on the qualities of my static dwelling. My well-worn tracks hold the mark of my static dwelling best. As Levinas says, ‘welltrampled places do not resist me but support me’.8 I rely on familiar trajectories, I do not have to look further than the edges of space already appropriated by me; I ‘follow a map’ in my head rather than negotiate my physical environment. The less I feel capable of meeting my obligations to the Other, the more I rely on familiar trajectories—paths that ensure a distance is maintained between me and the Other human, and which will secure my escape. Memories of confronting places can pre-empt the direction of my gaze; I look away before that ‘face’ ahead of me asks me for money. Or, if I see Manny in the distance and I know that she has not seen me, I can cross the road as if diverting my path was my alwaysintention. I use the command I have over my future, my I can, to maintain a secure separation. I anticipate an encounter and I use my ‘line of sight’ to avoid exposure to alterity and guilt. The attribute of anticipation (that vision offers through my distant negotiations with the world) is removed from my face-to-face confrontations with alterity. In
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my strategy of avoidance through distance, avoiding alterity is easy—I am nowhere close to the Other human. But in my strategy of avoidance through anticipation, the Other human is just up ahead of me. From this short distance, I can see that the other takes the form of a human. I may also see that they need help of some kind. So why does their alterity not confront me? If I keep a physical distance between the Other and myself, even if I can see him or her, I am doing so in anticipation. It is as if I am absorbed in a context that holds all the potential threats of a space not yet appropriated by my dwelling. The suspended otherness of the city begins to return to the elemental almost from the moment of its suspension. It is only my well-trampled paths that support me holding the mark of dwelling. Out there, the Other is immersed in the elemental. A useful confusion can occur between the anxiety that I feel about being faced with my guilt and the anxiety that I feel in the ‘streets’ of the elemental. Levinas uses the example of the way a city looks after an exhausting trip:
the unreal, inverted city [where] things and beings strike us as though they no longer composed a world, and were swimming in the chaos of their existence.9

And at this moment of anxiety I have no intention of distinguishing between a human in need and a world inverted. At this moment both threaten my future. In fact, if my anxiety becomes too great, then I can exploit the confusion between the elemental and the Other: I can imagine that the Other is a predator. If I feel preyed upon, then I am justified in acting pre-emptively to defend myself: I run, hide, dissemble, lie, to avoid the face-to-face encounter.

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Reading the convict body: ‘deviant’ sex and the medical gaze in colonial Australia
Catie Gilhurst
On 4 January 1847, every prisoner on Norfolk Island was ordered to proceed to the barrack yard. Here, the military had earlier assembled in anticipation of convict indiscipline. Mustered into gangs of four, the prisoners were sent into the police station one at a time, where they were ordered to strip and bend over ‘so the doctor could see plainly the inside of his fundament’.1 This was the convict ‘medical’ examination.2 Aaron Price, the diarist of the settlement, nonchalantly recorded the incident in his daily journal. As he explained:
The reason that this inspection took place, it was supposed that a great many men were bad with the venereal from that horrible practice that is carried on amongst the prisoners. But through the whole of the inspection—both old and new hands, not one single case transpired, to justify the suspicion that was entertained by the authorities, though some four prisoners … refused to submit to what they considered a degradation, by exposing their persons. The Commandant told them they should go to gaol first and be punished, and then they should undergo the same inspection as the others had done. The whaleboat went out this morning fishing …3

The four men who refused to submit to this crude and elementary examination were instantly punished. James Wolfe received six days solitary confinement. Thomas Walin and Martin Ryan were sentenced to four months in the gaol gang. George Byford, a blind man, was awarded six months solitary confinement because his reaction to the indignities of the medical inspection had been to bite the fingers of an overseer. These men were punished for refusing to submit to this degrading and invasive medical procedure. Yet their refusal was also an expression of autonomy and one way that convict men might resist the ‘castrating’ penal system.4 The medical inspection of male convicts for signs of sexual disease has not been examined in convict studies.5 Until recently this topic has perhaps been considered too distasteful.6 To be sure, the convict body has been ‘read’ in other ways. Recent studies of convict tattoos and the punishment of head shaving have demonstrated the historical and cultural significance of ‘reading’ the convict body. Moreover, practitioners of phrenology linked the dimensions and measurements of the skull and jaw-line to produce new theories of criminality as a mental and moral process.7 This article builds on these important advances in convict historiography. It suggests that looking at the medical inspection opens up a further way of thinking about sex, power and resistance in colonial Australia. It also offers a new understanding of the central role that the medical gaze played in policing the sexual behaviour of male convicts. In highlighting these aspects of the convict system it becomes apparent that the somatic mapping of ‘deviant’ sexualities occurred long before the science of sexology emerged in the closing decades of the nineteenth century.

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In the first volume of his History of Sexuality Foucault explored the sexual dynamics of single-sexed institutionalised spaces. He suggested that the authorities were in ‘a state of perpetual alert, which the fixtures, the precautions taken, the interplay of punishments and responsibilities, never ceased to reiterate’.8 In the 1840s, these concerns occupied a central place within the administration of the probation system of convict discipline in Van Diemen’s Land. The convict department was indeed in a ‘state of perpetual alert’ and the records from these years are saturated in sexual anxieties and the ‘suspicions’ that Price recorded in his diary. It was hoped that correctly managed sleeping spaces would offer sufficient and viable precautions ‘for the prevention of such odious crimes’.9 Many officials invested heavily in the ‘preventive’ separation apertures that were introduced into the sleeping quarters. The atomising of criminal bodies and the active surveillance exercised over them by constant illumination and patrolling watchmen were deemed to be morally imperative in the all-male penal environment. Yet repression and resistance are never far apart and convict men resisted the repressive surveillance techniques that were exercised over them. Separation boards were often damaged or removed, oil lamps were blown out, peepholes in dormitory doors were covered up, and hammocks were sometimes shared.10 At this distance of time, the ‘did they or didn’t they’ question of male convict sexual relations is perhaps a moot point. What I wish to stress in this paper is the way in which colonial contemporaries negotiated their own moral anxieties that the penal environment produced. As the chaplain of Norfolk Island, Thomas Rogers, perceptively recalled, if ‘unnatural crime’ existed, it did so because through the imposition of ‘preventive’ measures, it was in fact promoted in ways that were both real and imagined.11 Rogers himself fiercely condemned the periodical medical examinations, ‘when the gangs are mustered in the lumberyard, stripped naked and then inspected in the most obscene disgusting manner to ascertain whether they present any symptoms of habitual indulgence in unnatural crime’.12 Yet this was largely a lone voice. The sexual surveillance of male convicts was an integral part of the probation system of convict discipline in Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840s. In this, the professional opinion of the medical authorities played a central role. The medical gaze In 1846, after months of rumours and scandalous reports in the colonial press alluding to the ‘horrible practises’ of the convicts massed in the probation gangs, the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, ordered an official investigation. In February, the acting Comptroller-General William Champ sent out an astonishing order to the medical officers at the twenty-six probation stations: every male convict in the colony was to be physically examined for ‘evidence’ of sexual activity or disease. As a result of this order, almost 10,000 male prisoners were anally inspected.13 The medical returns showed that seventy men were ‘labouring under disease from unnatural crime’ and twenty of these cases were from the coalmines station at Impression Bay.14 The ComptrollerGeneral’s order was accompanied by a request that the medical officers send to him their ideas for the best means of ‘preventing’ sexual activities between the men. The opinions of the medical authorities reveal a general consensus and the
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replies are largely repetitive.15 Their reports endorsed the view that ‘burning lamps’, ‘separation’ and ‘increased supervision’ in the sleeping quarters would ensure moral order and prevent ‘unnatural crimes’. The Colonial Assistant Surgeon James Macnamara innovatively suggested that ‘a watchman pacing back and forward in each ward during the night’ was the best ‘means of prevention’.16 Some officers revealed the shortcomings of the existing techniques of separation and surveillance. They recommended that they be further augmented. The Colonial Assistant Surgeon Mr Park insisted that the eight-inch separation boards presently in use at the Oatlands probation station were inadequate.17 According to Park, ‘not the slightest impediment is offered by them to the perpetration of the crime’. Yet increasing their size to ‘eighteen inches or more’ would be of little benefit. The only true and effective remedy, according to this surgeon would be ‘iron bars perpendicularly placed at intervals between each berth, and of strength to resist destruction’ and only this measure ‘would completely prevent any intercourse’.18 Surgeon E S Hall agreed that the present separation boards were of little use. According to Hall, the best ‘preventive’ measure was a ‘monthly physical inspection’. This would involve a ‘close examination of the bedding and the sleeping berths in the presence of a visiting magistrate’, and the ‘regular naked inspection of the men’. Mr Hall was certainly an enthusiastic supporter of the naked inspection. He informed the ComptrollerGeneral that he routinely practised this at the stations he supervised and not only was it ‘a great check upon the men’ it also had ‘a great tendency to restrain this crime’. He was particularly critical of those stations that did not perform regular examinations. In his report, Hall insisted that he often made ‘a rigid examination of every man’.19 The role of the medical authorities in colonial Australia has been examined in convict studies.20 Trained medical professionals acted as Surgeon-Superintendents on board the ships that transported prisoners to the penal colonies.21 Medical men were also active in observing and treating convict bodies after the administration of penal flogging.22 Yet the point where the medical and the penal authorities collaborated to police the sexual behaviour of male convicts has not been analysed by historians. Exploring the contemporary belief that physical medical evidence of deviant sexual activity might be found on the convict body allows us to see another dimension to the role that the medical authorities played within the disciplinary mechanisms of the penal system. All convicts were social deviants by virtue of their bonded status, yet some were sexual deviants too. Often, it was the opinion of the medical surgeon that would identify these men to police and proscribe their sexual behaviour. We must remember that it was indeed sexual behaviour and not sexual identities that were here being surveyed and repressed. In the decades before the emergence of the ‘homosexual type’, same-sex relations had different meanings and any man might possibly commit what was deemed to be ‘unnatural’. It was this that made the surveillance of all convict men so imperative. What is particularly striking in reports from the convict department is the fact that a medical discourse was often utilised to describe prisoners and their active sexual behaviour. Many contemporary observers believed that the act itself was a ‘disease’ that might, under the correct conditions be ‘cured’.23 Historians have
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tended to attribute the association between sexual deviancy, ‘disease’ and cure to the science of sexology in the closing decades of the nineteenth century.24 Yet records from colonial Australia reveal that these ideas were circulating long before the sexologists emerged. According to William Champ, men who were ‘addicted’ to unnatural crimes ought to be ‘quarantined’. He suggested that their complete spatial and physical separation was the only ‘palliative to this disease’. In one report he wrote that a year of solitary confinement ‘would lead to the habit being forever broken off’.25 Because deviant sexual behaviour was discursively constructed through a medicalised lexicon, it was also managed as a medical condition. In the penal context, atomisation and quarantine were often used to both prevent and cure this ‘disease’. And it was the evidence or, at the very least, the learned opinion of medical men that would inform the spatial distribution and location of convict men. Diseased men and those ‘suspected of the crime’ were kept separate from the other prisoners. Furthermore, in the years of the communal barrack and before the separate system of imprisonment was more generally adopted, it was these men who would occupy the separate sleeping cells. Maria Island, Norfolk Island, Port Arthur and the Hobart Town Barracks had separate sleeping cells for those ‘tried or suspected of such offences’.26 In Sydney, the new Darlinghurst gaol, which opened in 1841, also housed ‘miscreants’ in isolation cells.27 In his 1846 medical report, the Assistant Surgeon at Brown’s River reported three cases of diseased men who ‘have been since kept by night in separate apartments’.28 Diseased prisoners conflated perceptions of criminal and sexual deviancy in a particularly intimate way. Their isolation involved both ‘the arrangement of bodies— in space and the regulation of contact between them’.29 In this way, the medical authorities played a crucial role in determining sexual deviancy in the penal colonies, but also in its subsequent cure—the spatial management of bodies. The limits of the gaze The medical gaze was powerful yet it was also an ambiguous gaze. Some medical officers seemed to find the search for signs of sexual activity and disease distasteful. Mr Macdowell, the medical officer at Broadmarsh, reported that he had made the ordered medical inspection ‘with as much delicacy as circumstances would allow’.30 Other officers were unsure as to what exact signs or symptoms they were supposed to be looking for. At the coal mines, Dr Motherwell reported that some men who had been diseased ‘have since recovered’.31 Patrick Black was the assistant surgeon at the Wedge Bay probation station. In his report he wrote that ‘from suspicious appearances, observable on an examination of * * of several of the prisoners, I am afraid that the commission of * * * is of no rare occurrence on this station’. Yet, unlike Mr Hall, he was unconvinced that the medical inspection was a useful means of sexual surveillance. According to Black, ‘this crime may be committed, to a certain extent, without any disease resulting there from’.32 This view was reiterated by the medical returns from the Southport, Ross and Oatlands probation stations, where it was concluded that ‘unnatural crime’ did exist but yet there were ‘no cases of disease’.33 The medical inspection of the convict body was indeed crude, elementary and uncertain. The body might yield obvious signs of sexual activity or disease, but it could also be a blank and silent
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slate if no somatic symptoms presented themselves. As Mr Smart at the Fingal probation station remarked, ‘I have made it a rule frequently to inspect all suspicious characters, but have rarely met with disease tending to prove that * * * have been committed’.34 Yet the fact that ten thousand men were subject to its gaze in 1846 suggests that many officials in the convict department and in the colonial government invested great confidence in the procedure. The medical inspection was not infallible but it was a disciplinary mechanism through which the authorities could police their own moral suspicions of the convict body, and exert power over it. The penal system and its techniques of surveillance sought to render prisoners ‘knowable’.35 Yet the prison machine was not merely an apparatus of prohibition and repression of one class by another. The very existence of sexual disease in the colony, together with its elusiveness, alerts us to the limits of official repression. Moreover, those men who refused to comply with invasive medical examinations further thwarted the penal objective of ‘knowing’ its prisoners. Foucault’s notion of the ‘polymorphous techniques of power’ suggested that sexuality, in becoming an ‘object of analysis and concern, surveillance and control, engenders at the same time, an intensification of each individual’s desire for, in and over his body’.36 We might then consider the medical examination of the convict body as ‘the theatre of a struggle between physicians and prisoners’ and a specific site where convict resistance was played out.37 Mr Hall’s medical report from the hospital probation station at Deloraine commented that some men had ‘endeavoured to evade’ the medical inspection and had ‘been punished for doing so’.38 Under the probation system of discipline and at the secondary punishment stations, convicts had little power over their lives.39 Men who refused to submit their body to the indignities of a penal medical inspection attempted to exert some autonomy and control over their bodies. They risked being punished for their intransigence yet for some men, like the four we met at the start of this paper, this risk was obviously worth taking. Reactions to the medical evidence Sir John Eardley-Wilmot ‘had the honour’ to send the medical reports to Lord Stanley in March 1846.40 He used the low incidence of disease (seventy in one thousand cases) to vindicate the administration of the convict department and the probation system of convict discipline in Van Diemen’s Land. In his despatch he suggested that the medical evidence was a clear rebuff to the ‘exaggerated accounts of the existence of the evil, which have been, and will be transmitted home, for the purpose of augmenting the opposition to the probation system’.41 The state of morality in the colony was not as low and debauched as the enemies of transportation had made it out to be. Indeed, in comparison to other environments it was in fact, much higher. As he remarked to the Colonial Office, ‘I am told by military and naval men, and by persons who have lived in India, that the perpetration of the crime here is not so great as in those professions generally, and in that country in particular. Of this your Lordship may be assured, that every precaution and prevention, by separation, single cells, and constant superintendence, will never be wanting to prevent an increase or continuance of these horrible practices’.42 For the Lieutenant-Governor then, the medical evidence was sufficient proof that the probation system was an appropriate and
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viable means of enforcing convict discipline. This was a concern that intimately linked the colony with the metropole in ways that were both moral and political: at issue was the wider reputation of the British Empire. Yet if seventy cases of disease out of ten thousand convicts was not cause for alarm for the Lieutenant-Governor, it was seventy cases too many for the colonial press. Vehemently opposed to the probation system of convict discipline, the newspapers of Van Diemen’s Land sensationalised the medical returns of 1846. The existence of sexual disease justified their long-held suspicion that the system encouraged ‘unnatural vice’ by massing male prisoners together. According to the Launceston Examiner, the medical reports confirmed that ‘degrading practises, and the most virulent pollution has spread among the prisoners with unexampled rapidity’.43 In a later edition they took the ‘revolting’ medical evidence to greater heights of outrage, informing readers that extraordinary cases of ‘diseases previously unknown to medical science!’ had been found.44 The prevalence of twenty cases of venereal disease at the coalmines was sensationalised in particular.45 The colonial reading public was informed of gruesome stories of disease, immorality and gang rapes, committed in the dark recesses of the hot and dirty mines.46 As a leading voice of opposition to the convict system, the Examiner clearly had political motives in relating such incidents. Yet the subject was noted elsewhere and the reasons why the coal mines exercised such morbid dread upon the colonial imagination deserves further comment.47 The coal mines in the colonial imagination When coal was first found on the Tasman Peninsula in 1833, Lieutenant-Governor Arthur welcomed the discovery. He supported the extraction of this natural resource and immediately ordered the convict department to commence work there. Economics aside, Arthur’s enthusiasm was sustained by his belief that mining would provide a particularly harsh form of secondary punishment for refractory convicts. Exile to the coalmines soon became ‘classified as the most severe punishment in the colony’.48 In his diary Thomas Lempriere noted that the very term ‘coal mines’ appeared to inspire the convicts ‘with dread’.49 By the 1840s the site was still inspiring dread, yet it was a dread especially felt by the wider colonial community. For many contemporaries, the unseen and secretive nature of the mines made their use within the penal system objectionable. The mines were dark, hot, subterranean spaces, where convicts worked in intimate proximity. Often with little clothing and largely immune from the gaze of the overseer, the underground mine represented the antithesis of the principles of ordered penal surveillance. As a probation station, free colonists were not permitted to visit the site and contemporaries could only conjure up imagined scenes from a diabolical underworld. According to the Examiner, the coal mines were in fact ‘worse than Milton’s Hell’.50 Reports made by the few contemporaries who had visited the mines often confirmed these anxieties. James Purslowe had been in charge of the mines between 1843 and 1844. In 1846 he wrote a number of letters to the Colonial Office in London in which he expressed his concerns with the probation system. In one, he described his experiences at the coalmines and confirmed the opportunities for the ‘commission of unnatural crimes’ at the subterranean site. He noted the necessity at the mines
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for the medical officer there to perform regular ‘surgical operations’. He further admitted, ‘it is true, but horrible to relate, that in the mines places can be pointed out which were known amongst the gang as being a common resort for the bestial purpose’.51 The convict department had dismissed Purslowe in 1845. His motives for painting such a sensational portrait have to be considered. But what of the observations made by a churchman? The Bishop of Hobart, Robert Willson visited the coalmines in 1846. As a man of the church, his concerns for the convicts were of a moral, religious and humanitarian nature. He related his visit in a letter to Earl Grey. It is clear that the Bishop’s moral anxieties were combined with a degree of voyeuristic fascination:
During my stay at this station, I went down the shaft into the mines, in order to ascertain what were the facilities for the commission of such atrocious crimes. It was within a few weeks of the execution of two prisoners belonging to the station, who had been convicted of an offence hitherto, I believe, unheard of in a Christian country, the rape of a boy. In scarcely any part of the mines could a man of ordinary stature stand upright; and imperfectly lighted as a mine must ever be, it would be impossible for the two constables (who after this horrible event, were stationed to guard the prisoners whilst at work) effectively to watch over or to prevent such crimes from taking place amongst from seventy to ninety men, scattered in different directions, even supposing these constables would have the courage to interpose, when surrounded by such an ungodly and desperate crew.52

Comptroller-General William Champ specifically connected the spatial dynamics of the mines with ‘unnatural’ sexual behaviour and the high incidence of disease, in 1846. In his report to the Lieutenant Governor, he confirmed that, ‘the nature of the employment at the mines, it is obvious, affords facilities for the commission of this crime, which do not exist at any other station. The preventatives which immediately suggest themselves are separation and increased supervision’. Champ ordered one hundred separate apartments to be built immediately and ‘the number of the lights in the mines to be trebled’. He further proposed reducing the numbers of prisoners at the mines and suggested the need for two additional constables, ‘expressly for the purpose of inspecting the working gangs’.53 In September 1846, the new Superintendent at the mines, Mr Hill, reported the changes that had been made. There were now ‘two Constables, two Overseers, and a third Overseer, whose duty it is to visit the works at uncertain times. The Constables are for the sole purpose of preventing irregularities … There are upwards of one hundred lamps burning below, and these increase in number, according to the increased extent of the works’.54 ‘Constables for the sole purpose of preventing irregularities’ clearly illuminate the convergence of penal-labour discipline and sexual discipline at this particular station. Yet despite assurances that conditions underground were well regulated, well lit and under constant surveillance, the coalmines were indelibly stained with the taint of ‘moral pollution’. The scandalous eyewitness reports and the incriminating medical evidence of sexual disease in 1846, together with the perennial limitations of surveillance in the mines, formed an unholy trinity in the contemporary imagination. The association of the coalmines with sexual deviancy made their use within the penal system morally untenable and the site ceased to operate as a convict probation station in 1848.55 If the medical gaze was at times an ambiguous

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means of reading the convict body, it could also be a productive force in the wider politics of penal practise.56 Rethinking the historical construction of ‘deviant’ sexualities Jeffrey Weeks has argued that the policing of morality is variously constructed in different cultures as an aspect of wider gender and sexual regulation. For Weeks the crucial question must be, ‘what are the conditions for the emergence of this particular form of regulation of sexual behaviour in this particular society?’57 In the context of the penal colonies where criminal men were often massed together in gangs, answering Weeks’s question seems to be straightforward. Yet the point I wish to stress in concluding this paper is that the sexual observations that were made of male convicts suggest a historiographical rethinking in the medical construction of ‘deviant’ sexualities. Eighteenth-century and Georgian constructions of gender, sex and sodomy have been extensively researched.58 Recent historical scholarship has argued that the 1860s was the crucial decade for the emergence of medical theories of sex and deviancy, later culminating in the science of sexology and the emergence of modern sexual taxonomies.59 In between, we have a relatively barren and silent gap for the first fifty years of the nineteenth century.60 Yet it was precisely during the years of Imperial transportation that the Georgian idea of the third sex and the sodomite gave way to a particular and idiosyncratic medicalised ‘type’ of moral deviant. It was also in these years that institutionalisation increasingly came to house the lower orders. As Foucault and others have suggested, it was in the prison, the workhouse, the orphanage and the reformatory that the slow encroachment of medical knowledge and surveillance produced a plethora of observations on the habits, behaviours and sexual inclinations of incarcerated bodies.61 In this context, the observations and inquiries made by the medical and penal authorities in Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840s foreshadow the works of later medical/criminal theorists such as Cesare Lombroso and Havelock Ellis. The idea of an idiosyncratic criminal ‘type’ with particular facial features and a peculiar speech was a popular and widely held belief that has been well documented.62 Less observed by historians, but often commented upon by contemporaries, was the idea that sexual deviancy was also ‘written’ on the criminal body.63 In 1846 the Reverend Henry Phibbs Fry described the convicts of Van Diemen’s Land in a letter to the Secretary of State. According to Fry, ‘the aspect of the men indicated the dreadful habit to which they were addicted’.64 In his memoirs, the convict Edward Lilburne noted a similar somatic description of convict gangs working in the interior of New South Wales. He informed his readers that at night these men were locked up in ‘square boxes, sixteen being crowded together in a space less than two square feet for each person. Their countenances are shocking to behold … their deep depravity was proverbial’.65 There are clear parallels between these observations that saw deviancy written on the body and the later medical construction of particular ‘types’ of sexual deviant such as the ‘emaciated masturbator’ or the ‘effeminate invert’.66 To be sure, it was not until the later decades of the nineteenth century that medical understandings of sexualities and ‘types’ emerged and were slowly disseminated.67 Yet convict and colonial records are permeated with scientific or,
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at the very least, pseudo-scientific ideas that correlated body types to particular criminal behaviours and sexual practices. Looking at the surveillance role of the medical authorities in the penal colonies, together with the contemporary observations that were made on convict bodies, suggests a shift back in the dating process for historical understandings of sexual deviancy. Certainly, the penalmedical inspection of male convicts for signs of sexual activity or disease was crude and elementary. Yet the idea that sexual deviancy might be located within or upon the body was established long before medical theorists of the later decades of the nineteenth century warned against the moral and physical ‘evils’ of samesex behaviour, masturbation and ‘degeneracy’.68 Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840s was a microscopic laboratory of social and moral deviancy. The search for signs of sexual deviance that were written on the criminal body played a significant role in both the management and the policing of this penal experiment. At times it shaped the trajectory of the politics of penal transportation itself.

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Anzacs, bushrangers and convicts: an ABC of (dead) heroes in contemporary historical fiction for Australian adolescents
Kathryn James
The community’s idea of itself in history cannot be disentangled from the ways it represents death.1 [H]istory consists of a larger vision beyond the level of the individual, a vision that attempts to make sense of the collective experience of nations, groups, and entire races.2

Constructions of masculinity in Australian culture have often represented manhood as a heroic state of being, even in death. Deaths associated with qualities such as honour, bravery and altruism, for instance, have contributed to notions of masculinity and virility in the past, especially when the meaning of an individual death was transformed into the type of heroic act that promoted nationalistic sentiments and ideals. A shootout between police and outlaws; the bloody fight at Gallipoli; the battleground at the Eureka diggings; and the hanging of a convict at Port Arthur: each of these images belongs implicitly to a narrative tradition characterised by its tendency to link heroism with key moments in Australian history and to celebrate the kind of male characters whose legendary status is forged through violence, conflict and death. Although this tradition owes much to a past era, even today these models persist in narratives written about Australian history. For example, accounts of heroism and of heroic death which feature in contemporary historical fictions for adolescents in Australia demonstrate that despite being marked by tensions and contradictions (and thus questioning the sustainability of such conventional constructions) this traditional masculine myth is an enduring one. In order to explore this idea in detail, I wish to focus on three texts produced in the last decade for Australian adolescent audiences: Boys of Blood and Bone (2003) by David Metzenthen; Edward Britton (2000) by Gary Crew and Philip Neilsen; and Whistle Man (2000) by Brian Ridden. Together these novels express a popular and thus familiar understanding of the past and historical experiences of death in the Australian context. According to Kate Darian-Smith and Paula Hamilton, popular understandings of history express the past through a series of collective myths. These mythic narratives do not offer a totalising and integrated history but are rather a series of anecdotes progressing selectively through historical time, and rendered significant by certain images and symbolic moments of revelation and action.3 Maureen Nimon and John Foster share similar views, arguing that although Australian adolescent literature does not differ markedly at a general level from the forms of fiction aimed at adolescents in other Western

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nations, what sets it apart are ‘the special features of the Australian experience, as mythologised in … [the country’s] history’.4 As Graeme Turner explains, all national fictions draw on the available myths and discourses of national character and identity in their articulation of ‘the nation’. Thus, contemporary versions of ‘the Australian’ owe much to the bush legend of the 1890s, and even Australia II’s victory provoked references to Gallipoli.5 What this suggests, then, is that common or dominant forms and meanings in Australian narrative are drawn almost exclusively from the past when the concept of mateship, the legend of the egalitarian, anti-authoritarian (male) battler character, and the landscape-dominated ethos of the country were first mythologised. In this way, even as newer myths and narratives are articulated by the culture, this narrow range of meanings continues to have currency. Former prime minister Paul Keating’s speech at the ‘Entombment of the Unknown Soldier’ at the Australian War Memorial in 1993 illustrates these ideas:
the Australian legend which emerged from the war … is a legend not of sweeping military victories so much as triumphs against the odds, of courage and ingenuity in adversity. It is a legend of free and independent spirits whose discipline derived less from military formalities and customs than from the bonds of mateship and the demands of necessity.6

The Australian warrior: death, masculinity and heroism The ‘Australian legend’ that Keating refers to has been ‘a powerful fiction for constructing and legitimating dominant meanings of “masculine” and “Australian” in Australian culture’, argues Linzi Murrie.7 Keating’s speech also suggests that the particular qualities of mateship, fortitude, courage and strength that define the legend come together in an especially potent way in the figure of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (Anzac) soldier, largely because there are few events in Australian history that have had such an impact on ideas about manhood and national identity as those of the first world war. Accordingly, this period is often referred to as Australia’s ‘coming of age’. The physical superiority of the ‘bold and ferocious’ Australian soldier (at the time, a prominent theme in much of the writing about the Anzacs) confirmed some popular Australian selfimages about masculinity and nationhood too. Indeed, the figure of the Anzac ‘valorized a nation prepared to sacrifice its best—its young men—to what was perceived as an appalling but noble cause’.8 According to Stephen Garton, one of the few ways Australians could make sense of the enormous loss of life in the twentieth-century wars was ‘to see these sacrifices as part of a rich tapestry of “history”, where societies flourished and grew because of the actions of their soldiers’. Thus, the legend, which may once have reflected an older bushman ideal, was ‘translated into something national and hence more readily available for a broad, popular and cross-class audience’.9 In Boys of Blood and Bone, the legend is mobilised by linking the war experiences of soldier Andy Lansell with a contemporary story about Henry Lyon, another eighteen-year-old boy, fusing them together in such a way that, in the end, the story of Andy’s life and death entirely alters Henry’s subjectivity. The boys’ paths cross when Henry, driving up to the south coast of New South Wales from
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Melbourne on a windsurfing holiday, breaks down in the small country town of Strattford. Stuck for a few days until his car can be fixed, he befriends a young local couple, Trot and Janine, and meets Andy’s fiancée, Cecelia, who shows him a photograph of Andy and his mates. In the photo, Henry thinks the boys smile as if they know things that he could know too:
Just believe in us, cobber, they seemed to be saying, and eighty-five years’ll go up in smoke because it’s only a bit of bloody time standing between you and us, and time’s nothin’ if you truly believe, if you truly want to be one of us.10

Henry’s vague interest is aroused once he begins to read Andy’s diary and he muses that if he had been around when Andy was, he may have seen first-hand ‘whatever it was the old war footage never showed’.11 The characters of Henry and Andy represent very different ways of being male, and their pairing effectively weighs one model of manhood against another, each of which is heavily influenced by socio-economic ideologies and stereotypes in its depiction. The construction of Andy’s character is grounded in a romanticised notion of the past and draws on nationalist rhetoric and ideas about the ‘national type’, which is further emphasised by the inscription on his gravestone stating: ‘A son of Australia’. In the novel he is described as ‘fit and capable’, his face as ‘even and strong’, and as looking ‘so Australian [with] those clear eyes that [can] look forever’ [emphasis in original].12 In comparison, the picture of Henry that quickly builds up is of a somewhat aimless youth troubled in his relationship with his girlfriend Marcelle and largely dependent on his wealthy parents for many aspects of his life. Andy at eighteen, the text implies, is already a man, while Henry, at the same age, is still a boy. The character of Trot (Andy’s present-day double who becomes quite good friends with Henry) also functions to reinforce this idea of different masculinity as his initial meeting with Henry illustrates. Using the masculine image of the car, the differences between them are not only immediately apparent, but presented in a way that emasculates Henry. Henry, walking away from his mother’s overheated Volvo, the P-plate ‘stuck crookedly onto the glass’, is stranded. He is rescued by Trot in a ‘spitting’ V8 Commodore, ‘gold mag wheels like stars’, and P-plate tossed carelessly on the dash under a pack of cigarettes. Henry’s embarrassment over his mechanical ignorance and his awkwardness is contrasted with Trot’s ease as he sits ‘in the Holden as comfortably as Buddha in his temple’.13 These differences become extreme, however, when Trot dies after losing control of his car. While Trot’s accident points to the fragility of the male body (particularly as it occurs not when he is driving dangerously but when is trying to avoid a hay bale left on the corner of the road), it nevertheless illustrates how ‘persistent [the] tug of conventional images of masculinity’ can be in Australian narrative.14 Here, death demonstrates how notions of masculinity can be informed by macho images of living hard and dying young as Henry, even after the finality of the burial, continues to feel like ‘a bit of a wuss driving along in a Volvo when he [thinks] about Trot’s car which was definitely a hard-goer’.15 Like Andy in the past, Trot is an exemplary model of ‘Australianness’ and his death is defined in terms of heroism and courageousness by both Janine and Cecelia. Janine wishes that when he had died ‘it could’ve been doing something heroic rather than an awful
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accident’, while Cecelia believes that Trot ‘would’ve done better eighty-five years ago with something heroic to do’.16 At various points in the narrative, the sustainability of the traditional Anzac hero figure is questioned. By foregrounding the corporeality of death, for example, it is suggested that boys are made of blood and bone and that death is absolute. In this way, the reality and violence of war become, to appropriate Kerry Mallan’s phrase, ‘unpalatable truths which destroy the appeal of the heroic myth’.17 This is vividly described in a scene in which Andy witnesses another soldier’s death—‘boys were dotted with blood and small pieces of flesh like the rind of some sort of strange fruit’.18 Nonetheless, the comparison between Trot’s death and that of the soldiers reinforces the tendency of Australian fictions to ‘refract contemporary images of … masculinity through the template of past images and mythologies’.19 Furthermore, by framing Trot’s death through references to the warrior figure and the past, heroic notions of death are valorised and contemporary models of boy/manhood devalued. This is emphasised when Henry and Janine travel to France to visit the small war cemetery where Andy is buried. The trip echoes Andy’s own journey, but as ‘the biggest adventure in [Henry’s] life’, it also illustrates the extreme difference between each generation’s experiences of life and death.20 Thus, by the novel’s conclusion, although Henry comes to appreciate the immensity of war, to admire Andy for his bravery and his sacrifice, and to shape aspects of his own subjectivity in Andy’s image, in the end, death becomes a marker of masculinity that separates the two. In thinking about Andy’s death as an individual rather than as ‘a part of the collective death of all soldiers’, Henry concludes that while Andy was not necessarily ‘a mythical ANZAC’, his death had certainly made him one.21 This is illustrated in the final chapters as Andy lies wounded in the field hospital. Organised around images that fuse death with the national and the masculine, Andy’s final moments encapsulate the familiar legend in every way. Unable to order his thoughts, he finds snapshots of his life running through his mind, seeing himself with the people he loves, drinking in the pub, playing football, at the railway station, sniping at Germans. And then, in his thoughts, he begins heading for home and the hills around Strattford where his horses graze under the gums, the trees are ‘mere puffs of colour, more blue than green, the sky silver’ and his house shines ‘like a white beacon at the end of the track’. ‘[B]y Jesus I’m proud to be yer mate’, says his friend, Darcy, in farewell. ‘And don’t worry, I’ll tell everyone what ya done’.22 Convicts, crime, and punishment: ways of being male in jail Heroic myths, of course, gain their power from the telling and retelling. I want to turn now to another familiar myth which has proved to be influential in constructing particular versions of ‘Australia’, and of Australian history—that of convictism. According to Bob Hodge and Vijay Mishra, it is the convict myth ‘which provides the momentum and agenda for [all] the other histories’ in the Australian context.23 Studies in Australian convict fiction invariably note, however, that there is a marked discrepancy between what historians would consider factual accounts of the convict period and the literature that has become, for many Australians, the principal source of knowledge about convictism.
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Popular conceptions of convict life portrayed in works such as Marcus Clarke’s His Natural Life (1874)24 which construct convicts as victims of sadistic punishments, enduring brutal living conditions in jails, ‘more sinned against than sinning’, for instance, have been extraordinarily influential.25 Prior to the late 1800s, the stigma attached to the country’s criminal origins meant that convictism was viewed in shameful terms and convicts themselves as immoral, ignorant and uncivilised beings. Once the Australian nationalist movement had begun the campaign to promote a distinct non-British identity, however, convict narratives began to construct the convict as a victim of poverty, industrialisation, or the brutal British Empire. His Natural Life is often cited as a key text in this process, which saw transportation and incarceration represented as an injustice and Australian convicts as exiles both from society and their native land. Clarke’s work ‘succeeded in articulating an acceptable understanding of the convict era’ which, even now, typically informs contemporary narratives about convictism.26 It is therefore unsurprising that Edward Britton, an account of two teenaged convicts incarcerated in a Tasmanian juvenile prison, calls on a number of schematic stereotypes that originated in this period. Its setting at Point Puer, Australia’s ‘Junior Port Arthur’ is also pertinent since, as a symbol of convictism in its entirety and of human suffering and tragedy at a collective level, Port Arthur has a depth of meaning like few other places in Australia.27 The novel follows familiar conventions in its narration of the convict experience. Both Edward Britton and Izod Wolfe are portrayed as victims of a powerful regime: Edward, an English actor, is wrongly accused of stealing costumes from a theatre; and Izod, one of the many dispossessed Irish arrested in England for vagrancy and illegal immigration. The harshness of their sentence outweighs the triviality of their crimes, and each of them is singled out for especially cruel treatment at the hands of their hated jailers. Within the convict system, there was no singular version of masculinity but rather ‘a range of competing masculinities, often in dramatic interaction with each other’.28 This is evident in the characters of Edward and Izod: each represents a very different masculine type and social class. Edward is portrayed as ‘a cut above the rest’.29 Izod, by contrast, is described as small, thin and colourless. His Irish nationality and his work both in the prison pigsty and assisting the surgeon with undertaking duties place him in a class that is in many ways lower than any other in the jail. The negotiation of Edward and Izod’s masculinity is played out, therefore, through a comparison between differing masculine schemata, a common textual strategy in adolescent literature.30 As the novel is concerned with the penal system, it is also largely framed through ideas about reformation. Being sentenced to transportation, Raymond Evans and Bill Thorpe argue, was
ideologically regarded as a means towards transforming working-class male criminals into reformed masculine types—men who conformed to the ruling, early nineteenth century bourgeois ideals of earnestness, respectability and manly integrity …31

For Edward, this process is both simple and almost unnecessary. Soon to be released, when he turns eighteen, already the kind of educated, principled and heroic figure championed in the text, he lacks only love, ‘a princess imprisoned by her tyrannical father’, who he can rescue.32 This occurs with the arrival of
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Susan Buckridge, complete with the sadistic and cruel parent (the new lieutenantgovernor of the boy’s prison). For Izod, the path is more complex. A small-framed boy, who is sexually under-developed, bony and slight, his subjectivity is clearly represented in terms of growth and ‘becoming’.33 In the almost exclusively male domain of the prison, Izod is offered various potential role models, yet it is Edward who comes to fascinate him. When Izod learns to read and write—with such fluency, expression and character that his teacher and classmates listen in amazement—his transformation into the kind of masculine ideal represented by Edward appears possible. However Izod’s murder of the lieutenant-governor—the man responsible for evicting his family from their home in Ireland—marks an end to this transition. In the upheaval surrounding Buckridge’s discovery of Edward and Susan’s secret relationship, Izod seizes a gun and shoots Buckridge dead. Edward escapes but Izod is sentenced to hang for the murder. The ideological implications of granting one boy freedom while the other is executed are expressly tied to the kind of class-biased masculine schema valued in the text. This is emphasised when Izod states that one of his reasons for killing Buckridge is to ‘set the beautiful [Edward and Susan] free’, and also when Edward thinks it ‘was as if Izod was saying, I take [Buckridge’s] life and I give you yours. Go. I can endure anything’.34 Turner argues that convict characters are often constructed in terms of their powerlessness and death or conclusive defeat are typical modes of resolution in Australian narratives dealing with imprisonment.35 Izod’s death, therefore, is almost an inevitability, particularly as it is made clear from the beginning of the novel that death has already marked him as ‘other’ and set him apart. Thus, by the conclusion of the narrative, it is not Izod who is represented in terms of ‘becoming’, but Edward. For Edward, on a ship leaving Tasmania with Susan, life has numerous possibilities. In contrast, the only choices left to Izod are those concerning his death. In the convict narrative tradition, convention dictates that oppositions between self and society will emphasise the futility of individual action. Turner sees such negation of individual power as having a distinctly colonial meaning, an argument which supports the kind of civilised bourgeois masculinity valorised in the text.36 The murder of Buckridge, which at least partially turns Izod from basic criminal to man of honour, can be seen in this way too, since the motive behind the killing is transformed from the singular desire for revenge into something far more altruistic. In championing the idea of romantic love by bravely speaking out to clear Edward’s name, by providing the diversion which allows Edward to escape with Susan, and by killing the hated Commandant, Izod’s name comes to signify ‘honour’ rather than ‘bog-Irish scum’.37 Yet Izod’s death also illustrates how various contradictions and ambiguities in meaning and value have informed the convict myth over time. Convicts were often constructed by the ruling order (and those in favour of the existing penal regime) as romantic figures, celebrated for their ‘noble and convenient suffering and demise’.38 The melodramatic description of Izod’s final moments and the transformation of his death into a legend can be seen in this way, particularly as the glory of his death ultimately overshadows the brutality of his life. By becoming an archetypal outlaw figure typically celebrated in protest texts, who dies unafraid and resisting authority, ‘launching himself from the scaffold into the void’ before the hangman can release

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the trapdoor, his death is also constructed in distinctly heroic terms.39 As one of his convict peers relates years later in a Sydney pub: ‘I seen the making of the legend, I did … Died for all of us boys he did’.40 In this way, Izod is not only mythologised as a brave hero who perished for the good of the greater community, but, as in traditional tales of convictism, the story of his execution also becomes a form of resistance that performs a community-sustaining role by contributing to the identity, cohesion and morale of a whole group.41 Whistle Man: death and the bushranger myth Edward Britton demonstrates that contradictory representations of criminals are a prominent feature of narratives dealing with crime and punishment in the Australian context because they were originally influenced by two very different systems of values. Like the convict narrative, the bushranger myth also exists in two polarised forms, both of which continue to find meaning today. The myth ‘comes in two, mutually exclusive, versions’. One strand constructs bushrangers such as Ned Kelly as ‘vicious … murderers of policemen who are just doing their duty in protecting the citizenry against [the outlaw’s] depredations’.42 More typical representations, however, depict bushrangers as national heroes; here they are celebrated as noble champions of the underprivileged and as symbols of resistance against Britain, the convict system and the colonial authorities. In this familiar and popular version of the legend, the past is romanticised and politicised by positioning the honourable and brave individual in opposition to an unjust society. Undoubtedly, Ned Kelly is the most recognisable embodiment of this particular representation of the outlaw figure; the exploits of the Kelly gang have become one of Australia’s most enduring myths. The majority of contributions to the making of the myth (including those of the gang members themselves) celebrate Kelly and his men as heroes, but, inevitably, questions remain about ‘what really happened’ during this period of Australian history. Was Ned just another thieving, murdering bushranger or a bona fide victim of the system? With its insistence that ‘one man’s tale is but half a tale’ and its exploration of the role of ‘truth’ in history, Whistle Man examines this question in part.43 However, from the brief synopsis supplied on the back cover, the words ‘injustice’, ‘charismatic’, ‘hero’, ‘avenge’ and ‘Irish poor’ operate as a schema to suggest that the novel follows a familiar set of narrative conventions. Here Ned is constructed as a rebel hero, fighting on behalf of the Irish Catholics who are oppressed by the wealthy, a corrupt justice system, squatters, the police and the redcoats. The novel largely chronicles the escapades of the Kelly gang from when Ned is first released from jail for horse theft, to the infamous siege at Glenrowan and to his execution soon after. It is focalised through Garrett Clancy, friend to Ned and a Kelly gang sympathiser. Fathered by a man who fought at the Eureka Stockade and later died of the wounds he received in this battle, named after an Irish hero, and with links to Banjo Paterson’s famous drover, Garrett appears defined by the authentically Australian male characters associated with his heritage. When Ned crosses his path, however, Garrett is a teenaged orphan whose uneasy relationship with old family friend Magnus, the only father-figure in his life, finds him looking for other masculine role models: ‘I was fifteen then … Ned was four years older, and already the tough bushman I wanted to be’.44 Garrett’s
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hard manual work with Ned signals his development into adult masculinity; soon he becomes ‘more man than boy’, and by joining the Kelly gang sympathisers— running messages, acting as a decoy and even helping to collect the steel for the famous armour—it seems likely, as his mother assures him early in his life, that he will grow from a boy into an important man.45 The idea that males were destined to enlarge the nation and its history is deeply embedded in both popular and ‘high’ culture in Australia.46 By earning the respect of Ned (who praises him for his bravery) and contributing to Australian history just ‘like [his] father did’, Garrett’s masculinity is therefore constructed according to well-established patterns.47 Both Ned and Garrett’s stories in Whistle Man imply a connection between heroic masculinities and nationalist agendas too. There are frequent references to the Eureka rebellion (often quoted as a key event in the development of Australian democracy), and the Kelly gang’s final stand at Glenrowan is linked to the death of Ned’s republican vision. A witness to the siege, Garrett reports that: ‘[For the] police … it had to end with all the outlaws captured or killed. The boys would not surrender … they were part of Ned’s dream for a republic [and] I could not see our dream whimper off like a beaten dog’.48 The green and gold cummerbund that Ned clutches as he lies ‘riddled with bullet holes’ in the station master’s room is thus also significant since it was awarded to him for an act of bravery in his youth.49 In Australian bushranger legends, heroes consistently outwit the police but their capture or death is always inevitable. While some Kelly stories have Dan and Steve escaping from the Glenrowan Inn, most accounts conclude with the death of all members of the gang. As Magnus warns Garrett, ‘two of Captain Moonlite’s bushranger gang … died in a battle with New South Wales police. Four others [have] been sentenced to death’.50 Thus, in this case, the myth is also offered as a warning pertaining to the dangers of rebelling against the authorities. Under these terms, the events of history are depicted as repeatable and are valued, as is common in historical fiction for children, for their ability to provide instruction and meaning. In Magnus’s words:
[Ned’s] story is not new, and there are lessons to be learnt from the past … History, Garrett, history … The Irish never beat the English, Rebellion in Ireland, crushed. Rebellion in New South Wales, crushed. Rebellion at Eureka, crushed … Lead your own life … Too many men die young.51

One of these lessons is concerned with the role that choice and self-government— rather than fate—have in shaping male subjectivities, evident when Magnus adds: ‘If [the Kellys] want to live, they should sail for America’. This idea is reinforced by Garrett’s feeling that the gang’s recklessness can only lead to their arrest as, from quite early in the narrative, he is afraid of what it will cost to be one of them.52 In this way, the Kelly gang are represented more as masters of their own destiny and not so much as victims of the various systems that oppress them—and, therefore, their ultimate deaths are rendered somewhat foolish rather than heroic. In the end, it is not the death of the outlaws that separates Garrett from the gang, but the discovery of the deadly ambush that is planned for the police and, most importantly, the killing (at Ned’s request) of alleged whistleblower Aaron Sherritt. For Garrett, the significance of this event lies less with the breaching of the code of mateship, than with the slaughter of one mate by another: ‘[Aaron’s]
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cold-blooded murder in front of his wife could never be justified … How wrong I had been about Ned. Exile had changed him’.53 From this episode it is possible to see how the legend has been informed by a number of binary meanings: these are the kind of brutal acts that Hodge and Mishra claim ‘tarnish the romantic image’.54 Garrett’s decision to turn from a life at the margins of lawlessness to a settled existence on a farm close to his intended bride, Moira, would seem to support this idea, particularly as he begins to look to Magnus for guidance on many aspects of his future. His choice signals a rejection of the manhood embodied in the gang and a move from one model of masculinity to another, albeit one still tied to the bushman ethos. By the conclusion, however, Ned is nevertheless represented as a hero once more. As Magnus argues: ‘Men like [Ned] are dangerous, but they manure the tree of liberty’.55 Thus, although Moira insists that Garrett ‘let the ghosts [of the past] go’ and become ‘her hero’, he still feels bound by the heroic stories of his father and of Ned who ‘always seemed so much bigger than he was’.56 This becomes evident when, just prior to Ned’s execution, Garrett has a final meeting with him which significantly occurs during the Melbourne Cup celebration, an event of national importance. In tones reminiscent of other freedom-fighters Ned declares that: ‘They will bury my body within the walls, but they have no power to keep my soul’.57 His defiance shows that the ‘establishment’ is incapable of truly defeating him and depicts his death in the celebratory and familiar anti-authoritarian terms of the legend. Fittingly, Garrett stands under the arch of bluestone block that marks the entrance to the jail, and plays Londonderry Air, a tune which operates in Whistle Man as a symbol of Irish resistance, but which also becomes a lament for Ned’s tragic death.58 Conclusion It is without doubt that the appeal of the hero figure within these historical myths has waned over time. Amongst the number of alternative masculinities on offer in both literature and film for adults and children in Australia, various critics have noted the continued presence of traditional heroic models, but have also drawn attention to their increasing unpopularity.59 Robyn McCallum and John Stephens claim, for instance, that ‘narrative fictions which target a contemporary Australian adolescent audience now characteristically eschew any kind of traditional male heroic image’.60 By treating the narratives that I have examined here as discrete texts, it can be argued that each of them works in its own way to problematise traditional constructions of heroism and heroic death and thus unsettle the norms of traditional gender representations. The confronting representations of death in Boys of Blood and Bone function to undermine this idealised model of manhood, because they depict war as violent and futile, and because they emphasise the vulnerability and corporeality of the male body. While the meanings that are attached to death and heroism in Whistle Man are similarly articulated through ideologies concerned with masculinity and nation, the novel too complicates the tradition by challenging those celebratory versions of Kelly gang history which condone acts of violence and murder committed for the republican cause. Finally, although Edward Britton’s account of convictism provides a synthesis of the common themes that are expressed in the definitive ‘protest’ version of the myth,
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its employment of the anti-hero character works at various points to create tensions and contradictions within this familiar tale of heroism too. Nonetheless, generally speaking, the vision of the past that these texts construct is a gendered, selective and masculinist one, particularly since its dominating images of death are played out entirely within traditional masculine domains. As I have demonstrated, despite the widespread inclination to turn from traditional concepts of heroism and from physically aggressive depictions of masculinity, these texts offer, to use Lucas’s words, ‘a nostalgic and persistent celebratory adherence’ to conventional forms of heroic masculine subjectivity.61 Notwithstanding specific shifts in the construction of masculinities, they continue a ‘tradition of patriarchy’ that characterises the life and death images of ‘the country of Matilda’.62

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Still seeking the captive white woman: the necessity of white deprivation in Australia
Kate Foord
Why does contemporary white Australia remain captivated by a story in which Aboriginals wrest a precious object from the ‘legitimate’ ownership of whites, put her through untold agonies and are pursued and punished for their crimes?1 In 1846 a white woman was lost, captured by ‘wild blacks’, and an expedition was mounted to search for her and bring her back to civilisation. When that expedition failed to wrest her from the hands of ‘savages’ and the suffering she endured there, a second was organised, and this too failed. Variations of this ‘captivity narrative’ were repeated throughout the colonising world in the nineteenth century2 and are still told by contemporary non-Indigenous Australians across many genres: fiction, history, social and cultural analysis. That some of these are ‘fact’ and some ‘fiction’, some critical and others seemingly uncritical, does not diminish their common feature: they are retelling and in doing so revivifying a particular story. What is our interest in this retelling? The Australian ‘settler’s’ story of abduction, rescue and retribution condenses a set of intense ‘negative’ affects—resentment, envy, hatred. What sustains our interest in the retelling of the captivity narrative, I will argue here, is that it offers a re-experiencing of these intense feelings. If there are stories that might arouse such feelings in us, the question must be asked: why does this particular story endure in so many forms in contemporary white Australia? The figure of the woman captured by ‘wild blacks’ is still a quilting point of national identity and, as the logic of the captivity narrative shows, there are two essential features to her national function: she embodies purity, goodness and femininity itself and she has been stolen. The figure of the Indigenous captor is essential in holding the white woman’s national function in place. One relatively recent and popular literary retelling of the captivity narrative is Liam Davison’s 1994 novel The White Woman, based on the historical sources pertaining to the events of 1846 in Gippsland, during the peak era of ‘settlement’ of this area.3 The story of the lost white woman and the expeditions mounted to rescue her appeared in newspapers of the time. The characters in Davison’s novel are members of the historical expeditions; the story is told long after the actual events, by an unnamed narrator, to the son of one of the expedition members. It is a story that the narrator thinks the son may wish he had not asked to hear: ‘these were fearful times’, he tells the young man, times that harboured ‘dark things that couldn’t be uttered, dark things that swelled beneath our talk but never broke’.4 This narrator constructs his story with this beneath of talk; the stuff of his narrative is as much the events themselves as it is the connection of these words he utters to the unuttered and the unutterable. He tries to tell the young man who listens that the darkness encases a terrible pleasure, one that was not and has not been spoken. The narrator asks this young man, ‘You think it’s finished?’ and himself supplies

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the answer, ‘Consider what might be at stake’.5 For this narrator the story cannot end, just as for non-Indigenous Australia it cannot end. To examine what keeps it alive, we turn to the structure of the story and the logic of the events it narrates. The first part: courtly love and captivity
There is a woman who is above reproach, pure and lovely. She cannot be found, and because she is so pure and lovely, so desirable, she must be found. She can never be found.

The woman ‘lost’ in the wilds of Gippsland is both impossible to attain and impossible to renounce. So too is the woman of courtly love, that literary mode which is founded on the sublimation of the feminine object, the woman at its centre raised to the status of ultimate object of desire, impossible to attain. Her elevation to inaccessible object preserves her purity and chastity, her moral virtues. For those who elevate her to this position, she embodies a moral code—a way to act and a reason to live. She keeps desire alive, precisely because she is impossible to attain. This desire to find her is a moral imperative: she must be found, for hers is a virtue above all others. If we take the captivity narrative to be one of Australia’s signature myths of ‘settlement’, the question arises of the relationship between the moral nature of the quest to rediscover the white woman at its centre and the contemporary conflicts and controversies about ‘settlement’. It might be argued that this woman cannot still represent these values, when courtly love is no longer a prevailing mode of (hetero)sexual relations. Lacan argued in his seminar on ethics that, although no longer a social phenomenon,
courtly love has nevertheless left traces in an unconscious that has no need to be called ‘collective,’ in a traditional unconscious that is sustained by a whole literature, a whole imagery, that we continue to inhabit as far as our relations with women are concerned.6

In other words, at the time of this seminar of 1959–60, Lacan could still say that this orientation to woman as both impossible and desirable remains somehow decisive in man’s relation to woman. This fantasy is a solution which Christianity has given, he writes, to the impasse of the sexual relation—making woman the object of a divine desire, or else, a transcendent object of desire, which amounts to the same thing.7 This Woman appears to have eluded the division of the subject against which ordinary human beings rail—she is Woman without blemish or fault, beyond the human stain. Who is this Woman? Lacan argues that this is a question for all human subjects, women and men, as subjects of the division of language: what exists beyond that division, beyond what words can say?8 This Woman is one of the fantasies which answer that question: she is one of the names of that absolute place, that absolute Other which human subjects fantasise as a guarantee of our own meaning and a link with that absolute pleasure. So, when Slavoj Zizek notes that the very position of Woman as ‘the exception, the excess, the surplus that eludes the grasp of the phallic function’, such as this fantasy of the Lady in courtly love, is ‘a masculine fantasy par excellence’9, the ‘masculine’ does not indicate a male fantasy, but rather a fantasy that has a particular orientation to
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Woman, the pleasures condensed therein being available to men and women as human subjects subject to the phallic function or the cut of language.10 So this fantasy of woman both offers something and makes up for something. It offers a guarantee of meaning for the human subject, and makes up for the fact that there is no absolute pleasure, no access to the absolute Other which would give us our full quota of that jouissance that we only ever receive in little pieces. This woman is a name and an image of these satisfactions, a location in the circuit of naming the real of jouissance, a real which is impossible to write but which is, however, embodied and therefore animated by the palpitation of jouissance.11 This woman, then, represents a jouissance, but the body which palpitates with this enjoyment is our own. This jouissance is the registration on one’s body and one’s mind of an intense affect, a piece of the real which is fused with a signifier to which we return over and over for a re-experiencing of this momentary arc. It is no small thing, then, to give up such a fundamental link with jouissance, hence Lacan’s argument that the Woman of courtly love persists as an unconscious foundation in social relations. The enduring appeal of the captivity narrative can then be seen as not merely of historical or academic interest. What keeps history alive is interest—a stake, advantage, right or cause. The captivity narrative remains today a condensation of several satisfactions, and we turn now to its imbrication with a colonial fantasy which assigns certain functions and meanings to its Indigenous protagonists—functions and meanings which persist today in the relation of white to Indigenous Australia. The next part: there must be someone to blame for this
This woman who is the symbol and embodiment of all things Good, has been taken from us. We search in vain for some sign that we are closer to finding and rescuing her. There must be someone to blame for our deprivation.

The loss involved in the abduction of this white woman by the ‘blacks’ of Gippsland is one of considerable magnitude because it is linked to a structural loss. The white woman represents the sublime woman of courtly love, who represents the absolute jouissance which we might have were it not for ... This deprivation, that Lacan writes is structural to the human subject as a speakingbeing (subject of language), is one that has consequences not only for individuals but for social relations. For human subjects look to blame someone for this agonising, primordial loss. The demand we make of others is that someone be culpable for this deprivation, and we usually find the one who is closest to be guilty. The hatred that flares in race relations can be traced, according to Lacan, to this structural underpinning: the fixity of racial hatred can only be undone by tracing its significations back to this absurd and tragic root. As Lacan argues:
We remain stuck—and that is why I said that a is a semblance of being—at the level … of the notion of jealous hatred, the hatred that springs forth from ‘jealouissance’ … Fortunately, this [jealouissance] is the first substitute jouissance, according to Freud—the desire evoked on the basis of a metonymy that is inscribed on the basis of a presumed demand, addressed to the Other, that is, on the basis of the kernel of what I called Ding [Thing], in my seminar, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, namely, 39

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Other Contact Zones the Freudian Thing, in other words, the very neighbor Freud refuses to love beyond certain limits.12

Our hatred is directed towards the enjoyment that, we fantasise, the other is taking in what is properly our own. Our tragedy is in substituting our hatred of the other’s enjoyment—what Lacan calls jealouissance—for the jouissance we have lost. This is an impasse that Freud recognises in the demand made to us as civilised beings, that we love our neighbour. As Lacan writes, ‘On the subject of hatred, we’re so deadened that no one realises that a hatred, a solid hatred, is addressed to being, to the very being of someone who is not necessarily God’.13 We turn less to omnipotent beings than to our fellow man to find a justifiable seat for our hatred, and we find that place in him—his being—where he enjoys what we cannot. The lost white woman of Gippsland is held captive by the ‘wild blacks’, who, we learn from the novel’s epigraph, ‘frequent the most inaccessible parts’ of the land. The captivity narrative functions according to the logic of the fantasy of deprivation: there is another inaccessible to me who is enjoying that which is properly mine.14 This mirrors the structure of the neurotic’s fantasy: that someone took something from me and is keeping it for themselves or giving it to another who is not me. In the novel, we have this dialectic between the object and its deprivation, played out as national myth. The men of the expedition party are deprived by the ‘wild blacks’ of something real.15 They are deprived of that something which represents absolute fulfilment and which is named woman. Here is the dream the narrator has on the night before the expedition is due to depart:
Did I tell you, I dreamed of her that first night, with the Southern Ocean rolling beneath the boat and the blacks mumbling above us? I saw her shining above the mast with a red corona of hair about her face. The wind moaned and hummed through the rigging and I heard it as her voice singing us in to land. She led us through a safe passage between the churning waves to a stretch of beach so white we could barely look at it. From there I saw her beckoning us into the bush, and all around her the leaves and branches quivered with light as if they were ready to burst into flame. As she moved away from us I saw black figures rising from the scrub on either side of her. She was perfect, as I’d always imagined her to be. There was never any doubt in my mind that such perfection could exist. Once, before her captivity came to light, I advertised for a wife, I placed notices in the public papers … I’d been searching for her all along, you see.16

One might argue that all he needed was to find the agent of his deprivation for his search to be complete. The narrator recognises that the woman he seeks as wife and the white woman he seeks in the bush are the same woman; that is, the woman who ‘exists’ only as the virtuous, the too-good, and the one of whom he is deprived.17 In the narrator’s mind, the white woman does not exist as this impossibly good object without the presence of the Aboriginal figures who surround her, who hold her captive, at whose hands she suffers, and who prevent the white men from having her. Throughout the novel, the men of the expedition party follow this logic in justifying making the ‘wild blacks’ their enemies. If what the human subject requires is to be deprived of something real, then the Aboriginal in Australia
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functions as a remarkably stable agent of that deprivation for whites. This stability hinges on the very ‘indigenousness’ of the Aboriginal figure, belonging here, and, moreover, claiming to own the place. The fantasy of deprivation acts to conceal something (as Lacan says, fantasy is a screen for the real).18 The historical narrative known as the captivity narrative, that which has come to function symbolically as a component of national identity, is underpinned by the logic of imaginary castration. That is, the fantasy that we do not possess all because the other has taken from us that which would complete us. What this fantasy conceals is ‘the traumatic fact that we never possessed what was allegedly stolen from us: the lack (“castration” [that is, symbolic castration]) is originary; enjoyment constitutes itself as “stolen”’.19 This fantasy is a fundamental structure: the subject wants to be deprived of something (imaginary) because he is already deprived of it (real).20 The race relations that are conducted at this fantasmatic level are underpinned by fundamental structures: they are ‘written’ in relation to these structures. The effects of this logic in contemporary white Australian attitudes to Indigenous ownership of land and its possible transfer back to Indigenous ownership cannot be underestimated. The source of the profound resistance to conceding rights to land based on prior ownership can be located in a displaced outrage felt by white Australians at giving back to the other who is already depriving him, that which justice tells him really belongs to the other.21 If, as Lacan says, for the subject there is always an agent of deprivation, then a subject’s goods will always need protecting.22 This is why Lacan argues that ‘the power to deprive others is a very solid link from which will emerge the other as such’.23 The power to deprive is, in other words, a primary form of relating to others which is so general as to be a form of social bond. A particular form of social relationship thus emerges from a particular fantasmatic logic. In the contemporary Australian context, whites produce the figure of the Aboriginal—the very possibilities of encountering the Aboriginal—in this way: the Aborigine has the power to deprive us (whites), and we reclaim only what is ‘rightfully’ ours. These are the paths which, without significant work to counter them, the social relation takes. These paths, too, are those of law and law reform. The native title legislation that followed the High Court’s Mabo decision of 1992 is one recent example of the white right to deprive Aborigines of what is theirs. Whilst repudiating the terra nullius doctrine—that before ‘settlement’ Australia was no-one’s land—the judgment itself and the subsequent legislation qualified these rights to such an extent that the power to deprive Aborigines is now written in law.24 What sustains our belief in the white woman?
Even now there’s men who’ll claim to see her.25

For the narrator of The White Woman, there was never any doubt that at the outset of the expedition all the men of the party shared a common goal, believed in the same thing and shared ‘the same unquestionable motive’.26 All, that is, except the leader of the expedition, Captain Christian de Villiers, for whom ‘it was never anything but duty’.27 The narrator charts a trajectory of belief and, in the case of some of the members of the expedition party, the failure of belief. In the opening
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pages of the novel, he tells the young man who is listening, ‘I still believe in truth, just as I still believe in her. It’s in here, you see, inside this wizened head of mine. If you could crack it open you’d see it shining there like silver’.28 The narrator here identifies a particular place on his body to which his own belief is attached. He knows, however, that he can only believe in her because others do. As Slavoj Zizek explains of the belief in nation, one can believe in anyThing as the representative of the lost object: this substitute thing exists so long as members of a community believe in it—it is literally an effect of this belief in itself.29 It cannot be anyThing in the sense of any signifier taken from anywhere; it must come from the culture whose members choose it. One then experiences one’s belief—in nation, in Woman—as natural and inevitable. However, one’s belief is neither of these, but is a construction fabricated in the discourse of the Other. The narrator’s attention to the place of belief on his own body turns us to the subjective aspect of belief. Belief is sustained not only by the belief of others, but is in some way always also the subject’s own. This fusion—of what is the other’s and what is one’s own—can be found in the structure of the symptom. A symptom is made up of something that can be shared—a word and a value such as nation, or Woman, for example—and something else that is not shared—the way in which our minds and bodies enjoy.30 In The White Woman, the white woman is such a symptom: there is a community of believers willing to search, perhaps endlessly, for her rescue; but each man must find his own desire to continue. Belief is fundamental to this fused structure. In fact, for Lacan what characterises our symptom is that we believe in it. If the signifier attached to that belief can be anyThing, as Zizek argues, then it is not that signifier to which the belief refers. That signifier is merely that to which the belief is attached. What is it, then, that one is believing in when one believes in one’s symptom? Lacan writes the formula for belief in the symptom as: S1…31 As Verhaeghe and Declercq explain, the addition of the three dots is to signify belief:
in the existence of a final signifier, S2, to reveal the ultimate signification and sense of S1. The condition for this is the existence of a guarantee that the Other has no lack. Hence, such a belief in the symptom implies a belief in the Other. It is not difficult to see that such a belief in the symptom or the S2 amounts to a belief in the existence of a sexual relationship.32

This final signifier, however, is not to be had, and what the subject means is never finished, is always becoming something else. There is no subjective guarantee: that is, there is no final signifier which would make meaning of all one was and is. This is the reality that the subject (i.e. woman as subject) finds it so hard to turn her face towards: her division by the signifier, that there is always an elsewhere of meaning that is inaccessible to her. It is not so much that the subject is an unstable entity decentred by signification, but that the signifier pins the subject in a world of unstable meanings which cannot be determined or finalised. The meanings of the Other, like the subject’s own, are not stable or complete, and no guarantee exists that the Other has no lack. There is no Other of the Other, no final guarantee of meaning, and nor is there access to the being (or absolute jouissance) that has been excluded from the field of meaning.33 One’s belief in the symptom, then, has functions beyond those it is often reduced to: it is a substitute satisfaction for what Lacan calls the impossibility of
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the sexual relation, the impossibility of the jouissance that would be attained if, for example, one could only fuck that incredible woman in the tradition of courtly love. Or become her. My interest in this essay is not in the theory of the impossibility of the sexual relation per se, but in the way in which the symptom inscribed at the place of foundational lack functions culturally to produce a series of imbricated national fantasies in Australia that includes one of Aboriginal people depriving whites of something we would otherwise have. The novel’s narrator raises the question of who is to blame for the invention of the white woman as an object of fantasy. And whilst the narrator clearly understands her to be his unique object, he also knows that her function is a cultural one:
You don’t believe me? You think it’s all imagination? That I made it up? Oh no, it wasn’t us who made her. It wasn’t us who brought her into being by going out there in search of her. You see, even if we hadn’t acted out Cavenagh’s story, if we hadn’t given him something to press to the page with his hot ink, she would still have been there. Oh yes, she would have surfaced. See, look here, The Portland Guardian no less and Normanby General Advertiser. See how she sprang up unannounced in all the far-flung corners of the colony. There is a revival of the report that an European lady is a captive among a tribe of aborigines, in, some say, the district of Gippsland, others say, in the Portland District.34

Symptomatic formations underpin fantasies. A fantasy can be understood as an answer to the question posed by the symptom, as Kirsten Hyldgaard writes:
A symptom is ‘something’ that is neither a thing nor nothing. It raises a question and implies a lack of knowledge. Its place is in speech. It is something to be heard by the Other. A fantasy, however, does not raise but answers a question. It is an answer to an impossibility, an answer that covers up a lack and prevents further questioning. In this sense, all representations of femininity are fantasies.35

If the symptom implies a question and a lack of knowledge, how does belief remain its fundamental characteristic? The subject experiences the symptom as something to believe in. But the logic of the symptom is found at a level other than that of the experience of the subject. The symptom is a question to the subject, which the subject may or may not apprehend: why am I suffering? Why is it this form of suffering that I experience? What is this feeling in my body? Why is it marked there? It is no accident that the most recent revival of interest in the captivity stories has taken place against a backdrop of renewed contestation, legal and otherwise, of sovereignty in Australia. The fantasy of the captivity narrative answers the question raised by the symptom in a particular way, as we have seen above. This renewal of the story points to a belief that remains. This belief is not that the woman in the tradition of courtly love still exists, or that the white woman is still out there somewhere being tortured. It is rather the imaginary form of the belief condensed in the symptom—that someone is depriving us of something. The fantasy that answers this symptomatic belief, in Australia, is that the Aborigines still have their hands on something vital that is rightfully ours. Belief is intense: it is not easily relinquished. It is not ambivalent or equivocal. Belief is not rational. Our recognition of our belief that Aborigines still hold our Thing cannot be attained through analysis of whether we really believe that idea
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or not. Rather, analysis of the structure of our fantasies opens onto the field of the symptom, and a question is asked there: what is it that I believe? To what pleasure is my belief attached? What, for example, is my pleasure in these stories, and what pleasures do I see in those around me? How are we still as a nation enjoying the punishment of Aboriginal people for this deprivation we feel so keenly? The answers can be found everywhere in contemporary Australian life and, more than likely, in subtle and obscure forms in ourselves. The structure of the symptom points to the complications involved in answering questions such as these which require both a subjective and a collective approach. Is a symptom one’s own, or is it a cultural formation? If we look to its structuring elements, this question is partly answered: the symptom is made up of the master signifier (S1) and the object a. The signifier is taken from the discourse of the Other (that is, it is communal), but the object a, the object that condenses jouissance, is the subject’s own. As Lacan says in Seminar X, desire is a mercantile thing. There is a sharelisting of desire that rises and falls culturally.36 But the cause of desire is not shared: the cause can only be one’s own, or, to put it another way, each subject’s desire is motored by the fact that he or she is not complete, that somewhere in their bodies and minds the marks of lack have been made and each subject tries to find a way of representing or rediscovering this lost object with reference to those marks.37 Whilst there is a strong desire amongst the men of the 1846 expedition party to hold their belief in the object communally, for them all to be as one in their object of desire, the narrator also finds himself compelled to repudiate that belief, to attempt to sustain the fantasy of this woman as for him alone. This equivocation is in his address to the young man, in his ‘I’ then ‘we’, his ‘mine’ then ‘ours’:
I rehearsed the scene in my mind, over and over as we walked: the astonished disbelief on her face, the slow realisation that it was true, that we’d finally come for her, then the immense relief, the gratitude, the reaching out for us. And we’d go to her and claim her as our own. No doubts. No reservations. She wanted us. She longed for us to take her. I put my arms around her, pulled her gently towards me to shield her from any further degradation she might expect from the hands of men. I dwelt on this, played it through slowly in my mind: the way her body trembled against me, her quick breaths, the short, sharp sobs, her eyes beseeching me to protect her. So vulnerable. So utterly dependent on us. Sometimes I’d vary it—alter the setting or send her captors skulking off into the bush, or hold her more closely, more tenderly. Or else we’d find her half naked, exposed in the most intimate way, and I’d wrap my own coat around her to shelter her. These were the scenes I lingered over, building on each detail, teasing out the strands of story until they shone, more real than the stands of gums we walked through. See how it comes to life even as I talk; how it answers to our desires.38

As he tells the story of one, and then two failed expeditions to find her, the narrator tells the young man, ‘To be honest, I fear she was something different to each of us; mother, daughter, lover, wife. Or all of them’. At the level of the communal, endless meanings are possible. But the symptom is one’s own, and it is in taking responsibility for one’s enjoyment that an ethics, as psychoanalysis formulates it, emerges. As Alenka Zupan?i? writes:
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Kate Foord In regard to the Other, I am not the author of my acts (i.e., the Other ‘speaks/acts through me’), and thus I may not be held responsible for them. However, there is something else that ‘grows’ from this act, namely some jouissance. It is in this fragment of jouissance that we must situate the subject and his responsibility.39

We are spoken more than speaking.40 Speech that is the subject’s own comes not through the meanings derived from the Other, but through a far more difficult path, a path that follows the signifiers that for each subject palpitate with jouissance. The signifiers of the other’s racism can be found everywhere in Australian national discourse. The more difficult and important task is to ask: how does the pleasure I see the other take affect me? How does his pleasure register for me? What is my pleasure? The taking of this responsibility is not a communal act, but occurs subject by subject, one by one. In the final pages of Davison’s The White Woman, Bunjil-ee-nee, the supposed captor of the white woman is himself captured, and the white woman remains unfound. ‘You see what we’d brought them? The monster himself reduced to a wretched black man shuffling his feet through the dust. The very opposite of what we’d set out to find.’41 This scene may be the truth of what we would in fact like to find—a scene of humiliation and punishment that is perhaps a perfect resolution to any captivity narrative. It not only leaves a national myth intact but adds another layer of moral satisfaction. The Aboriginal is wrested from his place in the inaccessible interior, where he has been enjoying without bound what is actually ours, and made subject to the ‘law of the land’—a process that continues today.

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Isolation: a state of mind
Elaine Rabbitt
The living conditions could be so different that many going north found themselves like migrants in their own country.1

Many women relocating to the north-west of Western Australia were not prepared for their new lives. This is evident from the stories of Broome women who spoke of the challenges of relocating to and socialising in the Kimberley environment, a region which was new and foreign to them. They related how the change in locality and climate affected their living conditions and how this necessitated major adjustments to their lifestyles. They found Broome to be a small, picturesque place with an intriguing social milieu that gave the town a character unique to Western Australia. Over generations, Broome’s multiculturalism has been a dominant feature of its society, consisting of communities distinctive to the area with their own traditions and cultures. The landscape and environment of the Kimberley shapes and influences the identity of the people who reside there. This physical, metaphysical and emotional nexus with the landscape constitutes a ‘metaphorical map which we hold within us’.2 This enables people to make sense of their surroundings because, as Christine Choo, one of the inhabitants of the region, suggests, ‘[c]ultural landscapes evolve in response to the physical as well as metaphysical (spiritual) and emotional environments in which people live’.3 To Indigenous and non-Indigenous people born in the Kimberley, the environment is familiar and epitomises home. For women who migrated to the area, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous, making a remote locality home involved a transition process. Accordingly, ‘[t]heir ethnic identity affected their experiences. They were conditioned by their familiarity with their former environment and brought expectations, both positive and negative, with them. They compared their lives and circumstances in Broome with the place of their previous residency’.4 The research presented in this paper is based on the stories of a cross-section of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women who relocated to Broome from other parts of Australia and overseas, and those personal accounts of their relocation testify to the duality of the transition process. This paper is based on transcribed interviews with such Broome women. Some of the women came to the Kimberley as tourists on their way to somewhere else and stayed in Broome. Others came for employment and many accompanied their husbands relocating to the area for work opportunities. While there are a variety of explanations as to why the women relocated, many encountered difficulties and hardships settling into life in the Kimberley. For others the move was consistent with their previous lived experience. Accordingly, women brought with them their own ‘baggage’ in relation to their past and this in

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turn influenced their ways of thinking and acting, the phenomenon which has been discussed by Peter Senge in the framework of ‘mental models’.5 Over time, as the women settled and became a part of their new surroundings, consciously or unconsciously, they drew new metaphorical or mental maps based on their experiences. How the women mixed and interacted amongst other women and men, across the boundaries of ethnicity, religion and class is pivotal to this examination of women’s resettlement, readjustment, residency, contribution, and survival in a small town. Feelings of isolation
It is not easy to be free of the worries of isolation. When the children are sick, or when the husband is worried about his job, or when the truck does not arrive with the food supplies or when a loved one is seriously ill in Perth, it is hard to be cheerful. This may be called a man’s country, but it is the wives and sweethearts behind them that keep them going and keeps development continuing.6

Isolation is a Eurocentric term implying segregation or a feeling of separation and insularity. Underpinning this research is the notion that the north of Western Australia is considered by many non-Indigenous people relocating to the area to be isolated and remote from other populated areas of Australia. In this study the women’s views on relocating and establishing themselves in a new environment are explored and related to both their physical and mental isolation. Another dimension of ‘isolation’ for Kimberley residents is the distance between Perth and the region. As Nixon notes, ‘[p]robably always the greatest enemy of the settlers in this area [Kimberley], both past and present, has been distance, seldom the country itself’.7 Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is the most remote city in the world. Broome is as isolated from Perth as Perth is from the eastern states. This distance affects the range, quality and cost of goods and services available. The overall cost of living is high compared to other regions in the state and across Australia. Freight fees increase costs. These expenses influence the lifestyle of residents, particularly low-income earners, as prices charged for consumer goods are higher than anywhere else in Australia.8 Added to physical isolation is the possible ‘mental’ isolation experienced by people relocating to new environments. Unfamiliarity with the people and the area can be traumatic for some, and rejuvenating for others who enjoy the challenge of re-establishing themselves. Also, limited proficiency in English and a longing for the cultural affiliations of one’s country of origin can provoke feelings of exclusion.9 Social relationships are influenced by many factors, such as class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, identity, occupation, religion and duration of residence. These hierarchal differentiations influence a resident’s choice of friends, lifestyle and overall life choices. In his in depth study of a small town in the eastern states of Australia, Kenneth Dempsey identifies a wide breadth of topics which he claims are the principal factors which shape social life.10 These include the geographic location of the town, the mix of peoples, knowing people and being known, choices and constraints, availability of services, marginalisation and
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exclusion. The study presented here has identified similar issues in relation to the women who moved to the Kimberley. A key component of the women’s positioning as newcomers was their input into groups and associations in the town. Their participation in the community was a means of meeting people and making new friends.11 For the women it required a process of introduction and initiation into new cultures. Community organisations such as the Country Women’s Association, family support groups and others have provided opportunities to meet and socialise with other community members, both men and women. The ways that their involvement in the community has impacted on the social, economic and political life of Broome and its people is explored. Women and their associations Individuals use different concepts such as race, gender, ethnicity, age, class, religion, and sexual orientation to describe and organise their social environments.12 They use these concepts to identify and to be identified as belonging to a specific group. An individual’s alignment with or membership of a particular group acts as a means of categorising him or her. Knowledge of a person’s group membership can be used by others to ‘include’ and ‘exclude’ him or her from other groups. Dempsey examined the relationship of ‘insiders and outsiders’ and drew the following conclusions from his observations and communications with members of his Smalltown:
Some of those who are defined as ‘outsiders’ actually reside within the community boundaries. They include local ‘ner’er-do-wells’ and recent arrivals from the city ‘who are trying to take over’. The negative stereotypes of both local and non-local ‘outsiders’ are as much a part of Smalltown culture as the positive stereotypes of local people, institutions and activities.13

Coping in their new environment required that the women learn the ways of their adopted community. For many, this learning was a process by which interaction and sharing with people of similar interests took place in a social setting. Most of the women were accepted into Broome society through their involvement with groups and associations linked to their work place and/or leisure pursuits. Their association with a particular organisation or groups of people became a means of identifying with the community. On the other hand, some found the ‘smallness’ of the town to be an attraction. The outback feeling of being on the edge of the frontier and a vast wilderness was for some a new and exciting experience. They were thousands of kilometres away from ‘home’, family and old friends. There was a common need for essential services such as day care facilities for young children, health requirements and leisure pursuits. Family support Some found that their experiences of integration into Broome lifestyle and community changed over time as they entered different phases of their lives.14 Many of the women expressed feelings of isolation and separation from their
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family and old friends when they started having their own children. As women without children, they did not need the same level of support they yearned for as new mothers. Women depended upon one another to look after their children. Working mothers relied on women baby-sitting in their homes to care for their children when the town was without public child-minding facilities. Family support services were lacking for the majority of women relocating to Broome in the 1970s and ’80s. The Broome Infant Health Clinic was the primary source of support for mothers with young children. It was utilised by a broad cross-section of the community’s mothers. Raising a family in the north-west without the support of extended family and friends meant that women had to be resourceful and seek other alternatives. While each woman had her own individual story of relocation, it was the AngloAustralian and, later, the non-English-speaking-background migrant women who tended to be involved with community organisations. They used them as a means to form new friendships and as support networks. Some of the Indigenous women married local Indigenous men and were brought to Broome by their husbands. They found themselves immersed in Broome family traditions, where families are large and regularly intermingle. Yet some of the women, newcomers to town, were inclined to cope with motherhood primarily by themselves even though some had the support of their partners and their new extended families. When Alice, a Googutha woman15, arrived in 1971 with her husband and infant son, she said there was no-one to help her with the baby: ‘I did it myself. I didn’t need help.’16 On the other hand, Carol, an Anglo-Australian, married with children, and a seasonal worker at the meatworks, was forced to rely on her own support network. On a par with many other women trying to earn an income, Carol was dependent on informal, home-based day care facilities for her children. One of the meatworkers’ wives took on the role of minding the other workers’ children in her home during the season:
Old Ma Lucas we used to call her, used to baby-sit nearly all the meatworkers’ kids. We used to go in there at 5.30 in the morning and all little cots were all the way round. She had a big verandah around the house. She’d have all these little kids as there was no such thing as Chu Chuu’s or day care centres and all that.17

In contrast, Kerry, a Yamatji woman18, a teenage mother of twins, moved to Broome to live with her extended family in the 1980s. She was reluctant to allow anyone, including the family, the opportunity to babysit. She did not seek help from the broader Broome community. As a young mother, Kerry felt the tension of responsibility: ‘I said no, no, I can do it. I’ll take them. They are my responsibility. They just tried to give me a bit of freedom but I didn’t want it.’19 The experience of Sue, an Anglo-Australian, testifies to a differend kind of isolation. When Sue gave birth to her son, she missed her family that was not in Broome:
I miss my family more. Particularly, my mother. I wish she was here to see [her grandson] grow up. Also the support that family can provide in terms of childcare. I rarely ask others to baby-sit because I don’t want to burden them and I’m fussy about other carers. With family, that’s much easier. Mum actually asks to mind … 50

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Elaine Rabbitt when she’s around. No matter how close friends are, the level of unconditional support is never the same as that between family members.20

Community support services In the early 1980s a group of predominantly Anglo-Australian women, mainly the wives of government workers, called a meeting for parents with young children at the Broome Uniting Church Hall. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a group to support parents who did not have any extended family nearby. The outcome was the establishment of public childcare facilities and the formation of the Community Information Resource Centre & Learning Exchange, referred to as the ‘CIRCLE House’. Some of the initiatives included community volunteers lobbying the Broome Shire Council. With the support of the Uniting Church, a temporary day care service commenced operation from the church premises on weekdays. A purposebuilt day care centre, Chu Chuu’s, was officially opened in 1983. Anglo-Australian Pat, a married working mother and well-known volunteer in the community, became involved in the operation of the day care centre once her daughter was born. As a volunteer with various organisations she juggled family life, work and community commitments:
[O]nce [my daughter] was born I went on the management committee of Chu Chuu’s Day Care Centre, 1988. I was still involved with netball at the time. I remember whenever we were fundraising people would hate to see me coming and say ‘who are you raising money for this time? Netball, Chu Chuu’s?21

In 1989, an Aboriginal Children’s Services group called Jalygurr Guwan (children of the pearl) was formed by local people as a support for Aboriginal families. Commencing as a playgroup, the service aimed to provide quality and culturally appropriate childcare for Aboriginal children. The primary target group for care was Aboriginal children with working parents on low incomes. Jodie, a Noongar from the Perth metropolitan area, was the only trained Aboriginal childcare worker in the centre in 1997. As a full-time worker with both her daughters attending the centre, Jodie was the main wage-earner of the family. She found it to be extraordinary that young ‘local’ women were not taking the opportunity to be trained in childcare services:
One thing I find strange is being from Perth and working at the child care centre. There are not many young Aboriginal girls in this profession. I know only one. There should be more ‘coloured’ girls from here … I don’t know what people say because I’m from down south. I’m there. They know me. I’ve been there for years.22

Although Pallas, a young Indigenous mother, had the support of her extended family, she also relied on Jalygurr Guwan. She was preparing to return to the workforce and felt secure with the facilities provided because a ‘lot of coloured women go there who I have known through growing up here, so I’m pretty much right with all the mothers’.23 Further assistance was offered to the families in Broome with the appointment of the Kimberley Day Care Coordinator in the mid-1990s. This was the first
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remote appointment of its kind. The task of the coordinator was to advise and guide families wishing to undertake registered family day care services within their own homes. No more than four children under the age of six were permitted to be cared for in one house. Children could also be cared for after school within this scheme.24 Migrant services
It is very true. Here people get along together. There are towns where people are very clicky. They don’t like Asian people. They are alright here. Nobody cares; they don’t worry what race you are. They are all friendly.25

Broome people, culture, climate and society have been linked to Asia for generations. Asian men, colloquially referred to as Malay or Filipino or Koepanger from the island of Timor, were recruited as indentured labourers for the Broome-based pearling industry.26 These Asian men formed relationships with Indigenous women and supported their wives and children despite government controls to keep the races separate. Some gained exemption from the 1901 Immigration Act, remained in Broome, married their ‘girlfriends’ and raised their families. Their descendants form the large local population of mixed-descent Broome people.27 Women with non-English speaking backgrounds living in the Kimberley come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some have come from villages and others from large cities and many join their Australian partners or husbands. They come from small towns where the number of women who share their own cultural background may be small or non-existent.28 The opportunities for friendship and support beyond the nuclear family are limited. These women, like many other women in the Kimberley, do not have the assistance of the extended family. This exacerbates the problem of remoteness and has led to a situation where such women are not only isolated but are disadvantaged and marginalised, as testified by one of them: ‘In our own country we would not even speak to each other … here we are the only Asians … we have to be friends’.29 Women such as Indonesian-born Minna and Linda from the Philippines were forerunners in a new wave of Asian immigration to Australia and to the town of Broome.30 When Minna arrived in Broome in 1978, with her European husband, she was the first Indonesian woman to migrate to the town since World War II. She was unable to speak the language or understand the culture and was totally dependent on her husband. There were no migrant services available in the region. The newly arrived Minna was oblivious to Broome’s complex history and intermingling of races. Not knowing the local customs and ‘lingo’ left Minna feeling different and isolated. She was introduced to other Broome women and their culture through her employment as a domestic at the Broome Hospital. There she worked alongside local Broome people, ‘coloured’ people31:
There was lots of coloured people and I asked one girl where she came from and she said she came from Broome. In my thinking, you’re not from Broome. I was thinking this Asian girl she doesn’t want to say she comes from an Asian place. You know Asian and I couldn’t think that she is a bit snobby because she didn’t want to acknowledge her Asian country. That was [a Broome girl]. Laugh. Then I learnt 52

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Elaine Rabbitt about the history and she comes from Broome. They made me feel at home. I practised my English with them.32

Minna’s job was among the lowest paying positions at the Broome Hospital. It seems that supervisory positions were taken by white people and the domestic positions, generally, by ‘coloured girls’. Many of these local Broome women, or the so-called ‘coloured girls’, were also of Asian descent.33 The significance of previous lived experience is well illustrated in the expectations Minna held regarding racial stratification. Growing up in a part of Indonesia dominated by the Dutch, she expected white people to take up supervisory positions due to their ostensible superiority: ‘White people are the high race and um so that affected me meeting people in Broome’.34 Minna’s isolation from her family and culture became more difficult when she became a mother and could no longer work. Without the support of her extended family, Minna was lonely and isolated at home. She lived on a 20-acre lease of land 50 kilometres out of town and relied on friends to visit, as trips to town were few and far between:
I felt isolated. Like these days they have community house and places to go but I’d go once a week to town and just stay home. There was no family to tell you about how to look after the baby, what baby need and things like that. Of course in the hospital they teach you how to change nappy and feed the baby, how to bath the baby, nappy rash and that’s about it. So I learn from a book, but of course the book have wrong climate. We didn’t have fridge so I always express milk. When he was a few months old and he started teething I was wondering all these things, like what food to give him.35

Over time this situation was relieved with the arrival of other Indonesian people in Broome and the introduction of migrant services. The Catholic Church played a major role in assisting Catholic women with their settlement into the Broome community. This was particularly applicable to Linda, a Filipina who migrated to Broome with her Australian husband. She was the first of the Filipino women to arrive in Broome during the 1980s. Through the support of her husband and her associations with the Catholic Church, she was quickly introduced to the Broome community. The nuns introduced Linda to the Catholic women of Broome, particularly those of Aboriginal and Filipino descent, who have remained her friends:
Sr … told me about the early Filipinos that came to Broome and she said that the church was built with Filipinos … Yeah, Broome is still very quiet at that time. It was still bushy. It reminds me of the Philippines atmosphere you know. Aboriginal are a close knitted family just like the Filipinos. I observe that too. I was mixing with people from all different nationalities.36

As more Asian migrant women migrated to Broome with their Australian husbands, the women organised their own networks according to their cultural affiliations and common bonds based on nationality. Both Minna and Linda soon found themselves immersed in the Broome community. The newly arrived Asian women sought the advice of Minna and Linda who were considered matriarchs in the migrant community, due to their length of residency and their age, as Minna
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testifies: ‘Apart from coming here first I am the oldest as well. Sometimes they look at me as a mother or big sister. They come for advice or ask me to help them on other things, like explain about school or whatever’.37 The Filipinas developed a practice of holding a ‘Filipino’ gathering, a ‘Filipino-Australian’ party, to welcome the new arrivals, each time organised in a different household:
Sometimes when the new one come we have party and things like that to give them a little bit of support because sometimes they miss their family. But sometimes when they have problems they drop in and stay for a short time.38

In some instances, the Asian women who have moved to Broome in recent decades have found that they have cultural and historical links with longestablished Broome families. The multicultural ancestry of these families enabled commonalities with the more recent arrivals. These migrant women invited the locals, both Indigenous and of Asian descent, to join them in their dancing and festivities. Many have embraced these opportunities because, as Indigenous people, they also identify with their Asian heritage. They belong to the Broome Multicultural Association or the Broome Chinese Association, and participate in traditional Asian festivities.39 Migrant women in the north-west of Western Australia began to find their own voice in the early 1990s. They were encouraged by Anglo-Australian women to join community organisations such as the North West Women’s Association40 and the CIRCLE House to support introduction of new migrant services. Minna became the first migrant woman of non-English speaking background to volunteer as a committee member at the CIRCLE House. Taking Minna’s lead, other Indonesian women began to feel welcome at the centre and started using its facilities. Linda and other Filipinas, as well as migrants of Asian and European backgrounds, also took advantage of the centre services. Moreover, their common effort became instrumental for the successful lobbying of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (DIEA) for funds to undertake a Kimberley migrant research project.41 The Broome Multicultural Association An outcome of the project was the linking up of migrant people in Broome and the Kimberley. In 1996, the Broome Multicultural Cultural Association was formed and a festival in the Court House Gardens was held. The concert was a showcase of the variety of Broome’s multicultural societies and the diversity of its peoples, such as local Indigenous Asian people and migrants who have made the Kimberley frontier their home. Minna was the inaugural vice-chairperson of the Association formed of women and men members from a range of Broome’s cultural groups. This cooperation of residents working as volunteers crossed ethnic and class boundaries and acted as a means ‘to maintain the bondedness of residents to the community’.42 In her study of Western Australian migrant women, Cheryl Lange considers the role played by multicultural associations in the settlement process for migrant women. Her research indicates ‘that ethnic organisations continue to be a bridge between the socio-cultural and the political and their input plays a vital role in
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multicultural policy formation’.43 The author comments on changing times and the need for migrant women to belong to an ethnic organisation. Such associations act as a vehicle for those involved to pass on ‘language, cultural and family traditions’ to their family members and others in a safe environment.44 Maintaining home links
Like a magnet you go and come all the time. It is like a magnet it draws you back. That’s the way I go. Living here, I go and come back.45

The stories of the women in this project reflect the way in which they have managed to relocate and adjust to a new lifestyle. Their individual experience of life in the community, and their need to belong to specific groups and associations has changed over time. Regardless of their family circumstances, for most of the women in the study the continuation of links with their origins is of major importance. Some of the women have coped with their resettlement by preserving close bonds with their families and communities of their birth. They maintained family links by taking their children home to visit their relatives. For both Kerry and Arlene, family commitments more than anything else have created a close attachment to Broome, as Kerry claims: ‘Once every three years. The latest now has been five years. We go for funerals but that is only for a short while. I don’t want to spend too long in Carnarvon’.46 Arlene shares a similar view, stating that:
I never felt homesick because I ran away from there ... I used to go over about once a year cos we had an airfare and all that from the hospital and we could go home and I would just spend two weeks and go see my parents and family.47

Some of the other women have also been provided with annual airfares to Perth as part of their workplace agreements. As Western Australian residents, they have the right to visit family and friends on a regular basis. The situation is different for the migrant women from non-English speaking backgrounds because the combined factors of cost and distance to Europe and Asia seem to prevent them from regular visits home, as the French woman Bernadette testifies: ‘It’s not so much the speaking French I crave, it is relating to the same culture’.48 Linda explains that her adaptation to the Australian way of life has changed her feelings for her home country:
I don’t miss the Philippines because I have my family with me. I adapted very quick anyway. I went back there once and that was three years ago. And when I go back there something different again, I miss Australia. I’m not fit with them anymore. I am stranger to them because I am used to the life in Australia. In the Philippines too it is the American way of life and things like that. I notice that they are modernised now, very Western way of living.49

In the same vein, Minna concludes that in ‘twenty years I been four … [times, home to Indonesia]. I am happy and content here. I use all my energy in this land and I could call it home now and I can’t see myself leaving town’.50
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Conclusion This account has presented a woman-centred response to relocation, settlement and adjustment to life in a small town in an area considered by some to be isolated and remote. It also presents an analysis of the important role volunteers play in community organisations in assisting the settlement of new residents and maintaining the needs of the long-term populace. Significant to this investigation is the notion that feelings of isolation can be relieved by participating in community organisations. Selected recollections from the women’s stories have been used to portray their need for different support structures. All of the women experienced a settling-in period in which they adapted to their new environment. Whether Australian, Indigenous, non-Indigenous, or of international migrant descent relocating to the north-west, all came with a wealth of experience reflecting their backgrounds. Traditions, political policies and social attitudes have influenced the way the women have been able to conduct themselves and in some instances with whom they could associate. Central to this analysis of a group of women’s relocation to north Western Australia is their contribution to the development of this region. In particular, stories of women as presented in this paper testify to their influence upon these changes. It emphasises their place within the context of Broome’s social milieu and how they as the ‘outsiders’ have been assimilated and have become the ‘insiders’ over time. Their narratives illustrate that involvement in the community has been an important factor for the women in their transition into life in the north-west. Their participation in the community through their workplaces and/or social connections has helped shape the culture of Broome. The women themselves have not only observed changes to the Broome community, but are an integral, contributing factor to those changes. Their stories have been analysed within the context of their residency in a racially diverse community. Merging of these narrations with secondary sources has provided a means to present an ‘alternative’ analysis of inter-racial and ethnic relations, class and gender. More specifically, the Broome example shows that women can not only adapt to a new environment, but also can contribute to the creation of a true multicultural community.

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‘Madonnas’, ‘seductresses’, ‘pets’, and ‘iron maidens’: are lawyers managing badly?
Geraldine Neal
While women are graduating from Australian law schools in greater numbers than their male counterparts, these women are not moving through into the top echelons of their chosen profession.1 My Queensland-based doctoral research demonstrates that women lawyers are still more likely to report discriminatory work practices than men, which is in line with research in other jurisdictions.2 In this article I draw on the data from my Queensland-wide survey of women and men practising as solicitors, as well as from the in-depth interview phase of the doctoral project. I situate my findings within the context of the work of Rosabeth Moss Kanter3 who detailed the role traps that can ‘encapsulate’ women within organisations, and concluded that women were either left isolated, or were effectively ‘assimilated’ into limited roles that often caricatured them as madonnas, seductresses, pets, or iron maidens. The reported experiences of Queensland women in large measure replicate and re-present the theoretical and practical history of the Kanterian style role traps that have ensnared women—both inside and outside the legal profession. Lawyers’ own observations and perceptions of their workplaces highlight the reality that some women continue to be trapped within stereotypical and outmoded organisational attitudes that fail to recognise, or reward, women’s considerable skills and legitimate expectations. As a member of the solicitors’ branch of the Queensland legal profession for some sixteen years through the 1980s and 90s, I became keenly interested in the ways that individual lawyers experienced their daily legal lives within private legal firms.4 My own observations of workplace discrimination and prejudice against women within the profession suggested that for some women little had changed since the days when women were deemed not to be ‘persons’ and were therefore ineligible to even be admitted to the profession of law.5 These women were to provide the impetus for my subsequent doctoral research.6 Woman’s place—woman’s role Two decades after Kanter’s seminal work, Judy Wajcman’s United Kingdom research strongly endorsed Kanter’s claims that women within organisations were tolerated ‘only so long as [their male colleagues] were able to consign them to conventional roles that preserve familiar forms of social interaction’.7 In the Australian context, Catherine Smith and Jacquie Hutchinson supported the view that ‘on the presumption of differences, organisations … assign women to different jobs from those assigned to men, with those assigned to women incorporating less prestigious or more difficult tasks, lower rewards and fewer opportunities for advancement’.8

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As the Queensland legal profession moved into the early years of the twentyfirst century, some women who participated in the survey and/or interview phases of my research reported that they were indeed assigned to ‘different jobs’ from the work undertaken by their male colleagues in their legal workplaces. Six individual women described their experiences in these ways:
• [I] frequently have experienced inequity in work allocation/client contact opportunities • [There are] assumptions about jobs women might be happy to do—[a] ‘boys club’ in allocation of work. • [There is an] allocation of less desirable matters [to women]. • I returned to work after a break … and at times I felt ‘put upon’ and not appreciated. This has improved … but I sometimes find I have to be more assertive than I normally am to protect my rights—[my] share of quality work. • I get all the ‘shitty files’ that [he] can’t be bothered dealing with. • I am given most of the legal aid work in the office which is fine in itself except that we are expected to bill a certain amount … and if we do not reach [it] our salary can be reviewed.

This pattern is often self perpetuating and reinforces organisational beliefs ‘that differences between men and women are inherent, rather than in fact being constructed by the organisation itself’.9 Within both the corporate and legal worlds, there has been an ongoing revisiting and a revisioning of Kanter’s work10 not only in terms of the ways that organisations construct ‘appropriate’ behaviours and responses, but also in terms of the roles that women adopt to enact those behaviours. Margaret Thornton’s 1996 study of women in the Australian legal profession quoted one former female solicitor who instinctively identified men’s need to assign women to roles that were clearly defined and understood by men: ‘They’ve got to slot you into some sort of role that they’re used to having with women socially. You know, you’re either motherly, or whorish, or wifely, or whatever’.11 The madonna The madonna or mother figure reappears throughout the literature and is constructed within organisations with what Kanter described as a ‘comforting’ regularity. In such a role, a woman is ‘comparatively safe’12 as she is seen as having the nurturing/maternal role—easy to talk to, a good listener, a comforter— and who, as a ‘counsellor’, can provide emotional services to her male colleagues.13 As part of the Queensland survey, participating solicitors were asked to consider a range of items and indicate whether they believed male lawyers, female lawyers, or neither, were better in respect of each item listed below:
• making tough decisions • taking ethical approach to situations • being more in touch with feelings (colleagues, staff, clients) 58

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Geraldine Neal • having strong feelings of social justice • communicating (colleagues, staff, clients) • managing conflict • managing people (staff, clients) • adapting to new technology • embracing new management/office systems & processes • keeping up to date with changes in the law • contributing to staff/office morale • working with alternative dispute resolution • dealing with workplace stress • promoting the legal profession • working overtime to get the job done14

It was very much men, and not women, who saw no distinction between the abilities of their male and female counterparts in any of the nominated areas, with nearly one quarter (22.9%) of male respondents saying they saw no difference compared to 8.2% of female respondents.15 This aligns with the Hilary Sommerlad and Peter Sanderson study of women solicitors in the United Kingdom. They found that many of the profession’s senior men expressed ‘woman friendly’ views,16 and they suggested that ‘perhaps employers’ claimed impartiality should be viewed as symptomatic of lawyers’ self image as intrinsically fair’.17 Or, as one female solicitor in their study put it, ‘you won’t get far with the idea of sexism because they [the men] tend to see themselves as gender blind’.18 Within the context of this article, it is of particular interest to note those listed areas that Queensland women readily appropriated to themselves are those that broadly fit traditional nurturing roles or characteristics that have been variously described as women’s work, or as attributes integral to the mothering and/or counselling roles.19 Significant percentages of female participants saw themselves as better than their male counterparts at being in touch with feelings of colleagues, staff, clients (82.5% compared to 46.7% of male participants prepared to agree that this was indeed an area where women exhibited better/superior skills)20; communicating with colleagues, staff, clients (57% F compared to 23.0% M)21; managing conflict (39.4% F compared to 10.6% M)22; managing people (49.5% F compared to 16.1% M)23; and contributing to staff/office morale (42.7% F compared to 7.7% M).24 These responses may indicate a willingness by women to ‘affirm interrelatedness, cooperation, and involved concern’.25 Such willingness may in turn directly contribute to their continuing relegation to the ‘soft’ options in legal practice (such as family law, estate work, and alternative dispute resolution), and to the continuing barriers to their breaking in to the high-earning, high-profile, high-prestige, corporate and commercial areas of practice. This is not to suggest that women in the legal profession are in some unique or isolated position in terms
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of an apparent inability to access positions of power or interesting and challenging work within their workplaces. Michael Thomson (in an examination of women holding positions of power in bureaucracy and government in both the United Kingdom and Australia) pointed to ‘a sexual division of labour within which power is associated with the masculine ... [with women] given access primarily only to the ‘soft’ sectors—health, social security and international aid’.26 Australian feminist researcher, Robyn Rowland, described women as trapped in a love and duty ethos that translates into an expectation of sacrifice.27 One Queensland solicitor described it this way in her survey response:
I have been expected to handle the work of a partner, an articled clerk, and my own work when the partner and clerk were away for one week.

While another woman wrote:
[The] ‘tidy up’ work on files is flicked to me (i.e. once client billed and no intention of further bill—such that my personal time is not credited to achieving budget) and non-chargeable work generally is given to me.

These responses are reminiscent of the ‘good women’ of the legal profession that Cynthia Fuchs Epstein described in her groundbreaking 1981 work,28 and that some years later, Thornton would identify in the Australian context as the ‘dutiful daughters’. Rosalind Croucher29 drew on Thornton and the work of Celia Wells and argues that the nurturing role within academic institutions involved the pastoral care of students, which is an appropriate responsibility for dutiful daughters; and effectively provided a Mother Confessor role via ‘long periods of unreciprocated psycho-therapy’ with male colleagues.30 The seductress Kanter’s seductress role does not require a woman to act seductively, rather the woman may be completely unaware that she has been ‘classified’ as ‘sexually desirable and potentially available’31—that she is a sex object.32 Thornton referred to the ‘body beautiful’33, Saija Katila and Susan Merilainen identified the ‘seducer’34, while, more recently, Margaret Heffernan described the ornamental ‘geisha’35 in today’s workplace. Epstein highlighted the male lawyers’ response to the ‘pretty girl’36 and the condescending familiarity that turns a woman professional into a ‘honey’ or a ‘sweetheart’37 inside a culture that a ranks a ‘good looker’ above a good lawyer.38 Certainly, it was not unexpected to find that participating solicitors’ reported experiences differed considerably. As Graham Audrewarrtha argues, ‘in a society which is so fundamentally gender-divided as ours, the chances are considerable that women’s experiences will differ from men’s’.39 There was no marked difference between women and men in the reported range and availability of workplace policies and procedures to manage discrimination and sexual harassment. However, when solicitors were asked whether they had ever encountered problems (either personally or aware of others) in the workplace ‘related to inappropriate questions when interviewed for position, discriminatory work practices, sexual harassment, unfair preference in allocation of

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work/clients’, only 10.9% of male respondents as opposed to 30.8% of female answered yes.40 When responding to this question, many female practitioners elected to give various examples of sexually charged behaviour in their legal workplaces. This was an issue also raised during interviews, and the seven views included here are typical of the concerns that were expressed:
• the anatomy and dress of female staff were considered a valid topic for ‘ribald’ discussion among male staff. In one instance a shelf company was given a name to reflect the large breasts of a partner’s secretary. • I have also been sexually harassed … taking the form of innuendo in front of clients ... I was told I was passed over for promotion not because of my work but because they would be ‘treated as a joke’ if they promoted a woman. • inappropriate comments to women by men. • partner came up behind [female articled clerk] when she was photocopying ([working back] at night) and put his hands on her breasts. • [spouse of female lawyer] making unwanted requests to wife’s secretary—[male solicitor] making sexually explicit comments to three staff members after a professional ... dinner. • sexual harassment—innuendo, sexual advances, clients who make ‘inappropriate comments’ about their availability if I were to be interested. • I could give you countless examples of inappropriate behaviour at staff parties … I think there’s a fine line between a relaxed … working environment … and going too far … in two firms … [there were] affairs … going on … male, married partners having affairs with [female employed solicitors] and [support] staff … I find that a very difficult environment to be in.

Many lawyers—women and men41—find it difficult to comprehend that lawyers, whose professional existence is predicated on knowledge of and commitment to the law, should breach that law42, and should not only persist in the traditional view of women as sex objects, but also treat them accordingly. These Queensland findings mirror the Australia-wide incidences of sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination within the profession reported by Thornton43, and reflect generally the gendered nature of the profession in other jurisdictions.44 The concerns raised by individual survey respondents and interview participants arise in a context where principals of legal businesses were reporting they either did not need, or were unaware whether their firms had, basic policies in place to remind staff of their legal obligations and to protect both staff and clients from unwanted discriminatory/harassing behaviours.45 These responses by two male solicitors typify that lack of commitment:
[There is] enough legislation in place already. I don’t discriminate.

Moreover, both female and male practitioners often had no clear idea as to whether workplace policies existed, with two women survey participants venturing: ‘I guess we do [have a policy]’; and: ‘[it’s an] unwritten understanding’. Not only are such workplace practices far removed from best
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practice in human resource management, they do not even meet the minimum standards that the law requires.46 One senior lawyer who had fulfilled a highprofile mentoring role for women solicitors for some years reported she had:
come across a number of cases of sexual harassment … a lot of those women weren’t prepared to go ahead with any sort of complaint because they … wanted to keep working [in the profession] … they figured that if they were seen as troublemakers it would impact on them. Now I don’t know if that’s true or not but that was their perception …

The pet Kanter questioned whether men’s need to ‘manage’ women’s sexuality required them to create either asexual mothers (madonnas) or overly sexual, debased seductresses (whores) ‘perhaps as a function of Victorian family values’.47 Within this construct, she noted that the ‘pet’ and the ‘iron maiden’ roles also ‘have family counterparts in the kid sister and the virgin aunt’.48 She saw the pet role as one where women are ‘adopted’ by men, where they are encouraged to admire their male colleagues and valued for their ‘girlish’ traits.49 This role is epitomised in a widely available cartoon showing the avuncular senior male lawyer greeting a new, smartly dressed female solicitor, and saying to her: ‘So you went to law school and now you want to practise law, I think that’s sweet’.50 These are women who are certainly not viewed as serious professional contenders, and who may be punished if they step outside their designated role as a mascot or cheerleader.51 Two women who participated in the research made these comments:
Achievement of goals set was not rewarded—goal posts moved esp. budget targets reached—reward of associateship/partnership never translated into action—other rewards never eventuated—only reward [was] client satisfaction [and] the more I got of this the less I was liked in the firm. I am aware of women who have applied for short-term promotional opportunities … where the ‘opportunity’ is a … sham—the positions have already been allocated to males.

As Epstein reminds us, a ‘sweet girl’52 is unlikely to be seriously assessed for her legal competence. Her place will be more readily found in the helpmeet capacity, such as backroom researcher to the highly visible male role.53 However, when women do conform to the acceptable image of a token’s place in the group (e.g. as the authoritative male’s ‘kid sister’ or tolerated helper) then the system can effectively force them to continue to live up to that image.54 One woman described her experience in this way:
When I was employed as a solicitor I was treated as a secretary and not even allocated my own office ... I was required to sit at a desk in the corridor and do pro bono work.

The situation she described meant that this solicitor was physically removed from the office mainstream and rendered ‘invisible’ as a lawyer. On the occasion of a legal conference within the last ten years, one young solicitor told me that it had been suggested to her that ‘it would be best’ if she wore the same uniform as the
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office secretarial and support staff. One woman recalled her treatment as a younger practitioner (during the 1990s):
Particularly by older male practitioners … phone calls when I was called ‘little girl’, ‘dear’ and the like … I remember being absolutely flabbergasted.

In her 2002 article on perceptions of women’s careers, Heffernan suggested some male bosses who claimed to like women ‘like them strictly as ornaments, not as power players’.55 In response to one survey question, significantly more male (76.0%) than female (53.6%) practitioners recorded that they were always, or nearly always, treated well (i.e. afforded respect and cooperation, had their work given appropriate priority, queries answered, requests acted upon, and made to feel welcome and included) by administrative support staff.56 These figures suggest that support staff in legal offices are far more likely to ‘support’ male rather than female lawyers. These staff members, who are overwhelmingly female, are by virtue of their positions more likely to be obedient and compliant (perhaps more ‘tame’—the perfect ‘pets’) and hence more in conformity with a role with which men are traditionally comfortable. In turn, it is men who are likely to wear the cloak of seniority and authority that ensures ongoing compliance and support.57 One male survey participant, who expressed the view that men rather than women were better at contributing to staff/office morale, wrote:
I am aware of many situations where conflict between female lawyers and (almost) exclusively female support staff has a negative effect on morale.

It was the women in this workplace setting who were seen as problematic, and no consideration was given to the possibility that these legal women may have experienced considerable difficulties in getting administrative cooperation and support to ensure their work deadlines and client commitments were appropriately met. One woman reported that she always/nearly always was treated well by administrative/support staff: apart from the [female] office manager.58 It is also significant that most female solicitors are in the ‘junior ranks’ of the profession.59 In Sommerlad and Sanderson’s study, one junior practitioner commented: ‘We’re still there to be patted on the head—still in the junior ranks’.60 Indeed, one male partner in that study (when, somewhat grudgingly, acknowledging the dearth of women partners) claimed women were not disadvantaged, but said that if women did resent their low representation in the senior ranks of the profession such resentment was a sign of ‘their immaturity’.61 Whereas powerful men continue to be seen as the norm, powerful women ‘provoke anxieties and ambivalence in women as well as men’—‘the very notion of “manager” [or, senior law partner] has gendered significance’.62 The iron maiden It is to the iron maiden role that ‘strong women63 are consigned. If a woman refuses the first three roles, displays competence in a forthright manner, and demands treatment as an equal, she is cast as a tough women’s libber and faces isolation’.64 Women relegated to the iron maiden role were usually abandoned ‘to founder on their own and often could not find peers sympathetic to them when
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they had problems’.65 This sense of isolation was highlighted in women’s responses to survey questions about the existence of workplace grievance procedures. Survey participants were asked whether they would ‘feel comfortable’ in approaching the person who was nominated by some firms as being available ‘to confidentially discuss any problems related to work, ability to cope with work demands and pressures, and career plans’.66 While similar proportions of men (32.6%) and women (38.2%) lawyers67 who answered this survey question said they would not feel comfortable, women survey participants were much more likely to give reasons for their reticence, including these five responses:
• [I] would be worried I was talking things through to someone who didn’t have loyalties just to me. • The nominated partner must have his own concerns when hearing my ability to cope. I would never want to allow them an opportunity to act on any vulnerability I was feeling. • It would reflect badly on your ability to ‘handle things’ and it is unlikely the complaint/grievance would be handled in a confidential manner. • Yes and no—although I could approach them, there would be subtle repercussions i.e. she’s not serious/dedicated to her job. • If you don’t conform to the firm’s point of view you feel very isolated and naturally the partners discuss these things.

These women have been effectively isolated not only by assumptions about their role in the legal professional workplace, but also by the lack of transparency and/or accountability in a number of in-house grievance procedures. Some have also been isolated primarily because they fear their male peers nominated specifically for the purpose of responding to staff concerns and difficulties would take advantage of perceived vulnerabilities, or breach their confidentiality; or, they believe that an expression of concern would have ‘subtle repercussions’ and implications for their future with their firm. Few men gave reasons, but, in contrast, no male solicitor expressed a fear of isolation as a potential consequence of utilising available grievance procedures. Grievance procedures of this kind fall far short of best practice in the management of the modern legal workplace. As the authors of Managing Human Resources argue, ‘it is doubtful that a firm can effectively manage employee diversity if its ... male employees (some of whom may be in positions of power) are hostile toward the concept’.68 While women may feel isolated, they will often, as Kanter identified, live up to the image or role imposed upon them. They will maintain a façade of aloof strength and toughness—approximating the appearance of Thornton’s ‘benchmark man’,69 or the ‘bitch’ identified by Katila and Merilainen, and by Heffernan. Epstein found such women were categorised as ‘over achievers’70 as they often worked extremely hard to prove they could match their male peers. One interviewee saw the situation this way:
If the partners had a good matey relationship with the young fellows, then those boys would go a long way, whereas the girls had to physically and academically prove themselves. 64

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Epstein described how men, threatened by the competition, and also women who were uncomfortable with the work-driven stance adopted by these female colleagues, were then quick to describe these women as ‘mannish’71—some even labelled women seen as being too serious as ‘creeps’.72 One senior male practitioner spoke angrily during my research about female colleagues who were ‘worse than the men’. He said that ‘at least the men could be trusted in the course of professional dealings’. The Kanter legacy Some writers73 have made observations and reached conclusions about women and women’s roles inside organisations without any reference to, or apparent knowledge of, the seminal work by Kanter—a fact that reinforces the extent and the depth to which the role encapsulation of women continues to operate within a broad range of organisations in the corporate, academic and legal worlds. Kanter herself argued (both directly and indirectly) for the wider significance of her work. She described the principles underlying patterns of behaviour in the large corporation as more universal and widespread74 and cited factors such as the closure of management systems to those who may be ‘different’75, the use of the ‘masculine ethic’ as an exclusionary principle against women trying to access positions of authority76, the similarity of events occurring around women and corporations to women’s reports of experiences in law77, and that women as ‘tokens’ (i.e. numerically few) in corporations shared characteristics that were typical of those generally who find themselves in token positions elsewhere.78 Kanter identified a range of problematic organisational issues for women that mirror the legal practice experience, including: commitment to the job as displayed by long hours79; opportunity for ‘fast-track’ promotion by exposure to the ‘right’ people, assignments80 and alliances81; and the promotion of programs to ‘repair’ or overcome women’s disadvantage rather than to challenge the system itself.82 In subsequent work, Kanter showed a keen awareness of how her research might be used to examine the world of legal women.83 In the kindred professional world of accounting, Cheryl Lehman concluded in 1996 that nothing much had changed since Kanter published her important work, finding that women who achieved power (i.e. partnership status within firms of auditors) still needed to resemble men because those women who re-created themselves in acceptable masculine roles were rewarded.84 Teresa Moore suggested that women have some ability to move between roles to meet changing circumstances.85 However, it is argued that the notion of any real choice for many women within the legal profession is illusory, because their status and the associated role(s)86 within (at least some) workplaces is effectively imposed by the masculinist culture and the male gatekeepers who, as senior and managing partners, control the firm’s direction and human resource management strategies. While there are many larger metropolitan firms that boast a range of modern employment policies and benefits, that does not automatically mean that women, or men, feel able to access those policies. Both women and men reported that they were more likely to be able to access flexible working hours to participate in sporting activities than to attend to family responsibilities.87 And
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what some senior male lawyers see as progressive can fall far short of accepted standards in other industries, as this woman described:
When I was first asked to sign an employment contract, I asked the senior partner about … their provisions for maternity leave … He just looked at me, said we’ve never thought about it, and left … they came back with some stupid one week for every year of service clause …

Younger women within the profession spoke to me of the need for them ‘not to rock the boat’, to be patient because ‘the older men in the profession will eventually move on’. Some older women said they could see future change being driven not by a recognition of the inequitable treatment received by women and the desire to remedy it, but by some of the younger men in the profession, many of whom had professional wives (and mothers) who did not conform to some role generated by patriarchal family values from Victorian times. Also, these men had their own aspirations for meaningful family involvement and work–life balance. Although there were some reservations, as this woman expressed:
I think the younger generation of males tend to be more accepting of … females as colleagues … I always think things are improving and then I’ll come across, you know, an instance [of discriminatory treatment] where I’ll just think, ‘Oh my God, that’s absolutely appalling’ …

Conclusion My research demonstrates that, within Queensland in the opening years of the twenty-first century, there are women who continue to recount instances of sexual harassment, bullying and discriminatory treatment, and whose experience of their profession is one where they are belittled, sexualised and dismissed as ‘not serious’. As Katila and Marilainen argue, ‘when considered from an organisational point of view, it does not matter whether [a woman is] called a bitch, beautiful, feminine or unfeminine for that matter, because [they] are still perceived in sexual terms’.88 Other Australian jurisdictions have made conscious efforts to understand and address these critical human resource management issues.89 To date, the debate in Queensland has been muted and a profession-wide commitment to recognising, and addressing, some of these important workplace management issues has not eventuated. Heffernan spent a year talking to women in business and concluded that they tell a different story from the one we would all like to believe. After some four years engaged in analysing survey instruments, reading the many anecdotes and comments volunteered by participants, and interviewing nearly forty female and male legal practitioners from varied backgrounds, practices and locations throughout Queensland, the inescapable conclusion is similarly disquieting.

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Experimenting with change: experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death in Australia in the 1980s
Susannah Thompson
In a small borrowed room towards the back of King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support (SANDS) Western Australia had an inauspicious beginning in 1979. The fledgling group’s inaugural meeting was convened by one of the hospital’s social workers, Libby Lloyd, who had herself recently suffered a miscarriage, and was held in the office of the part-time psychiatrist who fortuitously happened to be away on that particular day. Although the meeting was not without its problems—Lloyd remembers that the psychiatrist was none too pleased that his office was used without his explicit permission—the women who attended apparently found this first informal meeting a great encouragement. It was, in fact, a gathering rooted quite deeply in the particular cultural and social changes that were occurring both outside the microcosm of the hospital—a time when more women were demanding that their needs and desires in pregnancy and childbirth be heard—and within the clinical setting, with many social workers embracing the feminist ideal of ‘women validating other women’s experience’ and recognising the significance of supportive relationships amongst women.1 Lloyd, attending the meeting as part client, part social worker, recollects that the ten or so women who met that day ‘just as women shared our experiences. It was a very strong time of the women’s movement, I was full of feminist zeal and all the rest of it’.2 On the face of it, an informal meeting of ten or so women in a small city in Australia is hardly extraordinary; in the light of years of silence surrounding miscarriage and perinatal death, this small gathering heralded the welcome beginning of the end of a conspiracy of silence.3 In historiographical terms, little scholarship has been concerned with the changing understandings of stillbirth and neonatal death in Australia, although some scholars have made passing reference to perinatal loss as part of a wider study of the historical experience of maternity and motherhood. Several writers have noted that, for most of the twentieth century, perinatal loss has been characterised by a sense of inevitability and a culture of avoidance and silence. For example, Judith Allen, in her study of women and crime around the turn of the twentieth century, argues that stillbirth and neonatal death were treated with a certain disregard and fatalism both by authorities and mothers themselves, being often used as an alibi for infanticide because of the unregulated nature of infant loss.4 In her extensive study of the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Janet McCalman notes that in the first half of the twentieth century, it was women who mattered; babies were scarcely mentioned.5 According to McCalman, the late 1960s and 1970s would see a new interest and focus on stillbirth and neonatal death as part of wider reform towards more holistic care of pregnant women and new mothers, but her study neither traces in detail the developments in

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understandings of perinatal death that led to such changes in clinical care, nor examines women’s changing experiences of perinatal death, focusing instead upon the medical profession’s conceptualising of infant death. Kerreen Reiger’s work Our Bodies, Our Babies: The Forgotten Women’s Movement is the most recent attempt to address some of the forgotten elements of the history of childbirth; namely, the Childbirth Reform movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. In examining the push for childbirth reform and greater maternal control, Our Bodies, Our Babies is most useful to the study of the discrete area of historical understandings of perinatal death in Australia. Reiger’s research sets the scene for the particular cultural circumstances that allowed for the birth of the socalled self-help groups, such as SANDS, growing as they did out of the more general fierce opposition to the self-imposed medical authority over pregnancy and childbirth that had existed in Australia since the early twentieth century. According to Reiger, the late 1950s saw the emergence of a social climate that increasingly grew ‘conducive to what we now call “consumer rights’’’, particularly in the sphere of women organising themselves to ‘assert their desire for more control over birth and lactation’.6 The evolution of the ‘activist mothers’ who lobbied for greater control over their pregnant and lactating bodies resulted in the formation of the Association for the Advancement of Painless Childbirth (AAPC) in 1961, which evolved to the Childbirth Education Association (CEA) in 1965. The 1970s would prove to be fertile years for the CEA, with the newly elected Reformist government coming to power in late 1972, coupled with what Reiger calls the feminist and consumer movements’ ‘wider mood for social critique’.7 However, whilst valuable in addressing some of the gaps in historiography of the experience of pregnancy and childbirth in the era of childbirth reform, Reiger’s study, like McCalman’s, does not extend to include perhaps the most forgotten of childbirth experiences—that is, stillbirth and neonatal death. This paper addresses this lacuna in the scholarship of maternity and motherhood in the 1970s. Drawing upon a wide range of sources, such as oral history interviews undertaken as part of a wider doctoral project and hospital memoranda and policy documents from King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne (RWH), as well as a variety of medical texts and journal articles, this paper will analyse the development of changes in the clinical management of perinatal loss, framed within the cultural shift described by Reiger in Our Bodies, Our Babies. The sources critiqued in this paper are somewhat disparate, being drawn from both sides of the country, highlighting both the silence that has historically surrounded this subject, as well as reflecting the disparity itself of the change in clinical management of perinatal loss. For although the childbirth reform movement was relatively organised, it is apparent that any attempts to change the way that perinatal loss was understood in the hospital setting occurred at grassroots level, depending largely on the individual staff members involved. For many decades the not uncommon incidence of stillbirth and neonatal death was shrouded in silence and shame within the hospital, and many women found that they were not only expected to repress the experience but that their babies were given little recognition and often became part of the complex fabric of ‘family secrets’.8 The 1970s would see an emergence of research that would prove
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pivotal to the way that pregnancy loss and baby death were understood and treated within the hospital setting. In Australia, this decade would mark a paradigm shift in the way that psychologists, and later some of the medical fraternity, viewed the impact of perinatal death on a woman and her family.9 However, although understandings of pregnancy loss and baby death in the 1970s became more complex, actual change in practice in hospitals was slow and the decade was still discernible by the taboo of silence and avoidance reminiscent of earlier years. In retrospect, the fairly lonely voices of some of those involved in caring for bereaved women were not heeded for many years and served during the 1970s to sharply highlight how hidden and silenced this event was in many women’s lives.10 By the 1980s, however, it became clear that the conservatism that had so marked the four decades prior to the 1980s was being slowly eroded in some Australian hospitals, due in part to emerging ideas in psychological theory as well as to a growing dissatisfaction of both the general public and the midwifery profession with the medical profession’s self-imposed authority, as described earlier. Nonetheless, changes were slow and localised and were often met with resistance and opposition. Hospitals are sites of complex relationships and change in policy or tradition is often a gradual process.11 Unlike the more organised, albeit complex, childbirth reform movement, changes to the management of perinatal death was largely experimental and somewhat sporadic. In most instances it relied upon the dedication of individuals who had been educated as to emerging ideas of grief and loss, and who were committed to implementing these new understandings in the way that they personally treated their patients in their own departments.12 Within the wider context of a more general push for childbirth reform, some midwives and allied health staff were, according to longtime social worker Libby Lloyd at KEMH, ‘quite warmed up to grief and loss’13, due in large measure to visits to Australia by influential grief theorist and medical practitioner Elisabeth Kübler-Ross during the 1970s.14 Some Australian midwives had also undertaken research overseas, reporting back in the Australian Nursing Journal that many European countries were able to effectively balance medical supervision with compassionate care of the patient during childbirth.15 The recent agitation for greater individuality in terms of women’s health care by some groups within the community16 meant that some of those involved with caring for women in the hospital setting were gradually growing more patientfocused and the effort to listen to parents’ needs was a significant step towards better supporting people who had lost a baby.17 The manifestation of considering parents’ wishes, at KEMH at least, coupled with the enthusiasm of some staff for the ideals of a supportive sisterhood, was the birth of several support groups. At KEMH in 1980, according to Libby Lloyd, ‘in one glorious year there were three of these groups running’—PIPA (Preterm Infant Parents’Association) Concern for the Infertile, and the previously mentioned SANDS.18 The emergence of SANDS and comparative groups around Australia such as SANDS (Victoria) and Compassionate Friends was historically significant in the face of the decades-long positioning of the medical profession as the authority on matters concerning pregnancy and childbirth. Thus the birth of the parents’ support group signified the relinquishing of some of this control to the bereaved parents themselves. Not only
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did this offer bereaved parents a sense of agency that they had previously been denied, it was a radical about-face for many in the medical profession. Where most of the twentieth century was characterised by a widely accepted belief that medicine held the answers for society’s ills, particularly in the areas of maternity, the self-help group was rooted quite deeply in the particular cultural and social changes. These changes were occurring both outside the microcosm of the hospital—a time when more women were expressing that their needs and desires be heard—and within the clinical setting, with many social workers embracing the feminist ideal of ‘women validating other women’s experience’ and recognising the significance of supportive relationships amongst women.19 The role of parents’ groups in the early 1980s also evolved from the initial individual support through interpersonal relationships, towards forcing change at the wider level of hospital policy. This was particularly evident in changes to the ways that miscarried and stillborn babies were buried. Some women at this time were starting to push for the right to find out the sex of their miscarried baby and for the chance to bury the medically termed ‘non-viable foetal material’ with dignity and a degree of ceremony.20 Legally, such foetuses belonged to the hospital and parents had no right of ownership over these babies, and no death certificate was issued until the foetus had reached twenty weeks gestation or 400 grams in weight. Without a death certificate, then, cemeteries were legally unable to accept miscarried babies for burial. It was the opinion of the Crown Solicitor of Victoria in 1982 that, in accordance with the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages Act of 1959, ‘non-viable foetal tissue’ could not be buried in cemeteries because it was not a body or a corpse—it was, in essence, a non-being. Pointing out that viable foetuses should be disposed of in ‘any way which does not constitute a nuisance or an affront to public decency’, he did concede that parents of foetuses under twenty weeks could negotiate with the hospital to bury this material in a similar manner to a post-twenty-week foetus. However, the final authority lay with the hospital, as the Crown Solicitor confirmed the supervisory role of the doctors—‘parents have no enforceable rights to possession’—and he recommended that hospitals thoroughly investigate parents’ psychological state before deciding to release the foetal remains.21 The Crown Solicitor’s comments brought into sharp relief the contrast between the legal status of a miscarried foetus and its ensuing treatment as somewhat of a non-entity, and many parents’ own ideas of their lost pregnancies. SANDS (Victoria) had been concerned with the nature of hospital burials since its formation and, together with the social workers at RWH, had begun an extensive campaign to completely overhaul the accepted practice of hospital-organised burials, as well as the issue of disposal of pre-twenty-week foetuses.22 At RWH, which as the major teaching hospital in Victoria dealt with most perinatal deaths, over 100 babies per year were interred through this method. Dissatisfaction was voiced over this practice, which stripped away any sense of individuality and did not allow for any parental involvement. The burial process described in a manual for social workers in 1982 highlights the lonely and depersonalised nature of such a burial:
Babies awaiting a hospital funeral are left in mortuary refrigeration in the pathology department ... The caskets are very plain, wooden containers made by the hospital

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Susannah Thompson carpenters. Each baby has an individual container and these are sealed. In a hospital burial the baby is buried in a common grave usually containing some hundreds of bodies. There is no religious service with this type of burial.23

Prior to the mid-1980s, towards the tail-end of the period of western avoidance of death and bereavement rituals,24 many involved with the care of bereaved parents genuinely believed hospital burial to be a viable choice, reasoning that the cost of a private burial was often prohibitive to many families. An extract of the discussion paper of the Mortuary and Cemeteries Administration Committees Review of Cemetery Legislation in Victoria stated that ‘many stillbirths are buried in groups in public graves, either due to the parents’ wish for this cheap form of disposal, or as a result of their ignorance of the other options’.25 Many hospital staff also assumed that hospital burials would be beneficial to the parents, believing that by removing them from funeral arrangements, their distress would be minimised. In reality, however, with the emerging ideas of prenatal attachment came the realisation that the choice of burial was not as simple as disposing of the body. The funeral was part of the complex web of resolution of grief, and the opportunity of playing an active role in the funeral arrangements would help parents in dealing with their loss, as well as gain some sense of agency in an otherwise hopeless situation. For some women, the sense of economic disenfranchisement and lack of viable choice did lead to a great deal of guilt. As young parents in Sydney in 1976, Nancye and her husband had chosen the hospital burial, which had been strongly presented to them as the best option, both on economic grounds and by virtue of their doctor’s opinion that their baby was essentially ‘unknowable’. After several weeks, Nancye rang the cemetery to find out where her baby was buried only to be told words to the effect of ‘you can’t ask where the baby is buried, it’s not something we can tell you.’ After some persistence, she was then told that her child was buried with six other babies and ‘boy, that bit of news really broke my heart.’26 Many bereaved parents felt rushed by staff members and overbearing family members, who misguidedly hoped to suppress the reality of the event, into agreeing to hospital burial.27 Many parents also complained about the lack of individuality of a hospital burial, which they perceived as being at odds with other measures taken to help parents bond with their deceased infants.28 At RWH, grieving parents were given just one week to advise the hospital of their decision, and if the mortuary had not received this advice then the infant was given a hospital burial. Certainly the difference in funeral expenses was enormous and gives great insight as to why so many parents chose such an arrangement. A burial arranged through RWH would cost parents $65 to $80 in 1984, compared to over $450 which would cover the undertaker’s fee for a service and burial in a separate small gravesite, and would allow for a small memorial such as a headstone.29 A hospital burial also meant that family members were usually unable to attend the funeral and publicly mourn the child. Growing awareness of cultural differences in the practice of mourning contributed to community pressure to change the availability and access to reasonably priced burials.30 Some social workers were rightly concerned that cost, not a lack of desire to publicly memorialise their child, was the real reason behind most parents choosing a hospital burial and feared that this economic division would only serve to further
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marginalise bereaved parents and enforce their feelings of isolation and powerlessness. In some hospitals, special committees were formed which recognised the need to help parents individualise their child’s memory. In the early 1980s, as part of wider efforts towards inclusive clinical care, social workers around the country visited major cemeteries and met with members of cemetery boards to discuss ways to rectify this situation.31 Tours of several cemeteries in Melbourne led social workers at RWH to overwhelmingly reject communal burials , believing that the shared grave was a poor option for parents, both in terms of memorialisation—it was usually prohibited by the cemetery board—and aesthetics. Communal graves were often left open until full, and were situated in the least attractive part of the cemetery with little maintenance, no doubt making the gravesite a difficult place for parents and family to visit.32 In Victoria, there had already been a government inquiry into cemeteries and crematoria which had raised doubts as to the existing practice of hospital burials, and the board of directors at Springvale Necropolis, for example, were keen to provide a more personalised service for parents, although, as social workers at RWH noted, individualisation and financial accessibility were often factors that worked against each other.33 Although it was to be some years before these competing variables could be resolved and personalised funeral options become more readily accessible, it was crucial that these discussions took place. In the meantime, at least at RWH and KEMH, social workers had begun to hold services of remembrance for stillborn babies in the respective hospitals’ chapels, which were designed to give parents the opportunity to individualise their baby before the traditional hospital burial. The inaugural chaplain at King Edward, Robert Anderson, remembers that before he was appointed to the role in 1987, the ‘service for babies’ at KEMH was a quiet, informal way of giving honour to the child:
They would have the baby in the chapel with the parents, if the parents wanted that, they would have time with the baby, the parents would do what they wanted to do.34

The availability of such memorial services in several of the major maternity hospitals was the means by which many parents could regain some personal control over the situation. For decades many women discovered that the burial had been organised by relatives whilst they were still recovering in hospital. This persisted into the 1980s in hospitals where such ‘parent-focused’ ceremonies did not exist. ‘Sandra’ delivered a premature stillborn baby in Hobart in 1983 and was informed by her father-in-law that he had taken responsibility for the burial, ostensibly so that Sandra and her husband ‘wouldn’t have to worry’. Sandra was told only that the baby had been put in with a stranger’s coffin and cremated, as ‘that was the way stillbirths were dealt with’.35 It was, however, to be several years before many of these changes would be regarded as routine and fully accepted as hospital practice, particularly in departments of the hospital other than NICU. Several women interviewed for this research experienced the death of a baby in the 1980s at hospitals in Western Australia, and their experiences illustrate the gradual and ad hoc process of changing an entrenched and widespread tradition of shielding women from their dead and dying infants, a tradition firmly couched in the authoritarian culture of medicalised childbirth.
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Belinda Jennings, a midwife in a major maternity hospital in Western Australia, argues that changes were slow to occur in the late 1970s and early 1980s in obstetric and postnatal wards, and particularly in gynaecological wards. The death of a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth was seen as ‘basically a sad event’—a notion that had persisted since the medicalisation of childbirth. However, it was also believed that the woman and her family would forget about it as soon as they walked out of the hospital doors.36 Whilst influential members of the medical profession—most notably, paediatrician Peter Barr, with Deborah de Wilde—had completely rejected this long-held idea, and had come to the conclusion that grief should be expressed and that its expression was ‘normal, necessary and healthy’37, some staff continued to express fears that embracing or bonding with the child would exacerbate the grief and could manifest in pathological sequelae, rather than bring about healing. Unsurprisingly, clashes occurred with staff who disagreed with the more personal approach to caring for bereaved parents. Having obtained a ‘viewing room’ and established small services in the hospital’s chapel, the social workers at Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne found some staff resistant to their efforts. The major problem, it seemed, was that many staff were still unaware of, or refused to accept, the nature of the stillbirth experience and the depth of loss experienced by many parents. In an intra-department memorandum in 1981, social worker Marilyn Kenny raised the possibility of providing training for all staff who came into contact with bereaved parents, noting with some degree of understatement that, in the absence of formal protocols, many staff ‘could probably benefit by discussion of how to approach patients after stillbirth’.38 In some hospitals it appears that several staff reacted to efforts to break down the taboos of infant death with a certain degree of disgusted indignation and insisted that handling dead babies for reasons other than autopsy or disposal was ‘not in their job description’. In 1981, mortuary attendants at RWH complained that it was not part of their duties to transport dead infants to the Hall of Worship for services, and on more than one viewing, the stillborn baby was ill-presented, still wrapped in preserving plastic and laid in the cradle carelessly.39 Two years later the same battles were still being fought between departments—for instance, a mortuary worker refused to transport a stillborn baby to the Hall of Worship for a memorial service and co-workers threatened to resign if this was added to their list of duties.40 Social workers and midwives were thus left to carry out these tasks, even though at this experimental stage they had not received specific counselling or training, and hospital memoranda indicates that many staff in the social work department found these to be distressing duties. It is not surprising that many found the idea of allowing parents to hold their baby a repugnant one. Reiger argues that the late 1970s were still host to the more general Western abhorrence of ‘natural’ bodily functions, including the popular belief that breastfeeding involved excreta, a manifestation of the medicalised view of the body as being scientific, rather than natural.41 Some mothers viewed their stillborn children through this lens, and were hesitant to accept the fledgling practice of touching their dead baby. Terri’s baby was stillborn at term in 1981 in a major hospital in Perth, and she remembers that the midwife looking after her was caring and compassionate. Even though Terri saw her son and received a

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photograph, taken by the midwife, and remembers being encouraged to hold her baby, she was unable to break through her own fears: ‘I couldn’t bring myself to hold a dead child, and believe me, to this day, I regret that.’42 The issue of allowing mothers to hold their deceased infants was a tangled and complex one. Since the American physicians Klaus and Kennell’s suggestion in 1976 that mothers might be offered the chance to hold their dying infant, some psychologists and caregivers had begun to extend this to women who had delivered stillborn babies as well.43 In the British context, Alice Lovell argued in 1983 that many health care professionals clung to a deep-rooted ideology as to ‘what constituted a baby and what babies “ought to be like”’—noting that some doctors referred to stillborns as ‘bad babies’. A miscarried or stillborn baby was not regarded as a ‘proper’ baby, therefore did not warrant ‘proper’ care.44 British obstetrician Emanuel Lewis, writing in the Lancet in 1977, referred to stillbirth as an ‘abhorrent’ event, labelling death in utero as ‘extraordinarily chilling and repugnant’.45 The object of greatest distaste in this linguistic sliding scale, however, was the ‘deformed’ child; by the mid 1980s, for many health care professionals, in Australia and internationally, the idea of holding a well-formed stillborn child was gaining acceptance, but many mothers were still shielded from ‘deformed’ infants.46 ‘Sandra’, whose baby’s abnormality had been detected via ultrasound, had been told that she might be able to hold her child, ‘if it wasn’t “too” deformed’.47 The doctor and matron, however, took ‘Sandra’s’ choice away from her by deciding that the child was too malformed for her to view. At least in British case studies, deformed babies were still referred to as ‘monsters’ and it was not an uncommon opinion amongst the medical profession, and the community, that such creatures should never have been conceived: one junior doctor in Lovell’s study held the view that ‘monsters [are] disgusting. They should be destroyed, wiped off the face of the earth’, whilst a nurse told the parents of a hydrocephalic stillborn baby that it would be better not to see the baby because it was ‘an ugly little thing’.48 Certainly in Australia the idea still persisted that miscarriage and stillbirth were ‘nature’s way’ of getting rid of ‘defective’ foetuses. There is also evidence that some doctors made decisions as to which babies should be resuscitated and which babies should not. When Nancye asked her doctor at the small religious hospital what efforts had been made to save her daughter—who had been born prematurely and alive—she was told bluntly: ‘nothing. If she was strong enough to fight then she would [have] lived, if she didn’t then she would die.’ After Nancye accused the doctor of treating her child with heartlessness, the doctor justified his actions, telling Nancye that ‘the baby was so tiny, she may have been blind or mongoloid … and I couldn’t do that to you, because you are alone in Sydney with no immediate help’.49 Whilst some staff appeared indifferent to the plight of bereaved parents, it is perhaps more likely that they, too, shared the ambivalence of Terri, discussed earlier, towards the prospect of holding a dead baby. Margaret Nicol made the observation in Loss of a Baby that ‘in our society, there is a taboo about touching a dead person and yet, it is one of the most natural acts we can do’.50 Culturally, the death of a baby was a baffling and mysterious death; it certainly fell outside the socially acceptable concept of a ‘good death’.
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Furthermore, some staff in busy maternity wards still felt that their time was better spent caring for women who were delivering live babies and paid little attention to the cases of miscarriage and stillbirth. As a social worker, Lovell had noted of the British context that ‘maternity units are geared to the production of live babies. When this goes wrong, there is the … problem of what do with the maternity patient—is she a patient?’51 In Australia, legislation had changed in 1978, lowering the gestational age for mandatory reporting of stillbirths from twenty-eight weeks to twenty weeks, yet many hospital staff still based their care on medical distinctions of ‘viability’ and often babies under twenty-eight weeks were accorded less dignity than those babies of more advanced gestation. These distinctions meant that doctors and, by association, nursing staff, sometimes vicariously judged which babies would be regarded as human beings and which would not, resulting in vastly different standards of care. Belinda Jennings recalls that these little babies ‘were not considered an identity in their own right. I remember babies being put into kidney dishes—alive babies being put into kidney dishes—and being put into a pan room to succumb, without any respect for their bodily function or their bodily being … And that was for babies up to twenty-four, twenty-five weeks gestation’.52 Textbooks for student midwives up to the 1980s still used language that did not reflect current psychology theory and served to reinforce impersonalised understandings of miscarriage and stillbirth. For example, the Midwifery for Student Midwives textbook, written by staff at RWH, referred several times to late-term stillbirth as ‘foetal wastage’ and miscarriage as the expulsion of ‘products of conception’.53 However, despite any opposition, reluctance or apathy towards any moves to improve services for women who had suffered a perinatal death, the commitment of some individuals within the hospital setting in the 1980s, coupled with the influence of the newly-born parents’ support groups, sowed the seeds for the more fertile later years of the twentieth century, which would herald a more widespread acceptance of the psychosocial significance of stillbirth and neonatal death. This would lead to some changes becoming formalised in hospital policy, such as the belief that it was psychologically beneficial for women to hold their deceased infants, as well as a major overhaul in the choices available to parents in terms of the burial and memorialisation of their babies. Although it is apparent that many Australian women still suffered from the insensitivity, ignorance or fear that had so characterised previous decades, the 1980s were marked by the enthusiasm and dedication of some staff members who were influenced by the emerging trends in grief and loss theory as well as reaping some of the rewards of the more formalised and organised childbirth reform movement. In years to come, the small beginnings of the bereaved parents’ groups would effect widespread changes to hospital policy that would, ironically, see the hospital turn protector for those women who had suffered the loss of a baby. The cultural ideal of pregnancy and childbirth as satisfying and fulfilling events in many Australian women’s lives has been convincingly challenged by writers such as McCalman and Reiger. These studies, however, have neglected to examine the historical experiences of those women whose pregnancy ended in a stillbirth or neonatal death. Where Our Bodies, Our Babies began to address the particular social context in which dramatic changes to childbirth practices were
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able to occur, this paper moves beyond this research to reclaim perhaps the most historically silent aspect of pregnancy: the growing recognition in the 1970s that perinatal loss was potentially an event of immense significance. This recognition, couched within the context Reiger has described, would dramatically change the way that perinatal death was managed within the clinical setting.

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Grief, medicine and magic: sickness on Aboriginal missions, 1825–1850
Jessie Mitchell
The early nineteenth century was a period of intensive colonisation and dispossession for Indigenous peoples in many parts of Australia, most notably in the south-east. One particularly important aspect of colonisation was the devastating physical and social impact of introduced disease, which led to the situation in which many Indigenous people did not face the European arrival in full health and strength, but rather with bodies and minds scarred by smallpox and struggling against respiratory and venereal infections. The presence of disease and corresponding cultural responses significantly shaped the development of another vital element of Australian colonialism: the establishment of Christian missions and state protection bodies for Indigenous peoples. Their aim was not to destruct physically, but rather to survey, control and convert into Christianity. In the writings of the London Missionary Society representative L E Threlkeld at Lake Macquarie (1825–1841), the Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectors (1839–1850), the Anglican missionaries at Wellington Valley (1832–1843) and the Methodists at Buntingdale (1838–1848), the figures of the Protestant missionary and the evangelical protector emerge for the first time as ‘Aboriginal experts’. These men styled themselves as authority figures amongst Indigenous societies and as advisors to the state and society about how to understand and manage the Indigenous presence in the colonies. However, their position was complicated by the fact that Indigenous peoples at this time remained nomadic, with considerable economic and cultural autonomy. This meant that their relationships with missionaries were characterised as much by negotiation and conversation as by authority and hostility. These early relationships between the Evangelical and the Indigenous were vitally affected by Indigenous poor health, and paved the way for more powerful later missions. Few historians have integrated Aboriginal illness into broader histories of early colonialism. Notable exceptions include Henry Reynolds’s interest in Indigenous cultural responses to disease1, and Beverley Blaskett’s discussion of whether illness encouraged violence between Indigenous communities in the early colonial period.2 Meanwhile, specific historical studies of introduced illness, for example those of Noel Butlin3 and Judy Campbell4, have rarely been able to focus exclusively on cultural and emotional effects. However, the importance of ill health to the development of Indigenous relationships with missionaries was considerable. Indigenous peoples’ reasons for visiting and leaving missions, their relationships with missionaries and protectors, and the images of Indigenous societies and Australian colonialism conveyed through Evangelical writings were all affected by pre-existing views on illness and the cultural struggles that developed around it.

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It seems likely that Indigenous residence on the first missions and protectorate stations was probably governed at least as much by relationships to kin and country (as well as broader impacts of dispossession) as by their feelings about the missionaries themselves.5 There is evidence of people visiting missions specifically for medicine. When William Watson arrived at the Anglican Wellington Valley in the early 1830s, he began by treating sick Europeans, but soon found that Wiradjuri people came to him for help with burns and venereal disease. His colleague J C S Handt complained that this was the only reason some people stayed.6 In Melbourne, government surgeon William Baylie remarked in 1841 that medical treatments increased Aboriginal confidence in the protectorate, so long as the surgeons stayed with people until they recovered.7 Missionary papers show little evidence of Indigenous peoples being particularly surprised or curious about missionaries’ wish to help. Just as the missionary provision of food, clothes and protection seemed to be accepted as part of relationships of reciprocity and kinship8, so did their care for sick people appear to have often been seen as appropriate behaviour for residents in Indigenous country. This did not necessarily mean, however, that missionaries were accepted wholeheartedly as experts on healing the sick. There is a higher probability that Indigenous peoples were attempting to incorporate missionaries into their own systems of understanding. Missionaries and protectors were frequently told of serious sickness being caused by malignant magic, sometimes taking the form of dangerous objects like stones, sticks and bones appearing inside the victim’s body to be drawn, sucked or squeezed out by doctors.9 This feeds into Heather MacDonald’s more general claim, in her Hall’s Creek study, that Aboriginal understandings of health involve an organic and permeable body in a vital relationship of exchange with the living environment.10 Residing amongst Indigenous communities, missionaries and protectors were welcome to watch the ‘native doctors’ at work. While the missionaries often protested that the elaborate ceremonies for the sick were all nonsense, their comments were dismissed with laughter and scorn11; there seemed to be little Indigenous sense of rivalry between medical systems or experts, but rather a belief that missionaries were simply ignorant. The doctors did not seem to have been hostile towards missionaries in general; sometimes they even treated sick missionaries, perhaps as goodwill gestures or perhaps to demonstrate authority. For instance, in 1839, Taungurong people in the Goulburn River district persuaded protector James Dredge to consult the native doctor about his facial tics and depression. The doctor’s treatment—sucking and blowing on the affected areas, ‘making a whizzing noise with his mouth’, then spitting on the ground to expel the sickness—did not help Dredge, but he was touched by the concern of the native doctor.12 Similarly, in 1840 when protector William Thomas collapsed at his Port Phillip protectorate station, three native doctors seized him, ignoring his servants’ protests, and rubbed their faces against his, blowing hard ‘to give [him] … life’.13 At Buntingdale mission near Geelong, missionary Francis Tuckfield had his infected eyes examined by a doctor, Wer-e-rup. Tuckfield described the treatment:
He immediately caught my head and began to suck my face under my eyes, after which he took three pieces of she-oak leaf out of his mouth, rubbed them with his 78

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Jessie Mitchell fingers and gave them to his wife, who wrapped them carefully in her rug. The doctor said the pain would leave my eyes and enter the leaves, and if his wife took proper care of them, the cure would be affected.14

The only time missionaries’ medical attitudes seemed to incur real hostility from Indigenous peoples was when they attempted to prevent access to traditional treatments. This led to ugly scenes and appears to have been understood by Indigenous peoples less in terms of rival medical or spiritual systems and more as evidence of hostility or stupidity. In 1841, in the Loddon River district, protector Edward Stone Parker claimed responsibility for a sick child and refused to let the boy undergo the native doctor’s ‘barbarous and absurd’ treatments. The boy’s female relatives reacted so furiously that Parker was forced to let the doctor approach briefly.15 Similarly, when Protector Thomas took a dying man, Mumbo, to hospital, Mumbo begged to return to his country, touching his stomach and crying ‘no good white Dr only good black Dr me got stones or glass here’. He stumbled out of bed and tried to flee on Thomas’s horse, but was too weak to get far. As he was dragged back to bed, he lashed out at Thomas, ‘no good you, me kill you when me get better’. Apparently convinced the protector had betrayed him, the man died five days later in hospital.16 Opposition to European treatment from patients and their families indicates that medical conflicts did not revolve around rivalry between missionary and Indigenous ‘experts’, but rather stemmed from wider feelings of fear and mistrust. Whether Aboriginal people suspected the missionaries of malicious magic or simple incompetence remains unclear. I suspect the latter, since I have found only one example of Aboriginal peoples aggressively accusing missionaries of killing someone. In 1839, when Geanil (or Nanny), a young girl at Wellington Valley, was fatally ill with what missionary James Günther diagnosed as influenza, the young men of the district not only infuriated Günther by smuggling food to her and demanding that she see the native doctors, but after her death accused the missionaries of having killed her and six others with their medicine. Günther noted: ‘I was unable to remove this impression, they were in a great rage about it.’17 However, the fact that no actual violence occurred and that people continued to visit the mission and sometimes accept medicine suggests that the missionaries were probably considered incompetent rather than malicious. Tricia Henwood puts forward this argument with regard to the Awabakal people of Lake Macquarie, claiming they did not consider their missionary L E Threlkeld powerful or clever enough to kill anyone with magic.18 While Aboriginal people did not generally seem to see missionary medicine as a cultural threat, there were some occasions when they explicitly linked sickness to colonial power struggles. In 1842, when a man on Parker’s station developed what may have been food poisoning, his friends shooed the government surgeon away, declaring that he was ‘too much stupid’ to deal with this and that the patient would die if the native doctor did not treat him. Parker noted that these men had opposed him on other cultural issues. When he ordered them to leave, they furiously demanded to know why he sat down with them anyway and why he did not go back to his own country. One old man then exclaimed angrily that ‘white
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fellows had stolen their country, and that I was stealing their children, by taking them away to live in huts and work and “read in book” like white fellow’.19 A relationship between disease and the chaos wrought by European invasion was also evident when Indigenous peoples threatened to avenge themselves for injustice. Just as missionaries were assured of the power of native doctors to cure them when ill, they were also told of their vulnerability to curses. In 1840, when a large party of Goulburn people were unfairly arrested by the police and some of them shot, Djadjawurung people warned Protector Parker that the Goulburn people were plotting revenge, holding ceremonies to raise the Mindi, a giant serpent spirit blamed for the smallpox, to kill all Europeans and all Aboriginals who were friendly with them. Parker was given a graphic description of the disease he would die from: terrible sores, dysentery, blindness, then death—‘The Mindi was to come’.20 This story may well have been sincere, but it may also have been intended to provoke European hostility towards the Goulburn people, or to allow Djadjawurung people to express indirectly their own hostility towards Europeans, including the protector. Similarly, in 1847 when a man called Yanem Gooner was gaoled in Melbourne for sheep theft, he threatened Protector Thomas that he would unleash the ‘Myndie’ to kill every man and beast in the country. He drew Thomas a picture of this terrifying spirit, a huge three-fanged snake rearing up over the treetops, and imitated the hissing noise it made. Thomas commented that ‘no zealot could be more full of zest than he to shew the consequences that would follow to white men if he was not liberated’.21 Such stories are suggestive of both the trauma of introduced diseases, and of Aboriginal attempts to explain and master both these memories and the disorder and violence of colonialism. More broadly, it can be suggested that Indigenous attitudes towards missionaries and health in some ways represented a microcosm of their early relationships with missionaries in general. Missionaries’ arrivals were usually tolerated, sometimes even welcomed, their material help accepted, and attempts made to draw them into Indigenous social order. However, serious interference with Indigenous cultural duties, or association between missionaries and broader acts of colonial dispossession were major causes of tension and hostility. Meanwhile, illness also played a strong cultural and political role within missionary writings contributing to constructing missionaries as experts on the protection, management and conversion of Indigenous peoples. This occurred within a context of considerable hostility between colonial settlers (who prioritised securing land and local power) and missionaries and their supporters (whose authority derived from the British Exeter Hall and anti-slavery movements). The impression of Indigenous peoples as both heathens in need of guidance and victims of settler brutality—both of which pointed to the need for Evangelical authority and expertise—comes across particularly strongly in missionary writings about venereal disease. The first missionaries were working at a time when settler culture was attempting to naturalise introduced venereal illness amongst Indigenous peoples—e.g. by labelling venereal disease ‘black pox’ or ‘native pox’ and blaming Indigenous peoples for spreading it through townships.22 One early example of this belief was the complaint by Peter Miller Cunningham, surgeon-

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superintendent on the convict ships in 1827, that ‘from their natural filthiness the [Aboriginal] women soon become diseased with gonorrhea and propagate this infectious malady amongst convict servants’.23 Such claims not only reinforced settler depictions of Indigenous peoples, especially women, as repulsive and polluted, but they also fed into the gradual development of the idea of Indigenous people as an inevitably sterile ‘doomed race’, the concept which has been examined at length by Russell McGregor.24 A sense of revulsion was certainly present in missionary accounts, despite their greater sympathy for Aboriginal peoples. For instance, in 1833, William Watson wrote that Wiradjuri were ‘filthy and corrupt in their bodies through the ravages of the venereal, covered with sores … we must be attacked by a host of vermin as well as be affected with the most unpleasant stench’.25 Such comments suggest not only physical discomfort but also moral disgust. To some extent, missionaries and protectors, like other colonial writers, drew links between the introduced evils of venereal illness and the ‘natural’ vices of savagery, implying that venereal disease was an unsurprising addition to a supposedly dirty, lazy, amoral heathen society. For example, missionaries Watson and Handt disapprovingly described Wiradjuri people with severe venereal illness as lacking the energy and care, and, by implication, the moral strength, to look after themselves.26 Watson drew an explicit analogy between physical and spiritual corruption:
I am often sick while I am dressing the wounds of their emaciated bodies, and my heart is frequently overwhelmed within me when I think of their diseased souls and observe their general indifference to the appointed means of cure.27

Despite the gloom of such accounts, they served to reinforce missionaries’ broader calls for greater Evangelical authority in the colonies, both to address Indigenous heathenism and settler sins. This seems in keeping with Frank Mort’s argument that a ‘medico-moral discourse’ was developing amongst the British middle classes at this time, as the simultaneous rise of science, Evangelicalism and bourgeois authority led to a concern with observing and managing illness amongst the working classes. Moral understandings of disease and campaigns against intemperance were particularly important.28 Thus, missionaries lectured Indigenous patients on their sexual ‘intemperance’ as part of broader efforts to introduce feelings of sexual sin and Christian shame.29 Furthermore, most missionaries and protectors held Europeans responsible for introducing venereal disease into the colonies (along with other vices like drunkenness). Thus, in 1842, Benjamin Hurst of the Buntingdale mission blamed the ‘loathsome disease’ on ‘the deadly influence of depraved and wicked Europeans’.30 L E Threlkeld blamed infections on sexually violent convicts, while Watson at Wellington Valley remarked in 1835 that it ‘is truly deplorable to see so many young [Wiradjuri] females whose bodies are emaciated with disease through the general licentiousness of men of both Classes’.31 This is illustrative of missionaries’ generally mixed attitude towards colonialism, wherein they strongly supported the spreading of Christian civilisation but deplored the ‘uncivilised’ character of most Europeans. As Buntingdale missionary Joseph Orton commented sadly in 1840, ‘wherever our countrymen go they seem to carry with them a moral pestilence— they are the greatest hindrance to Aboriginal instruction and improvement’.32

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Part of the construction of missionary expertise involved their observation and criticism of traditional Indigenous medicine. Here, the quasi-anthropological role of the first missionaries, evident in their extensive descriptions of ceremonies for the sick and conversations with Indigenous participants, sat uneasily beside their determination to put an end to such activities. Missionaries often rebuked Aboriginals for using magical treatments by saying that these were silly and useless. However, it was not just the effectiveness of the treatments that worried missionaries, but also the ‘morality’ of specific illness. Accordingly, it would be a mistake to see their hostility towards native doctors as a contest between scientific and spiritual views of illness. For example, missionaries frequently urged Indigenous peoples to believe that God controlled illness, recovery and death33, and attributed moral lessons to illness. Protector James Dredge commented in 1839 that venereal disease was ‘amongst men of every nation … the established retribution awarded by the Creator as the first punishment of such [sexual] abominations’, and he and Wellington Valley missionary James Günther both rationalised the deaths of settlers from syphilis by declaring that ‘the wages of sin is death’.34 When sick men asked Watson of God, ‘What for that fellow not make me murrambang [healthy]?’, Watson replied that their souls were more diseased than their bodies and they must learn to pray sincerely.35 There was nothing unusual about such views. Frank Mort, for instance, points out that prominent Evangelicals in the British sanitary movements at this time frequently described epidemics like cholera as divine punishment for human sins.36 Thus, it is unsurprising that missionaries’ hostility towards the native doctors was strongly spiritual in tone. Their writings implied that native medicine promoted satanic magic and an arrogant, incorrect belief that humans could control health and death, instead of submitting to God’s will. Thus, Günther remarked in 1838 that Wiradjuri ceremonies for the sick were further proof that ‘Satan has his dominion over them’.37 Watson, meanwhile, was so furious when he caught a Wiradjuri woman trying to heal her friend by removing sickness from her body in the form of a stone, that he gathered all the women together and made them read Biblical passages on the evils of witchcraft.38 Furthermore, passionate anger that missionaries sometimes showed towards the native doctors is suggestive of their sense of a struggle for cultural authority. In 1839, Buntingdale missionary Joseph Orton accused the doctors of ‘deception of a most gross and ludicrous character’, while Thomas was angry at them for interfering with his treatment of influenza patients in 1847, particularly because he knew they would take credit for any cures.39 In 1841, protector Edward Stone Parker told the native doctor at Loddon River that he must either cure a child on the spot or Parker would declare him an impostor and punish him. The doctor withdrew, possibly insulted or just wanting to avoid the confrontation.40 Tuckfield also publicly accused the native doctor Wer-e-rup of being a charlatan after the man refused Tuckfield’s demand to demonstrate his reputed ability to fly and raise the dead.41 In an era when missionaries and protectors had little direct control over Indigenous peoples and frequently lamented their lack of Christian conversions, the treatment of sick people could bring missionaries’ frustration at their own limited power to the fore.

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However, missionaries were also struggling against disease itself, and given their frequent lack of adequate supplies or training as well as the fact that understandings of germ theory were decades away, Indigenous deaths were frequent. Here, missionaries could find little uplifting news amid the tragedy. However, it is notable that they did occasionally find comfort in the ‘good deaths’ of Indigenous children. As Pat Jalland points out, a ‘good death’ in Christian terms—slow, dignified and comparatively painless, allowing sufferers to put their affairs in order and be reconciled with God—was, during the nineteenth century, often associated with tuberculosis.42 The extent of tuberculosis amongst Indigenous Australians at this time has been debated by historians43, and on the whole it was rare for Indigenous sufferers to be idealised in European writings. However, it is curious to note the occasional relevance of the European ideal of the tuberculosis sufferer—youthful, delicate, feminine, spiritual and refined—to missionary descriptions of Indigenous Christian youths dying of respiratory infections. For example, in 1832 William Watson recorded the death of a ten-year-old boy, Billy Black, from a ‘violent cough’ and ‘severe affection of the lungs’. Billy, an orphan who had been passed between various white households, had travelled with Watson for months. He died patiently and without complaint, speaking frequently of God and trying to suppress his coughing during prayers. Watson wrote with melancholy satisfaction: ‘When his happy spirit had left the cumbrous clod behind … I felt assured of his felicity.’44 Similar descriptions were notable in the correspondence of John Smithies, who ran a Methodist mission near Perth in the 1840s, where what appeared to be severe respiratory illness killed a number of children. In 1845, Smithies portrayed the slow, wasting death of a young boy, Birgee, in bittersweet terms: ‘there was a meekness and patience and hope in the lad that made him lovely in his last days. He was frequently amidst much pain found on his knees praying to God to bless him’.45 In the same year, a ten-yearold girl, Caroline Barrett, died after telling the missionaries: ‘If Caroline in bush now too much frightened about death coming soon, but now I love Jesus … me want to die and be with my dear Saviour … friends leave me but Jesus never leave me.’ Smithies reflected with sorrowful approval, ‘Many die as young in our fatherland but not so well’.46 These stories fit closely the popular European ideas of romantic consumption and ‘good deaths’. This is not to say that these accounts were fabricated, but rather that when remembering and interpreting these deathbed stories, missionaries were addressing a number of needs. The Christian faith of the dying children appeared to demonstrate the rightness and success of the missionaries’ work, both to missionaries themselves and to their superiors and colleagues. At the same time, the sadness of these accounts speaks of a desire to make sense of a tragedy by portraying these children as too good for the violent, depraved frontier world. This is keeping with Nan Marie McMurry’s claim that people in Europe came to terms with this frightening, incurable disease by claiming that the dead and dying belonged to a physical type destined to be consumptive, and that they were too good for this world.47 Such claims invoked both God’s will and new ideas of biological determinism—a development of particular relevance when placed in the context of Australian colonialism.

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This brief history of illness on the first Aboriginal missions provides a window into many of the conflicts and complexities of the early colonial era. Sickness and its treatment provided one means through which missionary expertise was constructed and relationships of care and obligation between missionaries and Indigenous people were developed. It was also, however, a cause of and catalyst for power struggles on mission stations, and it revealed limitations of missionary power. Also revealing is the more basic level on which both Indigenous peoples and missionaries were struggling to understand, rationalise and control diseases which were wreaking widespread destruction and shaping Indigenous dispossession in drastic ways.

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Place spirit and intangible cultural heritage in a contested land
Amanda Kearney
In land and seascapes of contested meaning and competing interests, many Indigenous groups inscribe meaning in and of the land and sea and create social memories and temporal episodes in a human past that reveal what is at once perceived to be a unique, and collective possession of the landscape spirit. One part of this inscription resides in the desire to physically ‘be in’ place, to possess, name and occupy place. Within systems of historical and contemporary contest over exclusivity of ownership and possession of physical portions of the land and sea, the task of asserting ownership is complicated, and for many cultural groups the possession and occupation of place is increasingly difficult. These settings can create the parameters for a tide of cultural and ethnic homogeneity in state-defined political, cultural, intellectual and economic arenas that threatens the rights of Indigenous groups and which ultimately is met by strong resistance from Indigenous people. The basic premise of the discussion presented here is that this resistance is gaining strength and expression as a possession of place spirit, and is increasingly being expressed in collaborative research and cultural programs that see the documentation of a particular engagement with the world—one that is a claim to power, and is not unhinged by a group’s physical alienation from the places of their past. It is resistance of this nature that situates many Indigenous groups, particularly the Yanyuwa people, as the Indigenous owners of the land and sea in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, as a cultural group in the commanding position of ‘grasping the whole’, the whole being the land, sea and spiritscape. The possession of spirit, namely the exclusive ownership of land and seascape narratives, song, dance, ceremony and management strategies is an ongoing political and social expression of Indigenous resistance movements in the face of long-term contest to the physical rights surrounding places of the past.1 Concerns of this nature sit prominently in the twenty-first century discussions of human heritage, as something that is composed of both tangible and intangible elements. Entertaining the possibility that human landscapes are composed of more than physical spaces is certainly not a new development in heritage discussions. The notion of intangible cultural heritage has been engaged for some time but what remains a grey area is how to recognise, legislate and promote the intangible.2 More recent interest in intangible cultural heritage can be traced to a climate of change in worldwide heritage legislation, the parameters of which have been partially set by UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. To set the scene for this discussion, I begin with UNESCO’s 2003 Convention, providing definitions and a background to the convention’s development and principles.

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UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage (ICH) For the purpose of this paper I adopt the expressions ‘cultural heritage’ and ‘intangible cultural heritage’ in a discussion of Indigenous people’s Law and country. These terms widely circulate in academic and bureaucratic discourse and for the sake of clarity and the clear transmission of this argument, they will suffice. However, I wish to note that these terms do not sit comfortably with my own understanding of cultural systems, and they must be recognised as nonIndigenous/bureaucratic constructions. Conventional notions of heritage, whether tangible or intangible, carry the legacy of their application and usage within government legislation. The basic distinction of tangible and intangible creates a binary in complex cultural constructions. Upon any close encounter with the tangible heritage of Indigenous Australians, one inevitably encounters bodies of knowledge, Law and custom that give substance and meaning to the object and, likewise, the object embodies knowledge and is saturated with intangible meaning. Heritage legislation is the coming together of non-Indigenous and Indigenous knowledge systems, within the frame of the state. This relationship is commanded by the dominant knowledge system, which, in Australia, is nonIndigenous. The legislative outcomes and the associated language will always reflect and embody the terms of this relationship and as such they must be used carefully and with an understanding of their partiality. The 2003 Convention, the fifth legal instrument adopted by UNESCO for the protection of cultural heritage, is the product of several years of discussion and consultation over legal provisions governing cultural property and the definitional parameters of cultural heritage. In 1989 UNESCO took the step of adopting the Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore. As a recommendation, this was of a non-binding, ‘soft law’ nature—and set into action a number of theoretical and practical provisions for the international community to address intangible cultural heritage.3 Ongoing discussions concerning the 1989 Recommendation brought the ‘shift to a higher legal gear’ and the drafting of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.4 As a convention, this meant the principles and laws were to be of a ‘hard law’ nature, and binding on those states that decided to become parties to it. The 2003 Convention provides a more detailed text on the nature and legal parameters of cultural heritage, offering an international legal framework for intangible expressions of cultural heritage. The Convention is primarily concerned with recognising the ICH in the face of globalisation and social transformations worldwide. Attention to the intangible expressions of culture runs much deeper than earlier dealings with cultural heritage in which protection and documentation were dominant themes: a legacy of the ‘before it’s too late’ approach to Indigenous cultures. As Rose reflects, there has been a tendency, particularly in anthropology, to view Indigenous people and their cultures in terms of imminent or recent death.5 The offshoot of this being a preoccupation with salvage and documentation of cultural practices, knowledge and objects, in which the value of the living came down to what information they can offer ‘concerning a past that the anthropologists assumed in advance would be discontinuous with their future’.6 The ‘salvage’ provided for by earlier legal provisions governing cultural property is in line with Rose’s assertion that many
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of the practices to document and salvage were directed towards information, not people.7 The 2003 Convention moves away from crystallising manifestations of the ICH, and aims to correct this practice by addressing the role of repository communities in the production, safeguard, maintenance and re-creation of the ICH, and by building awareness in younger generations of the importance of the ICH.8 The Convention defines intangible cultural heritage as:
the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills—as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith—that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.9

The purpose of the Convention is to
safeguard the ICH; to ensure respect for the ICH of the communities, groups and individuals concerned; to raise awareness at the local, national and international levels of the importance of the ICH, and of ensuring mutual appreciation thereof; and to provide for international cooperation and assistance.10

The very notion of intangible cultural heritage and the definitional range it has been granted signals a shift in understandings of cultural heritage. It opens the discussion of cultural systems and lifeways to incorporate the vital elements of human engagement and experience, including language, song, ceremony, ecological knowledge, performing arts, art and oral traditions. ICH is held to be ‘living culture’ as it is constantly being recreated and sustained and as such is held to belong to all times and to every place within its cultural setting.11 The Convention identifies vulnerability inherent in the ICH within the modern world system, tracing this to the fact that, for the most part, intangible cultural expressions are transmitted orally and cross-generationally. The Convention aims to foster the appropriate conditions for these transmissions to continue.12 Recognising the ICH in these terms and as exclusive to a particular community, group or individual, is a powerful statement of authority and resistance to cultural or ethnic homogeneity. It also, if enacted properly, can provide the means to formally and legally recognise the distinct structures within which cultural knowledge and knowledge transmission operate. The Convention provides guidelines for state parties to submit proposals for the safeguarding of the ICH, which are then considered in terms of the Convention’s criteria. It is on the basis of proposals submitted by the state parties, and in accordance with criteria defined by the UNESCO Committee, that a selection is made to ‘promote national, subregional and regional programmes, projects and activities for the safeguarding of the heritage’.13 It is held that the Convention will enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification. By September 2005, twenty-three states had deposited instruments of ratification.14 As a state party to the United Nations, Australia has not ratified the Convention and under current political arrangements,
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this seems unlikely. I propose that non-ratification of the Convention reflects an ongoing homogenising of Indigenous identity in Australia, and this contributes to an undermining of Indigenous self-governance, autonomy and cultural distinctiveness in individual Aboriginal communities. The prevailing political view of Indigeneity in Australia is one of pan-Aboriginality in which individual groups are subsumed into the nation’s whole, the mechanisms of which maintain a climate of authorial and cultural dispossession. If the Convention were ratified by the Australian State there is the potential for some conceptual, ideological, social and political shifts. For ratification of this convention to occur, the Australian government would have to undergo a significant ethical and ideological makeover. To engage with Indigenous people as a population made up of many distinct languages and cultural practices that are governed by discreet bodies of Indigenous knowledge, would mean the acknowledgment of cultural autonomy. This would signal an important step in setting the stage for individual group-based negotiated processes to formally recognise and secure Indigenous heritage, knowledge, intellectual and cultural property rights on terms set by the cultural group themselves. Ratification of this and a number of other United Nations conventions would place the Australian State on an international stage of scrutiny, allowing for global commentary on its treatment of Indigenous people, and its human rights record. Resistance and persistence The scenario through which a group defines themselves as a meaningful entity, with exclusive command of their ICH, represents the basis of the spirit possession. Indigenous groups worldwide, for whom colonial or other occupations of their physical and social worlds have occurred, have been beset by state attempts to possess and control land, sea and, in many instances, identity construction and the narratives of the past and present.15 The process of de-signification, whether enacted through place annihilation or the re-making of place, is part of a wider cultural vision in which the immediate setting is captured by the occupying interest and transformed to suit the desires of that interest. In many cases designification is the signature of settler colonies where the land is the object of desire over which possession is sought.16 Threats to possession of place in a physical sense are not uncommon in contested territories and efforts to possess the spirit or narrative of place often emerge from such contestation. Writing on one aspect of contested terrains, Russell and McNiven note that ‘creating a non-Indigenous past for colonial lands is an important if not central tenet underwriting and legitimating dispossession’.17 The act may involve the importing and implanting of a homeland culture, or, alternatively, the incorporation or appropriation, to varied extents, of parts of the existing lands and social lives of the Indigenous owners. Events of this kind took place in Australia with the colonial project’s forced removal of people, and taking of Indigenous peoples’ lands, onto which altogether foreign and sometimes aggressive land-use practices were put into place. The erosion of prior ownership and physical occupation of place was a clear objective of the colonial project in Australia, setting into action decades of landscape resignification and an overall campaign to construct Australian nationhood based on the physicality of place and possession
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of the land’s spirit.18 Annihilation, re-making and re-signification are processes with the same outcome in mind: removing or denying the cultural imprint of one cultural group from the landscape to make way for that of another—it is essentially cultural competition, a transnational transfiguration of one landscape.19 This process impacts upon the nature of people’s physical encounters with place; it politicises place and history, and collective social memories. Yanyuwa country, place and intangible cultural heritage For Yanyuwa people, place is a vital point in the landscape, whether expressed physically or recollected through narrative in a distinctly Yanyuwa manner. It is a place, and it carries a place name reflecting actions and agency of the people and ancestral spirits, animals, elements, memory, personal and group politics. In other words there is something distinctly social and human about those parts of the land and sea that are the places of people. More than the famous postcolonial binary of place versus space, the Indigenous sense of place rests upon, and reconstructs, a history of social engagement with the landscape, and is thus inextricably bound up with remembrance and with time and its construction is tied into networks of associations, meanings and memory.20 There is a progression from place-based identity to the powers of possession: an intimacy, authority and the knowledge that one has inherited the place, that come from strong cultural attachments, and the spirit of one’s ancestors that resides in the place. The means by which cultural groups actualise the spirit of place can include any measure of cultural distinctiveness, political authority, exclusive ownership, social memory and creative expression. The manner in which many Indigenous groups perceive and define themselves as meaningful entities is realised on the basis of their possession of the place spirit. For many Yanyuwa people of the south-west Gulf of Carpentaria the basis of their identity is etched in and onto the land and seascape by the assertion that they are lianthawirriyarra, those people whose spiritual and cultural origins are from the sea. The distinction of li-anthawirriyarra offers an insight into the history of Yanyuwa thought and consciousness, which persists today in varied forms and expressions across generations. The manner in which people possess place spirit reflects the group or individual engagement with that specific place and past. Possession of spirit therefore comes from engagement and experience, while the spirit itself was set in the Dreaming by the actions of ancestral heroes on the land and sea. Possession derives not only from the terms of engagement but also from assuming an obligation for it and commanding place in a political sense.21 Place spirit as it emerges in today’s world is the result of events in the ancestral and recent past, local and national settings, as well as cultural and ideological contexts of its recreation and maintenance across generations. These settings and contexts are remembered and re-lived through various cultural practices and they come to represent the intangible cultural heritage of a community. It is through re-creation of the elements of the social life, such as kinship, land ownership obligations and song that people assert exclusive knowledge in relation to a place or entire landscape. By cultural inheritance and ongoing enactment of the parameters of inheritance, Yanyuwa people reflect a habitual situation-in-the-world that is drawn
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from life, Law, language, kinship and history, and it is this knowledge that gives them the highest authority to ‘grasp the whole’. Yanyuwa people’s commanding position over country and Law has been challenged; cultural persistence and resistance have been a signature of their political and social motivations for generations.22 Today most Yanyuwa people live in and around the township of Borroloola, in the Northern Territory, established and founded as a colonial outpost in the 1880s. European invasion of Yanyuwa lands and the lands of neighbouring Aboriginal groups began with early explorers traversing the land and sea of the Gulf country. It was further developed through various stages of emerging industry which is still present today via commercial fishing and open-cut mining. Several episodes of colonial interference and landscape contestation have punctuated the individual and group histories of Yanyuwa people, their engagements with the land and sea, and their ceremonial and daily existence. It is within this setting that resistance has emerged, not only to the physical alienation that non-Indigenous land interactions present for Yanyuwa people, but also to cultural exclusion and annihilation of memory and narrative attached to place—a whitewashing of the region’s history.23 Over the past few decades Yanyuwa people have actively sought to document their histories and intimacies associated with several powerful places of their past and present. One place that sits prominently in Yanyuwa musings on country is Manankurra, a place that holds the powerful position of being wirrimalaru—a point of spiritual and political power. Manankurra is the central nucleus of an area that spreads north, east, west and south for some kilometres upstream of the Wearyan River, in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia. This area is connected by associations between Dreaming tracks, people’s travels in the past, ceremony, song lines and historical events. According to Dreaming narrative, ‘The Tiger Shark remains at Manankurra. It is his proper place and there in the depths of the river his mouth is a Dreaming, as is a bundle of cycad fruit which is soaking there and from it comes froth, the spit of the shark’.24 All accounts of Yanyuwa engagement with the area testify to Manankurra being a pivotal location in the physical, social and cultural landscapes of Yanyuwa life. People have consistently maintained an attachment to this place, from the distant past to the historical period and into contemporary times. From this place people have long set out to hunt dugong and sea turtle, collect salt from the salt pans, process cycad nuts, and carry out their daily lives as well as large-scale ceremonial events. As with most locations on Yanyuwa country, it is this past that informs engagements with the place in the present, and thus narratives attached to the area act as biographies of the place recording the significance of Manankurra through time. Today Manankurra is physically contained within the Manangoora Pastoral Lease.25 This land arrangement has come about through a series of events that saw the land in and around Manankurra being slowly alienated from Yanyuwa people and neighbouring Aboriginal groups. As one senior Yanyuwa man expressed in 2002:
Long time people been there for ceremony, but nothing today, he been good before but no more. I’m sorry for country. Aboriginal land, white man lease over the top, but you can’t get him under ground, you can’t get that one. They been cheeky longa

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Amanda Kearney that station, you can’t kill em that lease. Manankurra still there and still strong, we want that land for ceremony. White man taking all the land from Aboriginal people.26

What has echoed in Yanyuwa recollections of Manankurra is that proximity to place, either physical or emotional, is preserved by continuous engagements with the place. Today, however, physical proximity to place is not possible for most the Yanyuwa people. Despite the apparent ‘closing up’ (hence containment) of the country around Manankurra, the oral accounts of life testify to the nature of human engagements with the area and the endurance of this place within the social landscape. While physical proximity to this place may no longer be a part of people’s daily lives, the knowledge associated with such concepts as wirrimalaru are retained, as are memories of the ancestral narratives, and knowledge of the cross-generational ownership for that part of the country. The Yanyuwa elders have long desired to record and speak of these places in order to safeguard the spirit of place and the memory of people’s engagements and experiences through time. For members of the Yanyuwa community, recording contemporary recollections of place by reflecting on the histories attached to Manankurra is an opportunity to express ownership and authority in telling the story of the place, as well as to document this knowledge for future generations of Yanyuwa people. In recent times the passing away of elders associated with these parts of the land and spiritscape and increased contestation over land have triggered a strong desire to speak of places of importance and to record their histories in detail. The sociality inherent in Yanyuwa’s engagement and experience of Manankurra today reflects engagement and experience that the Yanyuwa had with the place in the past. Through time, a uniquely Yanyuwa way of interacting with this place and the wider Yanyuwa world has come about, shaped by language, social organisation and ancestral myths. This connection can be traced back to the time of the ‘old people’ who inhabited the country. All this testifies to a uniquely Yanyuwa apprehension of the place as well as to the fact that the Yanyuwa possess the place spirit. The human experience of land and seascapes is, therefore, one that involves mind and body. Experience, much the same as social memory, represents an accumulated body of knowledge that comes about by engaging with a place in a manner shaped by a specific cultural system. These elements together represent the authority of possessing the place. This can be shared with others according to codes of sharing knowledge and laws of exclusion and inclusion. In the case of the Yanyuwa community, there has been a great deal of sharing and exchanging knowledge with the outsiders, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike. The ability to possess knowledge brings with it powers and responsibilities to either share or withhold information. Over the last two decades the Yanyuwa community has engaged in various forms of research and recording with linguists, anthropologists, archaeologists, ethnomusicologists, filmmakers and lawyers. Collaborative projects involving members of the community have included documenting and drafting of a Yanyuwa dictionary, compiling a visual atlas detailing the intricacies of country, drafting and presenting land-claim evidence, filming documentaries, and setting up a community website.27 Discussions are
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again underway to develop a collaborative project involving members of the Yanyuwa community, myself and other researchers. This project seeks to draw together Yanyuwa knowledge of the country and new technologies of visualdigital representation. Moving into the realm of new technologies and virtual reality has implications for cross-generational encounters with place, as the digital realm offers to many young people the opportunity to encounter place without the physicality of place. It allows the Yanyuwa individual to possess place spirit and the outsider to experience, albeit in a limited manner, the Yanyuwa place spirit across time and space. The encounter is at once visual and cultural, but, at the same time, the authority lies with Yanyuwa people’s reading of the country. The encounter exists because possession of the place spirit and the ICH of the Yanyuwa people have endured throughout the ongoing colonial encounter. Legislative instruments and possession of place Participation in a landscape is intimately linked not only to the physicality of the land and sea but is part of an ideological and cognitive relationship that people maintain with the world. Ideological and cognitive relationships both constitute and are at the very core of intangible cultural heritage. ICH incorporates kinship, language, ancestral narrative, oral history, ceremony, song, and dance, each of which can intimately inform the way that people apprehend place and country. It is the intangible cultural repertoire of the group that the UNESCO Convention seeks to safeguard. In the case of Yanyuwa ICH, much has been recorded, documented, and maintained by the community. UNESCO’s Convention offers measures to formally recognise autonomous and collaborative projects, similar to those performed by the Yanyuwa community. If we, for the sake of this discussion, apply the Convention to Australia, the following measures could conceivably be introduced and formally recognised under a range of legislative arrangements:
• The designation or establishment of one or more competent bodies for

the safeguarding of the ICH in its territory. The best practice would be to confer the responsibility upon an Indigenous governing body or community group of Aboriginal elders and young people. • The development and promotion of studies and research methodologies with a view to effective safeguarding of the ICH. Autonomous and collaborative programs are essential for this effort, with agendas being set, defined and redefined on Indigenous terms. • The adoption of appropriate legal, technical, administrative and financial measures to foster the creation or strengthening of institutions for training in the ICH management. Such initiatives are already underway in Yanyuwa country, in particular a sea-ranger training program for young Aboriginal people, allowing them to monitor and protect the physical and cultural land and seascapes of their homelands pursuant to culturally defined terms.28 Moreover, the Convention clearly sets out the requirement that these programs or measures respect customary practices governing access to specific aspects of the ICH. • The development and implementation of programs that offer education, awareness raising and information programs aimed particularly at young
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people, as members of the group or community concerned. These would involve both non-formal and formal means of transmitting knowledge for the sake of capacity building activities within the community in possession of the ICH. Examples of this may be Indigenous defined programs for the transmission of Aboriginal languages, ecological and ceremonial knowledge and oral histories cross-generationally, as set by senior members of the community, or those in possession of the knowledge.29 The desire to illuminate Indigenous possession of place to the exclusion of others is being strongly voiced in many Indigenous communities—and the number of cultural assertion and maintenance projects underway, worldwide, testifies to this fact.30 UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage represents the formal means, as bound by international and national law, for strengthening these resistance movements and cultural maintenance projects in order to gain formal recognition and financial support and empower Indigenous resistance to cultural and ethnic homogeneity. Such efforts would foreseeably require and build from Indigenous self-governance and self-determination, as the parameters of ICH would be set by the Indigneous owners of that heritage and ultimately safeguarded on their own terms. As a party to the Convention, the Australian State would increasingly be accountable to an international audience— this having the potential to increase pressure to acknowledge that heritage should not be celebrated uncritically, but should be in accordance with human rights principles. The next step then would be to interrogate current political, economic and legislative arrangements in Australia and to consider the ongoing implications of the state’s non-engagement with the significance of intangible cultural heritage for Indigenous people. Conclusion The millennial reckoning of contested land and sea spaces has brought about circumstances, either entrenched or emergent, in which many Indigenous peoples face the challenge of contest to their ownership of or very being in the place. The separation of people and place has occurred differentially across Australia and in punctuated episodes of colonial history. However, in many cases a self-determined desire, both in the past and present, to reunify people with their homelands is characterised by a passionate resolution to maintain cultural autonomy and a strong resistance against alienation of ancestral lands. It is the combined impact of, or the emergent situations generated by, ongoing colonisation that has rendered the physicality of place and the possession of place in a physical and legal sense an increasingly valuable, challenged and contested effort in contemporary Australian socio-politics. Many cultural groups are faced with an alienation that cannot be overcome by transgression of legally binding land-use arrangements, assertion of native title or land rights, violence, or ideological warfare. In light of this situation, I argue that while the pursuit of possession of place is often marred by contest, challenge and denial from various interest groups, the possession of spirit is enduring and persists through time and across highly contested landscapes and can be channelled and asserted through creative avenues such as documentation as text or on film, on websites or in other
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digital realms. As such, cultural groups who have experienced, or continue to experience, alienation from place or elements of their past, can continue to assert their identity, rights, and authority over landscapes and narratives by emphasising elements of their social memory, namely the ICH, to the exclusion of others. The constitution of the place as recalled through narrative, ceremony, art and oral histories stands to define the group as a meaningful entity. As Bulag concludes, the narrative means through which people possess spirit has value as a national, international, ethnic, and cultural signifier, and derives not only from local or national settings and dynamics, but more importantly from wider cultural, ideological and historical contexts.31 It is within these contexts that UNESCO’s Convention has its greatest relevance and potential impact. It is in the context of Yanyuwa country that I have witnessed the strength and endurance of the ICH in contemporary settings, and the role of the ICH in the transmission, management and maintenance of cultural identity. UNESCO’s Convention, if ever ratified by the Australian State, may offer the parameters for Indigenous communities to promote the ICH as a vital part of their identity. It may become a strategy to enforce Indigenous resistance and to assert power over the manner in which Aboriginal groups are defined on their own culturally distinct terms, as opposed to being defined by the broad sweeps of ethnic homogeneity that increasingly define Australian socio-politics.

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Looking ‘blak’ in anger: Indigenous Australian photographic art in intercultural contact zones
Elisabeth Gigler

Artworks within cross-cultural dialogues Australia’s political and artistic landscapes are shaped by colonial history, the effects of which still transform today’s society.1 The impact of colonisation on Indigenous Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples has been immense, and only over recent decades has the perspective of Indigenous Australians been included in mainstream history discourse.2 The photographs in this analysis have all been chosen because of their contextual relation to historical, colonialist issues. I selected three photographs, Adoption, Ask your mother for sixpence and Welcome to my island, by Destiny Deacon, that offer a complex narrative structure and engagement with historical, colonial and postcolonial aspects of Australia. The artworks relate to the context of prominent issues within history discourse, in particular they deal with issues such as the stolen generation, colonial photography, and racist views that were dominant at the time of invasion. In this article I will refrain from a detailed investigation into current history discourse. Instead, I will relate the historical context just briefly and elaborate in more detail on the analysis of the photographs. The specific aim of this article is to point to the important role of art within cross-cultural dialogues. I argue along with Harrington that ‘[a]rt represents a source of existential social knowledge’3 and that ‘theorists are called upon to examine art not as an isolated entity, but in its interaction with society’.4 Certainly the interpretations of Deacon’s photographs are rooted in my European background, yet in addition, I will widely take into account the Indigenous Australian perspective suggested by the given context. The historical context Representations of Indigenous Australians are strongly shaped by the process of colonisation and the effects it had on Australian Indigenous peoples’ lives. Colonisers as well as (post)colonial mainstream Australia (and Europe) have constructed prejudiced and stereotyped representations of Indigenous Australian peoples and cultures, all of which have contributed to predominantly overgeneralised, stereotypical mainstream perspectives on Indigeneity. During the age of Victorian high imperialism, photography was developing side by side with ethnographic and Darwinist ideas. Darwin’s theory of the ‘survival of the fittest’ and the ‘hierarchies of the races’ inspired people to use

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photography predominantly as a scientific tool to study and to represent peoples of other cultures:
Most of these images were racist in tone, and inflicted physical and psychological injuries on the participating individuals, their numerous descendants and the communities from which they were drawn. Yet the damage was not limited to the people who were on the receiving end of the imperial gaze. Images of colonized peoples also had an effect on the predominantly western audiences who consumed them. The visual representation of colonized peoples as savages not only helped to sustain imperialist expansion but also implied Europeans with a new, empowering framework for identity based on racial or cultural essences, the effects of which are still evident today in the exploitative and discriminatory attitudes that continue to surface within metropolitan and settler-colonial societies.5

Australia is no exception. Today, racist images of Indigenous Australian peoples still circulate. These images include negative or romanticised stereotypes, such as the view that Indigenous Australian peoples are ‘one people’ without differences in language, culture and tradition, the myth about a static culture and a ‘dying race’, the image of the ‘drunken Aborigine’, and so on. In contrast, artworks by Indigenous Australian artists challenge and question stereotyped representations and highlight the diversity and different identities of Australian Indigenous people and cultures. Two of the photographs I have chosen for this article deal with the specific issue of child removal in Australia. From 1911 onwards, Indigenous Australian children were removed from their families and communities in astonishingly large numbers in order to be raised in state institutions, missions or foster homes. For these children, the term ‘stolen generation’ was coined by Peter Read to refer to the ‘separation of thousands of children of mixed descent from their mothers and communities’.6 This mostly forceful removal of children has had a traumatic impact on Indigenous Australian peoples. In 1997 the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission released the Bringing Them Home report, which investigated hundreds of cases of child removal.7 Still countless cases have not yet been made public. The disruption of family ties together with displacement or arranged marriages of Indigenous people are reasons for many current sociopolitical problems within Indigenous communities. As shown in the following analyses, art is a particularly powerful instrument to raise awareness of these delicate topics. Destiny Deacon: ‘A laughter and a tear in every photo’8—an intercultural analysis Destiny Deacon was born in 1956 and is an Erub-Mer-Kuku artist who works with photography, installation and video. Furthermore she is a performer, broadcaster, writer, teacher, and has always been engaged in political activism and community work. Her artworks have toured widely both in Australia and overseas.9 Marcia Langton commented on her work, stating that it ‘serves as a barometer of postcolonial anxiety, as a window of understanding … seeking to establish a considered and meaningful grammar of images in an environment full of colonial memories’.10
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In her photograph Adoption, created in 1993, Deacon sarcastically reflects on the issue of the stolen generation. The image shows a tray that offers, instead of sweets, Indigenous Australian miniature babies, represented by tiny black dolls in little paper bowls. The overall concept of the afternoon tea in British culture is symbolised by a tray normally used to serve tea that makes a central focal point of the picture. I argue that the choice by the artist to use the concept of ‘afternoon tea’ refers to the policy of separating Indigenous children from their parents as a ‘noble’ solution for the ‘Aboriginal problem’11 by the ‘dominant race’. Here she questions structures of hierarchies and opposition within Australian society, between the coloniser and the colonised. The simple plastic tray features Indigenous Australian dot paintings, obviously presented as a cheap tourist souvenir. As in her other artworks, here, too, Deacon develops a ‘widely intelligible visual language that employs bogus Aboriginal artifacts, kitsch souvenirs, domestic knick-knacks’.12 Hence, the artist mixes Indigenous and non-Indigenous subjects and conventions, symbolising the intermingling of the cultures. However, it can be argued that the features of the socalled ‘traditional’ Indigenous Australian paintings and icons on the plate suggest a critical undertone towards power-structures within society and towards the use and abuse of Indigenous Australian cultures by the coloniser. The plate is used as a working tool to support the interests of the coloniser. On this plate the Indigenous babies are offered like chocolates, so they are set into a totally passive situation, reduced to objects to be taken and ‘consumed’. The fact that chocolates on the tray are replaced with Indigenous Australian miniature babies is a highly symbolic element. This conscious choice of the artist raises the issue of sexual harassment and abuse of Indigenous Australian children as a tragic part of this assimilation policy.13 It also suggests that they are to be eaten, absorbed into the Australian body and to be digested, with little trace. They are supposed to become part of ‘white’Australia. The size of the paper caps is too big and obviously do not fit. The babies are diminished and reduced, their cultures simplified. Accordingly, the solution to the ‘Aboriginal problem’ seems to be quite simple too: total assimilation. Another example of a challenging view on and re-presentation of history is Deacon’s Ask your mother for sixpence, which is part of the series d-tour (2003). The photograph references the context of the Stolen Generation in which many Indigenous children were ‘destined’ to work as servants for white employers. The caption refers to the wages that were to be paid to the children, many of whom, however, never saw those ‘lousy little sixpence’.14 The picture shows a black doll wearing a red dress, a white apron and a white headgear typical for servants in colonial times. The doll is holding a broom and seems to be sweeping coins lying on the floor. The surrounding is covered by red and silver cloth. The photograph is dominated by the colours red and silver, which give the impression of the royal atmosphere and threatening surrounding. The picture is full of contrasting elements. In one sense, it seems very calm, neat, and peaceful in its portrayal of a woman, or, better, a doll at work. However, the same situation can easily turn into a frightening and menacing one, if we relate the photograph to the Stolen Generation, as the caption suggests. It seems as if everything is covered in blood, including the floor and the dress, and yet the
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woman keeps doing her job. Instead of dirt on the floor, she is sweeping coins. The money she is supposed to earn is not worth much, they are just ‘lousy little sixpence’, indeed. Evidently the story told by the photograph opens space for different paths of interpretation. The staged setting, the carefully chosen artefacts, the colours and clothing, however, give the strong impression of a Kafkaesque situation that is on the verge of turning into a nightmare. The static impression and the silent, mute doll reinforce this nightmare drama in which the person is unable to speak or to run, but desperately wants to. The entire scene seems to be highly organised, which corresponds to the threat the well-organised political system posed to the families when their children were removed. Within the system, the individual seems to be nothing more than a puppet on a string, almost unable to escape. I argue that the artist’s choice to work with dolls instead of human models is a significant element in this artwork. It underlines once again the helplessness of these children taken away from their families. The silence of the doll also points to the fact that many Indigenous Australian languages died out because the children were mostly forbidden to speak their mother tongues in missions or institutions. Consequently, the children were forced to neglect their cultures and to adopt the language and customs of the coloniser. Deacon states that the ‘blak dolls represent us [Indigenous Australians] as people. I don’t think white Australia, or whatever you want to call it, sees us as people’.15 Hence, the dolls epitomise colonial humiliation and prejudice. Moreover, in the context of childhood, the dolls represent loss and a desperate outcry for comfort and warmth. This multiplicity of symbolic layers of meaning of the doll within the photograph plays an important role in the way the viewer becomes emotionally involved in the artwork. Meares argues that:
[d]olls are essentially utilised as transitional objects, in other words, a smoothing source of comfort during absence from parents. When we see a doll alone, it represents loss, suggesting that there is a child somewhere feeling bereft and distressed. Moreover, aspects of the child’s self are projected onto it, as if it were an extension of her reality. Dolls are silent reminders of childhood, but Deacon gives voice to her dolls by communicating feelings.16

I argue that a doll in the artwork awakens a variety of very private and individual childhood memories within the viewer, and this involvement with their own childhood creates a unique and individual ‘emotional reading’ of the photograph. To capture the viewer within his or her own emotional structures is the first step to involving them in a further discussion in which the artwork is situated. The third photograph discussed in this article is Welcome to my island, created in 1994. Here Deacon engages with the discriminatory and uncritical categorisation of Indigenous Australian people in the past: the ‘black velvet’17, the stereotypical exotic Indigenous woman as sexual object for the white coloniser. The artwork consists of a group of four photographs: one bigger photograph on top and three smaller ones in a row beneath the big one. They are carefully staged and they reveal a complex structure in their arrangement of setting, subject and position of the subject within the photographs. In contrast to the two photographs discussed above, Adoption and Ask your mother for sixpence, here the artist works as a model herself, dressed in a black bikini top and a red hula-skirt, wearing a few
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long necklaces. In the photographs Deacon is holding a coconut in her left hand, posing as an ‘exotic’ woman according to common western (male) perspectives. She poses in an inviting, erotic position, showing her leg, smiling, albeit revealing to the onlooker her consciously exaggerated expressions and her control over the situation. The three smaller photographs, arranged in a row beneath the first, larger photo, show the same model in different positions, sitting and lying in the grass. An important aspect within the images is not only the carefully arranged, mocking position of the human model, but also the background. The first photograph shows the model in front of an old hut made of corrugated iron, commenting on the bad living conditions most Indigenous Australians have to face. The contrast between the shabby background and the woman in an inviting pose emphasises the critical engagement with socio-political issues, the stereotypical Indigenous Australian woman and the current unfavourable living conditions of many Indigenous Australians. The arrangement of the human model in the picture, the dress and the oranges around her, are a cynical and mocking comment on the ongoing critical debate about past photographic images of Indigenous Australian people. Over the centuries, many pictorial representations portray Indigenous Australian people as ‘the noble savage’, or show ‘Aboriginal men in chain gangs, anthropological drawings that depicted biological characteristics together with cultural artifacts, postcards of young Aboriginal women naked or swimming in billabongs with suggestive subtitles’.18

Figure 1: Destiny Deacon, Adoption, 1993/2000, Light jet print from Polaroid original, 100 x 100 cm, edition of 15. Courtesy of the Artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney. 99

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Figure 2: Destiny Deacon, Ask your mother for sixpence, 1995/2003, light jet print from Polaroid original, 100 x 80 cm, edition of 15. Courtesy of the Artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

Figure 3: Destiny Deacon, Welcome to my island, 1993/2004 (detail) light jet print from Polaroid, 4 parts, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney. 100

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Deacon comments on the colonial representation of Indigenous Australian women—the rigid, racist, stereotypical images into which Indigenous people were pressed. The work of art invites the viewer to step into a critical dialogue with the past. Is the past really over? How many remnants still exist? Has the voyeuristic gaze of the dominant culture vanished, or has it just changed and blurred its public way of staring? The social context of artworks As shown in the analysis of the photographs, art has the potential to interrelate the past and the present, to mirror past events and situations, and to address mentalities in general. Art aims at challenging the viewer by asking him or her to reflect on his or her own concepts and prejudices. Susan Sontag regards the openness of photographic images to interpretations—the multiplicity of meaning lying within artworks—as precisely the feature that creates the artworks’ fascination. She argues that the ‘ultimate wisdom of the photographic image is to say: “There is the surface. Now think—or rather feel, intuit—what the reality must be like if it looks this way.’19 In my view, art reception corresponds to processes of identity construction. Stuart Hall describes cultural identity as
a matter of becoming as well as being. It belongs to the future as much as to the past. It is something which already exists, transcending time, place, history and culture. Cultural identities come from somewhere, have histories. But like everything which is historical, they undergo constant transformation. Far from being eternally fixed in some essentialist past, they are subject to the continuous ‘play’ of history, culture and power.20

In the same way as identity is seen as being ‘in progress’21, art also participates in this process of constant change, which means also that its meaning is fluid and open for re-interpretation. Alongside aesthetic and artistic elements, art participates in a socio-cultural discourse, and as such represents a form of cultural self-reflection.22 Consequently, my analysis of Deacon’s photographs is set within the framework of social theory as well as the theory of art because artworks relate to a variety of different contexts. Evidently, works of art also require aesthetic assessment and evaluation. Hence, the poly-semantic ambiguity of artworks leaves space for a variety of possible receptions, created by a different audience.23 The importance of the receiver’s gaze is emphasised by Schirato and Webb who state that we
see through the frameworks and filters produced by our culture and by our personal histories. Sight is, of course, a natural physiological process, but the perception and reception of visual elements is not; it depends instead on a number of factors … : our culture, our history, the context in which we are looking, what we already know about the world, what our own tastes, interests and habits predispose us to see.24

Accordingly, the onlookers and their individual mental concepts participate in the construction of meaning of an artwork. This also corresponds to Alexander’s view that

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Other Contact Zones audiences are the key to understanding art, because the meanings created from art and the ways it is used depend on its consumers … Art shapes society through audiences … it never stands alone, but must be understood in relationship to the people who consume it.25

Furthermore, in the same vein, Roland Barthes argues that ‘a text’s unity lies not in its origin but in its destination’.26 Once the author/artist has put away their pen, brush, camera, or other artistic tool, their relevance for the meaning embedded in the work of art is very limited.27 This is mirrored in Barthes’s claim that ‘the birth of the reader must be the death of the author’.28 Evidently, the audience is assigned new authority and power. The establishing of meaning of an artwork can play a central role in the creation of power relations within society and in intercultural communication. On the other hand, Foucault suggests that meaning is not a finished entity lying within a ‘text’: on the contrary, it is in process and is established through discourse.29 The view of art reception as an ongoing, unfinished process may be problematic in a postcolonial context. Researchers are called upon to find a viable balance between ‘fixed’ points of (cultural) identification and a range of shifting meanings. I argue that ongoing intercultural dialogues provide a useful platform for establishing a balance in the variety of arguments.30 The importance of discourse and continuous exchange is underlined by Marcia Langton:
the most dense relationship is not between actual people, but between white Australians and the symbols created by their predecessors. Australians do not know and relate to Aboriginal people. They relate to stories told by former colonists … ‘Aboriginality’, therefore, is a field of intersubjectivity in that it is remade over and over again in a process of dialogue, of imagination, of representation and interpretation.31

I argue that this approach is also relevant for reception of art. Artworks are able to transform mental concepts within a changing society. Richard Rorty regards each work of art as a new language, which stands between the self and reality. The language has to be continually adapted to new situations in a continually changing world.32 In the same vein, cultural identities, and art as an expression of cultural identities, must be adapted to the ever-changing world. Conclusion I have argued in this article that the analysis of photographs, set within an interculturally sensitive, interdisciplinary and anti-colonial research method, is a way of re-creating and re-telling history. Consequently, the present and the future are re-created; as George Orwell says, ‘[w]ho controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.33 Therefore, I argue in favour of the theory of art within the framework of social theory, since works of art are a vital part of society itself. This analysis of photographs argues that Indigenous Australian artworks34 play an important role in dialogues between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures by providing a challenging space for intercultural encounters. The three artworks exemplify my argument that art can form an integral part of the historiographic discourse.
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Deacon’s photographs represent a mnemonic device, a vernacular version of Australian history. As Gillis suggests:
democratic societies need to publicize rather than privatise the memories and identities of all groups, so that each may know and respect the other’s version of the past, thereby understanding better what divides as well as unites us. In this era of plural identities, we need civil times and civil spaces more than ever, for these are essential to the democratic processes by which individuals and groups come together to discuss, debate, and negotiate the past and, through this process, define the future.35

The photographs discussed in this article are without doubt ‘civil spaces’ that provide the fertile ground for intercultural dialogues between Indigenous and nonIndigenous people.

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‘China China’: autoethnography and Ah Xian’s porcelain forms.
Marita Bullock
Since the mid-1990s, Ah Xian has handcrafted a large body of sculptural forms that meditate on questions of contemporary Chinese cultural identity. Xian is one of the many Chinese artists who migrated to Australia after the Tiananmen Square massacre1, and his forms are sutured with questions about representing Chineseness given the ongoing legacy of Chinese communism and western imperialism. In response, Xian has handcrafted over fifty life-sized porcelain busts and torsos, many of which have been cast from his Chinese-Australian friends and family members. These torsos have been overlaid with traditional motifs and symbols which once adorned the vases, plates and bowls of the Chinese royal court during the Ming (1364–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) Dynasty periods. Each bust, displayed with its eyes closed, alludes to the cool lustre of death, and this appearance of deathliness is compounded by the title of the series, ‘China China’, which is suggestive of the ossification and reification of Chinese traditions (see figures 1–5). On first glance, the museal aesthetic of Xian’s porcelain torsos might be read in terms of an anti-orientalist sentiment that pervades many forms of colonial critique. Their allusions to death suggest the imposition of ‘western’ forms of display (and containment) of the ‘Other’ (such as ethnographic museums) and the associated nostalgia for Chinese traditions imagined as prior to industrial and postindustrial cultures. Indeed, Xian’s personal statements sometimes appear to support anti-orientalist sentiments in his defence of the ideal of an essential Chinese tradition against corrupting ‘outside’ forces.2 However, despite the ease in reading Xian’s forms as a mournful idealisation of an older and precious Chinese essence, I argue that the critical efficacy of Xian’s forms opens up ways of representing Chineseness outside of the nostalgias for cultural identity and essentialism.3 Drawing upon Rey Chow’s theory of the autoethnographic display, and her closely associated notion of the literal translation, I suggest Xian’s work complicates these nostalgias for nativist centrism so evident in the nationalistic politics of China and Australia at present and in the ethnographic ‘fieldwork’ characterising much contemporary arts practice. Whilst it has become a truism that since the late 1990s, the political climates in countries like Australia and China have been marred by a nationalistic resurgence and a validation of nativist centrism4, this validation of cultural origins has also marked arts practice and theory since the 1990s, even if this validation of ethnic specificity is carried out for different political aims. Rey Chow identifies a longing for, and an idealisation of, the ‘referent’, ‘experience’ and ‘otherness’ as characteristic of the multicultural politics of the arts and humanities of the liberal West during the 1990s.5 Hal Foster also traces a shift toward the cultural referent in postmodern art practice; he claims that whilst the paradigms of art-as-text

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reigned in the 1970s, only to be transformed into the notion of art-as-simulacrum in the 1980s, the latest manifestation in postmodern theory from the 1990s to the present has been a return to the referent, and an associated shift to ground art and theory in social discourse.6 Foster notes that whilst ‘some high modernists sought to transcend the referential figure and some early postmodernists to delight in the sheer image, some later postmodernists want to possess the real thing’.7 This return to the ‘real’, and the associated longing for referentiality, is what Foster otherwise terms ‘the ethnographic turn’ in contemporary art and theory.8 This ‘ethnographic turn’ to the ‘real’ is taken to refer to the various art projects that attempt a critical intervention into the politics of representing alterity (whether it be defined as gender difference, sexual orientation or ethnic affiliation) as well as the art practices attempting a specific intervention in the interstices between art and ethnography. Closely aligned with cultural studies discourse and its critique of the Western bias of aesthetics and its ideals of autonomy and disinterested formalism, Foster argues that the ethnographic turn is marked by a refusal of the vertical or diachronic engagement with the disciplinary forms of traditional art media, in favour of a horizontal or synchronic movement ‘from social issue to social issue … from political debate to debate’.9 Along with this emphasis upon the cultural grounds of discourse—the social aspect of textuality—the ethnographic artist, according to Foster, also evinces a heightened interest in the past-as-referent, in memory, the archive, the museum and site specificity.10 Xian’s forms allude to the various artistic appropriations of ethnographic paradigms in a number of ways. Whilst they evince an interest in questions of alterity and a return to traditional forms of visuality often associated with ethnographic art practices (a refusal of global aesthetics, media and technologies in favour of ‘traditional’ craft forms), his porcelain torsos also allude to the ethnographic turn in their explicit evocation of the death-like masks and static stereotypical representations used by ethnographers in order to define the east as ‘Other’ to the West. This evocation of ethnographic displays is also made explicit in the way the busts (overlaid with grandiose symbols and motifs) have overwritten the particularities of the personalities on display, such that their differences have been reduced to generic, visually defined notions of ‘Chineseness’. The ethnographic construction of ‘Chineseness’ as a category of ‘Otherness’, further underscored by Xian’s numbering of each bust, (used in place of a specific title), emphasises the homogenisation of the people. Furthermore, Xian’s forms suggest that the methodological underpinnings of ethnography are literally imbricated in debilitating histories as the torsos appear to be suffocated and determined by the imposition of ancient cultural symbols. Cast with their eyes closed, the symbols of Chinese culture appear imposing, as if their presence robs the figures of their lives. Bust 3, for example, presents a butterfly’s wings tattooed over a woman’s eyes so that she is branded without vision or agency. It gestures towards Edward Said’s theory of orientalism, the ways in which the West has repeatedly objectified and fetishised China as ‘Other’. By reducing the specifications of China to visually defined symbols which are, in turn, naturalised as an intrinsic part of the culture as a whole, this bust appears as a material enactment of the West’s process of ‘orientalising’ the vast complexity of Chinese culture in the material form of china/porcelain.
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Whilst Xian’s porcelain forms evoke the ethnographic turn in art in their allusions to the aesthetics of museum display, his invocation of the negative and violent aspects of ethnographic paradigms also animadvert some of the criticisms levelled at conventional ethnographic art practice: namely the way that the orientation toward ethnographic paradigms in art often belies a nostalgia for a cultural particularity that is often deemed lacking in post-industrial cultures. Critics like Hal Foster and Miwon Kwon have claimed that many art practices which mobilise ethnographic perspectives tend to remain indebted to romantic and ultimately Eurocentric ideals of ‘Otherness’,11 and mark a nostalgic longing for a sense of place, cultural specificity and essentialist notions of identity imperative to the functioning of late capitalism.12 Matthew Rampley also argues that recent ethnographic art practice can only retain its critical impetus if it acknowledges that ethnography is an aesthetic and subjective practice in and of itself, rather than an objective paradigm through which to ground truthfully some of the illusions of autonomy art history has traditionally proffered.13 Xian’s forms are distinct from conventional site-specific and ethnographic art practices because they allude to the disabling European bias of ethnographic paradigms and, in doing so, they preclude the sense of romanticism and nostalgia for cultural identity, presence and originality that is played out in many of the contemporary artistic appropriations of ethnographic fieldwork.14 That is to say, Xian’s forms differ from conventional artistic appropriations of ethnographic fieldwork practices because they do not attempt to approach actual locations or identities—they do not present ethnography as a methodology to enact, but, rather, his forms present ethnography as a paradigm to scrutinise in its own right. Furthermore, Xian’s forms stage a critical engagement with the nostalgia for referentiality in their suggestion that ethnography is not only something imposed by the self onto the ‘other’, but an art form done to one’s own native cultures. His question of Chinese cultural identity is enacted in the way he ossifies, orientalises and ethnographises China for a global audience. By putting his own culture on display, Xian works negatively on the cultural sign, ‘China’ precluding the numerous idealisations that ground China as an immutable essence. To read Xian’s forms as practices in the art of ‘autoethnography’, as an intervention into the contemporary nostalgias for cultural specificity, is a particularly timely approach to his pieces given that much of the critical reception of Xian’s work has tended to idealise and consign his pieces in terms of his country of ‘origin’. While his work has generated a great deal of interest both in Australian and overseas arts circles, many of these articles (which predominantly take the form of newspaper articles or brief catalogue essays) often locate his pieces specifically in terms of his cultural or biographical history.15 They often emphasise his personal hardship as a refugee and commend his tenacious resistance to the forces of globalisation. His work is also frequently exhibited within the frame of a localised multiculturalism, such as those exhibits specifically dedicated to Asian-Australian artists, or in exhibition platforms such as the Powerhouse Museum, which are more readily received in terms of ethnographic concern rather than aesthetic interest.16 His pieces were also included in the Ansett airline magazine VIVE,17 which furthered this reading of his pieces in terms of the cultural essentialism and the cultural exoticism associated with international
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travel. Indeed, this tendency to promote Xian’s work through the commodified signs of ethnicity is, as Melissa Chiu points out, a problem typical of Australia’s reception of Asian-Australian artists in general. Chiu argues that a number of recent art exhibitions devoted to the staging of productive relations between Asian-Australian encounters often compound the distinctions between Asia and Australia by evaluating Asian-Australian artists according to whether they exhibit obvious markers of cultural specificity. The third ‘Asia–Pacific Triennial’ (September 1999 – January 2000), and the ‘Above and Beyond’ exhibition (1997) are some of the exhibition platforms that Chiu critiques, and both of these events provided platforms for Xian’s work.18 This tendency to validate Xian’s work in relation to questions of cultural particularity can also be seen as a response to the nationalistic discourses making a resurgence in Australia since the 1990s. Amongst the highly publicised xenophobic reactions to racially marked asylum seekers that were being used as a means to win political allegiances in Australia’s conservative media platforms19, there was a fierce and problematic counter-trend in the arts to idealise the ‘good’, ‘hardworking’, ‘justified’ refugee in opposition to the boats full of ‘queuejumpers’ arriving on Australia’s shores.20 Indeed, this was the context in which Xian became the recipient of the 2001 National Sculpture Award. The ABC television’s current affairs program, The 7.30 Report, dedicated a specific program to Xian’s winning of the prize, and took the opportunity to discuss his work exclusively in terms of his status as the ‘worthy refugee’, who, after years ‘of working at odd jobs’, confirmed ‘his belief in the nation that gave him shelter by winning Australia’s first National sculpture prize’.21 The program’s tendency to validate Xian’s work in terms of his status as the ‘deserving’ migrant who, ‘has come so far’, whilst being paradoxically consigned to his culture of ‘origins’, evokes Rey Chow’s argument about the limitations inherent in the reactionary tendency to idealise otherness prevalent in much of the contemporary multicultural politics in the arts and humanities of the ‘liberal’ West.22 She argues that the romanticisation of otherness is problematic because it is often a mere inversion of the xenophobic values that accompany the influx of migrant populations into ‘first world’ countries, rather than a displacement of their presuppositions.23 Given the multiple ways in which Xian’s sculptures are repeatedly read in relation to his place of ‘origin’, it is imperative that Xian’s works be understood for the way in which they take issue with the very notion of ‘origin’. Even though his personal statements sometimes seem defensive of Chinese traditions in the face of postmodern global art practice (Xian is often quoted to have refused all offers from commercial galleries to represent his work, even when such offers would have facilitated a solo show of his work in New York’s MOMA),24 Xian’s forms rest in the way that they mobilise the issues of location and cultural identity beyond a narrow, essentialist sense of ‘place’. This critical engagement with the nostalgia for cultural origins is played out in the way Xian ‘returns’ to China (both figuratively and literally) in order to reconfigure the sign. Xian’s numerous returns to Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, are significant in relation to his critical interventions into the representation of China, because Jingdezhen has long been the centre of China’s porcelain production, and

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has played a central role in the symbolic construction of Chineseness in China and the West. Throughout its history as porcelain production centre, Jingdezhen produced high-quality pieces for the royal court and lesser quality wares for export to Europe. This export industry was well underway during the seventeenth century and by the nineteenth century (a time when the passion for all things ‘oriental’ gripped the European continent) the export of China to Europe had made a significant impact on Jingdezhen’s production process and on the European imagination in general.25 Indeed, Chinese porcelain became such a significant part of Europe’s cultural imagination that it came to symbolise Chinese culture to the West during the nineteenth century, displayed, as it often was, in the various museums, exhibition halls, auction houses and speciality shops of the metropolitan centres.26 Ah Xian postulates that the fetishisation of Jingdezhen’s porcelain in the West—its purported capacity to symbolise the culture as a whole—may even be the reason for China’s Western name. Having accidentally stumbled upon an antique piece of packaging for a Jingdezhen spirit wine, Xian learned that an earlier form of the name for Jingdezhen was Chang Nan. Given the similarity between the Chinese pronunciation of ‘Chang Nan’, and the Western word ‘China’, Xian suggests that Jingdezhen’s porcelain production process may have determined the essence of China for the West27; indeed the symbolic confusion between object and nation, part and whole, or, the displacement of sign (signifier) onto thing (signified), alludes to the West’s process of orientalising and stereotyping the East as porcelain—a form of reification which, to recall Homi Bhabha’s concept of the stereotype-as-fetish, accounts for China’s representation in the West as an ossified culture.28 Xian’s speculation on the similarity between the Western name for porcelain and the name of the nation as a whole is certainly compounded by studies on the representation of China in the West: Anne Maxwell has pointed out that the properties of resilience and immutability came to symbolise the very ‘nature’ of Chinese culture to Western physiognomists in the nineteenth century. She claims that there was a widespread assumption amongst Western physiognomists that despite the fact that China’s complex rituals and refined arts once posited it among the most highly developed cultures along the Social Darwinist scale of evolution, the fact that China had supposedly failed to modernise was purported evidence of a torpid and stationary nation falling short of being a true civilisation.29 Maxwell argues that this perception was not only seen to be due to the purportedly barbarous nature of the Chinese aristocracy which was supposedly decipherable from their ‘stony faced’ physiognomies, but the prevalence of opium addiction within China during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries also compounded Europe’s perception of China as a decadent empire posing little threat to European modernity.30 Indeed, it is hard not to speculate that Europe’s trade in opium for porcelain may have become synecdochic of China’s torpid and immutable nature, and the West’s phantasmagoric illusions of its own cultural superiority.31 Whilst Jingdezhen is often visited as the metaphoric ‘heart’ of Chinese culture—its defining symbol in both China and the West—Xian’s numerous returns to Jingdezhen have enabled him literally to reconfigure China in light of present concerns. Working in collaboration with artists from various studio kilns

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around Jingdezhen (in conjunction with the facilities at the Sydney College of the Arts in Australia), Xian has produced a body of work that ‘returns’ to questions of Chineseness without reproducing the hackneyed nostalgic renditions of a ‘quintessentially’ Chinese form that continue to be sold to tourist markets in Jingdezhen. Rather, Xian takes issue with the symbolic intactness of the sign ‘China’, by literalising it. That is, by literalising the essence of Chinese culture, by actually making China (its people) into china (porcelain objects), Xian enables us to witness a disjunction between word and referent, signifier and signified, which also petrifies the cultural essentialisms (China as immutable origin) that are perpetually solidified in Jingdezhen’s kilns. His literal enactments of China’s essence—his ossifications and orientalisms of Chineseness—offer a counterpoint to the ossified renditions of China that are reproduced and distributed around the globe. Autoethnography as a literal display Xian’s act of literalising the sign ‘China’ can be further articulated through Rey Chow’s critical theory of the autoethnographic display. Chow’s theory offers a nuanced account of ethnography, translation and literal representation that, in turn, addresses multiple essentialisms resuscitated in Chinese nationalisms, and multicultural arts practices, of the late 1990s. Theorised in her text Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography and Chinese Culture, the autoethnographic display was primarily conceptualised in order to address a series of Chinese-directed films of the 1980s and 1990s that primitivised Chinese culture to a global film audience.32 According to Chow, the Chinese filmmakers’ tendency to display their cultural ‘origins’ raises important questions about cultural origins and translation into contemporary global culture. She argues that the film-makers’ tendency to ethnographise their native culture, that is, their process of exoticising and primitivising China is a timely challenge to essentialist assumptions about cultural origin and translation. Chow’s understanding of cultural origins and the translation process (and of the object in the autoethnographic display) is developed in her close reading of Walter Benjamin’s essay ‘The task of the translator’.33 Chow maintains that Benjamin’s attempt to politicise the act of translation enables the reconceptualisation of ethnographic translations, and the figuration of film as an ethnographic practice. She argues that Benjamin’s account of cultural origins in translation enables her to read the spate of contemporary Chinese films without dismissing their tendency to primitivise China to a global audience as symptomatic of a nostalgic longing for essence (a neoconservative desire for authenticity), or a ‘betrayal’ of the culture to Western orientalism. She holds that Benjamin’s emphasis on the literal aspects of translation opens up the possibility for theorising film as an ‘ethnographic paradigm’ that moves beyond the ‘one-way street’ of conventional ethnographic paradigms (or deconstructions of them) and in doing so it decentres the myth of China as an immutable cultural origin upon which the myth of Western progress is maintained.34

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Beyond the one-way street of ethnographic translation Chow argues that the political efficacy of Benjamin’s notion of translation resides in its marked reversal of conventional understandings of translation. While it is usually assumed that a praiseworthy translation is one which is faithful to the semantic tenor with as little interference as possible, Benjamin’s notion of translation is useful for Chow because it challenges the ontological essence of the ‘original’. What needs to be conveyed in any act of translation is not the essential meaning of the ‘original’ language, but the ‘intention’ in the ‘original symbol’ that Benjamin calls ‘the great longing for linguistic completion’.35 The translator must set out to convey the way in which the ‘original’ text is always an after-effect of the translator’s hollow attempt to capture the transcendent essence of the ‘original’. Indeed, it is precisely because the concept of ‘originality’ is threatened by the unwieldy act of translation that the oldest prejudices about origin come into play whenever one text is translated into another. Given that the concept of the original is merely an overly protected dream of the translation process itself, Benjamin argues that the task of the translator is to emphasise this myth of the origin, and he claims that it can be illuminated by emphasising the literal aspect of language, rather than the figural components usually emphasised in conventional translations. Chow notes that, for Benjamin, it is words, in their word-ness (their literality) rather than sentences and meanings, that are capable of illuminating the ‘put together’ status of the original and in turn of highlighting the fabrications of the translation process itself.36 This emphasis on the literal rendering of words in translation is the pivotal point in Chow’s appropriation of Benjamin’s essay because it not only challenges essentialist concepts of an ontological essence, but it also allows her to distinguish the translation process from the trend toward deconstruction associated with poststructuralist critics like Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man—both of whom attempt to radicalise translation through an attentiveness to the metaphoricity of all language.37 Chow notes that while it may initially seem that Benjamin’s elusive approach to the ‘original’ seems to support what deconstructionists claim about translation and language, namely, that the original is never self-identical and will always be a fiction of the translation process, she argues that Benjamin’s formulation of the literal translation offers a more nuanced account of the original that is lacking in deconstructionists’ accounts of language.38 She claims that while deconstructionists attempt to reveal the essential impossibility of the original, by emphasising the ‘metaphoric’ or ‘figural’ slippages of language, they do not in the end deviate significantly from the conventional, dogmatic belief in the purity and untranslatability of the original even if that should prove to be an illusion to begin with.39 Chow mobilises Benjamin’s theory of the literal translation as a tactical intervention into these conventional post-structuralist analyses of the metaphoricity of all language. She argues that the literal translation offers a highly nuanced approach to the original/ontological essence because it pairs the presuppositions of deconstruction with a messianic utopianism that is absent in de Man’s reading of Benjamin’s translator.40 Rather than designating the literal translation as the ‘proper’—the practice of following the word strictly that is derided by deconstructionist critics—Chow contends that Benjamin’s notion of
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the literal translation refers to that which lacks and/or exceeds the clear boundary implied by Derrida and de Man, that is, a process that works between the categories of the ‘proper’ and the ‘figural/metaphorical’.41 For Chow, the process of taking something ‘literally’ connotes a certain lack in the sense of that which is ‘matter-of-fact, without imagination, without depth; that which is superficial, crude or naïve’, and it is this second notion of literalness (what Chow describes as the obvious, the superficial, or that which immediately presents itself in signification) that captures the radical potential of Benjamin’s notion of translation. Unlike the deconstructionists’ attempt to fictionalise the original, the literal translation offers a more productive reading of the original intention; the ‘symbol’ is not simply a full and complete representation of something, nor selfdifferent, but a ‘process of standing-for-something else, something other than the “self”’.42 Chow writes:
Benjamin’s act of translation is less a confirmation of language’s ‘own’ impossibility than it is a liberation, in a second language, of the ‘intention’ of standing-for-something-else that is already put together but imprisoned— ’symbolised’—in the original; hence ‘it is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language which is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his recreation of that work’.43

According to Chow’s reading of Benjamin in this passage then, the translator’s task is to reveal the way in which the ‘original’ has been ‘put together’ in the process of translation, and it is by literalising the way that the original is falsified within symbolisation that it is, paradoxically, released again. In this sense, the task of Benjamin’s translation differs from post-structuralism’s aim of revealing the essential hollowness of the symbol because the translator must liberate ‘the great longing for linguistic completion’44 that ceaselessly occurs between the ‘original’ and the ‘translation’. For Benjamin, a true translation does not attempt to convey the ‘original’ symbol, so much as display how the ‘original’ and ‘translation’ stand in dialectical tension, in a reciprocal exchange. Having outlined Benjamin’s theory of translation, Chow goes on to extend his theory of the literal translation in order to read beyond the ‘one-way-street’ that underpins conventional assumptions about ethnographic trafficking between Eastern and Western cultures. She claims that while it is conventionally presumed that traditional cultures, such as the East (as ‘origin’) are always weakened by their translation into Western cultures (secondary languages), Benjamin’s account of the literal translation, and its complex account of the paradoxical liberation of the original language in its literal ossifications, provides an account of ethnographic translation that enables survival rather than death. Chow argues that Benjamin’s account of translation enables the entire disassembly of ethnographic paradigms because his account of the complexity of the ‘origin’, actually liberated by the debasements of the literal translation, enables a thorough disruption of the distinctions between subject and object.45 What is simply required of the critical ethnographer then (after the ethical imperative of Benjamin’s essay is brought to bear on modernity and the politics of contemporary colonial discourse), is the literal rendering of the ‘original’ objects in their undivided objectness. By literalising one’s native cultures as the ‘original’ and ‘authentic’, by displaying the ways in which oriental discourse is literalised
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and embodied by the East itself, the ethnographer is able to highlight the disintegration of ethnography as an ‘objective’ visualist paradigm. Chow argues that it is only once colonised subjects undertake to represent themselves in ways that engage with the coloniser’s own terms that a new form of ethnography is forged. A new ethnography is possible ‘only when we turn our attention to the subjective origins of ethnography as it is practised by those who were previously ethnographised and who have, in the postcolonial age, taken up the task of ethnographising their own cultures’.46 Moreover, it is this literal embodiment of oriental discourse, or what Chow terms an ‘autoethnographic’ practice, that disassembles the visualist epistemological underpinnings of standard ethnographic displays in ways that are not achieved by anti-orientalist critiques or deconstructive practices. By exoticising, primitivising and ‘othering’ oneself, the viewed object (East) is no longer safely distinguishable from viewing subject (West). Rather, in the autoethnographic display, the ‘viewed object’ is ‘looking at the “viewing subject” looking’.47 For Chow then, the literal display of oneself as origin reconfigures ethnography as an objective paradigm, and alludes to it as a subjective process that is defined, not so much by the act of looking, as through what may be called ‘to-be-looked-at-ness’.48 The visuality that once defined the ‘object’ status of the ethnographised culture now becomes a predominant aspect of that culture’s self-representation. The state of being looked at is not only built into the way non-Western cultures are viewed by Western ones; more significantly, it is part of the active manner in which such cultures represent or ‘ethnographise’ themselves. The autoethnographic practice becomes timely and critical for Chow then because it alludes to the complex unravellings between subject and object, self and other, in ethnographic paradigms or ‘translations’. It is no longer safe to assume that ethnographic discourse is a hegemony imposed from the outside, destroying non-Western cultures and objects, nor, conversely, to assume that the ethnographic object is an unmediated essence that resides outside of the paradigms of the West. The autoethnographic display illuminates ethnography as a practice that a culture does to itself, and in alluding to the embodiment of ethnography, by highlighting the tactics between subject and object, the autoethnographer illuminates the cultural violence that is part of any translator/ethnographer’s attempt to locate, name, symbolise or ‘put together’ a cultural ‘origin’ to begin with. Turning specifically to film, Chow writes:
In its rendering of the prohibitions, the oppressive customs, and the dehumanising rituals of feudal China, for instance, the translation that is film enables us to see how a culture is ‘originally’ put together, in all its cruelty. This putting together constitutes the violent active force to which the culture’s members continue to be subjugated. For anyone whose identity is sutured with this culture, filmic representation thus makes it possible to see (with discomfort) one’s ‘native origins’ as foreign bodies.49

For Chow, this process of literalising the violences through which a cultural origin is ‘put together’ also alludes to the act of transmission that inheres in any autoethnographic act. Or, in other words, the desire to see China from a distance is also part and parcel of the desire to see China in new terms. Chow argues that while the callous and vicious aspects of tradition are clearly visible on the screen,
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Figure 1: Ah Xian, ‘China China’ Bust 60. Courtesy of the artist.

Figure 2: Ah Xian, ‘China China’ Bust 60. Courtesy of the artist. 114

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Figure 3: Ah Xian, ‘China China’ Bust 77. Courtesy of the artist.

Figure 4: Ah Xian, ‘China China’ Bust 80. Courtesy of the artist. 115

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Figure 5: Ah Xian, ‘China China’ Bust 80. Courtesy of the artist.

this process of weakening a tradition is also the enabling condition of its possibility. By illuminating tradition in its weakened and debilitated state, the autoethnographer reveals the processes of the traditions’ transmissibility into the present. Like Benjamin’s translator who liberates the ‘original’ language in showing how it is ‘put together’ as an immutable origin, the autoethnographer liberates her cultural origins in the process of debasing them. For while contemporary Chinese film provides us with the tarnished ‘primitives’ of modernity—standing in the passageways between cultures—these primitives are the commodities that pass through in order to arrive, ‘not at the destination of the truth of an “other” culture, but at the weakened foundations of Western metaphysics as well as the disintegrated bases of Eastern traditions’.50 Displayed in the windows of the world market, Chow argues that these hackneyed and literal renditions of the ‘primitive’ are the fabricated play forms ‘with which the less powerful cultures can negotiate the impositions of the powerful’.51 Taking the sign literally—Xian’s ‘China China’ displays Chow’s theory, then, of the autoethnographic display suspects a more critical analysis of Xian’s treatment of cultural origins is possible, even though Xian’s porcelain torsos may initially appear to be mournful meditations on the death of Chinese traditions at the hands of Western ethnographic paradigms. Xian’s torsos display how the violence of culture is not only enacted by the death of Chinese
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traditions on entry into Western ethnographic paradigms, as is commonly held by anti-orientalist critics and Chinese nativists alike. Rather, by literally embodying ethnographic ideals of an intact, immutable essence or ‘origin’, by displaying, literally, the way in which ‘China’, the history and culture of a people, is symbolised as the ancient and immutable porcelain that is ‘china’, Xian offers a critical view of the brutalities and violences of symbolisation itself. We are able to witness literally the deathliness that ensues in any act of symbolisation (the forced alignment of signifier and signified).We see the deathly transmogrification of body into porcelain when the idealisation of ‘Chineseness’ is taken at face value. Furthermore, this process of rendering the sign (China) ‘dead literal’ undermines Chinese communists’ ideal of an organic social body. His pieces usurp their romanticisation of China as that timeless vessel holding its people in organicist union52 by literally rendering this ideal in stone. The forms exact a ‘cold’ and ‘hard’ look at ‘the people’, undermining their life-force and showing them as the violent embodiment of a transient and fallible fantasy. Whilst Xian is the translator of the brutalities through which the ‘original’ traditions of Chinese culture are ceaselessly ‘put together’ by Chinese nationalisms, his conscious primitivising also parodies the ongoing orientalisms of the West. That is to say, Xian mimics and displaces the West’s blindness in its perception of China as a torpid, immutable object when placed in Western ethnographic paradigms by literalising the way ‘China’ is equally caught up in the West’s visual paradigms and is actively objectifying itself. His autoethnographic displays mirror the West’s denial back onto the hegemonic gaze.With eyes closed, Xian’s faces display and mock the way in which the West orientalises and fetishises ‘China’ as the ossified porcelain ‘Other’, branded without vision or agency. What is most significant about Xian’s autoethnographic displays however, is the way that their literal embodiment of ethnographic paradigms—their process of faithfully copying the oriental discourse which renders China into china— simultaneously displays China’s active participation in its own appearance of permanence. Xian’s autoethnographic displays of death allude to the way that it is in the display of death that a culture survives. The forms highlight the way that the resilience of traditional cultures are ensured in terms of their posturings of death, in their weakened and debilitated state, or, as a literal embodiment of orientalist discourse that simultaneously defamiliarises the very basis of Western ethnography itself. It is this literal embodiment of the ethnographic hegemony that simultaneously enlivens traditions, or, to quote from Benjamin’s The Arcades Project, we are able to see how ‘the continuity of tradition is mere semblance’, and that it is merely ‘the persistence of this semblance of persistence [that] provides it with continuity’.53 Xian’s forms allude to the way that the survival of China’s tradition has always been ensured through its ceaseless deaths, its imprecise literalisations; it has always been a foreign body to itself, and given the fervour with which nativist values have been presented in contemporary communist China and the contemporary political climate in Australia, Xian’s presentation of the death of Chinese traditions is surely the life it needs.

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Representation, the photograph and the performativity of the pose
Hamish Morgan
Living in a small community, where everyone’s gnura (camp, home) is in sight of everyone else’s, really makes one think about one’s relationship with others. I was privileged to have spent the last two years living in a small community called Ululla, 70 km from Wiluna in south-central Western Australia. Whilst at Ululla, a problem which constantly occupied me was the impossibility of representing the community. What does it mean to write about living in an Aboriginal community? Ruminating upon this problem has turned into an attempt to use European philosophy and theory to sketch the problems of writing about a small Aboriginal community on the edge of the desert. For me, this problematic can be productively explored through considering the relationship between self and other. Ululla has a core of about twenty people, basically one family group, but lots of people come and go and every week there is a different mix at Ululla.1 I quote from a letter written to a friend:
It has been a soul enlivening experience being intimately and intrinsically tied to the mood of a place, your emotional energy dependent on the vibe, on the infinite contact between bodies and place, your disposition and sensibility buoyant on its themes. This of course can be good and bad, but always goes to show the dependency of the individual on the community and on place.

The prose is affected, embarrassingly so, but this will become my point. One exposes one’s self, becomes susceptible because one is dependent on the address and interpolation of the other. This is something one realises most strikingly when living in a different cultural context to one’s own. One becomes uniquely ‘conscious’ of one’s subjectivity, conscious of its vulnerability. One realises that one’s subjectivity is vulnerable because it is not self-constituting, but dependent on the recognition of the other. The way one is marked by ‘their’ cultural milieu is exposed by the differential logic of the new cultural context. In many ways one feels inscribed for the first time (in fact, only inscribed differently) by the new cultural logic, which has the effect on the self of feeling like—and of actually— being renamed, remarked, subjected to a different process of signification. This process—and it is long, incomplete, and slippery—allows not only the revelation of the process of marking and signification but discloses a tension between how one views the self (or how one wants to be viewed) and how others view the self. I felt this tension keenly at Ululla. It is this tension that this paper explores through the notion that we ‘play’ at being ourselves. We play in order to realise our self, in order to realise the condition of our being.2 This ‘condition’ is being subjected to others, being a subject and ‘having’ signification because the subject is affected and produced by the other. We play with this condition, we play at being ourselves because of this tension.

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This paper is not about Ululla, but Ulalla is what generated the context for the theoretical discussion that follows . This paper marks the beginning of an attempt to think about the problematic of representation, something which for me is very real and close to my heart. Maybe this is why I have drawn upon (Western) theory, to gain some distance from the other that marks, addresses me and calls me into existence.3 One way to illustrate the relationship between self and other is to use photography as a means of ‘capturing’ the forces and tensions of exposure that constitute the subject. In Camera Lucida Roland Barthes considers, amongst other things, the nature of the ‘pose’ in photography. He talks of his own ‘discomfort’ and ‘uneasiness of being’ when addressed by a photographer and identifies this unease as stemming from being ‘a subject torn between two languages, one expressive, the other critical’.4 The ‘pose’ one performs when photographed is a suspended and ungainly moment of self-mimicry when the subject is aware of being a body for others, of performing for the other the idea the subject has of his/herself. For Barthes the photograph ‘represents that very subtle moment when, to tell the truth, I am neither subject nor object but a subject who feels he is becoming an object’.5 Little wonder then that the ‘pose’ is an awkward proposition that can reveal the self’s deeper anxieties and vulnerability to the other. Many of us know the tedium of being a photographic subject/object, and this tedium and difficulty comes about exactly because of the disruption of self and image, of subject and object: it is an uncanny and untrustworthy process that reveals something not-self-assured about the subject. The pose, I contend, is an attempt to cover up this process, but it is the cover which reveals the very nature of the process. The pose throws light on the way we present ourselves to others and, more importantly, it reveals that our sense of self is constituted through and by being a body-for-others, an other for another; the self is constituted by performing for the other. Some, of course, are better at being photographed than others—those who immediately and unselfconsciously strike a pose seem to be the most comfortable. Their being is image, voluptuous, erotic, dramatic, clown, monster. Such beings are creating themselves as pure image, as object, as an idea about the self that is re-presented for others. Such a response is not only bold, funny, confident or tragic, but is marked by the shadow of inauthenticity, by the boldness (and obviousness) of the mask, cover, image. For others the process is more fragile. As Barthes writes:
I lend myself to the social game, I pose, I know I am posing, I want you to know that I am posing, but (to square the circle) this additional message must in no way alter the precious essence of my individuality: what I am, apart from any effigy.6

I know I am posing, but I do not want to be seen as an image/effigy, and certainly not as an imposter. The social game is one of imitation and what comes with this is the intimidating knowledge of the self’s reliance on the address of the other. Photography arrests that moment of the mask slipping to reveal the skin and this partial disguise reveals more skin than it hides. There is an overwhelming desire for the ‘image’ to relate to the self, for the mask and skin to match, for the dead image to be lifelike, authentic: trying to hold on to one’s subjecthood by denying one’s position as object of photography. The event of photography brings this out,
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precisely because one as subject, soon to be object, is impelled by the photographer’s address to ‘pose’, to ‘smile for the camera’ and to say that cringey and ubiquitous ‘cheese’ or the incredibly dad-daggy ‘sexy legs’. The pose is a performance that attempts to represent to the other the idea-you-have-of-yourself, and like all performatives the possibility of failure is generative. Both the subject and the photographer know this, both are judged and judge the photograph by the ‘authenticity’ of what is captured. The photographer attempts to defer the capture of the subject becoming an object by enlivening the subject, by making the scene (making the seen) and energising the context.7 The subject vulnerable to being interpolated and objectified responds to the call and poses. It is this pose, interpolated by the address, that reveals something about the difficulty (or impossibility) of there not being a certain slippage between subject and object. What is ‘captured’ is not the subject in-itself, but the subject responding to the address. What is ‘captured’ is the idea that the subject has of his/herself, a revelation of how he/she wants to be seen. What is ‘captured’ is how he or she presents the self to the other. It is important to add that this capture never actually takes place8, this arrest never arrests for the subject not only always exceeds its representation, but what we see, what is captured, is not the address of the other, but the subject who is responding to the address. A capture that never captures anything but the absent address of the other who interpolates a performative moment from the subject. The pose is a confounding play of absence and presence, of the self and of the other; it affirms itself as it effaces itself. The mark of the other adheres in the signifying act of the subject, it literally produces the pose, yet, paradoxically, this mark is absent while producing what is present. Furthermore the ‘self-presence’ of the subject can’t actually exist, because it is dependent on and produced by the other’s address. What this means for thinking about representation is that not only is there a confusion between address and performance/response, but that the command of the other is not what actually gets depicted in representation. If, for example, the work of anthropology is always trying to respond to the address of the other (this may be debatable) what is actually depicted in anthropological writing is not that address, but the performative gesture of writing, which is something different and that may actually defer/mask the initiating address. There is a kind of slippage involved here. And there is my own slippage between photography and representation, between European theory and an Aboriginal community, terms that cannot be named for each-other, but that do provide a productive space in which to think about the problematic of representation. This problematic is far from obvious in photography because what we see is what is in the photograph, we never actually see the photograph. Barthes contends that:
for there to be a sign there must be a mark; deprived of a principle of marking, photographs are signs which don’t take, but which turn, as milk does. Whatever it grants to vision and whatever its manner, a photograph is always invisible: it is not it that we see. In short, the referent adheres. And this singular adherence makes it very difficult to focus on Photography.9

Representation is hard to focus on, exactly because what we read and see is what is depicted (which is not what enables what is depicted). Furthermore, what
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enables what is depicted is hidden or sublated by what is depicted. The photograph is the sign that we cannot see.10 Photography is seen as ‘real’, as a benign capture of reality because it is not ‘it’—the photograph—that we see. We see the sign and not the mark that produces the sign, the relationship between representer and represented is hidden under the façade of this sign. This process that confuses the mark and the sign, and obscures the conditions of production, is a difficult process to trace, precisely because we live in a world that is represented. Reality is constituted by images and representations and these representations appear natural because, in fact, they are a ‘natural’ part of our understanding of reality: these representations produce, structure and categorise our perception and appreciation of reality. Photographs appear objective and real not because they reproduce reality but because reality is produced by images. What we forget, and are made to forget by the economies of representation that construct the real, is that our perception of the real is socially conditioned by the very forms of representation that construct our reality. But this kind of thinking can be more a kind of Bourdieuan merry-go-round rather than a self-reflexive process. What is perhaps more productive for now is to think of photographs and of representations as ‘an interpretation of the real’ but also as ‘a trace, something directly stenciled off the real like a footprint or a death mask’.11 This is something Deleuze has argued for: that representation is a response to an encounter with the world, thus shifting focus from the dead end of real/unreal to the productive possibilities of response/affect and deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation—the way images and things produce, adjust and are affected by each other.12 This seems more productive than trying to understand representations as a product of a represented world that we perceive and try to explain through other representations. Peggy Phelan notes that ‘the real continues to exert its allure and provoke our frustration despite the pervasiveness of “the precession of simulacra” (Baudrillard), despite our inability to recover it independent of its representation’.13 There is thus a significant tension between address and capture, between things and images, between what Derrida would describe as the problem of relation between signifier and signified, presence and absence, between blind spots and conditions of possibility. For now I want to refocus attention on the bearing of the body of the subject under the address of the other. Bourdieu is very much interested in bodily disposition and the way in which bodies internalise and bear the forces of social norms. Bourdieu argues that the subject of photography looks:
at the person who is looking (or who is taking the photograph), correcting one’s posture, one presents oneself to be looked at as one seeks to be looked at; one presents one’s own image. In short, faced with a look which captures and immobilizes appearances, adopting the most ceremonial bearing means reducing the risk of clumsiness and gaucherie and giving others an image of oneself that is affected and pre-defined … offering a regulated image of oneself is a way of imposing the rules of one’s own perception.14

The word gauche (the adjective of the noun gaucherie) means ‘lacking in tact or ease of manner, awkward, blundering; lacking in subtlety or skill, crude, unsophisticated’ (OED)15—it literally means ‘left [handed]’ in French. All
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photographs have as a condition of their possibility of exposing this within the subject/object of the photograph. It is what we loathe and fear about being photographed: that we will appear as awkward, not as we want to be seen, clumsy and unsophisticated in bearing. If, for a moment, we suppose that the camera is an other, like another person is an other, that the camera, like another person, addresses us, but that the camera ‘captures’ that address, we can begin to move beyond the confines of photography to a broadening field of the relationship between self and other, subject and object, representer and represented. I have lots of photos of Ululla—photos of old people, young people, teenagers and babies. I have photos of people at the station, out bush and in town. I took photos of mothers and daughters and whole families digging honey ants and bardi (witchity grubs). There are photos of kids searching for bimba (tree sap from an acacia). There are photos of people on the backs of utes and in the dusty old community bus. There are so many photos inexpertly ‘captured’ by me. But there are only a handful of photos of me. These photos of me, now, after the work of theory, seem like such irregular images. I am presenting myself to be looked at, ‘imposing the rules of one’s own perception’ but only through the gaucherie of the pose. There is a photograph of me out at the rock-holes with four kids and a middleaged man.16 Joshua and his sister Eleanor, their cousin Jeremiah, and their Uncle’s gnupa (wife/partner’s) daughter Jade, and Daniel who is Joshua’s mob’s grandmother’s gnupa, (possessive apostrophes can often get confusing when describing Madu family relationships) are posing for a camera that is balanced on a rock and in automatic mode. It is a fairly weird photograph. I am sitting in the foreground to the left with the kids variously sitting and standing to the right. Joshua has a quizzical stare. Eleanor has her thumbs up but looks as if she has been holding the pose for a while. Jade looks as if she is in the middle of saying something but the camera has cut her off and silenced her (Jade was always talking and rarely silenced). Jeremiah, who was four years old at the time, is walking towards the camera but behind us, with his arms pushed out, swinging to the side, as if mimicking an action sequence—his chest thrust forward, his face pushed out, expectant. Daniel is striding into the frame in the background in the Beatles’ Abbey Road style, an indeterminate look on his face. I’m the only one smiling, but I look like a ventriloquist who is uttering from the corner of his mouth, attempting, although not succeeding, to predict the moment of capture. We are all caught midstance, mid-sentence, mid-stride. We are thrown together in this bizarre assemblage of drawn-out, tired and incomplete poses. An inter image: both in between and entombed. None of us are playing the pose, yet our poses are played out by the trickery of photography, a game that old cameras balanced on rocks and in automatic mode are particularly adept at playing. And can you imagine the scene, the performance of setting up the shot? Me, kneeling, my necked craned, my bum in the air trying to peer through the tiny view-finder, the angles always wrong. Me, trying to get everyone ready, building it up, directing people, dramatising the moment of capture. Setting the timer on my old SLR that sounds like a wind up toy, the mechanism untrustworthy, like a time-bomb. Then I run, bounding over rocks; I catch my breath, I sit down, I try to act naturally, like the camera is not even there, like the whole performance never happened. The awful

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suspense, the uttered words through the forced smile. Is something wrong, will it go off, what’s happening, what are we doing? The longer you hold your pose the more fake it feels. And then the rescue of the click—your muscles relax from the tension; conversation, movement begins again. Relief that the moment of capture has past. I will now turn to a discussion of the phenomological philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. To this end, I will be focusing on Levinas’s Otherwise Than Being Or Beyond Essence. Levinas argues that subjectivity is constituted and materialised through ‘vulnerability’, ‘exposure to affection’ through ‘sensibility’ to another.17 Subjectivity is constituted through the self’s movement towards alterity. Levinas conceives of the subject as being someone who is called upon by another. Subjectivity is produced and made meaningful through the address of the other, through the subject’s relationship with alterity. We are vulnerable and dependent on the other that singles us out, we are produced by the other in the dual movement that calls us into being, and that calls our being into question. As Alphonso Lingis states in his introduction to Otherwise Than Being, the ‘relationship with alterity is finding oneself under a bond, commanded, contested, having to answer to another for what one does and for what one is. It is also finding oneself addressed, appealed to …’18 This appellation is both generative and potentially disabling; it is as revealing as it is exposing: the self receives its internal coherence through its relationship with exteriority. ‘The self’, ‘the ego’, ‘subjectivity’ is not selfconsolidating but needs contact with alterity, and this implies wounding and vulnerability as much as it does constitution and affirmation.19 Levinas contends that the subject ‘is someone who, in the absence of anyone is called upon to be someone, and cannot slip away from this call. The subject is inseparable from this appeal or this election, which cannot be declined’.20 What is most surprising and most radical about Levinas’s conception of subjectivity is that he understands it to be passive and not chosen by the subject. This is because singularisation or being called out is not the work of the subject but of the other. In fact, the subject is passive with regard to itself; the subject has no selfconsolidating agency, it is constituted through a movement of passive genesis. ‘This singularization’, Lingis contends, ‘is the work of the exterior, of alterity. It is in being addressed and contested, and being accused that one is first singled out’.21 The subject is subjected to subjectification (being singled out), which is the movement and the work of the other, and this work by the other consolidates the moment of subjectivity. Subjectivity has meaning because of its relationship with a constitutive outside. This means that as subjects we are dependent on the address of another. In other words, we are an other amongst others—that is produced by the address, the voice, the interpolation of others. Subjectivity receives its signification precisely through this process of the self being a substitute for another. I am a substitute for another and I am ‘dealt’ signification through occupying this position. This does not mean that our subjectivity is not unique. Levinas stresses this point when he argues that ‘no one can substitute himself for me, who substitutes myself for all’.22 The movement of signification is substitution for another and this substitution is the defining moment par excellence of the unique subject. It is through our responsibility (a responsibility that is not chosen) that we can respond to the call,

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the contestation and subjection of the other. This substitution is the ‘noninterchangeable par excellence, the I, the unique one, substitutes itself for others’.23 Levinas articulates a necessary belligerence on this point, in an attempt to avoid misrepresentation of substitution (of being a body-for-others) as being anything less than the generative principle of the unique self. He writes:
But it is I, I and no one else, who am a hostage for the others. In substitution my being that belongs to me and not to another is undone, and it is through this substitution that I am not ‘another,’ but me … I am unique and chosen; this election is in the subjection.24

This singularisation, of being called into question by the address of the other is the abrupt moment of constitution of the subject. It is important here to reiterate that the command and contestation put on me by the other both wounds and generates. The command, the address, the nomenclature of the other has force and meaning because we are susceptible and vulnerable to it. This vulnerability is not the unfortunate and negative backswing of the constitutive movement but is the very condition of the possibility of subject generation. We are constituted because we are sensible and vulnerable to the other. Thus sensitivity carries a dual meaning. To sense something is to be cognisant of its meaning, its orientation or presence, but it is also to be sensitive to something, to feel it and to be affected by it.25 This sensibility is also shared by Lingis, who writes:
Not only is there no receptive and perceptive sensibility without susceptibility with regard to what one is exposed to, but the exposure to alterity as such—an openness opened by the outside—is at the basis of the openness by which the subject opens itself to objects and to things.26

Substitution then is the consolidating movement of the subject. The subject is constituted through exposure and susceptibility that is generative. Substitution is the very ‘signifyingness of signification’ because the subject, singled out, appealed to and addressed by the other is made to contest and respond to his interlocutor. This contestation, this agitation, interrupts and disturbs the Weltanschauung (not Levinas’s term) of the subject, makes him answer for his/her beliefs, his movements, for her very self. The subject is disrupted, opened up by the outside, his/her ‘essence’ is displaced by the approach of alterity, by the signification of substitution. Alterity can not be consolidated into the self-same, can not be reduced to self-identity or to a self-sufficient being. The other cannot be sublated into the self. It is this me-as-another-for-someone-else; it is in the very alterity of the self, in the outside being constitutive, the susceptibility and vulnerability, the questioning, the appeal, the command, the imperative; it is the contestation of the other that photography captures and arrests, that bears the trace of the real and that arrests that uncanny moment of seeing myself as an other, seeing the otherness within the self. We, as subjects, subjected to the command of the other, are never fully selfpresent because our subjectivity hinges on our relationship with others, a selfpresence only in the endless infinity of the call of the other. The address of alterity comes as disruption: it disturbs the ‘essence’ of being, reveals being as substitution, responsibility, vulnerability. Alterity comes as a signal, a bond, an

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interpolation that moves on being, moves being on, away from itself and towards others. There is one photo taken of me by Joanne, one of the Ululla mob. I’ve never thought of it as significant but now, on reflection, it seems highly significant. The photo itself is not remarkable. No-one would say it was a ‘good’ photograph. I look awkward, slightly out of focus. The edge of my body and especially my face seems indistinct if not doubled. It is tremulous and fragile. The pose I perform, I can see, is inauthentic: I’m obviously posing (hardly remarkable?). My hands resting on my hips, my arms stick out like some unfortunate bird. I have a smirk on my face. I know that smirk and I hate it. Am I smirking at the camera, the photographer? Is that smirk for myself as image and the indifference of such a thought? Is that smirk the desperate arrogance of me captured, substituted by an image? Am I contemptuous of being photographed, of being an image, of seeing who I think I am? I am standing in a way that should be the quintessential pose of the relaxed, ‘at home’ male. My feet, which you can just see, are shod in elasticsided boots and are spread and accommodating, laconic you might say. What am I accommodating? The photographer’s address? Her advance? Her gaze? Myself as Image? Can I ever accommodate that? I am confidently (or so I would like you to think) presenting myself as I am, or as I think I am, or as I think others think I am, or that others should think I am. I am imitating the image of what I think I am, imitating what others think I am, representing the mimesis of what I am. I am in my vegie garden, amongst the green of late-winter snow peas. My legs and torso are obscured by the foreground of sweet corn. Sweet corn and snow peas in the desert? And both in the same season? They look odd, out of place surrounded by the red dirt. The garden looks frail, imposed. It grows in staked squares; there is not a hint of green outside the squares. There is nothing else remarkable. Apart from me—out of focus, out of place. This aside, it hardly seems a remarkable image for a young white male ‘at home’ in an Aboriginal community. Should I not be out bush with the men, at home with them and their stories of the country? Is that a more remarkable image for the young anthropologist/theorist/Indigenous studies student, or whatever I am? Imitate them, their stories, their country so I can represent them for you and for me. Who do I think I am? And for Whom? How would I ever approach their importance, their sacredness, their power; could I ever make myself that vulnerable, be initiated into these rites? And ultimately who becomes vulnerable? Who needs to be re-presented here anyway? Who is it that needs always to represent? Look, here I am writing, posing all these questions, presenting all these ideas. And what, after all, am I doing posing in a vegie garden with a woman? How is it that I came to think about writing about a remote Aboriginal community through the untrustworthy and fractured light of photography? What is the representer doing by being so obtuse in developing a theory of representation through the curdling problematic of the pose? What exactly do you think he is playing at? It can be hard to recover, hard to find oneself and continue to present this play of the self to the other when the mimic has chased himself into his own trap, is confounded by his own questions.27 Yet, ‘[a]ny attempt’, writes Derrida, ‘to return to the untouched, proper intimacy of some presence or some self-presence is played out in illusion. Because illusion, as its name already implies, is always an
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effect of play and because illusion entails a theatre in which a certain definite relationship between the unrepresentable and representation is engaged’.28 It is a strange kind of theatre—a vegie patch in the desert—and so too are other parched and staked out surfaces: they enact a kind of play of forces, a battle of wills, a head-to-head, a certain life-and-death struggle. A real whitefella thing to do. But back to this photograph. It is my sense that the vulnerability of ‘the pose’ reveals the markings of others, exposes the otherness of the self. Photography ‘captures’ the subject who is exposed to the other, captures the subject who is constituted through that very exposure. What the pose reveals through the address of the camera is the moment that a subject plays at himself, plays with himself, in order to be. The subject plays at being another for another, yet paradoxically attempts to compose him/herself for the other as self-present, as self-defining, and thus attempts to collapse the other into the self-same. The pose is a performative act that is put to work in order to conceal ‘being’ as vulnerability, ‘being’ as performance for the other. The pose works to mask the productive vulnerability of the self, works to hide the self that is an expression of this very process. The pose, for me, is the punctum par excellence: it is the element that agitates the question of being, it makes us able to see the self as other, the otherness within the self.29 The pose, that arresting of image and identity, image as identity, is about as close as one can get to seeing the self from the place where the other looks— this is of course an imagined possibility of looking from where the other looks. The subject who poses, called into performativity by the address of the other, presents him/herself to the other as a complete and wholly present subject. The subject as conscious of herself, conscious of the address of the other and thus as conscious of presenting herself as a body for others. The pose enacts and elects the generative principle of subject formation. It reveals the fundamental ipseity, the paradox of self-hood through the other; it reveals the exterior expression of constitution by and through, and because of, alterity. But on whose terms do I come to think back to being at Ululla? This paper explored terms of address and the generative vulnerability of this command. But on whose terms have I been addressing? Barthes’s, Levinas’s, or Derrida’s, (those possessive apostrophes again)? Have I made them my own, sublated their différance, collapsed their otherness into the self-same? Surely I’m not another amongst them? But the more pressing and salient issue is the problem of naming the other, of figuring the other as a means to reveal a process of marking and subjection. This seems particularly urgent in the field of cross-cultural representation—what are the ethics of representing an Aboriginal community? What kind of performance is it to use the experience of living in an Aboriginal community as a moment to consider a Western (so saturated in the Western) problem of being and subjectivity? Does this centre the Western and the author, and violently marginalise Aboriginal people? What kind of misnaming and appropriation happens here—of naming the other in order to understand something of the Western self? And perhaps the end of this paper should not be about reconfirming and congratulating oneself on what has been argued and marked out, but of identifying what remains disturbed and in question, vulnerable to the approach of the other—a performance that will not do for the other.
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Colonists in southern Western Australia and the picturesque: a mode of viewing or a political tool?
Jane Davis
During the seventeenth century, wealthy Englishmen and women travelled to Europe on the ‘Grand Tour’ where they were exposed to the delights of landscape artists such as Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rosa.1 A century later, domestic tourism was becoming fashionable with the rising English bourgeois. Armed with a ‘Claude glass’2 and a sketchpad, they toured the Lakes District where they enjoyed the scenery and remarked on the picturesque nature of the landscape before them. By 1829, when the Swan River Colony was established, greater opportunities for travel and increasing industrialisation and urbanisation brought about an unprecedented appreciation of landscape and uncultivated scenery within the educated classes of England.3 Although the first colonists in Western Australia may not have toured Europe or the Lakes District, they did not arrive as empty vessels to observe and record new images and knowledge onto blank minds. Their observations, attitudes and experiences in their new environment were always mediated by factors such as their education, religion and family background. This was their cultural baggage which, along with their trunks and boxes of material possessions, accompanied them to the shores of Western Australia and profoundly influenced the relationships they had with their new environment.4 One of the ways in which the colonists of southern Western Australia viewed the land was from a picturesque perspective. At its broadest level the picturesque is an aesthetic ideology that reflects a sentimental and romantic view of nature. Although initially recognised as a mode of viewing and representing landscape, since the 1980s other dimensions of the picturesque have been considered. Elizabeth Bohls, Indira Ghose, Sara Mills, Paul Carter, Simon Ryan and Paul Miller have all discussed the picturesque within a colonial context and argued that it encouraged a detachment from place and legitimised the appropriation of land.5 In this article I discuss the picturesque tradition and argue that for the colonists of southern Western Australia the picturesque was a device to understand and to communicate what they observed. For these colonists, the picturesque did not create distance or detachment from the land, nor was it a political tool that legitimised colonisation. This is not to suggest that the colonists were passive settlers. Clearly, they took part in the invasion of Western Australia and the appropriation of the land. At times, too, some of the colonists felt detached from their environment, but this detachment and the means of justifying the colonial enterprise should not be attributed to the picturesque mode of viewing and representing the landscape.

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The picturesque tradition The picturesque tradition arose during the Romantic era.6 During this period mechanistic, scientific and rational ideas were challenged by ideas that valued subjective knowledge, aesthetics, the uniqueness of individuals, religion and feeling. Edmund Burke was one intellectual who rejected the mechanistic materialism of the Enlightenment. As well as writing political treatises, Burke was interested in aesthetics and his influential work Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful discussed essential qualities of beauty and the sublime.7 The essence of beauty, Burke argued, was smoothness, calmness, safety and clarity, whereas essential qualities of the sublime were astonishment, awe and even fear and danger. Among intellectuals, these ideas of what constituted beauty urged discussions relating to aesthetics. Some theorists believed that Burke’s categories were too narrow as they excluded many landscapes still pleasing to the eye. These scenes were termed picturesque. Reverend William Gilpin, a clergyman, author and painter, is the figure most frequently associated with the picturesque tradition. Gilpin published tourist literature and landscape paintings of the Lakes District and developed a theory which influenced how people perceived and represented landscapes.8 He extended Burke’s category of beauty to include objects that were rough and interesting to the eye, and then he applied this to natural and unimproved landscapes where there was irregularity and variety in the scene. Gilpin has been referred to as a ‘reluctant theorist’ and although he attempted to clarify his ideas, his favoured definition of a picturesque scene or view was one suitable for painting.9 This picturesque mode of viewing became enormously popular among the educated and wealthy English people and thus, according to Hussey, ‘Forthwith the picturesque became the nineteenth century’s mode of vision’.10 Assisted by the accessibility of his guidebooks, Gilpin was widely accepted as the authority on the picturesque qualities of landscape in the 1790s and early 1800s. However, among the theorists there was intense debate about the nature of the picturesque and conflicting understandings of exactly what the term referred to. Writers such as Uvedale Price and Richard Payne Knight, both wealthy squires, attacked the imprecise nature of Gilpin’s ideas.11 For Price, ideal picturesque scenes were based on a ‘homely model of rustic decay founded on the imagery of seventeenth century Dutch artists’ and not the ‘wild scenery of Gilpin’s tourist vision’.12 Price summarised the attributes of the picturesque as being opposed to those of beauty, and named them roughness, sudden variation, and irregularity.13 Knight criticised Price’s theory and claimed that any distinction between the beautiful and the picturesque was imaginary.14 Arthur Young, an agricultural writer in the 1770s, also applied the term ‘picturesque’ to cultivated landscapes.15 Hence, although there were variations in what was understood by picturesque landscapes, the colonists of Western Australia shared a strong tradition of appreciating scenery and landscape that contained variety and interest, either with or without evidence of cultivation, and were suitable for painting. Although widely known as an aesthetic ideology and a tool for viewing landscape, since the 1980s political dimensions of the picturesque in a colonial context have been considered. Elizabeth Bohls focuses on the travel writing of English women who resisted their exclusion from Romantic literature.16 She
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analyses the ways in which they engaged with aesthetics and argues that Gilpin’s ideas gave women the opportunity to participate in philosophical discussions. Bohls maintains that the familiar language of the picturesque used by domestic and colonial travellers to view and describe unfamiliar landscapes encouraged a detachment from place and legitimised colonial cultures. She further asserts ‘the other thing made inconceivable by the picturesque is peoples’ practical connection to the land they live on and from’.17 I have no argument with Bohls regarding her position that the English travellers used the picturesque as a familiar way of describing and understanding the landscape, but my evidence, as this article will show, does not suggest the picturesque functioned to disconnect the colonists from the land or that it legitimised colonialism. For instance, Ghose and Mills apply this argument that the picturesque encouraged a detachment from place to the writing of Fanny Parkes.18 Fanny Parkes lived in India as the wife of a Bengali civil servant from 1822 to 1845. Her memoirs titled Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque were first published in 1850. In a recent edition, Ghose and Mills discuss how the language of the picturesque functioned in Parkes’s writing. They argue that the difference in power between the observer and the observed in the picturesque ‘is heightened when the Picturesque is employed within the context of colonialism’19 and furthermore:
The Picturesque worked to impose a filter on the scene of the strange land; it literally served to insert an aesthetic frame between the traveller and the country he or she was visiting. The anxiety of travel, the fear and unease caused by the unfamiliar are effectively deflected and the traveller insulated from their effects. By subsuming the Other to a picture the traveller is able to reassert control in what might well be a situation of cultural misunderstanding and tension.20

This position creates a problem for Ghose and Mills since, on the one hand, they argue that the picturesque detached Fanny Parkes from the land and yet they also acknowledge that Parkes appeared to have a genuine empathy for and intimacy with the landscapes and peoples of India.21 If the picturesque mode of viewing is seen as an aesthetic tool which does not necessarily accentuate the power difference between the observer and the observed and does not create detachment from the landscape, then the quite radical inconsistency in Parkes’s text as noted by Ghose and Mills is not so radical after all. Certainly, for the colonists of my study, there is little evidence to suggest that using the language of the picturesque created distance or detachment between the observer and the observed. In an Australian context, Paul Carter maintains that the picturesque was a way of appropriating the land as well as a way of describing it.22 The picturesque tradition made the environment visible to the European travellers and explorers. In using a familiar way of seeing, they were able to shape and create the landscape and also to possess it and feel comfortable in an alien place. Carter contends that this process also legitimised the appropriation of the land. Similarly, Simon Ryan analyses the texts of explorers to investigate mythologies of space and colonial enterprises.23 Ryan discusses the picturesque visions of explorers and concludes that their aesthetic responses were not innocent but were ‘expressions of colonial greed’.24 He argues that the likening of landscape to pictures was a way of controlling them and it precluded the
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possibility of other ways of seeing which may have included Aboriginal ways. The picturesque mode of viewing the landscape meant that it had already been shaped, created and was ready for colonisation. Consistent with these themes present in Carter and Ryan’s work, Paul Miller suggests that picturesque accounts of the land by travellers could be understood as ‘producing a purely imaginary landscape from the storehouse of a culturally received picturesque tradition’.25 However, Miller argues that monotonous descriptions of the landscape reflected an experience of the environment that was devoid of cultural content, and forced the traveller to adapt. Making a distinction between picturesque observations as the product of a cultural tradition while maintaining that descriptions of monotony are real experience is contrived. All language is a result of culture and learning. The picturesque and colonists in southern Western Australia Existing accounts of colonists that state they claimed the land, tamed it with a strictly utilitarian approach and, by adopting picturesque language mentally possessed the land thereby legitimising colonisation, puts the colonists in a difficult situation. They are castigated both for their utilitarian approach and for their aesthetic appreciation of the land. This is a situation that, I believe, is not justified by sufficient evidence. My reading of the sources challenges claims that the picturesque distanced and detached colonists from the landscape and was a way of justifying the colonial venture. Rather, colonists’ letters, diaries and journals suggest that they used the picturesque to communicate to their friends and family aspects of the environment they found attractive and pleasing. It was an aesthetic mode of viewing and representing the landscape. In July 1830, thirteen months after the Swan River Colony was established, the colonists were curious about the land east of the hills and a group led by Ensign Dale examined the area around York.26 In the early 1840s a number of colonists ventured to this area and were engaged in a range of farming activities. Among these were Eliza and Thomas Brown. Together with their two children they lived in a simple two-roomed cottage near York, far from the planned landscapes and comfortable life they led in Oxfordshire. Thomas and Eliza Brown first cleared the land, ploughed and sowed it to provide them with bread for the following year. Later they planted grape vines and numerous other fruit trees. They worked hard and lived modestly, producing most of their necessities from their farm. It is hard to reconcile this image of hard work, modest living and Eliza Brown’s use of the picturesque with Ryan’s claims that picturesque visions suggested colonial greed, or with Carter’s argument that the picturesque was a way of legitimising the destructive intrusion of the land. Eliza Brown’s relationship with the land was complex. Her pragmatic approach is evident but this did not exclude an aesthetic appreciation of the environment. In spite of their hardships, Eliza Brown expressed delight with the landscape. As a well-educated young woman, Eliza was familiar with the picturesque mode of viewing and describing landscapes and she used this language to communicate her appreciation of the land to her family in England. Four months after Eliza Brown arrived in the colony, she described the site of their cottage:
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Jane Davis Grass Dale is the name of the estate, it is about eleven square miles in extent and has a range of hills running though one part of it, the highest of which is called Mount Matilda. At the foot of this is our dwelling, a cottage consisting of two rooms, it is roughly built but of exceedingly picturesque appearance from the extreme beauty of the site where it is placed, rugged rocks are heaped in wild confusion around and a fertile valley stretches itself for full two miles and a half like a green lawn in front of lowly habitation.27

In the tradition of Gilpin, for whom picturesque scenery was ‘natural’, Eliza Brown admired the roughness and variety of the uncultivated scenery which contrasted with the more landscaped appearance of the valley. This description using language of the picturesque refutes Bohls’s assertion that the picturesque and peoples’ practical connections with the land are mutually exclusive. Here, using picturesque language, Eliza’s practical connections with the land are obvious. She lived in this cottage and everyday she viewed the rocks and the valley. As mentioned earlier, the picturesque had close connections with romanticism and these links are evident in the following passage written by Eliza whilst journeying from York to Champion Bay:
A few steps brought us to barren country again; but there were some places that presented a grand looking picture to the eye; forests of banksias trees; the sun lighting up the gorgeous transparent flowers, for the most part of a rich orange colour; others lilac, and some white, were sometimes seen below us, in a valley winding between rugged hills. It only wanted a party of natives, uttering their wild shouts and poising their quivering spears, to give animation to the wild landscape; however we were quite contented that the picture had not this finishing touch.28

On this journey Eliza did not find all the country attractive, but when she came across landscape that she found appealing Eliza used picturesque language to express these sentiments. The possibility of the presence of Aboriginal peoples, although not desired in reality, added a romantic element to the landscape as a picture. Eliza’s hypothetical reference to the unwelcome presence of Aboriginal people set her apart from them but her descriptions of the landscape in the picturesque tradition do not imply that she was a detached observer, disengaged to the land. Eliza took a keen interest in the country, both for its productive capacity and as landscape to be admired. Janet Millett arrived in Western Australia in December 1863, twenty-two years after Eliza Brown. Her husband, Edward Millett, had taken a position as the Anglican Chaplain at York. Edward suffered from tic doulourex and it was hoped that a warmer climate would assist with his health. However, there was no improvement after five years so they returned to England in 1869. Unlike Eliza Brown, Mrs Millett did not depend directly upon the land for survival and thus was not intimately engaged with the land in the same way as Eliza. There were times when Mrs Millett described the landscape as monotonous, but most of her descriptions were favourable and she did not have an adversarial relationship with the land. Mrs Millett regularly travelled through the bush to visit friends in the district and she occasionally journeyed to Perth. She also kept a variety of native animals including a kangaroo, a possum, a lizard and a rosella, which suggests an emotional willingness to reach out and connect with the wider
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landscape. Although Janet Millett’s relationship with the land was different to Eliza Brown’s, she also used picturesque language to express her enjoyment of the natural landscape and to provide information about the country. While on her way to visit a friend in the district, Mrs Millett wrote, ‘The views were so picturesque that for a mile or two farther we passed our time in admiring them’.29 Here, she observed the pictorial qualities of the distant scenery but although she was physically distant from this scene it does not follow that she was also emotionally distanced. After travelling a little further, Mrs Millett used picturesque language to explain her feelings and describe their camp:
We therefore came to a stand, and determined, in colonial phrase, to ‘bush it’ … I was glad for once to feel the solitariness of a night in the open bush, even at the expense of a little privation … the picture was beautiful as we lay looking at the stars in the blue-black vault overhead, against which every twig and branch shone white as it caught the firelight, whilst the perfect stillness carried with it a sensation of awe.30

Mrs Millett expressed awe during her first night spent camping under the stars but the context suggests wonder and amazement at the vast sky and the silence, rather than fear and trepidation of spending a night in the bush without shelter. Here, Mrs Millett used the picturesque to express satisfaction and pleasure. There is no evidence that she used this language to deflect fear or anxiety as Ghose and Mills suggest. On another occasion, Mrs Millett adopted the language of the picturesque in a positive way to express her appreciation of the flora. Her aim here was to provide her readers with a rich and detailed description of a paperbark tree:
Their shapes were very picturesque, being much twisted and gnarled; the whiteness of the bark contrasting well with their green foliage, which is close and thick, affording more shade, in spite of the smallness of the leaf, than many other of the Australian trees.31

As well as using the picturesque to describe the flora, Mrs Millett employed it to describe the general appearance of Perth. She noted, ‘Whether approached by the river or the road, the picturesque appearance of Perth cannot fail to excite admiration’.32 Her use of the picturesque was different to that of Eliza Brown in this instance. This time Mrs Millett applied the term to a cultivated landscape, more in the tradition of Arthur Young and Uvedale Price than William Gilpin. There was a wide river, trees and scrub, but there were also substantial buildings and gardens. Compared with York, Perth offered more variety of scenery. Picturesque landscapes were highly valued by Mrs Millett and she was disturbed to think that the colonists would blatantly destroy scenes that she deemed picturesque. She observed that they left no trees, either living or dead standing near their houses and wrote, ‘This custom, which at first I deplored as involving a willful disregard of the picturesque, I soon learned to be a sad necessity, on account of the prevalence of bush fires’.33 Mrs Millett was not sad on account of the loss of these trees on environmental or ecological grounds: she mourned the loss of the visual scene that they created. In this example, Mrs Millett used the picturesque to defend conservation practices.

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Jane Davis

Mrs Millett was the wife of an Anglican clergyman who did her best to adapt to an unfamiliar environment. Her use of picturesque language did not function to create distance or detachment and there is no evidence to show that it enhanced her domination of the landscape. The picturesque was part of her cultural heritage, but it was not an insidious political tool which served to justify the colonial experience. It was an aesthetic device, a way of describing the landscape and a means of understanding and communicating what she observed. Louisa Clifton arrived in Western Australia in 1840. Her father was Marshall Waller Clifton, Chief Commissioner of the Western Australia Company, which had purchased land in the south-west of the Colony near Leschenault Inlet and established the town of Australind. Louisa grew up in a wealthy household with servants and she was educated at home. She was an excellent scholar and had a particular love and talent for painting.34 Louisa viewed the landscape of Western Australia through the eyes of an educated young Englishwoman and also as an amateur artist. She admired the art of Claude Lorrain but her own sketches of Leschenault Inlet, their camp and the early cottages were less embellished than much of the picturesque and romantic art. A lithographer, T C Dibdin, added to one of these sketches of Leschenault Bay and Barbara Chapman noted that Dibdin converted Louisa’s accurate sketch of the landscape into an arcadian scene.35 In keeping with paintings in the picturesque style, Dibdin added more variety to the landscape by inserting people, sailing ships and extra vegetation on the sand hills. Louisa intentionally kept her sketches simple, as she was keen to provide her friends and family with a visual understanding of her life at Australind. She wrote, ‘I am so anxious to send dearest Frank and Waller and Priscy a few sketches of our present landscape’.36 Although there is evidence of picturesque conventions in Louisa’s sketches, her primary objective in sending the sketches to her family was to convey information about her environment. After three weeks anchored in the bay, Louisa and her family spent their first night in tents at Australind. Louisa was pleased to leave the boat and she was eager to describe this event to her brother Waller, who had remained in London:
I must attempt before I lie down for the first time in the bush, to give you some description of the picturesque, romantic scenes in which we are now engaged. We have just made our beds on the ground, arranged our tent for the night, and with the moon shining brightly through the canvas over head, solemn stillness reigning around a log fire, the chirling of grasshoppers and now and then the breaking of a wave on the distant shore.37

As well as sketches, Louisa used picturesque language to describe their camp. After a tiring day washing clothes, a task she had never undertaken in England or France, she declared, ‘I have no inclination to explore. It is attended with so much fatigue, and the country is so similar everywhere, I think there is nothing to tempt me beyond the precincts of our own picturesque encampment’.38 Louisa used the term ‘picturesque’ to describe domestic scenes consistent with the approach of Uvedale Price and Arthur Young who applied the term to cultivated landscapes rather than wild, uncultivated scenery.39 While she viewed the distant environment as beautiful, she found this landscape lacking in sufficient variety to be termed picturesque.
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Louisa found much to admire in the landscapes near the Leschenault Inlet. She was clearly influenced by the picturesque, and in a similar way to Eliza Brown and Janet Millett she drew on this to express her pleasure with the country. She expressed these feelings while camped near the Leschenault Inlet and while living in simple huts close to the bush and the estuary. To suggest that Louisa’s use of the picturesque detached her from the landscape, or that it legitimised her colonising venture is to discount the evidence and to overlook the context of her language. Conclusion The picturesque was one of the languages used by colonists to southern Western Australia to interpret and describe the landscape. This involved an appreciation of landscape on aesthetic grounds and reflected romantic sentiments. These ideas of what were deemed to be appealing landscapes were popularised by Gilpin’s tourist literature and theorists such as Price and Knight who subsequently developed notions of what constituted the picturesque. Despite contemporary disagreements about the nature of the picturesque, it became enormously fashionable with educated Englishmen and women and was a sign of good taste and social standing. Just as Gilpin’s understanding of the picturesque was different to that of Price and Young’s in the late eighteenth century, it is evident that colonists of southern Western Australia in the mid-nineteenth century also had different ideas of what constituted picturesque landscapes. Louisa Clifton described her immediate surroundings as picturesque whereas Janet Millett used the term to refer to distant scenery as well as to individual objects in the landscape such as trees. However, there is an important way in which the colonists had a common approach to the picturesque. They used the picturesque to view and describe landscape. While this may have assisted with the process of coming to know the land, assertions by Bohls, Carter, and Ghose and Mills that this contributed to emotional detachment between the colonist and the landscape and legitimised colonisation are overstated and evidence for such claims is elusive. The picturesque was part of the cultural background of the colonists and was one way of looking at and seeing the land. At times they viewed the land from other perspectives such as a scientific or utilitarian approach, but when they wished to express their appreciation of the scenery, they used the language of their heritage: the picturesque tradition. Used in this way it was not a sinister political tool that supported the colonising process or created detachment between the viewer and the landscape. These colonists were closely connected to the land: either dependent upon their vegetables, crops and stock for survival or living simply in an unfamiliar environment. Though they experienced many hardships and suffered from being isolated from friends and family, they also expressed delight with the landscape and the scenery. This delight took the form of the picturesque.

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Climate change messages and strategies by Australian NGOs
Nina Hall and Cassandra Star
This paper examines the climate change campaigns being conducted by seven environmental non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia, in order to determine how campaign messages are perceived by the intended audiences. Our research examines who the NGOs are targeting, and whether the messages resonate with these audiences. This research positions itself in the overlap between social movements and the politics of climate in Australia. It supports Giugni’s description that ‘one of the raisons d’être of social movements is to bring about changes in some aspects of society’, and agrees that ‘political outcomes of social movements are not limited to obtaining policy gains’, including broader procedural and structural political outcomes.1 Its research aligns itself with the analyses of social movements by Dryzek et al. and McEachern, and considers NGOs to be an integral component of them, as described by Princen and Finger.2 It also uses the term ‘NGOs’ to describe not-for-profit advocacy organisations focused primarily on environmental issues. These organisations undertake research, campaigns and advocacy to influence decisions of the ‘institutional elite’ for social and political outcomes with benefits beyond the organisation’s own membership.3 This research also references Doyle’s work on environmental politics, where he recommends the role of ‘author as activist’.4 We discuss the methodology employed in the research, the context of climate politics in Australia and the range of NGO activities, before comparing the impressions of campaign effectiveness of the NGO campaigners with those of their identified audience groups. This comparison is presented in recognition that, as Giugni identifies, ‘[social movement success] is in large part subjectively assessed. Movement participants and external observers may have different perceptions of the success of a given action’.5 In response, the perspectives of campaigners are compared against those ‘external observers’. The inclusion of the observations and insights of external observers is an approach not often employed in the assessment of NGO campaigns.6 Research methodology This paper is based on the findings from twenty-five semi-structured interviews conducted between November 2004 and December 2005 with both campaign staff working in environmental NGOs as well as the audiences the NGOs sought to influence. The insights and outcomes of this paper are the product of two discrete, but overlapping, research projects undertaken by the two authors. The two research projects utilise a layered methodology that began with the identification of climate change campaigns and individual campaigners through mainstream media channels and through campaign materials. Individual, in-depth interviewing was a crucial element of both projects as there is rarely a ‘standard

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repository of record’ of social movement campaigns, as Doyle identifies, and much information exists outside the realm of formal histories.7 The authors are, or have been, active within some of the selected NGOs such as the Mineral Policy Institute, the Climate Action Network Australia and Friends of the Earth Australia. This role of ‘author as activist’ helps to overcome what Doyle observes as the ‘deep suspicion amongst many non institutional, social movement actors in relation to “official” recorders of their activities’.8 An interviewing approach with the emphasis on an open-ended, semistructured conversation between interviewer and interviewee was employed in the research projects.9 Campaigners from seven environmental NGOs were interviewed, including Rising Tide, the Mineral Policy Institute (MPI), Friends of the Earth Australia (FoE), the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Greenpeace Australia Pacific (Greenpeace), the Worldwide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF), and the Climate Action Network Australia (CANA). The selection was based on hosting a permanent climate change campaigner and membership to CANA. The groups covered a diversity of campaign goals and organisational budgets. The NGOs were asked about their campaigns on climate change and the impact they were having. They identified the fields and industries that comprised some, but not all, of their intended ‘audiences’: the general community, media, politicians, energy-intensive and electricity industries, and policy makers. Since it would be difficult to secure several ‘perspectives’ through interviews with general community members, community-held perceptions were determined through a literature and information review of recent polls. Participants from the other audience groups were selected through direct contact, through their current or previous specialist roles (such as politicians, political advisors and journalists), or through personal contacts in relevant government departments. The interview participants were selected to provide a perspective or ‘snapshot’ from their industry or field, which may or may not be held by others in their organisation. These ‘audience’ participants were asked about the NGO activities they had noticed in their role and whether the messages had been presented in ways that resonated with their sectors or decision-makers. The responses are provided together, contrasting the findings from the environmental NGOs against the impressions from the intended audience. Politics of climate change in Australia According to the international scientific authority on climate change, high concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases from human activities ‘continue to alter the atmosphere in ways that are expected to affect the climate’.10 In its 2004 Energy White Paper, the Australian Government conceded that ‘emissions of greenhouse gases have the potential to raise global temperatures, resulting in deleterious effects to people and the natural world … Substantial reductions in global greenhouse emissions will be needed to avoid these effects’.11 Although the Australian contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is only 1.6% and ‘too small for Australia to make a difference on its own’12, the per capita emissions are the ‘highest in the developed world’.13
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The federal and state governments have responded to human-induced climate change projections with a number of policies. In 1998, the federal government revised the 1992 National Greenhouse Response Strategy, and introduced the National Greenhouse Strategy. This strategy intended to ‘limit net greenhouse gas emissions to meet our international commitments … and to lay the foundations for adaptation to climate change’.14 In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international treaty on climate change, was opened for signature. While the Australian Government signed the Protocol, it declined to ratify it to become binding in Australian law. The government stated that it ‘continues to support the underlying objectives of the UNFCCC but remains convinced that ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is not in the national interest’.15 This approach is consistent with the government’s recognition that fossil fuel usage and resource exports are a significant part of the Australian economy, earning $24 billion per year.16 In a critique of the Government’s 2004 Energy White Paper, Securing Australia’s Energy Future, Kent and Mercer found it strongly favoured ‘a business-as-usual, fossil fuel-dominated future for the Australian energy sector’.17 This policy matches an opportunity presented by the Government’s announcement of the Asia–Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate in July 2005, involving the United States, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia. The partnership intends to ‘develop, deploy and transfer existing and emerging clean technology’, to reduce the countries’ greenhouse emissions.18 The first meeting of the Partnership was held in Sydney in January 2006 and disappointed many NGOs. WWF’s CEO lamented that the outcomes of the Partnership’s meeting ‘will lock us in to a four-degree rise in global average temperatures, when two degrees is considered extremely dangerous’.19 The Australian NGOs included in this paper consider government actions to address the projected impacts of human-induced climate change to be inadequate. The Climate Action Network Australia state in their key strategy document that Australian ‘governments, industry and the public have not truly engaged on this serious issue in a way that will prevent dangerous changes to the global climate system’.20 The following section outlines the approaches currently taken by environmental NGOs to target these critical audiences within the climate change debate. NGO activities and intended audiences This research interviewed ten campaigners from the case-study NGOs regarding their intended audience. The NGO interview participants identified a variety of target audiences, which perhaps reflects the variety of activities and strategies they are undertaking. For MPI, Rising Tide, CANA, WWF and Greenpeace, the intended audience included the ‘community’ as a whole, as well as specific sectors, such as universities, unions, mine and power plant affected people, and farmers. FoE took their concerns about climate refugees to other parts of civil society, such as socially engaged faith-based and religious communities, trade unions, student organisations, indigenous groups, and aid and development groups. The importance of making these links with wider civil society is a key to their focus
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on social impacts and climate justice. FoE saw this as an important focus given that ‘the other large green groups that were working on greenhouse either were very engaged with industry [or] very focussed on lobbying … government’.21 Indeed, political decision-makers, including policy-makers and politicians were specific targets for MPI, ACF and WWF. For many, the media were a means to reach these audiences, rather than constuting a specific audience, with FoE highlighting the difficulty of conveying the complexity of the issue in a ‘three second grab’.22 WWF focussed mainly on the power sector and on ‘rais[ing] awareness about the fact that the power sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases’.23 Their campaigning in this area has involved an emphasis on emission reductions and halting new coal-fired power station construction. They have also been involved in raising the awareness of emergent climate impacts and attempting to influence government policy. Other targets for their campaign messages have included the scientific community and insurance companies. Similarly, ACF focused on business and industry and MPI on coal companies.24 For the purposes of this paper, these target audiences have been termed ‘community’, ‘media’, ‘politicians’, ‘industry’ and ‘policy-makers’. NGO and audience perspectives on campaigns In the following sections, the perspectives of the NGOs regarding their campaigns’ effectiveness are contrasted with those of their audiences. Community Many of the NGOs were optimistic about the effectiveness of their campaigns in reaching the ‘community’. CANA felt it had moderate success, stating that people are concerned, but not concerned enough to take action, as they are also ‘overwhelmed and confused’ by the complexity and size of the climate change issue.25 MPI considered the community the best recipient of their messages, but their ‘growing concern about cumulative social, economic and ecological impacts of coal dependency and large-scale coal mining … are still marginalised voices in government policy outcomes’.26 Rising Tide was more optimistic, having seen ‘good turnouts’ to its events and responsiveness to their street stalls.27 FoE believed that their messages have resonated easily with civil society, attributing this to the similarities in value sets with these groups and FoE.28 Walker also sees the impact amongst the general community: where once people were sceptical, ‘now most people would say yes, it’s [climate change] happening’.29 WWF considered that community awareness has significantly increased, saying ‘the level of knowledge and discussion about climate change is double what it was … a few years ago’. For WWF’s Anna Reynolds, ‘all of the activity has certainly helped … “prime” Australian society for change’.30 However, ACF saw the NGO campaign at a ‘crossroads’, where the focus of community campaigns until now has been on the ‘elite’, educated and professional part of the community. ACF’s Erwin Jackson said that ‘yesterday’s movement’ on climate change resulted in ‘little mainstream concern, little change in behaviour, and little government action’. While ACF acknowledged that the ‘elite are the
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trendsetters’ and need to be kept engaged, Jackson argued that NGOs must now build ‘tomorrow’s movement [that] seeks significant societal and economic change through strong mainstream support’.31 This distinction between university-educated ‘elite’ and the ‘mainstream’ was echoed by other NGOs32, although Sawer and Hindess question whether this perception is accurate and helpful.33 Other campaigners reflected on the community success of their messages: ‘It’s not wrapped up in too much sugar coating, so in that sense, some audiences don’t want to hear … [and] it’s too confronting for some other audiences, even though they’d like to hear’.34 Julie-Anne Richards also considered that ‘We’ve been talking too much about impacts and not enough about solutions … [we] need to be a bit stronger on the message that there are things people can do and it’s not all up to governments … we need more messages about … positive solutions for people in their daily lives’.35 It is difficult to ascertain general community perceptions through interviews, so this information is based on several major surveys. These found that climate change is not an environmental issue that is at the ‘top of mind’ for many Australians. A NSW government survey in 2003 found that only three per cent of people in NSW named ‘greenhouse effect/global warming/climate’ as the most important environmental issue in NSW.36 A similar question in a national survey found less than one in ten included climate change in their top three important environmental issues, but, when prompted, 78 per cent said it was an important issue facing Australia.37 One of the reasons that may lie behind the low level of concern is poor understanding of climate change. The Australian Greenhouse Office’s 2003 national survey found that only twelve per cent correctly identified the burning of fossil fuels as the major contributor to climate change.38 Riedy worries that poor comprehension of the issue of climate change is problematic for two reasons:
if people do not know about climate change, its impacts and the ways they can respond, they are unlikely to prioritise climate change response in their own actions; and if people misunderstand the causes of climate change, they may misguidedly prioritise actions that do not necessarily help to address the problem.39

Despite this apparent low concern and poor understanding, the national survey found that 66 per cent of the 1,200 households interviewed said they were doing some things to reduce their household’s energy use, and 26 per cent said they were doing ‘everything they could’.40 The 2003 NSW survey argued that education and information have increased people’s level of knowledge about climate change between 1994 and 2003.41 This may have been achieved in part by the mass media: the 2003 national survey found it to be the main source of information about climate change issues.42 It appears that the community are seeking more information, as this same survey found ‘education and awareness-raising’ to be the most commonly selected option the government ‘ought to be taking’.43 These findings support the NGOs’ decisions to build community awareness and to reach people through the media. However, the NGO messages must be accurately targeted to community motivations, as an ABS survey found the choices around energy consumption were driven ‘mostly by lifestyle reasons and resource availability, rather than a desire to reduce energy use’.44
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Media The NGOs recognise that the media play an important role in broadcasting their messages. However, as Maddison and Scalmer describe, ‘in an increasingly media-saturated present, social movements have had to find often spectacular means of generating media and community interest in their action’.45 Climate change is a particularly difficult issue to portray. An anonymous NGO campaigner said, ‘the media’s a bit harder [to sell the issue to] because … it’s a hard thing for people to understand at first … [however] that’s our job … we’re supposed to be popularising [climate change]’. A further issue in relation to the media concerned the lack of resources available to NGOs for media exposure: ‘I’d love to run a TV commercial campaign just for a couple of weeks primetime … if only we could do something on that level’. This campaigner reiterated the view of the media as a way to reach audiences. NGOs need to be responsive to daily events, and ‘using the media is [a vehicle] to seize these opportunities’. Additionally, using the media to ‘embarrass politicians’ is the ‘best way of getting action’. However, media attention can be a ‘double-edged sword’, where groups with significant coverage risk losing media currency. In this case, a journalist ‘couldn’t quote us because we have been too exposed lately, so she used [another NGO]’.46 The journalists interviewed had a number of criticisms and clarifications for NGOs’ interaction with the media. A newspaper ‘Opinions’ editor clearly stated that ‘climate change is not a specific issue of interest’, and is only included in his section if the particular angle of a story or action is ‘novel, challenges thinking or advances discussion’.47 Despite this, it is not uncommon for climate change ‘sceptic’ views to be published in the ‘Opinions’ pages.48 Another journalist suggested that the publication of climate ‘sceptic’ perspectives is due to most ‘Opinion’ commentators being ‘very conservative … and anti-bleeding heart’. For them, climate change presents a very polarised and radical issue that is ‘demonstrative of scientists and NGOs up against the federal government and industry lobby’.49 A former Sydney Morning Herald environment reporter explained that newspaper journalism is about newness and conflict, and that since the federal government’s action on policy is minimal at this moment, climate change is currently a story of ‘nothing happening, so it’s no news’.50 These journalists urged NGOs to use an approach and language in their publicity on climate change in a credible and balanced way. One journalist stressed that ‘environmental groups are good lobbyists but cannot differentiate between proselytising [and providing informed comment]’.51 Another journalist criticised the emphasis he felt is placed on ‘scaremongering’ and fear-based messages. For him, this approach reduced the NGOs’ credibility.52 Peatling recommended that, in addition to engaging in debate at a national level, NGOs could present more opportunities for positive media coverage if they facilitated community-level events and commissioned scientific research to have a new ‘product’ to feature.53 Politicians WWF’s Reynolds acknowledged that ‘the political environment is quite a tough one’.54 Supporting this, CANA’s Richards said, ‘we can’t have [influenced
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politicians], otherwise we would have better climate policy’.55 Rising Tide’s Phillips reflected that ‘NGOs got the debate happening but [this] hasn’t translated into political gains’.56 A former NSW Minister for Resources, Kim Yeadon, believed that the NGO focus on renewable energy and demand management positively influenced the Council of Australian Governments and contributed to the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target scheme.57 He implored NGOs to ‘understand the political system’ and the process by which an NGO’s ‘politically unattainable’ demand must be modified for acceptance into government policy. Furthermore, according to Yeadon, politicians are seeking positive public feedback from NGOs on the policies and actions that they undertake in part as a result from their interaction because ‘politicians are only after votes at the end of the day’. Yet, this feedback rarely arrived because ‘you can never satisfy the environment movement—you’ve never done enough’.58 A political advisor identified that the real obstacle for NGO effectiveness was in building broader community support at the electorate level, rather than relying on the ‘elite’ educated community’s support and action on the issue.59 Energy-intensive and electricity industry The response by industry to pressure and campaigns from environmental NGOs was mixed, according to CANA’s Julie-Anne Richards. She considered the Greenpeace-led campaign that halted shale oil extraction in Queensland a ‘stand out success’, while the Hazelwood power plant in Victoria has proceeded despite a collaborative NGO campaign.60 MPI was positive about certain companies’ willingness to consider alternatives to coal-generated electricity, but Geoff Evans said ‘the commitments of the major generators remains [sic] minimal, though hopefully will grow’.61 ACF’s Erwin Jackson felt that ACF built good relationships with both business and government officers, one that is both pragmatic and open to discussion.62 Part of ACF’s relationship-building strategy with business and government was undertaken through the Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change, to be launched in April 2006. The Roundtable includes members from the banking, reinsurance, manufacturing and power sectors. An ACF campaigner observed, ‘I was surprised to find how advanced these companies all are in … their commitment to [action on] climate change’.63 Another campaigner also commended engaging industry to ‘get the corporate sector feeling good and get debate happening’.64 Industries that have high greenhouse emissions, either through manufacturing or electricity production, held a variety of views on the effectiveness of the approaches that NGOs are using to highlight concerns about climate change, as well as some similarities that existed between their industries’ and the NGOs’ agendas. Many interview participants considered that aspects of the NGO campaigns had been effective. The Australian Industry Greenhouse Network’s John Daley appreciated ‘business-aware’ NGO approaches, commending WWF’s choice of a CEO with a business background.65 A Rio Tinto manager commended some NGO actions, such as ACF’s policy position on carbon dioxide storage underground (‘geosequestration’), as a positive example of productive NGO

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engagement on climate change that ‘requires listening to understand more than one’s own point of view and being prepared to develop solutions in parallel with new information’.66 Less impressed was a participant from the cement industry who considered NGOs to have ‘been a background voice’. Instead, his organisation, the Cement Industry Federation, has been informed about climate change ‘from science, public perception and government responses’.67 A particularly strong critique came from a participant in the renewable energy industry. He felt that the NGOs could have played their politics ‘smarter’, with more behind-the-scenes emphasis on negotiation and discussion. By pushing the climate change discussion into a public, political debate, he considered that the government is less likely to shift from its current position for fear of being seen as ‘inconsistent’ in the public eye.68 Further strong critique came from Greg Bourne, formerly of BP Asia–Pacific, and now the CEO of WWF Australia. His recommendations pivoted around NGOs having a strong scientific basis to their arguments, and building positive working relationships with energy-intensive industries. Bourne considered that basing climate change arguments on ‘sound science’ ensures a NGOs’ credibility. While he acknowledged campaign messages that ‘advocate from feelings and the heart are legitimate’, these should only be used if the information has a ‘credible and intellectual basis’. He recommended encouraging better business practices with ‘plans that ensure improved profit and improved social and environmental outcomes’ over the more paternalistic ‘scolding or shaming’ of businesses with poor environmental practices.69 Despite varying perspectives, some interview participants from industry felt that there were significant areas where their industries shared the same agenda as NGOs focused on climate change concerns. The CIF’s Ritchie described the common agenda broadly, acknowledging ‘climate change is occurring and needs more action’.70 Similarly, Rio Tinto’s official position is that ‘in order to avoid human caused changes to the climate the world must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases’.71 More specifically, an energy supplier found that his company joined with many NGOs in calling for a national economic instrument (such as a carbon tax) as an alternative to the current ‘hodge-podge of policies’.72 AIGN’s Daley acknowledged his organisation shared the ACF and WWF preference for ‘market mechanisms over regulation as they deliver least cost’.73 Another energy industry participant felt that the WWF-facilitated Clean Energy Futures report was pragmatic, and thus more effective, in its inclusion of a variety of energy sources beyond renewable energy, such as gas, biomass and energy efficiency measures.74 A staff member of Tarong Energy considered that many in the electricity industry shared the ‘philosophical position [with NGOs and others] that the greenhouse issue needs resolution and that practices need to be changed’, but that the debate now needs to focus on the pragmatics of responses, targets, and timelines.75 Policy-makers The campaigns’ effects on political decision-making are mixed, according to the NGOs. CANA’s Richards believed that their efforts have been unsuccessful at a federal level, but she was encouraged by Western Australia’s decision to move

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towards gas-generated electricity.76 MPI was despondent that state governments such as NSW still support new coal mines but pleased that they acknowledge the process to establish new mines is now more difficult ‘as community awareness and resistance grows’.77 WWF’s Anna Reynolds was pleased with the attention that WWF’s campaigns on coal-fired power stations was being given by policymakers, and, although this was not at the highest decision-making level, she realised the ‘need to be realistic when placing a new agenda on the table’.78 The policy-makers interviewed commended and criticised environmental NGO activities that had come to their attention. One policy officer considered that the new and ‘unnnatural’ lobbying alliances, such as the afore-mentioned Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change, created a strong voice that engaged well with the private sector. According to her, there has been a ‘radical shift in NSW from the state to private sector as a power broker’, and NGO–business alliances, including the Roundtable and the WWF-facilitated Australian Climate Group of high profile businesspeople, scientists and academics, were a ‘symbolic change in the way debate and engagement occurs’.79 Another policy officer commended the contributions the NGOs are making to advisory groups.80 An economist praised WWF as ‘attuned to being part of the policy debate [and] considering the economic impacts’, but he criticised other NGOs as ‘aiming for media headlines’.81 A policy officer highlighted the impact that specific individuals, rather than organisations, can make, and mentioned several long-term NGO campaigners who had ‘provided excellent intellectual contributions to the debate on both national and international [climate] policy-making’.82 Strong critique came from a former policy-maker who lamented the lack of ‘follow-through’ by environmental NGOs in the efforts to engage with the policymaking process. He considered that personal interactions needed to go beyond ad hoc meetings with the Premier and other ‘friendly’ power-holders. He said, ‘don’t just meet with the Environment Minister—although this is important … try and convince the harder ones’. Consistent contact was also important: ‘you can’t see someone once a year … you need to be in their face, writing to their advisors, being in constant contact’.83 He encouraged NGOs to ‘leverage’ off their submissions: circulate them to relevant ministers and bureaucrats, seek follow-up meetings, and brief the media. Another policy officer mentioned the challenge that has arisen due to the government’s ‘clever politics on fear, capitalism and individualism’ which has taken the focus away from community-based efforts for the ‘common good of all people’.84 An economist warned against the tendency he observes in environmental NGOs towards ‘sensationalism’ of weather events not scientifically linked to climate change, and to ‘impractical’ policy prescriptions.85 This was supported by a former government climate scientist who felt that NGOs placed ‘too much emphasis on doom and gloom without sufficient recognition of the uncertainties’. He clarified that ‘uncertainties do not mean nothing should be done, as many sceptics claim, but rather that a risk management approach is needed in which small probabilities of serious adverse outcomes need to be guarded against’. This same scientist lamented that NGOs have not provided the potential bridge between policy-makers and the ‘real coal-face climate scientists’ who may ‘feel unable to speak publicly because it makes them look biased and reduces their credibility
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with policy-makers and could affect their funding’. He recommended that NGOs also build ‘more positive engagement with industry and policy-makers … emphasise the co-benefits and job opportunities, and the down-side of out-of-date high-carbon [coal] technology’.86 Conclusions Research conducted in these two projects indicates that different audiences have displayed different levels of receptiveness to the climate change message. The general community has received messages about climate change, but owing to poor understanding and other environmental issues taking greater priority, there is insignificant agitation or action at this level to be felt by politicians. The media implore NGOs to improve the ‘newsworthiness’ of their stories, but commend the new alliances that NGOs have formed that may overcome the sceptical treatment of the climate change issue by conservative opinion commentators. Politicians acknowledge the NGO position on climate change, and recommend proposing more ‘realistic’ policy demands and encouraging members of electorates to pressure their own Members of Parliament. Energy-intensive and electricitygenerating industry appreciates the new alliances and ‘business-aware’ approaches of NGOs, and some are willing to publicly acknowledge the concerns their industry shares with NGOs regarding climate change. They seek a more collaborative, ‘softly-softly’ negotiation process towards policy change away from the public spotlight. Policy-makers appreciate the NGO efforts, also remarking on the new alliances and collaborations that the NGOs have facilitated to provide a new ‘face’ and credibility to their concerns. They suggest that NGOs could benefit from forging closer links with scientists, and should pursue greater ‘mileage’ from their policy engagement. Two main observations can be drawn. First, NGOs are communicating their concerns to a range of specific audiences. The new alliances with business, the medical profession, scientists, academics and others appear to have been wellreceived and have strengthened the credibility of the climate change issue. However, the findings from the community and media reinforce what one policymaker highlighted as the challenge of ‘making climate change [messages] resonate’ with audiences.87 Furthermore, the message is often acted upon in an unexpected manner that is beyond the NGOs’ control, as described by an industry member who said, ‘the fact that … governments have not included [the NGOs’] specific solutions does not mean that their concerns about climate change were not heard’.88 This loss of control may be due to the lack of obvious solutions advocated in the campaign messages, which place greater emphasis on scientific projections and potential impacts. Indeed, some NGO campaigners interviewed for this research sought to provide more community solutions to counteract the perception that projected climate change is a ‘scientific’ issue that can only be ‘solved’ by governments and scientists. While this first observation suggests that NGOs are effective at raising general awareness and ‘agenda creation’, the second observation is that social and policy change appears not to be happening, or happening very slowly. NGOs working on climate change appear less politically effective at the ‘policy creation’ part of the policy cycle.89
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While policy creation is a campaign area requiring further consideration, it raises the question of whether this role is too much to expect of Australian NGOs, given that unsecured legitimacy and poor resources were two common themes in the interviews with NGO campaigners. NGOs are seeking legitimacy with a wide range of audiences, described as four general groups in this research. Gough and Shackley suggest that this ‘legitimacy’ given to NGOs is due to representing a ‘sizeable body of public opinion that is not adequately represented elsewhere in the policy process’.90 However, as described here, not all of these audiences accept this legitimacy, and to challenge this notion in one group may alienate another. In terms of having minimal resources to undertake adequate and effective work, WWF’s Anna Reynolds reflected that, ‘the work by NGOs … hasn’t been that focused … a lot of people have been … a bit overworked trying to cover too much ground’.91 Resource levels impact on the breadth of campaign focus and prioritisation within an NGO, which in turn has implications on the ability to tailor messages to reach their target audiences. Limited resources for an issue as significant as climate change imply that the NGOs may need to select specific campaign foci to achieve any resonance, such as the specific ‘climate justice’ approach chosen by FoE. These two findings lead to the important question of the overall effectiveness of climate change campaigns in Australia. However, it must be noted that these observations and questions have been drawn from a series of perspectives of interview participants. Political effectiveness is difficult to assess adequately from the perspectives provided here, especially given the breadth of definitions and criteria employed by various researchers who are active on these questions.92 Further research on the question of effectiveness in relation to these campaigns would be fruitful, and would provide the basis for specific campaign and strategic recommendations.

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Water myths and water reforms
Kirsten Henderson
All states and territories in Australia are currently in the process of changing the way water is owned, under the assumption that this will result in better, more efficient, more ecologically friendly use of this precious resource. These changes are the most significant in the management of Australia’s water resources since Alfred Deakin’s water reforms in Victoria in the 1880s.1 That was the last time we changed the way we owned water and it had profound consequences. It brought about economic prosperity but at the price of ecological damage. The assumptions built into those changes were not questioned at the time. They led to what have been described as the five Australian water myths, namely that: water is a free good; water can be managed in isolation; the desert can be made to bloom; social values will not change; and water management is mainly a technical matter.2 Given this past situation, this paper asks what water myths will result from the changes to water ownership and management being implemented today. Will changing the way water is owned have the desired effects of raising the efficiency of its use and halting environmental degradation? What ideas of water are absorbed into the new forms of water ownership and management? To answer these questions, the reforms undertaken by Deakin in the 1880s will be outlined and compared to those being carried out today. The ideas inherent in each case will be analysed to show that although some past water myths have been discredited, some still persist, while new ones are emerging. Early settlement laws During early settlement, laws regarding the ownership of water in the Australian colonies were based on common law constructs inherited from England. These regulated water use in Australia until late in the nineteenth century. Water, considered at the level of common law, is regarded as a ‘fugacious’ (i.e. transient) substance which, when it is flowing and uncontrolled, is not subject to ownership. At common law, rights to water use are derivative of property in land. There are two components: riparian rights which concern water flowing in a river, and rights concerning all other forms of water. Riparian rights give an owner of land adjacent to a river the right to use the water as he/she sees fit, as long as this does not substantially affect the water quality or another individual’s economic use of his/her land. Water not flowing in a river (as in a pond or lake) can be used without even these minimal restrictions. These doctrines are applicable to a well-watered country like England where rainfall is dependable and widely distributed and where most people, landowners or not, can gain access to water. But, for a continent of variable, mostly arid climate it soon became clear they were not feasible.3 Despite this, the situation continued until the 1880s when access to water began to be perceived as a limit to the development and expansion of the colonies. The innovator of water reform at the time was Alfred Deakin who was then the Attorney-General of Victoria.

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Deakin’s reforms Periodic drought coupled with the desire to populate the northern plains resulted in public pressure for the colonial government to ‘do something’ about water supply in Victoria. A number of commissions and reports during the 1880s were influential in setting the framework for the resulting legislation that subsequently directed water management in Australia for the next 100 years. The key documents are the reports of the Water Conservancy Board (an investigatory body consisting of G A Gordon the Chief Advisory Engineer of Water Supply to the Board of Works, and Alexander Black the Assistant-Surveyor General of Victoria) of 1881 and 1882 and Alfred Deakin’s investigation into irrigation in the western United States, Irrigation in Western America.4 Gordon and Black’s reports led to the Water Conservation Act of 1881 which allowed for the constitution of waterworks trusts to build and operate works required for water supply in rural areas, mostly for stock and domestic purposes. A subsequent amendment in 1883 authorised the formation of irrigation trusts which were required to obtain financing from the open market, rather than through government loans. Both waterworks and irrigation trusts were empowered to rate property in order to repay loans.5 The Water Conservation Act 1881 has been characterised as a cautious approach to water supply in the colony, as Gordon and Black were sceptical about the economic feasibility of large-scale irrigation schemes. Their reservations were later ignored in debates spurred on by the findings of Deakin’s Irrigation in Western America, the report of his study tour to California on behalf of the 1884 Victorian Royal Commission on Water Supply. Here, Deakin was enthused over the prospects for irrigation in Victoria and recommended the administrative arrangements for water that led directly to the Irrigation Act. These were based on three controlling beliefs about water management gleaned from his tour. Deakin argued that the responsibility, care and custody of water should be invested in the state; the state’s right to water must not be compromised by riparian rights to anyone else and that the rights of the state and the individual needed to be properly defined in order to avoid lengthy and costly litigation.6 The Act passed in 1886. The Irrigation Act was innovative for a number of reasons. It was the first statute in Australia to abolish riparian rights to any future claims to water by declaring state ownership of water. As well, it rejected the doctrine of ‘prior appropriation’ used in areas of the United States because Deakin regarded this as the main cause of the many disputes over water rights in that country, a problem he aimed to avoid with his legislation. However, although the Act invested ownership of water within the state, it retained the autonomy of local trusts to determine the direction of water management within their own jurisdiction. This was significant because Deakin was determined that the ‘individual energy and joint action of farmers’ would mitigate against other models of irrigation schemes based on watershed management that Deakin had witnessed on an earlier study tour of India. He judged these schemes to be too closely identified with the more authoritarian, imperial rule of a less independent colony. His aim was a hybrid scheme of ‘state aid, (but) not state initiative’ and for the ‘dynamic forces of individualism’ to enable ‘men to invest their capital and their labour in order that they obtain a better return for their efforts’.7 Thus the Act encapsulated liberal
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values of individual reward for effort while fitting neatly within the prevailing ethos of colonial self-government which sought to assert some independence from Britain. The most significant aspect of the Irrigation Act was that it unlocked the potential for the accumulation of wealth and power that control of the water within an arid region represents. The riparian rights doctrine, with its definition of water as common property has a perceived tendency to hold back development. Allowing for another individual’s economic use of their land means not interfering with the natural flow of a river in a significant way. The innovation of the Irrigation Act was to preserve the common ownership of water (through the state) but allow for the provision for individual benefit from its development. Members of the irrigation trusts received autonomy in decision-making about water management and the freedom to accumulate profits resulting from that development. In the process, communities would be created and the state would benefit from increased revenue in the form of return on its investments in irrigation infrastructure, collection of water rates, and a greater tax return as a result of increased production. The Irrigation Act enshrined in statute law the concept of water in an arid continent as a public resource, the use of which needs to be balanced between the requirements of individuals and those of society as a whole. Deakin’s water law was an Australian response to Australian problems as perceived at the time. It explicitly embodied those influences outlined above. But there were a number of other powerful ideas about water and its use that motivated the proponents of irrigation and which were embodied in the 1886 Act. There is scant examination of these in the accounts of nineteenth-century water reforms despite the fact they were used as arguments to support the passage of legislation and despite these ideas still being evident today—hence we see proposals such as the Kimberley to Perth canal or the calls to ‘turn the rivers around’ every time we have an election or a drought (and especially if the two coincide!).8 The influences The effect of the Irrigation Act 1886 was to transform water and the rivers that carried it into irrigation. And irrigation is not about drains, pumps, pipes and dams. It is about dreams.9 The dreams that influenced Deakin’s efforts at water law reform were powerful. Indeed it is to their influence, combined with Deakin’s eloquence at articulating them, that the successful passage of relevant legislation has been attributed despite some spirited opposition on economic and political grounds.10 The ideal was a society of yeoman farmers, carrying out honourable work cropping a well-ordered garden landscape that not only overcame the aridity and unpredictability of the Australian country but also sought to beautify the landscapes ‘impoverished’ by the wool and wheat industries.11 In an extension of the physical relationship between land and water in Australia, irrigation was used to reinforce attempts at land reform aimed at reducing the political and economic power of the squatters and at redistributing land in a more equitable manner, according to the precepts of Edward Wakefield and Henry George. Irrigation was regarded as insurance against drought and a variable climate, and it was to allow for the ‘conservation’ (meaning the planned and efficient use) of Victoria’s water
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resources. The use of water for irrigation also had religious connotations, sparked by the de-mystification of God’s work in nature via scientific discoveries. Irrigation was seen as a way to overcome the resultant tension between scientific rationality and religious faith. It provided a scientific basis for controlling the environment but at the same time allowed for ‘creation of an earthly paradise by finishing off God’s work in arid regions through allowing the land to become productive’.12 Water myths Transforming water into irrigation resulted in what some commentators have called the five Australian water myths: water is a free good; water can be managed in isolation; the desert can be made to bloom; social values will not change; and water management is mainly a technical matter.13 In many ways, these myths— like all myths—are more powerful for what they do not say rather than for what they do. They deserve closer analysis because they embody conceptualisations of water in Australia that have had profound effects on subsequent strategies for Australian water management and, as a result, on the politics of water in Australia. The myth of water as a free good shows that irrigation schemes were not thought of in terms of economics, as we think of them today. There was no costbenefit analysis of the irrigation schemes set up as a result of the Irrigation Act. It meant that the work of the later statutory authorities such as the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (SRWSC) in Victoria and Water Conservation and Irrigation Board (WC&IB) in NSW, which carried out the engineering of locks, weirs and dams, continued even through periods of scarce capital resources such as the depression and two world wars.14 The idea that water can be managed in isolation from other parts of the ecosystem reflects an instrumental, utilitarian concept of water. This carries over into the third myth: that the desert can be made to bloom. Water here is the only addition required to transform the country into that ideal of ordered cottage gardens and farms. The attempt at transformation itself implies possession and suppression. Paul Sinclair articulates it well when he writes that the blocks, irrigation channels and town plans created for irrigation colonies ‘seal’ the land in the possessor’s image, preventing alternative imaginings arising from it.15 This myth allows for the ‘practical forgetfulness’ of how settler Australians acquired the land and water in the first place and it denies 40,000 years of Indigenous water-use strategies and techniques.16 Arguably, a sixth Australian water myth is required: one that claims there are no Indigenous rights to water. Alternative imaginings remain suppressed via an assumption that social values will not change. If the possibility of change is not even conceived it is unlikely to happen. This myth suggests a separation of society and nature, an idea that people interact with their surroundings in only rational and utilitarian ways, viewing the environment primarily as a resource rather than regarding it as something that sustains them emotionally and culturally. It accepts that the environment does not ‘speak back’—something that successive State of the Environment reports would dispute. In a similar vein, water management as mainly a technical matter assumes that water can be controlled and that outcomes of that control can be reliably predicted.
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A symbol of this control is that exerted over the Murray River through engineering projects such as the Hume Dam and the thirteen locks and sixteen weirs along its length that reverse the natural seasonal highs and lows of the river in order to deliver water at the times demanded by irrigators. One of the unexpected outcomes of that control is salinity. Finally, a further myth that needs to be recognised is the assumption that water management is a male activity only. Transformation, technical control and possession do imply masculine interventions into a Nature so often understood as feminine.17 Engineers and labourers, mostly men, carried out the work required to exert this control. But the individual energy and joint action of farmers keen to bring the cottage garden ideal to life relied on the labour of wives and children. In their role as homemakers, even as servants, women were intimately involved in the use of water. Although there has been some change since, evidence suggests that this is still the case today with time-use studies showing that women still undertake the majority of the cooking, laundry and cleaning in modern households.18 Today, women might also be engineers or natural resource managers; they might work in the health professions or as life savers, domestic cleaners or factory workers. They continue to work on irrigation blocks and farms. In other words, they are still intimately involved in the use of water. Yet the majority of people leading the water reform debates are men, to the extent that only one of the seven recent appointees to the new National Water Commission administering the National Water Initiative is a woman.19 The outcomes Although there were setbacks along the way, many have argued that the irrigation schemes have been spectacularly successful. Irrigated agriculture contributes twenty per cent of Australia’s exports, with most of this production occurring in the Murray Darling Basin. Only one per cent of agricultural land is irrigated but total gross value of irrigated agricultural production in 2000–01 was $9.6 billion. This represents twenty-eight per cent of the gross value of all agricultural production in that year. Irrigated agriculture supports a significant number of towns and industries, especially in the Murray Darling Basin. Estimates from the Centre for International Economics indicate that if plans to redirect as little as 540 gigalitres from farmers towards ailing parts of the Murray Darling Basin were implemented, rural properties in the southern reaches of the Basin would lose $32 million per year, processing facilities would lose $12 million per year and up to 900 jobs would be lost.20 But such economic success has come at a great ecological cost as the construction of dams, locks and weirs to control water flow has altered the natural fluctuations of river levels, changed river temperatures and sediment and nutrient loads resulting in decreased populations of native fish (including the iconic Murray Cod), loss of wetlands and riparian forests (especially river red gums) and massive toxic algal blooms. Increased seepage and run-off (combined with landclearing) has caused increased salinity both in the rivers and on the land through rising water tables. The combined alterations have led to decline in species diversity of native fish, birds and invertebrates and to the invasion of exotic species such as European carp.21
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Current reforms Today, the water reform process is being led by the federal government working with the states through the Commonwealth of Australian Governments (COAG) forum. As the following sections illustrate, this forum is influenced by the two competing paradigms of ecological sustainable development and economic rationalism in the context of the above costs and benefits of the current use of water as irrigation in Australia. But, as will be outlined in the following, the process is also influenced by the significant cultural context created by the Australian water myths. The key documents and dates of water reform are The National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (December 1992), The Hilmer Report of National Competition Policy (August 1993), The COAG water reform taskforce report (1994) and the 2004 COAG agreement on the National Water Initiative. Taken together, implementation of the proposals will result (and already have resulted) in dramatic changes to the ownership and management of water in Australia. The documents are briefly outlined below.22 The National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development aims to achieve ‘development that improves total quality of life, both now and in the future, in a way that maintains the ecological processes on which life depends’.23 Concerning water, it commits state governments to pursuing integrated catchment management, determining the most effective mix of water resource management mechanisms for their jurisdiction, regular review of the water management sector, accelerating the adoption of water pricing mechanisms and institutional reform of water agencies. The Hilmer Report24 concerns the establishment of competitive neutrality between government businesses and other businesses. Two of its major recommendations were: government businesses should not enjoy net competitive advantage by virtue of the fact that the business is in government hands and that they should trade under the same rules and regulations as other businesses; and, where the government business had traditionally provided service directly to the public, there should be a presumption that this will be achieved though corporatisation. This had major implications for the delivery of water services previously dominated by the aforementioned statutory bodies such as the SRWSC and the WC&IB. In light of these two reports, COAG commissioned a joint federal-state working group to report on a strategic framework for the efficient and sustainable reform of the Australian water industry. The result was the COAG Water Reform Taskforce report. Two key threads run through this report. These relate to using pricing mechanisms as a tool for demand management of water and recognition of the need for a better balance between water allocated for consumer use and that for the environment. The recommendations of this report were agreed to by all the states and territories. The culmination of the reform process has been the agreement in June 2004 by COAG (except Western Australia and Tasmania) to implement the National Water Initiative. The aim of the Initiative is ‘a nationally-compatible, market, regulatory, and planning based system of managing surface and groundwater resources for rural and urban use that optimises economic, social and environmental
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outcomes’.25 Its key elements include: the definition, security and recording of water-access entitlements (a key change here is the separation in law of the entitlement to water from land holding); the requirement of statutory recognition of the use of water to meet environmental objectives, for example: environmental flows; transparent statute-based water planning regimes that allow for the clear articulation of the trade-offs between the achievement of ecological and consumptive water uses; the setting of a risk-sharing regime for when there are reductions in the availability of water for consumptive use; the establishment of compatible arrangements between states for water markets and trading; and, full cost recovery for water services in water pricing and separation of water management and regulation from service delivery. The influences Clearly the reports and resulting reforms are influenced by the prevailing concepts of economic rationalism and sustainable development. Ecologically sustainable development is defined as using, conserving and enhancing the community’s resources so that ecological processes on which life depends are maintained and the total quality of life now and in the future can be increased.26 The sustainability discourse attempts to remove the division between economic development and the environment. Balance is the key here, but while there is some redefinition of the concepts of growth and development, a recognition, for example, that economic growth depends on environmental protection, there is no expectation of a reorientation of the values of late capitalist society. Economic growth remains the objective of society.27 Economic rationalism is about more than purely economics. It contains ideas about the role of the state in the political economy. Rather than being actively involved in markets via government instrumentalities (for instance water utilities and or telecommunication bodies), the government’s role is to set the parameters for the efficient operation of the market. The guiding principle is of ‘steering not rowing’ the economy. Hence there is emphasis on deregulation of industries, privatisation or corporatisation of government businesses, the removal of crosssubsidies in prices and the separation of the service and regulatory roles of institutions. The current water reforms are attempting to balance these two influences. As a result, three controlling beliefs about water are evident within them. Although the responsibility, care and custody of water remains in the control of the state, the ‘entitlement to water’ outlined in these reforms frames water as more explicitly the property of the individual holder. As property, it embodies many liberal ideas pertaining to the ‘free-standing exercise of individual autonomy’ and downplays legitimate third party and general community interests in water.28 The concept of water as property is reinforced by the radical step of separation of entitlement to water from land holding, giving water a value as a commodity in its own right. This is a much-changed idea of water to that underpinning Deakin’s reforms in which the value of water was inherent in the value it could bring to land. Indeed in some cases now, the water a landholder owns is more valuable than the land itself. The aim of the conceptualisation of water as both property and

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commodity is the construction of a water market for the allocation of water between competing uses. The third controlling belief is the recognition of water as a vital part of a healthy ecosystem (and wider than this, the recognition of the environment as the fundamental base on which prosperity depends). This is conceptualised as environmental flow. Environmental flow is water that aids the ecological health of riverine systems by returning some of the natural fluctuations of river levels. New water myths? The current water reforms make some attempt to redress the influence of the Australian water myths. Cost recovery for water services, tiered water pricing and reform of water management institutions recognise that water is no longer a free good. Similarly, statutory recognition of the requirement for environmental flows acknowledges the ecological costs of water control and that attempts to make the desert bloom has unintended consequences. The realisation of the need for water reform in the first place is a recognition that social values—particularly those relating to the unquestioned exploitation of natural resources—have indeed changed. But there are some major assumptions being made in these reforms which may in time lead to new water myths as powerful as those underlying Deakin’s reforms in the 1880s. Despite the explicit emphasis on sustainable development and its recognition of the integration of ecological processes and economic outcomes, inherent within the reforms is a conceptualisation of water as an entity abstracted from both ecosystem and society. The construction in law of water as a property separate from land reinforces this idea, with the result that water can now be used for explicit wealth creation detached from actual production. It is no longer just ‘irrigation’: it is a commercial commodity in its own right. Irrigation has become ‘the water industry’. This change has important social implications. Evidence suggests that people understand their environment through the mediation of their everyday lives. These understandings are embedded in the social. Ideas of water and its management which seek to abstract it from this milieu contradict such notions.29 The legal separation of water from land creates the possibility of towns previously reliant on water for their prosperity losing this income as water is traded out of their regions. Along with it will go the traditions and identities of such communities. Further, what is lost is the concept of water as a public good. Despite some flaws, Deakin’s reforms were aimed at using water for common benefit, to create communities. Water, as property and a commodity, changes ideas inherent in Deakin’s original conception of irrigation trusts enshrining a balance between individual and communal uses of water. In effect, water is being ‘privatised’ into the hands of individual owners. Water as property reinforces the myth of rights without responsibilities and fails to recognise the obligations for the care of water as well as the rights to its use. It creates the myth that water can be considered separately from land, when all the evidence of Australia’s geological, hydrological and ecological history says otherwise. Water as a commodity means it can be traded. This is an explicit aim of the reforms. They are underpinned by the belief that the market can allocate water to
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its highest value use by enabling inefficient users to exit the sector and degraded environments to recover. There are two problems here. Firstly, the assumption is made that the highest value use is also the most ecologically favourable use when this is not always the case. For example, cotton is one of the most profitable irrigated crops and Australian farmers are some of the most efficient producers so they could likely afford to buy water even at high prices. But cotton exacts a huge toll on the environment due to heavy pesticide use and the extraction of nutrients from the soil. Water directed to this industry through the market might be used for high return but not necessarily in an ecologically sustainable manner. The ‘highest value use’ argument fails to recognise that the market is just another technology employed for the manipulation of water. The myth here is that the aim of the market is water use efficiency when in fact it is economic efficiency.30 The second problem is precisely that market pressures played a role in creating the current water crisis. It was the market in the guise of ‘development’ that gave the impetus to the implementation of irrigation schemes in Victoria in the nineteenth century and which supported the work of the SRWSC in Victoria and WC&IB in NSW in the twentieth century.31 Allowing the market to decide how water should be used is leaving the decision-making to the instrument that caused the problems in the first place. The myth evident here is that the market is a valuefree instrument capable of allocating water for the ecological good of society. Finally, water is being conceptualised as a component which functions not only for wealth creation but also to ‘fix’ ecosystems. Allocating water for environmental flows might be ecologically desirable but it creates the myth of the environment as a competitor for water instead of as the guarantor of water.32 The rhetoric is of ‘sharing’ the water but the reality is that one use (economic or ecological) has to come first and despite government mandates and regulation, it is likely to be the economic that does. Conclusion Comparison and analysis of water reform past and present has shown that significant consequences can result from water myths if the motivations and influences behind proposed changes are not closely examined. It points to the fact that despite some changes in conceptualisation and rhetoric, water in Australia is still regarded as an entity which can be manipulated at will. Although some of the past water myths might be recognised as such (the desert can be made to bloom, water is a free good and societal values will not change) the other assumptions (such as, water management is only a technical matter and that water can be managed in isolation) are still evident in the control attempted through technologies such as the market. New myths are taking shape, including that water is a tradeable commodity separate from land, and that the market is a fair arbiter between the economy and the environment as competitors for water. The analysis presented here points to the need for a wholesale re-conceptualisation of the water crisis in Australia, one that takes as its starting point the centrality of water to Australian society as a whole, one that includes the voices of women and Indigenous people and one that recognises that the myths we unquestioningly believe can have profound consequences.

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Devaluing refugees and refugee activists
Andrew Herd
Asylum seekers have been one of the most divisive issues in Australian politics during the past decade. A reported increase in the number of asylum seekers heading to Australia since the mid-1990s led to the issue becoming central to the 2001 federal election. The treatment of asylum seekers has been the focus of much public outcry, yet the Howard government has continued to be successful, having been in office for over ten years. One of the important components of the government’s formula for success has been the devaluation of its opponents, including asylum seekers and their supporters. The devaluation of opponents is one of the methods analysed in the ‘backfire’ model. This model can be used to examine how groups with power and authority inhibit the formation of outrage within the community after an unjustified use of power. The other modules of the backfire model are cover-up, reinterpretation of the events, official channels, and intimidation and bribery. Although all of these methods have been used by the Australian government in its attempts to reduce anger over the treatment of asylum seekers, in this article I focus on the devaluation of asylum seekers and their supporters. Devaluation has been important in reducing support for asylum seekers, and in increasing the impact of the other methods examined in the backfire model. Understanding techniques used by the government to devalue asylum seekers is important for the supporters of asylum seekers so that they can develop techniques to increase public support. In this article I analyse the use of devaluation, particularly in relation to the two major controversies of the 2001 election, children overboard and SIEV X, with asylum seekers portrayed as ‘terrorists’, ‘illegals’ and as threatening the lives of their children. Following these incidents, the major controversy has surrounded the government policy of mandatory detention, where people deemed not authorised to be in Australia are indefinitely detained. The government’s continued attempts to devalue those incarcerated in these detention centres is also analysed. An important component of the government’s strategy has also been to devalue those who publicly support asylum seekers. Protesters have been cast as criminals and their support for the nation has been questioned. Finally, I look at efforts by the supporters of asylum seekers to improve the image of asylum seekers, demonstrating how the status of asylum seekers has been determined by a struggle between those who support them and those who do not. Devaluation The devaluation of opponents has long played an important role in reducing outrage over unjustified uses of power. If a group or individual is not valued, actions against them will not be perceived as poorly as they would otherwise.

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The status of people is not intrinsic: it is the outcome of a struggle to devalue or validate the individual or group. In this sense, the status of people may increase and decrease over time, and the actions of both supporters and opponents of the target play an important role in determining their status. An obvious example in which governments have attempted to devalue opponents is in lead-ups to and during wars. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was often compared to Adolf Hitler. Although there is little doubt that Hussein was a brutal dictator who committed a number of human rights violations:
Hitler was a far greater danger to the world because he commanded the extremely powerful German military machine and embarked on a programme of conquest; Saddam, though probably more brutal personally, commanded only the mediocre Iraqi military, with limited capacity for aggression after 1991.1

By comparing Hussein to Hitler, the US, British and Australian governments exaggerated the risk posed by him. By evoking memories of the evils perpetrated by Hitler, they increased the fear of another world war, and thus increased support for the invasion. Although the target of devaluation in this case had committed numerous human rights violations, making devaluation quite an easy task, it is also possible to devalue individuals or groups of people who have not, and who, in general, should be considered valuable members of society. An example of this is asylum seekers. Asylum seekers in Australia Australia has a long history of accepting refugees, and was one of the first signatories to the United Nations Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.2 Although Australia has accepted many refugees, over the years they have also been at the centre of major debates.3 Controversy surrounding asylum seekers reached a peak during the 2001 federal election. The first incident was when SIEV (Suspect Illegal Entry Vessel) 4, with 223 asylum seekers on board, was discovered and intercepted by the HMAS Adelaide. As the HMAS Adelaide attempted to force SIEV 4 to change course and head back to Indonesia, events occurred in what is now known as the ‘children overboard’ incident. Australian Government ministers reported that asylum seekers had thrown children into the ocean in an attempt to pressure those onboard the Adelaide to rescue them and take them to Australia. Photographs were released by the government to support its claims. These were later revealed to have been taken a day after the incident was reported to have occurred, when the boat had begun to sink. Within days of the release of the photographs, officers in the Australian Public Service (APS) and Australian Defence Force (ADF) were aware that they were not evidence of the government’s claims. Although the media began to raise doubts over the reliability of the evidence, the government maintained its claims were accurate. The government managed to enter the election, a month after the truth was known within the APS and ADF, with the public believing its statements.
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The second major incident was the sinking of the SIEV X, which led to the drowning of 353 of the 398 asylum seekers on board. Survivors were rescued after between sixteen and twenty-one hours in the water by Indonesian fishermen, and returned to Indonesia.4 At the time, John Howard announced, ‘it sank, I repeat, sunk in Indonesian waters, not in Australian waters. It sunk in Indonesian waters’5, and repeated these claims a number of times before the election. A cable from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, sent on 23 October 2001, declassified well after the election, stated, ‘the exact position of vessel at the time of sinking is unknown, but it is judged as no further south than 8 degrees south latitude on a direct line from Sunda St to Christmas Is’.6 Such a position would place the vessel well outside Indonesian territorial waters, and most probably within the northern boundary of the area patrolled by the ADF as part of its ‘border protection’ operation. No further boats carrying asylum seekers have been intercepted between Australia and Indonesia since 16 December 2001.7 Controversy over the government’s immigration policies have now moved from ‘border protection’ to the treatment of asylum seekers who managed to reach Australia, in particular the policy of mandatory detention, whereby any ‘unlawful non-citizen’ in Australia must be kept in immigration detention until they are: (a) removed from Australia; (b) deported; or (c) granted a visa.8 Devaluing asylum seekers Language has been a very important tool in the Howard government’s armoury against asylum seekers. There is even confusion over the difference between asylum seekers and refugees. An asylum seeker is someone who has fled their country and is seeking refuge, while a refugee is someone who has been ‘assessed as meeting the definition of a refugee, either by a national government or an international agency such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR).9 Members of the Howard government have used terms to appeal to people’s belief of a ‘fair go’. By using terms such as ‘economic refugee’, the government is suggesting that these people are not ‘true’ refugees, as they have enough money to pay people-smugglers to transport them from their country to Australia, while those without the financial means to do so languish in refugee camps. In reality, application for refugee status does not have any basis in money, but rather ‘a question of whether a well-founded fear of persecution exists because of race, religion or politics, all matters unconnected to personal income’.10 In the lead-up to and during the 2001 federal election, Phillip Ruddock referred to asylum seekers as jumping the queue,11 again appealing to a sense of a ‘fair go.’ The queue talked of is supposed to be monitored and administered by the UNHCR. Asylum seekers apply to the UNHCR for refugee status, while waiting in UNHCR camps for a country to grant refugee status. The Australian government’s commitment to the protection of those who join the queue can, however, be questioned, when it has been reported that ‘Australia
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has accepted only two of those in Indonesia identified by UNHCR as refugees’.12 Further weakening the façade of commitment is that, of those onboard SIEV X when it sank, twenty-four had been granted refugee status, but no country had volunteered to accept them. As the spokesman for the UNHCR noted, ‘they decided on the risky trip because they were in depression and they had lost faith in the UNHCR’.13 Although ‘there are no “queues” for them to jump’14, support for asylum seekers has been reduced because of the perception, propagated by the government, that those arriving in Australia are not the most worthy of refugee status. Another method by which the government has attempted to devalue asylum seekers has been to announce those asylum seekers arriving on Australia’s shores on boats as doing so illegally. However, as pointed out by former Justice of the Federal Court, Marcus Einfeld:
People do not arrive illegally. That is a mistake. A person is entitled under Australian and international law to make an application for refugee asylum in a country when they allege that they are escaping from persecution … That is simply the law.15

Asylum seekers onboard SIEV 4 and SIEV X were therefore not doing anything illegal, and to accuse them of doing so is not correct. However, it has been an extremely effective tool in the attempts to weaken support for asylum seekers. As Mungo MacCallum has pointed out, ‘labelling them “unlawful” instantly equated them with criminals (stealing our jobs, raping our women, terrorising our neighbourhoods) and removed their individuality and humanity in the process’.16 The attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 also provided the Australian government with another opportunity to diminish further the credibility of asylum seekers. On the morning of 13 September 2001:
talkback radio was alive with the idea that the terrorists of New York were linked to the Muslim asylum seekers forcing their way into Australia. Ever since the Tampa appeared, Howard and his ministers had been arguing that Australia was involved in a kind of war to protect its borders, with the right to take tough action that wars allow.17

Noting public concern over terrorism, Howard and his ministers increased their rhetoric concerning ‘potential terrorists’ onboard asylum seeker boats approaching Australia. Defence Minister Peter Reith was the first to explicitly link asylum seekers and terrorists, noting in an interview on talkback radio on 13 September 2001, ‘you’ve got to be able to manage people coming into your country, you’ve got to be able to control that otherwise it can be a pipeline for terrorists to come in and use your country as a staging post for terrorist activities’.18 On 7 November, in an interview with Dennis Atkins of the Courier Mail, Howard joined those linking asylum seekers and terrorists, saying, ‘Australia had no way to be certain terrorists, or people with terrorist links, were not among the asylum seekers trying to enter the country by boat from Indonesia’.19 Marr and Wilkinson report:
late on the night of November 6, Atkins had his laptop open to show his press colleagues how the Courier-Mail would be splashing his scoop the next morning. 162

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Andrew Herd Howard appeared in the aisle and Atkins showed him, too. ‘Good’, said the Prime Minister. ‘Excellent.’20

With the election less than a week away, it can be suspected that the Prime Minister realised that it was vital he and his colleagues made clear the possibility of terrorists aboard asylum seeker boats, and that by allowing asylum seekers into Australia, the government would increase the chance of a terrorist attack. Although intelligence experts ridiculed the linking of terrorists with asylum seekers, the government continued to do so. The public’s fear of a terrorist attack on Australia outweighed the rational arguments put forward by the intelligence experts. The government was able to convince many that their treatment of asylum seekers was justified and would protect them from such attacks. When the children overboard incident first became public, it provided the perfect opportunity for Howard and his senior ministers to devalue the asylum seekers involved. On the revelation that children had been thrown overboard, John Howard announced:
I don’t want in Australia anyone who would throw their own children into the sea. There’s something to me incompatible between somebody who claims to be a refugee, and somebody who would throw their own children into the sea. It offends the natural instinct of protection, and delivering security and safety to your children.21

In expressing this opinion about people who decided to risk the lives of their children by throwing them into the ocean, Howard attempted to ‘portray the Iraqis—and other asylum seekers—as less-than-humans who cannot be trusted even to protect their own families’.22 This continued, even when it was known within the government that the children overboard incident never occurred. It is evident from a number of directives to the ADF that the government was fully aware of the potential for humanising images and stories to increase support for asylum seekers. As was reported in the Senate Select Committee, members of the Department of Defence Public Affairs area were informed they were to take ‘no personalising or humanising images … of SUNCs [suspected unauthorised non-citizens]’.23 By not taking photos of asylum seekers, the Defence Department and the government were able to ensure that the media were unable to display to the public the human tragedy occurring in the waters just north of Australia. By not allowing the public to see the asylum seekers as men, women and children, just like them, the government was able to make sure public support for the asylum seekers remained low. In 2002 a number of asylum seekers began to protest against the policy of mandatory detention while in detention camps. The forms of protest that gained the greatest publicity were hunger strikes and the sewing together of lips. Ruddock branded this ‘cultural practice’ as ‘something that offends the sensitivities of Australians’.24 In doing so, Ruddock attempted to demonstrate that the asylum seekers were incompatible with Australian society and that the government was right to detain them and not allow them into society. As some of the asylum seekers undertaking this protest were children, the government continued to portray asylum seekers as child abusers, a description

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continued from the children overboard incident. Leach has noted a pattern in the government’s behaviour: ‘under pressure, or to gain electoral mileage out of their tough stance, the government appeared quite willing to portray asylum seekers as irresponsible and selfish people, with little regard for their children’s well-being or safety’.25 It was not only protesting detainees the government attempted to devalue in its attempt to lessen support for asylum seekers. In a review of one of the major protests outside of the immigration detention centre at Baxter, Trembath and Grenfell describe a raid on the protestor’s camp by police armed with machine guns and supported by riot police. As they point out, this ‘typified how protesters have become synonymous with criminals in the minds of the increasingly militarised law enforcement agencies’.26 This view of protesters as criminals is held not only by law enforcement agencies: the government continues to imply that protesters are criminals, even going as far as to deport a non-violent activist because he represented a threat to national security.27 Tony Kevin is one high-profile activist who has suffered personal attacks. He has spoken widely of efforts to devalue him. He notes how Howard, in response to a question about a letter signed by a group of former senior Australian diplomats and military figures, said:
the 43 people comprise a mixture of people who have over the years been, in some cases, regular critics of this government. They include one person who accused the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Federal Police of complicity in the drowning of 353 refugees. To expect for a moment that I am going to treat that person with the sort of reverence that is asked of me by the Leader of Opposition— as far as I am concerned I have dealt with the merits of their arguments.28

As Kevin has explained, this statement would have told people, ‘give any currency or credence to Tony Kevin’s questions about SIEV X and I will publicly denounce you along with him’.29 Validating asylum seekers Although the government attempted to devalue asylum seekers and their supporters, the achievements of activists were important in increasing support for and validating asylum seekers. A number of refugee advocate and support groups have been established in Australia, including Rural Australians for Refugees, Spare Rooms for Refugees, ChilOut and Refugee Action Collective. An important role for these groups has been to raise public awareness of the issues surrounding asylum seekers, while also telling their stories. They have been important in correcting a number of the government’s lies (e.g. that it is not illegal to come to Australia to apply for refugee status). An important factor in the success of these groups is their wide-ranging membership. In particular, the formation of Rural Australians for Refugees ‘shows that it is possible to mobilise people outside of the established Left and penetrate the consciousness of the Australian public’.30 This has meant that it has been difficult for the government and its supporters to discredit refugee activists as ‘the “commentariat”, the “intelligentsia”, the “chattering classes”, the “chardonnay
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left”, the “latte left”, or “wetworld”’31, their usual labels for those who disagree with their policies. By promoting these groups as broad-based, activists were able to reach a number of people who had not previously joined protest groups. One of the individuals who has been important in keeping the public informed in relation to asylum seekers is Tony Kevin. In addition to the publication of his book, Tony Kevin has maintained a presence in the media, often commenting on refugee affairs in newspapers, and talking to groups interested in SIEV X.32 As noted above, in doing so Tony Kevin has become the victim of a number of slurs. But as he has noted, ‘I have a record of 30 years’ loyal and efficient service as an Australian senior diplomat who twice held the rank of ambassador, giving me public creditability that is not easy to undermine’.33 One way to reduce the possibility of the government (or any authority) devaluing an activist (or any target) is to publicise their integrity. Kevin’s history as an ambassador made it much harder for the government to devalue his input, and meant that his opinion was seen by many people as valid. A number of people have told the stories of asylum seekers34, and by doing so humanised them. The aftermath of the sinking of SIEV X demonstrated the impact that personal stories of asylum seekers can have. One of the first reports was by Don Greenlees in The Australian, who told the story of Sondos Ismail, who lost her three daughters in the tragedy, in the attempt to join her husband who had been granted refugee status in Australia.35 As part of the conditions of his visa, Ismail’s husband, Ahmed Alzalimi, was unable to leave Australia to comfort his wife without giving up his right to return. This led to calls for Philip Ruddock to allow him to do so, but he ‘was unmoved by calls to grant him an exemption in these exceptional circumstances’.36 If this story had not been revealed by Greenlees, Alzalimi would never have received the support he did—even though in the end the support was not enough to change Ruddock’s mind. Supporters of asylum seekers have also pointed to the double standards the government often applies in its immigration system. It has been noted that the Australian immigration system generally targets ‘wealthy go-getters’37, while the government condemns ‘economic refugees’. Although it is asylum seekers from Iraq and Afghanistan who the government targets, most illegal immigrants in Australia are American and British. Conclusion The treatment of those people attempting to claim asylum in Australia and those incarcerated in Immigration Detention Centres has caused much outrage within the Australian public. Recognising that this outrage may have negative effects on their electoral prospects, the government attempted to devalue both the asylum seekers and their supporters. Actions by the Howard government to inhibit outrage can be categorised using the backfire model. Of the five methods classified in the backfire model, devaluation of the target was important in ensuring support for refugee rights did not increase and threaten the government’s rule. A number of terms were used by the Howard government to describe asylum seekers, each of which questioned the motives of asylum seekers, their ability to integrate into Australia or whether all asylum seekers received a ‘fair go’. While
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using these terms to describe asylum seekers in general, the ‘children overboard’ incident provided the government with further ammunition, questioning the fitness of those on board SIEV 4 to be parents. Revelations that Department of Defence photographers were instructed not to take humanising images of asylum seekers demonstrates that the government was aware of their power. As the media began to reveal the government’s actions against asylum seekers, a number of groups began to form with the goal of assisting refugees and advocating for their rights. The people in these groups were the next target for the government, who branded them as criminals and questioned their intentions. When a government, or any other powerful group, attempts to suppress outrage over an event, devaluation of the target is often used. Activists who wish to encourage public outrage should be aware of this tactic, and develop countertactics to validate victims. A number of lessons can be learnt from analysing government attempts to devalue asylum seekers and their supporters. First, a government may describe victims using misnomers; in this case it is important that activists alert the public to the erroneous description and explain the actual story. Second, a government will often attempt to dehumanise victims, particularly by suppressing their stories; the publication of these stories by activists will counter these efforts and increase public support for the victim. Third, it is important that activists establish the credibility of those the government is attempting to devalue. A final technique which has been used by supporters of asylum seekers is to point out the double standards often evident in the Australian immigration system. Countering devaluation is an important task for many activist groups and their work has led to a number of significant changes, not least the release of all children from immigration detention in mid-2005. These changes have been brought about partly by validating asylum seekers. There is still more to be done and it is through the work of these groups that further change will be achieved.

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Protest from the fringe: opposing Australia’s education aid reform
Eugene Sebastian
In May 1986, a group of overseas students from several international students’ associations across Australia gathered at Monash University, Melbourne.1 A looming problem a year before, with the Hawke Labor government’s introduction of a ten-per cent hike in overseas student fees and its signal to completely overhaul the Overseas Student Program (OSP), had now precipitated a crisis. Following recommendations by the Jackson Committee2, established to review the aid program, the government decided to allow Australian education institutions to market their courses abroad. This recommendation threatened to unleash a deregulated, competitive, market-driven recruitment model of full fees for foreign students in the higher education sector.3 For four days, students debated a national response to a common concern, a concern they believed would have a lasting impact on the present and future education of overseas students in Australia. It was only a year before that the same students had failed to coalesce around a national plan of action in response to the crisis. Ideologies stood in the path of compromise. Geography stood in the way of a concerted opposition to a common challenge. This time around, the students were determined to avoid the previous year’s failure. In their attempt to secure a successful outcome and make headway into the policy debate, the students formed a national coordinating body, the National Liaison Committee for Overseas Students in Australia (NLC) to represent all tertiary overseas students in Australia. This article examines the formation of overseas student opposition to Australia’s education aid reform in the mid-eighties. It investigates how overseas students as a group of non-citizens located outside the national political space sought to influence education policy from a position of limited political, social and legal rights. I argue that to date little is known and understood about students’ response to the government’s review of its overseas aid. It tells the story of why the overseas student opposition was formed and how they collectively organised to represent their interest and voice their concerns. It also demonstrates how as a non-citizen community of ‘temporary residence’ visa holders, located at the fringe of domestic politics, yet within the core of Australian revenue earnings4, overseas students were independently able to organise in an attempt to reverse some of the changes introduced in the OSP reforms. As temporary residents on short-term permits fully regulated under prescribed immigration rules, the politically dislocated group mobilised a disparate campaign, concerted their claims, internationalised their protest, adopted public campaigns rhetoric, formed community alliances, and accessed domestic political avenues to halt the increase in fees. Their anti-fees campaign was largely successful. In fact, by operating within Australia’s democratic political system and adopting campaign strategies

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employed by citizen community groups in making a legitimate claim, the students managed to achieve a modest success in securing some concessions in the reform of education aid. Though their campaigns may not have stopped the government’s push to transform a segment of the higher education sector into a lucrative export education services industry, it did, however, catalyse the creation of a national overseas student representative body that would subsequently play an important role in the development of this new commercial sector. From aid to trade The beginning of Australia’s active interest in a regional educational aid policy can be located in the Commonwealth Declaration, a forum comprising former British colonies primarily aimed at encouraging consultation and cooperation between its Commonwealth member states. Out of this consultation and cooperation emerged the Colombo Plan and the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan aimed at facilitating education and training specifically for developing nations. The Colombo Plan, formulated in 1950 at a conference of Foreign Ministers of Commonwealth nations in Colombo, Sri Lanka, involved developed nations such as Britain, Canada and Australia providing education aid to developing south and south-east Asian countries.5 In 1957, Australia was a leading provider of education and training under the Plan, having by the end of the year received more than 2,000 students compared with 1,500 by Britain, 600 by Canada and 375 by New Zealand.6 Between 1950 and 1965, Australia had contributed $38 million to the Colombo Plan and it increased its hosting to nearly 6,000 students and trainees, about 17 per cent of the 34,520 places offered by all donor nations contributing to the Plan.7 The election of the Whitlam government in 1972 brought far-reaching changes to Australia’s education system generally, and OSP specifically. Higher education formed a fundamental part of Labor’s social reform experiment. Local access to tertiary education was improved and tuition fees abolished. Under the OSP, the government introduced a number of significant changes to emphasise the potential foreign policy benefits the program was creating for Australia in developing ‘good relations and cultural exchange’. The government abolished tertiary fees for all private overseas students in universities, colleges and schools and increased their quota from 6,300 to a maximum 10,000. The quota was to ensure that some form of control was in place to regulate the anticipated influx of private students without potentially displacing local students. Unlike previous policy, private students were now allowed to remain in Australia if they met the normal migration criteria. In 1979, the Fraser Liberal government commissioned a review of the private overseas student policy. Three significant elements emerged from the review. First, the Government removed the 10,000 quota on student numbers and introduced unofficial country quotas drawn up for countries reflecting the degree of importance attached to them in the area of foreign relations.8 Second, the Government introduced an Overseas Student Charge (OSC), representing about ten per cent of the notional full cost of a university place to recuperate government revenue. Third, all overseas students were required to return home for at least two years after completing their studies to be eligible to apply for migrant entry to
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Australia.9 There are those who suggest that these policies were simply a reaction to a growing concern that students frequently exploited the program for immigration purposes.10 Indeed, the immigration issue partly motivated the government’s review; however, the changing global economic environment, with the onset of stagflation, began to play an equally important role in the overall policy re-orientation. When the Hawke Labor government came to power in 1983, the economy was in serious trouble. In response to a deteriorating situation and in the hope of reinvigorating the economy, the government’s economic strategy moved towards stripping away all those policies and practices that were insulating Australia from global competition. The government believed that growth would invariably come from diversifying its exports, including liberalising its capital and deregulating its currency—a similar belief embraced by major-commodity-primed economies around the world. Education aid presented one policy area under the reform agenda that not only required drastic changes to respond flexibly to increasing international demand for limited tertiary places, but also represented a politically soft target with minimal opposition towards its changes. In 1983, the Government commissioned two reviews of the OSP, the Goldring and the Jackson reviews.11 The Goldring Review chaired by Professor John Goldring, Professor of Law from Macquarie University, was charged to examine the extent to which the private overseas student program served Australia’s immigration, trade, education, cultural and international development interests. The Jackson Review chaired by Sir Gordon Jackson and assisted by six other committee members—mainly representatives of commercial interests and economists—considered the trade benefits of Australia’s aid program, in which education assistance formed an important part.12 Formation of an opposition On the morning of 4 February 1985, the Australian Financial Review leaked a report that the Goldring task force was favouring the implementation of full cost recovery fees. The following day, the Minister for Education Senator Susan Ryan denied any resolution on the future of the policy.13 However, anticipation among overseas students of a possible move towards a shift in government policy was mounting. Ten days later, in response to the rumour, a group of overseas student leaders convened in Melbourne to draft a response against the impending policy changes. The group comprised leaders from the Malaysian Law Students Association at Monash University, the Medical Students Society for Overseas Students at Melbourne University and members of the Committee of Presidents— a committee comprising presidents of a number of Victorian campus overseas student associations formed in response to the review by the Goldring taskforce. The meeting resolved to embark on a public campaign in expectation of possible fee hikes.14 The first opportunity to respond came in early March when news had reached the students that the Australian Foreign Minister, Mr Bill Hayden, was about to make a trip to south-east Asia. The student leaders viewed the minister’s trip as a likely target for some form of indirect political intervention. On 16 February the students couriered a letter and petition to the Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad and the Opposition Leader, Mr Lim Kit
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Siang from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) appealing to them to intervene on behalf of overseas students in Australia.15 No acknowledgment was forthcoming from the Prime Minister but Malaysia’s Opposition Leader swiftly called on the Malaysian Government to take some steps in preventing a fee increase. The lack of immediate response from the Malaysian government had convinced the students of the necessity to organise a group to oppose an imminent policy shift. Within two days, a Victorian based students coalition formed the Overseas Students Campaign Against Full Fees (OSCAFF). OSCAFF comprised ten affiliate organisations from Melbourne University, Monash University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), La Trobe University, Chisolm, Swinburn and Footscray Institutes. The primary aims of OSCAFF were clear: to prevent the current trend towards fee increases leading to full cost recovery and to push for the maintenance and integrity of the education aid program.16 Bill Hayden’s trip to south-east Asia attracted considerable attention in Malaysia. The Malaysian Socialist Democratic Party (SDP) urged the Australian government to seriously reconsider its intention to increase the fees for overseas students. The party secretary-general, Mr Fan Yew Teng, said, ‘any such drastic increase in fees could well jeopardise the educational and professional prospect of thousands of young Malaysians’.17 On the same day, Malaysia’s Education Minister, Abdullah Badawi, informed Mr Hayden that the Malaysians were not impressed with the fee increase. Prime Minister Dr Mahathir felt that Australia should back up its rhetoric about wanting to find a place in the south-east Asian region with a ‘hard nosed and realistic contribution’.18 The Malaysian Government viewed subsidised education, particularly at tertiary level, as ‘an example of the sort of thing Australia could, and should do’.19 The Opposition, however, considered the Malaysian Education Minister’s statement inadequate, lacking the strong and raucous response it had delivered to the British in a similar fee hike five years earlier. The Thatcher government’s fee increases had in fact led to strident Malaysian opposition and protest, provoking, among other responses, a ‘Buy British last’ policy. Such attempts may not have succeeded in reversing the British full-fee policy; they did however force the British to increase the number of scholarship places available. Rising opposition to policy reform On 22 March 1985, the Minister for Education, Senator Susan Ryan, announced preliminary, yet radical changes to the OSP. Key elements of the change involved imposing a limit on the number of overseas students admitted into secondary and tertiary institutions; substantially increasing the course fees by 35 per cent for students enrolled in 1985/86 academic years and 45 per cent in subsequent years; and allowing the higher education sector to recruit students and offer places at full cost fees.20 A day after the Minister’s announcement, overseas students across Australia acted swiftly. Public meetings, rallies and petition drives were organised. In Victoria, OSCAFF launched the ‘Dear Mr Hawke’ campaign to send a thousand signed letters to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Education.21 The petition called on the government to ‘re-affirm its commitment to its policy that supports the social and economic development of … developing countries through access
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to Australia’s education and training resources.’ It also asked for the formulation of a ‘consistent and considerate policy concerning overseas students’ and to ‘reconsider as a matter of urgency the legislation of such a high increase in visa charges’.22 In New South Wales the overseas students declared 2 April Black Tuesday—a day to mourn the death of education. Steven Gan, spokesperson at the University of New South Wales protested that ‘the moves to reintroduce fees for all students and impose full-cost fees for overseas students would mark the end of free education in Australia and signal the demise of the aid component in the OSP’.23 To demonstrate their strong public opposition, the overseas students along with their local student counterparts conducted a mock funeral procession donning black bans in protest.24 The mock funeral was to symbolise the ‘death of the Overseas Students Program as the most effective form of foreign aid’.25 Around Australia, other campus-based overseas student organisations in alliance with their local student community campaigned publicly against the fee changes. Along with the public campaign, organisations in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales conducted research into the impact of policy change on overseas students. OSCAFF commissioned the Department of Statistics at the University of Melbourne to undertake a state-wide survey of overseas students. In South Australia, the students conducted a financial survey of overseas students to determine the likely impact of fee increases. In New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, the students coordinated a survey to examine the impact of policy change on private overseas students.26 As momentum against the fee policy gathered, segments of the public voiced their support for the overseas students’ campaign. The University of Sydney’s Student Representative Council (SRC) declared their opposition to the policy, arguing that the introduction of tuition fees for overseas students was a prelude to fees for local students. Student organiser Adam Rorris argued:
The present Overseas Students Program that requires overseas students to pay a high level of fees is unjust and discriminatory. We could not preserve a genuine free education system if a group of students are forced to pay for their education. We believe that the overseas students fee is a first step towards tuition fees for all students.27

The Higher Education Round Table, a group of staff associations representing some 200,000 academics, teachers and postgraduates, also expressed some concerns. They argued that the policy move to export higher education might be a ‘back-door’ means of reducing the total level of aid that the government presently gives to south-east Asian countries in the form of subsidised tertiary education.28 Such moves would also ‘put pressure on the provision of free higher education for Australian students and eventually lead to some form of fees being introduced’.29 An attempt at national mobilisation Since the policy announcement, overseas students across Australia began to recognise that their disparate campaigns were having little impact on policy. The need to coordinate a national response, share limited resources and establish an information channel had grown. By May, the genesis of a national overseas
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students network was taking shape. In New South Wales a group of students met to establish a state-based organisation, the NSW Overseas Students Collective (NSWOSC). Unlike OSCAFF’s hierarchical structure and campus-based membership model, the NSWOSC opted instead to create a less formal organisational structure where decision-making on policy issues and campaign planning were conducted along collective lines and membership was opened to individuals. Such an approach was believed ostensibly to widen opportunities for student participation and affiliation. Victoria and New South Wales became the principal leaders in the opposition to the Government’s OSP changes, since these states had the majority of enrolled overseas students and tertiary institutions. While NSWOSC prepared to host an inaugural national overseas students conference in Sydney that would draw together the different campaigns around the country, OSCAFF was in the advanced stages of developing a draft proposal recommending the creation of a national umbrella body to represent the views of all overseas students in Australia. The proposal outlined the main problems facing the overseas students campaign: the low grassroots support, student apathy, lack of financial resources and limited political skills.30 The new body would resolve the problems by coordinating a national anti-fees campaign; drawing together the various campaign groups; creating information linkages; sharing resources and campaign strategies; and presenting a unified voice on the fee charges.31 From 13 to 17 May 1985, student leaders across Australia met for the inaugural national conference held at the University of New South Wales. It was the first time overseas student organisations across the country met to discuss changes to government policy. Unfortunately, the diverging views that emerged on key issues would fracture the unity of this fledgling opposition, threatening to end prematurely a national coherent response. The conference in fact failed, due to emerging tensions between two groups with contrasting policy views, distinctive philosophical leanings and different campaign styles.32 A main area of contention centred on the issue of the Overseas Students Charge (OSC). One faction comprised a majority of campuses in New South Wales under the leadership of the NSWOSC. Dominated by Malaysian students, who formed the majority intake of all private overseas students in Australia, studying mainly at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the faction advocated a confrontational style of campaign that relied on developing close alliances with local student organisations within a wider opposition to tuition fees. Their activism is indeed not surprising since UNSW and UTS, both established in the sixties, were considered historically more progressive that the older institutions. In fact, during the seventies, both institutions formed the backbone of the National Overseas Student Services (NOSS), a division created within the Australian Union of Students in 1961 to represent the concerns of overseas students. Under their influence, NOSS gradually shifted its focus from welfare concerns to foreign policy issues.33 This shift not only diminished its relevance but also significantly contributed to the organisation’s demise by the mid-eighties.34 During the inaugural conference, the NSW faction vigorously opposed the government fees hike. They pressed the delegates to campaign against the OSC and push for the total ‘abolition’ of the fees

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as an immediate course of action. The principles of education as a public good, they trenchantly maintained, ‘should not be traded in the market place and it was the moral responsibility of Australia to provide educational aid to developing countries in the region’.35 ‘To abolish tuition fees’, they argued, would help ‘promote more equitable participation of underprivileged overseas students from the third world countries’.36 The opposing faction, led by a coalition comprising campuses in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, represented a less confrontational alternative to the ‘abolitionist’ view. The majority of this faction’s student leaders were also Malaysians, but were studying in older, more traditional institutions such as the University of Melbourne and the University of Adelaide, where student activism was less robust.37 The coalition advocated instead a freeze in fees for current students, believing that such a ‘moderate’ and ‘pragmatic’ response to fees would be achievable in contrast to the ‘abolitionist’ position. The ‘pro-freeze’ camp in fact viewed the alternative position as an ‘unsustainable’ and ‘idealistic’ riposte to government policy at a time when tertiary fees for all students were actually being contemplated. Such idealism would have little influence in significantly shifting government policy in the short-term. Opposing the Overseas Students Charge On 22 May 1985, five student representatives from the NSWOSC met with the Minister of Education, Senator Susan Ryan, at her Parliament House office in Canberra. The students raised their concerns about the increase in visa charges, the discriminatory sub-quotas, and racism directed at overseas students on campus. The meeting achieved little in securing any concessions, only leaving the students ‘feeling that they had not come any closer to resolving the many problems faced by overseas students’.38 The minister had in fact informed them that ‘there was no room for compromise’ and the ‘overseas student fees were here to stay’.39 Within a month of the visit, the minister unveiled further details of the planned changes to the OSP. The new policy would maintain the 1985 level of overseas student intake and allow in 1986 a maximum of 3,500 new private students to commence studies—admitting 2,000 to secondary schools and 1,500 to tertiary institutions. By maintaining the 1985 intake level, the government also allowed itself more time to prepare the groundwork to introduce the legislative changes, the Overseas Students Charge Amendment Bill 1985, while controlling the growing pressure imposed on universities by an increased overseas demand for limited tertiary places. In response to the Minister’s policy, the students began accelerating their plans to conduct a major public campaign and prepare for a lobby trip to Canberra to oppose the legislative changes. From 15 to 19 July, a National Mobilisation Week (NMW) was organised across Australia. The week-long campaign involved a petition drive; the compilation of case histories of students with genuine financial difficulties; writing letters of protest to the media, state and federal parliament members and organising multicultural social events on campus to help raise awareness and disseminate information to students.40 Accompanying the national campaign, OSCAFF began preparation to send a delegation to Canberra to lobby against the government’s amendment. The lobby trip would involve meeting with
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politicians from the Australian Democrats, Labor and Liberal parties. As they prepared for their trip, news had reached the students that the Liberals would vote with the Democrats to block the fees Bill in the Senate. This news served as an added impetus to the group. On 21 August 1985, the government introduced into the lower house the Bill for an Act to amend the Overseas Students Charge Act 1979. The Bill proposed to raise the overseas student charges for current and future students by 35 per cent for the 1985/86 academic year and 40 per cent for the 1986/87 period. It also proposed to set the upper ceiling for the overseas students quota at all tertiary institutions and courses. On 7 October, a delegation of fourteen student representatives departed for Canberra armed with results from the survey research, case histories and letters of support.41 The student lobby would attempt to convince the government of the impact of the fee increase on the welfare of overseas students, especially for students enrolled before 1 January 1986. Understanding the importance of securing the support of the opposition parties to defeat the bill, the students also invested considerable efforts into lobbying the opposition into a more vocal position against the amendment Bill. The students met, for instance, with Democrat Senator Janine Haines and an advisor to Senator Macklin before the start of their lobby to consolidate the support they had already received from the Democrats.42 In fact, it was less than five months before when the leader of the Democrats, Senator Don Chipp, wrote a letter in strong support of the students’ cause:
The Australian Democrats oppose the recent increases in overseas students charges. We believe that the provision of places in our universities for overseas students should be seen as part of our overseas aid effort and that the Government should face up to its moral obligations in this area. Places provided for overseas students should be additional to those provided to local students, and should not be seen as placing local students at a disadvantage by competing for those places. We further believe that if fees for overseas students are to be charged, then the level of those fees should be set in relation to the income in the students’ home country.43

Since the July National Mobilisation Week campaign, the student leaders had not only continued to stay in close contact with Senator Chipp’s office, but kept themselves updated with developments in Parliament. Even before the delegation departed for Canberra, the students met with the Leader to discuss suitable strategies in Parliament. In Canberra the students met with various members of Government, including the Federal Australian Labor Party (ALP) Caucus Education Committee; the Ministers of Education, Trade, Industry, Finance, Social Security, Science, and Foreign Affairs; and the office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Recognising the importance of caucus support to the ALP, the delegation also lobbied the backbenchers in the House of Representatives and the Senate. At the meetings, the students strongly argued that the fee increases, especially if they became retrospective, would have an adverse impact on students, particularly those enrolled before 1 January 1986. To substantiate their claims, they presented the results of their Victorian survey. The survey conducted by the Department of Statistics at the University of Melbourne attempted to gauge the
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likely effect the government’s fee increase would have on current and potential overseas students. The report revealed that the majority of students, about 246 out of 270 respondents, would consider ‘terminating their studies or increasing paid work’.44 The results showed similarities to the survey conducted in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales by the NSWOSC. This study showed that 43 per cent of enrolled overseas students would not be able to complete their studies or would be forced to transfer their studies to another country.45 To add to their claims, the delegation also presented a dossier containing 150 case studies of students forced to discontinue their courses if the fee increase became retrospective. In lobbying the Liberal Party opposition into a more vocal position on the amendment, the students met with opposition backbenchers of both houses. They found particularly strong support from the Liberal Party’s Peter Shack, who was convinced of the view that the Australia Government had already entered into a ‘tacit agreement with students already enrolled as to the level of the Overseas Student Charge (OSC)’.46 This view received broad backing from the Opposition.47 For three days, they lobbied hard for changes to the Bill: ‘We would normally start up at 8 am and be in the House until around 9 at night. It was indeed three whole days of constant lobbying, developing new arguments, realising the problems with old arguments and adjusting the approach depending on whom we were speaking to’.48 On the third day of the lobby trip, the students received news of a proposal circulating with the ALP Caucus Education Committee proposing an amendment to Cabinet calling for a ‘significant compromise’ to protect students enrolled prior to 1 January 1986. By the end of the trip, students believed that their campaign had made some progress. A week after their return, the President of OSCAFF, Peter Subramaniam, received information from Senator Chipp’s office informing him that the government was floating a 15 per cent increase instead of the 35 per cent for students enrolled prior to 1 January 1986. Peter Subramaniam called an emergency OSCAFF executive meeting to respond to the proposed compromise. The meeting agreed that the compromise did not adequately respond to the problems that the OSC Amendment Bill 1985 was creating.49 Further, ‘the 15 per cent did not represent an indexed or regulated increase and thus was unacceptable’.50 The students relayed their objection to the Democrats and Opposition Liberal Party. Both the Opposition and the Democrats shared the view and the Democrats submitted an amendment for a freeze in fees. Opposing the Overseas Students Charge: second attempt From October to November, the student leadership took a break from its campaigns to prepare for their exams. On 19 November, two OSCAFF representatives, Mr Peter Subramaniam and Mr Ooi Kheng Boon, left for Canberra when they were informed that Parliament would debate the OSC amendment. Apart from meeting members from both the government and opposition, the students met with the Private Secretary to the Minister for Education to discuss at length several issues including the reasons why the Minister could not accept the Democrats ‘fees freeze’ amendment to the Bill.
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Immediately after the discussion, both met with a ‘helpful Liberal’ who indicated to them that approaches had already been made to the Liberal shadow minister involved.51 At 10.00 pm, the same night, the students met with the Liberal spokesperson on education, Mr Peter Shack. At this meeting, they learnt that the coalition had agreed to the government’s amendment of a 15 per cent charge for student enrolled before 1 January 1986. Both student leaders expressed ‘great doubts as to whether a 15 per cent increase was actually going to address the injustice to the students already enrolled’.52 On the morning of the second reading, the representatives met again with Mr Peter Shack only to be informed that the coalition had accepted some doubts expressed by the students. Mr Shack agreed with the arguments expressed by the students and gave them the assurance that the coalition would not support the proposed 15 per cent increase. At 5.30 pm on 20 November, the House of Representatives debated the Overseas Student Charge Amendment Bill 1985. In a speech to the House, Mr Peter Shack expressed reservations about the amendments, arguing that they would produce ‘substantially and unexpectedly higher costs to overseas students who are already in tertiary courses in Australia’.53 Even ALP backbencher, Mr Peter Milton, member for La Trobe, backed the coalition argument, expressing his concern about the effect of the increased fees and proposing instead a three-year fixed period for student charges to ensure at least ‘elements of stability and certainty’ in the program. Milton’s view was in stark contrast to the government’s, largely due to his discussion with the student leaders:
I must admit to being a convert to these views as a result of the many letters I have received and talks I have had with representatives of the various students’ organisations around Australia.54

Having control of the Lower House, the amendment of a 15 per cent increase on students enrolled before 1 January 1986 passed comfortably through to the Senate. The coalition, however, kept its word and voted against the Bill. Five days after the debate, the President of OSCAFF, Peter Subramaniam, received a telephone call from Senator Peter Baume, the Liberal spokesperson on Education in the Senate, informing him that a separate Liberal amendment—a compromise between the Democrats freeze in real money terms and the government’s unconditional 15 per cent increase—would likely be accepted by the government. The compromise involved setting the charge to reflect the rate of inflation, effectively imposing an increase of up to 15 per cent on students enrolled before 1 January 1986. The government accepted the amendment and on the night of the 28 November the Senate passed the Overseas Student Charge Amendment Bill 1985. Even though the compromise did not truly reflect the students’ ultimate aim of halting the fee increase, it did represent a major concession by the government in response to the students’ campaigns. After their modest success, the students were determined to bolster their opposition to future policy changes. On May 1986, the second national conference of overseas students established the National Liaison Committee for Overseas Students in Australia (NLC). The new body would represent all overseas students in the country. The NLC would play a significant
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role in contributing to the development of Australia’s Export Education Services Sector in subsequent years. Conclusion This article demonstrates how a group of students located outside the framework of citizenry attempted to influence public policy from a disenfranchised and disempowered position. Participation in a democratic political process is assumed to occur within the decision-making framework and voting arenas of citizenry, which in turn is assumed to be open to virtually any organised groups. However, this article shows that outside the political arena of citizenry, several groups of temporary and permanent residents exist55, with a stake in the public policy process and an interest in how those policies directly affect them. With no entitlement to political rights to vote and thereby influence public policy, these marginalised communities had limited possibilities for advocating their views or representing their concerns. However, by ‘mimicking’ public campaign repertoires used by citizenship groups, forming alliances with local communities and strategically targeting their lobbying efforts, organised non-citizen groups could indeed be heard, and even effect meaningful political change.

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Speech act theory, maledictive force and vilification in Australia
Nicole Asquith
Traditional Millian theory posits that free speech is the most important mechanism to achieve a greater tolerance of difference and thus create a dynamic marketplace for truth to flourish.1 In responding to maledictive hate2, theorists such as Gelber3 and Butler4 recommend that marginalised speech actors engage with a process of speaking back; of returning the gaze in order to make perpetrators’ contributions to the marketplace of ideas marginal and aberrant. However, as will be demonstrated by an analysis of maledictive force and effects, the ideal speech situations of communicative action theory and the recasting of terms of abuse by ‘speaking back’ require either rational speech actors—something clearly absent in many acts of maledictive hate—or a validation of the authenticity and probity of performative speech acts of marginalised subjects. Constructing new truths is both socially and politically contingent. As such, the capacity for marginalised subjects to contribute rests upon their ability to be able to speak with authority and to be authorised to speak. Yet this validation as authorised speech actors can be withheld from marginalised groups such that, even when individuals feel empowered to speak back to their victimisers, their locutions may be forestalled, gagged, frustrated and disabled by the historicity of their abjectification. Furthermore, speaking back is presented by those who oppose the regulation of speech as inherently non-institutional. This failure to read institutional responses as a process of speaking back—which re-contextualise social relationships, as they exist at the time of enactment—fundamentally devalues the contributions that the state can make to managing maledictive hate. Malediction is critical to the efficacy of most hate violence. In previous research, maledictive hate was found to occur in eighty per cent of all reported cases of antisemitic and heterosexist violence.5 Explicit, personalised verbal abuse constitutes one of the identifying characteristics of hate violence and establishes it as a practice unique to this form of interpersonal violence. Maledictive hate acts as a warning and as a justification: a prelude of things to come, and—if addressees respond—a justification for the transformation of malediction into physical violence. Too often in accounts of hate violence, escalation from malediction to physical or sexual assault occurs when those named in hate violence heed and take on the abjectifying label. Embracing the abject is proof enough that disorder is contained in the marginal body, and order must be reinstated by physical containment of the body. Rather than employing a simplistic Millian or equally unresponsive poststructuralist theoretical framework to account for this transformation from speech to action, Bourdieu’s critical engagement with Austinian speech act theory and Langton’s twist on speech act theory have been foregrounded in this paper. This is not to say that state intervention is privileged over a radical reworking of social

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institution—for that would fall prey to the misrecognition of state power as arbitrary. As such, it will be shown that ‘speaking back’ from unauthorised or deauthorised social positions is as inefficacious as state intervention that is purely symbolic; both are incapable of bringing about real change to the lived experiences of survivors of heterosexist and antisemitic hate violence. Performative speech acts In 1955, Austin presented a series of lectures on How to Do Things with Words. This work reconstructed the field of linguistic philosophy at that time, and, later, reconstructed the debate over the regulation of pornography and ‘hate speech’ in the United States. In an attempt to short-circuit the limitations imposed by the First Amendment of the US Constitution upon the regulation of ‘content’, MacKinnon6 and Critical Race Theorists7 re-contextualised the speech acts of pornography and ‘hate speech’ as conduct, rather than mere words. Central to this conversion from speech to conduct was the redeployment of Austin’s analysis of perlocutionary and illocutionary performative speech acts. In How to Do Things with Words, he argues that:
We first distinguished a group of things we do in saying something, which together we summed up by saying we perform a locutionary act, which is roughly equivalent to uttering a certain sentence with a certain sense and reference … Second, we said that we also perform illocutionary acts such as informing, ordering, warning, undertaking, &c., i.e., utterances which have a certain (conventional) force. Thirdly, we may also perform perlocutionary acts: what we bring about or achieve by saying something, such as convincing, persuading, deterring, and even, say, surprising or misleading.8

From this seemingly simple classification of speech and the ways in which speech can be action, theorists such as Bourdieu, Butler and Langton have developed a sophisticated system for assessing the force and effects of subordinating and silencing speech. However, particularly for Bourdieu and Langton, it is Austin’s deeper analysis of the forms of illocutionary speech that provides the basis for their claims about the authority to speak, and the power of authorised speech. Austin, in his analysis of performative acts, details five classes of illocutionary utterances: verdictives (exercise of judgment), exercitives (exercising of power), commissives (assuming of an obligation or declaring of an intention), behabitives (adopting an attitude) and expositives (clarifying of reasons and arguments).9 The two most significant classes of illocutionary performatives for the study of maledictive hate are verdictives and exercitives. The first of these classes of illocutions relates to the ‘delivering of a finding, official or unofficial, upon evidence or reasons as to value or fact’.10 It is important to note that Austin clearly states that exercising judgment can be either official or unofficial: judgments by Jo Citizen as easily as judgments by Jo Magistrate. Verdictive perlocutions aim to rank and value the addressee and thus establish a verdict on the ‘truth and falsity, soundness and unsoundness and fairness and unfairness’ of their subjectivity or contributions to the marketplace of ideas.11 In maledictive hate, verdictive perlocutions include interpellations that
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name addressees within a hierarchy of subject positions according to their proximity to dominant representations of the body and identity. The second class of illocutions relevant to the analysis of maledictive hate is exercitive performatives. Unlike verdictive illocutions, exercitives are a judgment that ‘[something] is to be so, as distinct from a judgment that it is so: it is advocacy that it should be so, as opposed to an estimate that it is so; … it is an award as opposed to an assessment; it is a sentence as opposed to a verdict’.12 Exercitives include statements that warn, order, advise and command. More than verdictives, exercitives require an authorised force in order to affect the objective of the performative act. Furthermore, where verdictives are temporally present or an assessment of the past, exercitives are statements about how the future should look: an advocacy of things to come. As such, if exercitives secure uptake by being spoken with authority or by an authorised delegate, they are capable of influencing addressees in more ways than verdictives. Subordination and silence Subordination is the objective of both verdictive and exercitive illocutions. Langton reclassifies these two classes of performative speech acts as authoritative illocutions because at the core of their felicitous performance is a recognition of the authority conferred upon or taken up by the speaker.13 As discussed previously, this authority need not be institutionally bound, yet is always socially constituted. Ranking particular subject positions and conferring rights and privileges on these individuals is conventionally an act of governments and courts. In maledictive hate, however, it can also be performed by a range of actors centrally situated in social relations: heterosexuals naming homosexuals, Anglo-Australians naming the migrant other. Langton argues that authoritative speech acts are capable of achieving two types of action: subordination and silencing. There is an important relationship between subordination and silencing. Many free speech theorists argue that the best way to dismantle explicitly subordinating speech that ranks individuals and groups, legitimises inequitable treatment towards them and withdraws right and privileges from them, is with more speech.14 However, as Langton highlights, fighting speech with more speech is an impossible task when marginalised individuals or groups are also silenced.15 She argues that ‘[f]ree speech is a good thing because it enables people to act … Speech that silences is bad, not just because it restricts the ideas available on the shelves, but because it constrains people’s action.16 When marginal groups are unable to make recognisable contributions to the construction of their identities—as authorised participants in the discussion and as experts on the subject—they are not only silenced, they are also subordinated. Addressees are subordinated when these performative speech acts ‘rank certain people as inferior … legitimate discriminatory behavior towards them … [and] deprive them of powers and rights’.17 Being ranked as inferior, and having that assessment legitimated (for example, through the devaluation of violence against gay men or lesbians, or the construction of homosexuality as paedophilia) also creates the conditions for withholding rights and privileges such as the proscription of same-sex marriage, and adoption or guardianship.
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The second set of actions achieved in performative speech is silencing. Langton suggests that if speech (or text) is action, ‘then silence is the failure to act’ or the failure of speech to count as an action.18 This failure to act can be seen in the locutionary gag, perlocutionary frustration and illocutionary disablement.19 While Langton privileges the latter form of silencing (illocutionary disablement)—perhaps due to her need to operate within the confines of First Amendment jurisprudence—all three forms of silencing are judged as having sufficient force to constrain the actions of marginalised subjects. The primary form of silencing is the locutionary gag. This is where speech is unavailable because the conditions for articulating are made ‘unspeakable’. The principal way in which silence is secured is through the loss of mechanical means (such as limited access to a public forum, or a physical incapacity) to create speech or text. Silence as the result of mechanical loss is a factor in any traumatic incident. Traumatic memory is unlike automatic memory or narrative memory in that it resides largely in corporeal sensation and dysfunction. Recollecting traumatic memory calls upon different parts of the brain than those required to speak and construct narratives of experiences.20 Brison suggests that this is one reason why many survivors of trauma lose the ability to articulate a coherent narrative of the encounter, and why memories of these events can appear as ‘full of fleeting images, the percussion of blows, sounds, and movements of the body’.21 The second way that Langton suggests silence can be secured is through perlocutionary frustration.22 While locutionary silence is the failure to make a sound, perlocutionary frustration is achieved by letting a person speak but not letting those speech acts have the intended effect. Austin argues that by saying something—in contrast to the illocutionary force created in saying something— ‘often, or even normally … certain consequential effects upon the feelings, thoughts, or actions of the audience, or of the speaker, or of other persons are produced’.23 These perlocutionary effects may be that the audience is persuaded, intimidated, or convinced by the speaker’s arguments. Perlocutionary silence or frustration is a regular part of everyday life, such that ‘one invites, but nobody attends the party; one votes, hoping to oust the government, but one is outnumbered’, one refuses consent in sex, and it is ignored.24 However, for marginalised subjects, perlocutionary frustration is more likely to be integral to their life experiences because their marginality results in the construction of their subjectivity as flawed, suspect and inadmissible in any context. The ability for a perlocutionary statement to secure a felicitous uptake relies on the perception that he or she is speaking with authority. If marginalised subjects are proscribed from positions of authority (even on the subject of marginality) then the effects of their speech acts are bound to be frustrated. The final form of silence is presented by Langton as the most serious way that the objectives of marginalised subjects are disabled. An illocutionary speech act is one that does something in saying. Illocutionary disablement occurs ‘when one speaks, one utters words, and fails not simply to achieve the effect one aims at, but fails to perform the very action one intends’: one refuses consent in sex, and it is transformed into an eroticised ‘yes’.25 In illocutionary performatives, not only are speakers required to speak with authority (or with a sense of expertise) but also

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are required to be authorised to speak. Consequently, those with no recognised authority or expertise, or those who are not delegated to speak on a given topic, can have their actions disabled. Speaking with authority and the authority to speak When Judith Butler turned to Austin’s work four years after Langton’s analysis of sexual violence, it was to interrogate the use of perlocutionary effect and illocutionary force as a theoretical and legal tool in regulating subordinating and silencing speech.26 Butler rejects a straightforward reading of illocutionary force, and the notion of a state-sponsored response to maledictive hate advocating, instead, an appropriation of hateful speech which creates new contexts of meaning and thus de-authorises, then re-authorises the words spoken. In the space between meaning and intent—between speaking and acting—Butler argues there is a slippery re-iterative moment where there is an opportunity for a reversal, an appropriation or an expropriation that undermines the hatred and intentions of the speaker, and offers new meanings, new intentions and the chance of linguistic agency.27 Butler argues that illocutionary speech acts or utterances are reserved for very few occasions in contemporary societies as they rely on prior convention in order to convey what is said (the meaning and intent) and the physical, corporeal power to bring about the uttered intent or meaning.28 Butler suggests that there are moments of illocutionary power but that any analysis of malediction that claims this rare moment as the primary process in maledictive hate closes or fixes the possibilities of changing or uncoupling the hurtful connections between meaning and intent and the ability to act on that meaning and intent.29 Butler contends that every utterance is unstable and open to reinterpretation.30 To fix meanings of maledictive hate within a state framework such as law, she argues that we undermine the possibility of inscribing new meanings and, therefore, negate the addressee’s linguistic agency.31 Pinning down the context for Butler is a partial task of interrogating ‘words that wound’ because contexts and meaning change over time and place, and because some performatives actually gain their efficaciousness from their break with prior contexts (for example, ‘queer’ in the mouths of gay men and lesbians, or ‘nigger’ in the mouths of African Americans).32 Bourdieu rejects Butler’s position, claiming instead that social power is invested in all speech acts prior to this utterance of ‘words that wound’. He highlights that the conventional means that bring about felicity are not embodied in language use nor is convention authorised internally to language. Rather, convention is efficacious because of social conditions external to language. Bourdieu argues that the illocutionary force of a performative utterance does not gain its efficacy from ‘the fact that they seem to possess in themselves the source of a power’, rather this efficacy ‘resides in the institutional conditions of their production and reception’.33 This position has the advantage of foregrounding the social construction of authority, and thus the social conventions required for individuals to wield hate as an act of power. In this sense, language is a social structure determined prior to any utterance by the speaker and maledictive hate is a habit that requires generational reinscription for it to do its social magic. This inter-generational re-inscription
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requires structural processes in order for hate to pass to the next generation. Langton argues that speaking with authority requires social recognition of one’s position as a specialist on the subject under discussion, while being authorised to speak requires a social delegation of power to define the subject of discussion, and whether the subject is in fact a valid, legitimate matter to be discussed.34 Speech act theory and anti-vilification legislation in Australia Given that institutional validation is the most potent form of recognition available in Western democratic states, and that the interests of marginalised subjects have been best met by the intervention of state agencies in Australia, it is counterproductive to suggest that a privatised response to maledictive hate is the primary way forward. Although a small number of individuals and communities may at times feel empowered to engage with perpetrators of hate violence without the intervention of the state35, prioritising this form of response not only constructs others unable to act in this manner as less than socially engaged citizens, it also constructs social change as a localised process. Unlike privatised individual or community responses to maledictive hate, state intervention can establish the ground rules for social engagement for all citizens. This is not to say that marginalised groups have no role in the elimination of maledictive hate. Rather it is to argue that these groups require state support and intervention in order for their voices to be perceived as being authorised and as having the requisite expertise or authority to be contributors to the issues raised by hatred. Without a First Amendment to hamper their intervention, since 1995 Australian state and federal governments have adopted a variety of mechanisms to seek remedies for the damage caused by maledictive hate. Unfortunately, this intervention has been forestalled in part because of the conditions under which intervention is tolerable to the electorate, and because governments have abrogated their responsibility as active participants in this adjudication in favour of an individualised, privatised system of seeking justice. In particular, antivilification measures such as the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 and the federal Racial Hatred Act 1995, seek only to regulate those maledictive acts that have incited—or could possibly incite—another person to hate. Further, maledictive hate in Australia is judged not on the basis of the intent of perpetrators; rather, harm is assessed through the eyes of the reasonable third person of law. While an objective assessment is preferable to the subjective assessment of intent, the reasonable third person is also problematic. Finally, Australian models for regulating maledictive hate, while requiring a public act of hatred, are adjudicated in-camera. This effectively forestalls the capacity for these institutional illocutionary speech acts to create a social commitment— perlocutionary effects—to the elimination of vilification. The right to demand a life free from targeted violence requires state interventions that establish a set of standards for good citizenship. Law should never be solely an exercise in symbolism: it must also be able to change the circumstances of abjectification. Too often institutional measures such as the AntiDiscrimination Act 1977 (NSW) and the Racial Hatred Act 1995 (Cth) are presented as symbols of the intent of state and federal governments rather than as mechanisms for real social change. The containment of these legislative responses
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to acts of symbolism stems from the adjudicating framework employed to seek redress for marginalised subjects. In particular, these institutional measures only partially capture the acts of hatred experienced by marginalised subjects because these civil procedures only relate to public acts that incite others to hate. These regulatory measures only trap those acts that create perlocutionary effects, rather than those that create illocutionary force. This is the reverse of the regulatory system in the US, which can only ever regulate illocutionary speech acts. In Australian regulatory systems, it is not enough that one person hates: that hatred must infect another mind too. Governments in Australia have deemed that the damage of vilification is not contained in the initial authoritative speech act; rather, the damage is contained in the maledictive infection of another. This preference for perlocutionary effects over illocutionary force significantly devalues the damage done in the one-on-one engagement between addressee and addressor. The second major concern in relation to the regulatory frameworks adopted by Australian governments is their use of the objective, reasonable, third person to assess the harm caused by maledictive hate. To adjudicate the perlocutionary effect of malediction, the government has established the ordinary reasonable person as the third person in every encounter of vilification. In Harou-Sourdon v. TCN Channel Nine, the Tribunal set the reasonable person as one who is neither ‘immune from susceptibility to incitement’ nor compelled to act with ‘racially prejudiced views’.36 Given that the objective approach requires an analysis of the contextual factors that play a part in each incident of vilification, it appears counter-intuitive to start from a position of the ordinary reasonable person not being inclined to racist or heterosexist views. Australia was founded on the racist proclamation of terra nullius: it did not give Indigenous Australians full citizenship until 1967; it maintained the White Australia immigration policy until 1967; and it criminalised sodomy (in Tasmania) until 1998. How then can we expect that the ordinary reasonable person is somehow immune to this socialisation? Takach argues that vilification legislation was introduced to remedy a perceived social problem. However, in the conversion from social policy to a legal framework, the objective approach ‘may not take into account the viewpoint of the very group[s] that the … legislation is designed to support’.37 Finally, as both Gelber38 and McNamara39 argue, civil complaint systems that require public acts of discrimination, harassment and vilification to be adjudicated through a private, in-camera conciliation process, fail to achieve either the objective of establishing a symbol of the intent of governments or the production of real social change. While vilification must be a public act, anti-vilification processes are confined to private conciliation, where neither parties (nor the tribunals hearing the matter) are allowed to speak publicly about the proceedings. Gelber argues that confining these acts of vilification to the public arena, and the conciliation of these acts to the private arena, fundamentally undermines the stated goals and objectives of the legislation40, as decisions reached are not made public and do not serve as symbols of unacceptable behaviour. Each of these imperfections in the regulatory frameworks in Australia limit the ability for marginalised subjects to seek justice. Adopting Austin’s performative speech act theory may assist in ameliorating some of the more debilitating

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impediments. This is not to make a case for textual analysis as the only tool in adjudicating malediction. Rather, speech act theory would serve as an additional framework to clarify the purpose, intent and consequences of malediction, and as a result would lead to a more efficacious system that is based on the force and effect of malediction instead of the assessment of the reasonable third person. Concluding remarks Since 2001, Western nations have progressively developed stringent regulatory controls to manage the risk of terrorism, such as the criminalisation of speech acts that include threats to the security of people and property. Speakers may not intend to blow up a building or plane, they may not even intend to frighten others— sometimes these speech acts are made in jest to parody what is perceived to be excessive over-regulation. Yet the state has defined these illocutionary speech acts as unspeakable because in terrorem may cause harm. Maledictive hate— especially threats of death—are speech acts that do things in the saying and create a set of consequences for the addressees. While these illocutionary and perlocutionary speech acts are perpetrated against minority groups on an everyday basis, they are constructed as ethereal and somehow less harmful than threats of terrorism. This construction of maledictive hate as anomalous is perhaps due to the reduction of malediction to its most prevalent form—that of ‘naming’ the marginalised subject as an outsider. However, if analyses of maledictive hate acknowledge that there is more to these practices than interpellation, then it is easier to recognise that silencing individuals and groups also leads to subordination. It has been suggested throughout this paper that the simple remedy proposed by traditional Millian theory—that maledictive hate can be countered by additional speech acts in the marketplace of ideas—fails to account for the legitimated power of illocutionary force. Bourdieu argues in Language and Symbolic Violence that the official institution of meaning is a ‘symbolic act of imposition which has on its side all the strength of the collective, of the consensus, of common sense, because it is performed by a delegated agent of the state’.41 As such, rather than constructing the truth about hate violence from the perceived integrity of the speaker of these statements—as epitomised in Millian free speech theory—truth is a contingent object constructed out of social positions of power. In order to achieve a status or position of power that facilitates legitimation, and allows marginalised groups to speak with authority, they must be formally recognised by the state as valid players in the democratic process and as experts on the force and effects of maledictive hate. When viewed through Austinian speech act theory, Australian anti-vilification laws appear to either ignore or devalue the force of authoritative illocutions, preferring instead to privilege the perlocutionary effects of malediction. This not only reduces anti-vilification legislation to ineffectual, symbolic law, it also indicates to those citizens most at risk of social death that their government is largely unconcerned by the violence of their everyday lives except when it incites others to action. It has been suggested that the limited success achieved to date through civil anti-vilification complaint procedures can be remedied by the employment of a more nuanced interpretation of the textual properties of
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maledictive hate and the illocutionary force of authorised speech. The reformation of institutional measures will ensure that the symbolism of tolerance and a ‘fair go’ is converted into an authorised redistribution of justice.

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A case for suppression: an examination of the Russian Workers’ Association in World War I era censors’ reports
Louise Curtis
A serious battle was conducted on the Australian home front during World War I against disloyalty and sedition. One aspect of this battle was an increase in monitoring groups and individuals through newspaper and postal censorship. By examining the groups targeted by this process, we can gain some insight into the actual nature of surveillance in Australian society. One organisation considered to be a case for suppression by the First Military District censors in Brisbane skyrocketed into the public gaze through the Red Flag Riots of 1919. This group was known as the Russian Workers’ Association (RWA).1 Many scholars have explored the Queensland home front and the response of officialdom to the threat of sedition represented by the RWA. The RWA is examined by Raymond Evans2 in several publications that illuminate the social and political turmoil in Queensland. Works by Boris Christa3, Thomas Poole and Eric Fried4 bring to life the forgotten events of Russian activism in Australia. More recently, Elena Govor5 includes analysis of Brisbane radicals in Australia in the Russian Mirror and Russian Anzacs. Kevin Windle6 links Australian radicals with the Soviet Union through his work on Aleksandr Zuzenko, a leading figure in the RWA at the time of the Red Flag Riots. Frank Cain has worked extensively on Australian radicals and censorship in Australia during the Great War, notably in his The Origins of Political Surveillance in Australia.7 Intelligence organisations and military censorship are also examined by Kevin Fewster8, C D CoulthardClark9 and John Hilvert.10 This article explores key trends in World War I era intelligence gathered on the Russian Workers’ Association through postal censorship. The picture obtained from the censors’ reports alone is incomplete but these documents do offer an insight into the characterisation of the Russians by Australian officials. Official treatment demonises the radical left-wing politics of the RWA and depicts Russians as aggressive, militant, dangerous, violent and of a criminal nature. This perception of the RWA was directly linked to the application of new wartime legislation, which implicitly perpetuated suspicion of and hostility towards nonBritish subjects. This paper argues that the censors tended to overestimate the threat posed by the RWA. Russians in Brisbane before the war Australian authorities—like the British—were sympathetic to political and religious exiles from Tsarist Russia, the so-called last bastion of autocracy in Europe. Settlers, exiles and escaped prisoners alike migrated to Australia. However, the number of political refugees increased markedly after the abortive

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1905 revolution as dissenters fled Tsarist reprisals (with great difficulty) via Siberia to Pacific ports in China and Korea. Steamers provided passage through Asia to Australia, rumoured to have favourably lax entry controls.11 Fried remarks that Brisbane, the first western port of call from the Far East, ‘emerged as an important centre of the Russian radical movement in exile’.12 Charles Price concludes that Queensland ‘was clearly the favourite state’ attracting over half the Russians coming to Australia.13 To give an indication of round numbers, Evans cites 2,000 refugees entering Queensland between 1911 and 1914, joining the 800 Russians already present in the 1911 census. By 1918, the Queensland Russian community had approximately 4,000 of Australia’s 6,000 Russian residents.14 The majority of these lived in Brisbane and exerted the strongest Russian influence in any city during this time. In addition to population size, the Brisbane community organisation—which developed into the RWA—was different from Russian associations or clubs in Sydney and Melbourne in two important ways. First, the Brisbane group sought to centralise Russian interests through its alliances with smaller groups in outlying areas throughout Queensland as well as in Darwin, Port Pirie and Broken Hill. The RWA was in constant correspondence with Russians around the Commonwealth and the leadership aspirations of the Brisbane activists were particularly apparent when an attempt was made to federate Russian groups in Australia and the idea was mooted to form a trans-Tasman alliance with Russians in New Zealand. Second, the publishing enterprise of the Brisbane RWA was unique in terms of its size and longevity. The Brisbane-based series of Russian and later English language newspapers had a national subscription base.15 Exchanges with a range of international newspapers indicate that the Brisbane Russians were also sending their publications to the United States, New Zealand and Switzerland. The personalities and development of the RWA deserve detailed attention themselves, yet that is beyond the scope of this paper. Fried has completed extensive work into the backgrounds and affiliations of Russians in Brisbane before and during the war.16 The Brisbane group’s core membership was political dissenters and radical exiles. These Russians had a wide range of political affiliations and many had participated—some in commanding roles—in uprisings and subversive activities in Russia leading to trial and imprisonment. It was their influence that became increasingly dominant in the local Russian Club, formed in January 1911. Originally a politically moderate organisation aiming to support newly arrived compatriots led by L G Kalinin and B Munter17, its leadership had changed by December of that year and F A Sergeyev (the experienced career Bolshevik, Artem) affably directed the Association. In 1912, the name had been changed to the Union of Russian Emigrants and an even more class-orientated title adopted in 1915, the Union of Russian Workers. This same Association—albeit under several competing leaders (namely Nikolai Lagutin, Peter Simonoff and Aleksandr Zuzenko)—participated in the Red Flag March in 1919 and declared itself to be Soviet in August of that year. The Russian Workers’ Association attracted the attention of the Queensland police through its members’ political speeches at Domain meetings and frequent interaction with other socialist organisations. Of particular relevance to the censor were the political newspapers and stream of letters in and out of the RWA’s PO Box 10 at South Brisbane.
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Censored correspondence reveals that the RWA attracted the interest of Russians in every state, which was a concern to federal authorities and encouraged them to monitor the activities more clearly. The behaviour of Russians with political ties in Brisbane was similar to that of Old World immigrants elsewhere in the New World. In his study of the Red Scare, Robert Murray points to the formation of ‘autonomous groups of proletarian immigrants speaking the same language and having the same ethnic background’ operating within socialist groups in the United States.18 However, recently arrived immigrants tended to view economics, politics, class and law in a European setting. Sally Miller notes that politically conscious immigrants from the Old World brought with them a ‘much more pronounced class spirit characteristic of professional revolutionaries than had been present before’.19 Their perceptions had been shaped by the oppressive classroom of their homelands. The situation of the radical immigrant in Australia is different from the American case in terms of numbers, though not necessarily in revolutionary fervour. Members of the RWA were political activists opposed to Tsarism and their opposition embraced a range of radical thinking and practice. This is important to note. It was an association of members and scattered subsidiary groups connected by language and circumstance as well as political ambition. It is perhaps the debate among the various approaches to Russian developments that was the key to this organisation, rather than coordinated adherence to a party program. The consensus between the different political stances waxed and waned and gave rise to splinter groups and leadership squabbles. The RWA did have national importance for the Russian diaspora in Australia but the organisation was not a secretive cell, nor were its activities initially underground. New wartime precautions banned its newspapers and prohibited its most potent public speakers Simonoff and Zuzenko. The organisation was pushed increasingly towards clandestine activity in order to print and distribute now illegal newspapers. Nevertheless, a central and vocal core of leaders did unconditionally promote the Bolshevik path and RWA members did support calls for world revolution and the destruction of the capitalist system. Violent criticisms of Australia’s political leaders were a feature of RWA publications and censors’ notes on intercepted correspondence accurately reflect these extreme views of Australian politicians. In the eyes of the military censors, the RWA was a clear example of a widespread Bolshevik threat to home front stability. The dominance of radicals in the Association confirmed long-standing suspicions about the immigrants by Australian authorities. In 1912–13, for instance, concerns were raised about Asiatic Russians, especially those without passports. The Queensland police indicated that ‘about 75% of those alleged immigrants are of the criminal class’.20 Despite intelligence that ‘several Russian agitators, who were accustomed to the revolutionary methods carried on in Russia, were found to be advocating similar drastic measures here’, during the critical 1912 General Strike21, an early precedent was set regarding the fledgling RWA: ‘it entirely consists of the criminal class’.22 This erroneous assessment by the Queensland police criminalised political agitators. Correspondence flowed between state and federal agencies: for Queensland, ‘the main thing [wa]s to shut them out’.23 Unfortunately for state officials, the prime minister’s office felt that
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‘the non-possession [of a passport] may indicate nothing more than that the person was a political offender, who under the different conditions of Australian life might prove a desirable immigrant’.24 It was only a matter of time, however, before anxious police memoranda were transformed into expressions of a formal intelligence-gathering machine ‘securing the public safety and the defence of the Commonwealth’.25 The catalyst for this shift was the advent of the Great War. Defence of the Commonwealth In 1914, federal parliament prepared Australia to defend the British Empire, surrendering once more to the pull of imperial allegiance. This time, however, the fight was centred in Europe and not some far-flung colonial outpost.26 This burden was not lost in the three key pieces of wartime legislation that restricted the activities and movements of Russian activists, indeed of any individual or group who challenged the loyalty of the home front. The War Precautions Act and the later Unlawful Associations and Aliens Registration Acts were highly significant in empowering the web of federal agencies that monitored and controlled opposition. This legislation changed the official treatment of foreigners—potential enemies of Britain—in Australia. Once Australia might have been seen as an outpost where it was possible for foreigners (preferably white, healthy and able to work) to be assimilated. Now alien citizens were subject to an intense, coordinated exercise in surveillance. Among other things, the War Precautions Act comprehensively targeted the movements and communications of aliens well past the cessation of hostilities and into the 1920s. The regulations aimed to counter enemy sabotage of the war effort by silencing opposition to Australia’s participation in the war. The detention of any person in military custody was permitted under the guise of maintaining public safety27, and in the coming years many Russians were subjected to restrictions and detention under this Act. These circumstances added to their perception of being held in a capitalist cage. A lack of understanding of the experiences and aims of the Russians further compounded their treatment by government officials who increasingly saw political activism only in the context of protecting home front integrity, rather than as part of an international movement. Nevertheless, the Russians in Brisbane had inserted themselves into a corner of the British Empire that also had a frontier reputation with regard to politics. ‘Queer Queensland’28 was home to the foundation of the Labor Party and the first Labor government in the world. The defiant Ryan and Theodore governments consecutively challenged the authority of the federal government’s wartime regulations. The federal government responded by pushing the War Precautions Act to the brink, censoring Queensland’s anti-conscription publications and later Hansard itself. As Evans indicates, social and ideological conflicts in Queensland were more intense than those occurring in the southern states, particularly so ‘as the Federal government attempted to spread a slur of disloyalty across the entire state’.29 The slur was propagated by censors who documented the ‘many extraordinary occurrences in Queensland’, casting the state as a ‘stricken community in the north’, an endpoint for pilgrims to ‘raise the flag of rebellion’.30 Under these conditions the Labor state was a ‘congenial atmosphere’ for the genesis of propaganda.31 In these unsettled times it was all the censors could to do
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to track tentacles of bolshevism pulsing out from ‘dangerous nuclei’ such as the RWA.32 Staff based at the First Military District in Queensland numerically formed one of the largest gatherings outside central administration.33 The periphery of British Australia—the vulnerable north—was constructed as a haven for disloyal factions. This is perhaps more connected to agitation and protest by non-British workers than to any serious security breach by enemy agents. The perceived laxity of the Queensland Labor Government in dealing with agitators, especially those from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), contributed to this image. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, it is unlikely that radical political views which undermined the political and economic identity promoted by the federal government were viewed with any less antagonism than they were at the height of the war. However, what is likely is that the war provided the climate in which supporters of such political views were observed exclusively in terms of their opposition to Australia’s war effort. Home front cohesiveness necessitated the internment, surveillance and censorship of enemies as a war precaution. A German heritage, talk of Irish independence, or subscription to radical journals were no longer elements of individual personhood; they were explicit expressions of group sedition corroding ‘the British idea of law and order’.34 Australia’s British identity was reinforced as of enemy origin (that is, conspicuously foreign), regardless of convictions or immigration status, and deemed disloyal and dangerous. What changed as a result of the war conditions is that the mere physical presence of others became threatening in itself to the conservative mainstream. Mirroring developments in Europe and the United States, debate and political activism were now fast becoming socially and legally intolerable. Monitoring the disloyal and the disaffected Wartime legislation buttressed the state by deepening scrutiny of the population, implicitly continuing authorities’ hostility towards opposition groups. In Queensland four organisations collected information on subversive groups such as the RWA: the State Police, the Army, the Special Intelligence Bureau and the Commonwealth Police Force.35 Postal and newspaper censorship came under the jurisdiction of the Army. Army intelligence officers in each state reported to the Director of Military Intelligence, Major E L Piesse, as well as to the district commandant. Each commandant controlled the local censors’ office, which was also responsible to the Deputy Chief Censor in Melbourne. The district censor was supported by a team of assistant censors, translators, clerks, typists and specialist army staff. The position of censor in Queensland’s First Military District was filled by Captain H C Coxen until Captain J J Stable took over from January 1917 to May 1919.36 J Botten filled the role until demobilisation in December 1919. As Cain indicates, ‘the Deputy Chief Censor was also, theoretically, under the command of the Chief Censor in London, who nominally controlled censorship in all countries of the British Empire’.37 In this way Brisbane could perceive the identity and propaganda of the RWA in the light of wider developments, for example, the activities of the IWW in the United States and union radicalism in the United Kingdom. Thus it was as part of a global intelligence network that

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Queensland’s federal and state authorities were dealing with the burgeoning political activism of the Russian exile community. A key instrument of that network was the weekly Intelligence Reports on Enemy Trading and Other Suspicious Actions.38 Censorship asserted bureaucratic control over the history being made. It simultaneously supported emergent conservatism whilst smothering radicalism. Australia had strong colonial roots and an officialdom whose nature it was to be concerned. In the context of the Great War it was a patriotic duty to identify, track and isolate all subversive voices. Military intelligence threw its nets wide into the community, pulling enemies to be interned as well as conscientious objectors into its ‘record of anti Britishers’39, although it is likely that some radical identities were overlooked.40 Govor observes that ‘Australian military authorities had a tendency to see Bolshevist “propaganda” where none existed’.41 Censors’ notes on the Russians in Brisbane echo this statement. It seems clear that on the one hand, censorship was unlikely to find foreign spies and on the other it beat up innocuous activities into sinister signs. The turning point for the RWA was the revolution in Russia. For its members the revolutionary period was one of momentous historical process, despite conflicting stances on desired outcomes. In British society, the word ‘revolution’ was associated with traumatic social upheavals and bloodletting. It was a trigger for social anxiety. The fear of sedition was exemplified through the intense interest stimulated by news from Russia. Conservatives could not fail to notice that ‘czars, kings and other kinds of grand dukes ha[d] bolted’.42 The impact of these events on political refugees in Queensland is best summed up by M Procharoff of Peeramon (in the stricken north): ‘There is no more time to write, we must start to work, for there is no better time than the present to see bolshevism rule the world’.43 However, 1918 and 1919 were not good years for the Russians in Brisbane. Russia was no longer viewed as the steamroller of Europe but rather as a traitor that had succumbed to the sickness of revolution. Russians in Australia were seen as key collaborators in the perpetuation of this sickness. Queensland censors raised the concern that the RWA represented ‘a sort of club room where the malcontents can discuss their propaganda’.44 This was indeed the case. However, the censors’ main concern was the mere existence of malcontents on Australian shores. That they should have the opportunity to indulge in free speech through the public platform and newspaper publication was an outrage. Even worse, other aliens (such as Irish IWW-ites) were ‘consorting with Russian undesirables’.45 It was feared that ‘the threatened influx to Australia of enemy and other undesirable aliens [wa]s already taking shape’.46 No longer a refugee from a repressive system, the Russian activist was typecast as ‘a pretty kind of mad dog to let loose on the community’.47 A vocal group of Russian Bolsheviks whipping up Sovietmania amongst unemployed and discontented workers and returned soldiers was an unwanted development. Propaganda emanating from the RWA that promoted Russia’s revolution was viewed as unacceptable and warranted suppression under the War Precautions Act. Censors emphasised that ‘it is noticeable that rarely is a Russian letter scrutinized in which the revolutionary spirit is not aggressively displayed. The conclusion to

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be arrived at is that if there are law abiding Russians in Australia they do not write letters’.48 With rising alarm, censors reasoned that even for Russians in isolated areas such as Broken Hill ‘the militancy is strong within them and they are looking for an excuse to break out. They are always on the side of disorder’.49 Regional cane-cutting centres, for instance, were viewed as nurseries for political propaganda.50 At this critical point, concern was raised that this sort of radicalism was not only threatening home front stability but also the political future and moral health of British Australia. In an effort to halt the spread of a red peril, Britain prevented the return of exiled radicals via territory controlled by the Allied Intervention. Following suit, censors here made it clear ‘that Russians are not going to leave Australia until Bolshevism is smashed’.51 The determination of many Russians to return to their homeland was not fully understood. It was seen either as undermining British authority or as some form of lunacy. One censor labelled it an anxiety to throw oneself ‘into the human cauldron into which the Bolsheviks have converted Russia’.52 Indeed, Russians who clamoured for information on how to secure passports were labelled as ‘belligerent types’ ... ‘that desire for the disruption of good order’.53 But agitation over the loss of their choice to return to Russia could be seen as the point of consensus amongst often politically divided Russians. Instead of quietly accepting their fate, Russians brought their concerns with them into wider labour protests against the government. This strategy did not always work to their advantage as evidenced by the conservative wrath unleashed in the turmoil of the Red Flag Riots. Trouble spots around the country were seen as being ‘well dosed with Bolshevistic literature’.54 The analogy of bolshevism as a sort of degenerative poison, a disease, was a timely one that exploited public fear of the influenza epidemic. This ties into an older current that constructs White Australia as young, innocent (or susceptible) and unsullied, needing to be protected. By linking bolshevism and Russians with criminality, belligerency, poison and mad dogs, the presence of these foreigners was constructed as an unsettling force that became too dangerous to be at large in the community. A loud and sharply unsettling voice belonged to that of unrecognised Soviet consul Peter Simonoff. A prolific writer and confident speaker, Simonoff’s zeal took on a new meaning when he was appointed as Soviet representative in Australia in February 1918.55 His leadership was not overwhelmingly popular with all Russians, nor consistently effective. Nevertheless, he was most successful in arousing the attention of censors, who noted: ‘Simonoff has been a danger to the community all along’; ‘Everyday this man is at liberty some new and dangerous deed is done against the empire’; ‘Is he up to fresh mischief? One can imagine anything while he is loose’.56 Simonoff grew as the arch-rebel at the centre of all propaganda and his attempts to engage in official dialogue on the issue of Russian passports were swiftly thwarted. He was restricted and later imprisoned under the War Precautions Act. The censors did not consistently distinguish between news of revolutionary Russia, support for revolution and the broader ideals of radical politics, and calls for revolution in Australia. RWA correspondence predominantly falls into the first two categories. While it is the case that RWA members expressed strong criticism

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of the political situation in Australia, only a minority of correspondents instructed workers to rise up in armed struggle or guerrilla-style sabotage. Techniques employed by the wider labour movement, such as strikes, boycotts and street marches, were the advocated forms of protest. Letters intercepted by postal censorship indicate that references to confrontation were more often than not in response to the threats Russians felt they were increasingly facing. In September 1918, Simonoff informed his Melbourne comrades that the RWA was facing ‘a new organisation … composed of returned soldiers and hooligans, who threaten openly to smash the Russian Workers Union … but let them try it’. A lack of sympathy on the part of the authorities is clear when the censor responded: ‘Possibly the returned soldiers who, thank God, are not all hooligans, may yet take the law into their own hands’.57 The isolation and trepidation felt by many Russians cannot be ignored. A Russian in north Queensland confided that he ‘cannot call life anything but suffocation’.58 Aleksandr Zuzenko noted in the months before his leading role in the Red Flag march that ‘the repression is hitting us more and more’, sardonically observing that ‘we can thank them [military authorities] that we are permitted to live—this is a concession because it permits us to write what we do’.59 Others lamented that ‘one cannot leave and one has no money or work’.60 After the Red Flag Riots, the Russians in general were harassed and the RWA fragmented. Archival records indicate that military intelligence officers made frequent sweeps of Russian premises and impounded the belongings of members earmarked for deportation in raids conducted in their absence. In the case of Nikolai Lagutin, who was searched but not deported, officials seized sketchbooks of non-political subjects and personal writings along with political works.61 The critical concern of the censors—the declaration of a Soviet in Australia—did not eventuate until after the Red Flag Riots and ensuing deportations. The official shift occurred in August 1919, when under new leadership ‘the alliance … ceased to be a cultured enlightened circle for Russians. The future task … revolutionary communist propaganda among the English speaking workers’.62 While the sentiments expressed in this declaration represented a continuation of the views and objectives of RWA members, the timing of the declaration could be also linked to the mounting pressure of federal surveillance. It is quite likely that Australian authorities never recognised that the differences within radical politics or that the events taking place in Russia might be worthy of consideration. Wartime regulations accelerated the gathering together of all perspectives as dangerous propaganda and the inclination to see ‘nests of Russians’ throughout Australia.63 Censors were generally dismissive of the validity of any left-wing activism and proclaimed that ‘the word socialist nowadays covers a multitude of sins’.64 This assessment of left-wing radicalism, which became almost universally viewed as Bolshevism, was one that drew heavily on the circumstance that this activism existed outside the legal framework for approved home front activity. Conclusion The Russians in Brisbane were clear targets in the loyalist battle for the home front. Russians were undesirable and disloyal on the basis of not being British.
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After the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Russians also represented the betrayal of the Allied cause and the Bolshevik challenge to British institutions.65 The ‘Russian Soviet regime ha[d] come to stay’66, and its social reforms were a pioneering example for labour movements around the world. At the same time, the restructuring of the political system in accordance with the dictatorship of the proletariat was undemocratic and ultimately undermined the representative aims of the Soviet. The ‘freedom’ of the new Russian republic was corroded from within by the political machinery that the Bolsheviks held up to be the force behind their emancipation. These criticisms, that the Bolshevik model was failing to maintain democratic and representative ideals, was a factor behind the wider Australian labour movement’s assessment of Bolshevik methods of revolutionary change as being ‘unnecessary in the Australian context’.67 Members of the RWA were radical activists working for change, primarily to working-class conditions as well as for the broader success of world socialism. It is not the case that leading RWA activists harboured no ill will towards the Australian political system. Some of the censors’ concerns about RWA members were correct: several Russians pursued activities designed to undermine Australia’s political stability.68 Yet it is also likely that rank and file activism during the war was linked to movements in wider labour causes as much as it was to any immediate desire to transfer bolshevism to Australia. What is certainly the case is that Russian activists in Brisbane pursued their own political program and provided leadership to Russians in other states in the face of intense surveillance and suppression by federal and state authorities. Yet in examining key trends in postal censorship of Russian Workers’ Association members and in presenting a snapshot of the association in Brisbane when home front anxiety was at a peak, this article finds that the federal censors and those to whom they reported overestimated the threat posed by the RWA during the war. The censors’ comments in the weekly reports are important sources which reveal this angle of the Russians’ story over several years. The story in these documents is not necessarily one of action and protest by the radical groups themselves but rather a story of concern on the side of the authorities. The twists and turns in the censors’ notes broaden our understanding of the treatment of left-wing activists, those who ‘stood against the dominant beliefs and policies of their times’.69 Though somewhat peripheral to the story of Australia in World War I, home front censorship assumes a greater importance today. The treatment of the disloyal during the Great War is a critical moment in a long history of government surveillance that is once again at the forefront of concern in Australian society.

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The ‘liminal-norm’? A survey of recent media responses to Australian theatre
Elissa Goodrich
Research in theatre studies and in performance studies generally now utilises Victor Turner’s concept of liminality so persistently that, as Jon McKenzie has indicated, it ‘has made liminality … something of a norm’.1 In other words, in performance studies, there is a widespread assumption that theatre, by its very nature, involves pushing social boundaries. We tend to locate theatre automatically on thresholds between acceptable and unacceptable, thinkable and unthinkable societal values and beliefs. The current climate, however, as explored in mainstream newspaper media, presents a very different view in its understanding and response to contemporary Australian theatre. These responses can be seen in three local productions from 2005 with varying degrees of national exposure: Hannie Rayson’s Two Brothers, Bagryana Popov’s subclass 26a and Barrie Kosky’s Boulevard Delirium.2 In each of these cases, what is being identified by newspaper reviews and articles is not a liminal-norm, an anticipated and even assumed recognition that theatre works will sit on social boundaries. Instead, in each of these theatre works, newspaper media are consistently and doggedly identifying the political and the politics within each work as radical and extreme. The extreme is that which operates at the edge of the current political opinion, whereas the radical expresses new opinions. This essay will examine the following questions: How can we reconcile these positions, these two ways of recognising theatre? How can we bridge the gap between research and the current climate? What do these diverging responses to contemporary theatre say about the state of Australian original theatre now (illustrated here by Melbournian productions)? What do the media responses imply about the concept of a liminal-norm? To begin, we shall consider liminality in theatre performance in socioanthropological terms. Turner’s theories on ‘liminality’ were developed from Arnold van Gennep’s earlier structuralist theory of human rituals as consisting of a three-stage ‘rite-ofpassage’.3 Van Gennep’s three stages of ‘separation’, transition’ and ‘reintegration’ identify formal actions and events that, in turn, separate individuals from the group, who then undergo some form of transition and transformation, after which they are then reintegrated into society in their new, recognised position or status. Within this sequence, van Gennep emphasises transition, the threshold or liminal feature of transformation ‘found in all ceremonies [rituals] … which accompany the passage from one … position to another’.4 Turner’s development of liminality is both constructive of and appeals to performance and theatre studies, as his theories identify performance as the crucial second liminal stage. He emphasises how change occurs within ritual practice and how change is fostered by performance. Performance, Turner argues, is full of

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creative chance and risk-taking in an environment where all participants, audience and players alike, are receptive to new ‘ways of seeing’ and ‘ways of doing’.5 Participants, audiences and players experience a ‘continual exchange’, a ‘flow’ between audience and performer within the performance moment.6 Within this environment of ‘communitas’, the unorthodox is acceptable. Turner’s theories importantly identify how ritual as staged performance, specifically within a Western context, becomes the most prolific site of ‘liminality’. ‘Performative genres’ including contemporary theatre, according to Turner, ‘are extensions of’ a ‘social eruption from the level … of ongoing life’.7 It is this more general account of Turner’s theory that presents theatre as both a result of social tensions and as the site for experimenting with risky, new ideas and therefore as an activity for experiencing and receiving change. This notion of theatre as liminal, risky, pushing social boundaries, and offering a society new ways of seeing and understanding itself is most often an assumed starting point into theatre and performance studies. Australian theatre in 2005 is also viewed by contemporary mainstream newspapers as risky. But this is attributed to causes other than theatre’s liminal qualities. Before discussing the general newspaper responses to these plays, I wish to emphasise that this essay is investigating recent mainstream newspaper responses—not the plays themselves. The theatrical works’ specific contents, the quality of performances or audience reactions to the performances, though referred to, will not be reviewed. What will be analysed is how the media addresses or does not address these aspects. At this stage, we should also acknowledge the pitfalls in drawing conclusions from a survey which is only looking at mainstream newspaper accounts of a small selection of theatre. Newspapers have their own agenda: to provoke and to, we could also argue, cynically support views held by their readership. However, this survey also provides a litmus test of sorts, suggestive of the broader community’s understanding of its own contemporary theatre-culture and its role. Far more people read about theatre in broadsheets than actually see the works themselves. Therefore this type of survey acts as an important barometer of accepted theoretical socio-anthropological definitions and understanding of theatre’s role in our society. The productions Two Brothers by playwright Hannie Rayson and subclass 26a by theatre-maker Bagryana Popov provide two clear examples of newspapers responding to politically charged elements within the theatre performances and thereby re-defining and re-positioning the performances within a pre-existing and overtly political context. Two Brothers was originally performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company in April–May 2005. The play was billed as part political thriller, part social satire and part family tragedy. It centres around two brothers, one an ambitious politician of the ruling right who murders an asylum seeker, the other an activist director of an Australian aid agency, and their sons, who are inevitably morally and emotionally destroyed by the evil machinations of the older generation. Whilst the play aimed to work at the three dramatic levels mentioned above, newspaper coverage maintained a purely politically-driven analysis. Moreover articles on Two Brothers almost immediately moved from their typical coverage under arts or entertainment
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sections to leading news stories and to editorial-opinion pages in both broadsheet and tabloid papers. Subclass 26a was billed as an experimental physical theatre work merging contemporary dance, theatre and live sound into a unique hybrid arts-form that explored notions of ‘borders, citizenship’ and ‘displacement’ and was performed at 45 Downstairs, an established, independent theatre venue in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.8 Like Two Brothers, coverage of subclass 26a neglected discussion on the liminal, creative aspects of the play and emphasised the overtly political. In one respect, we can view this coverage and debate on two new Australian plays as positive. Newspaper journalists and editors had unanimously found something ‘controversial … provocative’ and irresistibly ‘topical’ about the plays.9 In particular, Two Brothers was an Australian work that clearly provoked a reaction from not only arts reviewers but from general newseditors as well. Such extensive coverage implies both plays had successfully engaged a broader social-political debate or concern, albeit with differing exposure. Furthermore, we might argue that Two Brothers exemplified theatre’s liminal role as it pushed and provoked Australian newspapers into a running, national public debate. However, like the media responses to subclass 26a, the debate surrounding Two Brothers was a pre-existing, highly divisive and delineated one. ‘Even before it opened … in Melbourne, the city’s conservative columnists and radio shock jocks were labelling Hannie Rayson’s play … as a left-wing conspiracy’.10 All of the surveyed newspaper articles focussed on real political connections between the fictitious characters and public political figures (such as the Costello brothers for example) and connected fictitious events to real events (such as the SIEV X and Tampa episodes). A typical example is the Australian’s Matthew Westwood’s preview article on Two Brothers, ‘Local fraternal friction is no make believe’.11 The preview examined the public and politically opposing roles of brothers politican Peter Costello and World Vision director, clergyman Tim Costello, and then proceeded to identify other political figures within the play: ‘I can see some Jeff (Kennett) … some of Costello … some of (Philip) Ruddock’.12 After drawing ‘real’ political links between the play and Australian politics, all of the surveyed newspaper articles measured Two Brothers’ success or failure according to individual reviewer’s judgments on the play’s political contents. Similarly, newspaper coverage of subclass 26a highlighted a politicised cause. In this case, the plight of detained asylum-seekers, and the timing of the performances, which occurred at the same time as the Cornelia Rau inquiry into the wrongful detention of an Australian citizen, who was presumed to be an ‘illegal’ immigrant. Here again the mainstream newspaper media and radio focussed almost entirely on identifying what it perceived as the central political message within the play—‘giving voice to refugees’ suffering’ and ‘questioning Australia’s attitude to immigration’.13 Rather than emphasise the artistic, creative aspects to subclass 26a, newspaper coverage identified the theatre-maker and key performers as representatives of both the subject and the cause: ‘Bagryana Popov migrated to Australia more than thirty years ago—naturally she speaks fluent English. Even so … she has trouble understanding the language used to describe the treatment of asylum seekers’; ‘the personal and the political is heavily blurred
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for Popov’.14 Marianne Betts’s Herald Sun article incorrectly summarised actor Majid Shokor’s personal refugee experience as part of the play and incorrectly attributed an ‘anti-government’ quotation to Shokor: ‘Actor … Shokor fled Iraq … Now he has brought his experiences to the stage’. He ‘blames Federal government policies for encouraging a negative view among Australians’.15 The creators and performers were identified as somehow liminal, ‘ethnic’ Australians. In this sense, theatre was recognised by mainstream newspapers as liminal because its participants were implicitly depicted and identified as on the edge of the mainstream Australian population. From this survey, it appears to be considered a ‘liminal-norm’ for media to assume that theatre makers and participants ordinarily come from the edges of mainstream Australian society. In contrast, the coverage of Two Brothers emphatically praised or admonished Rayson for alluding to and dramatising the political public figures and events that the journalists themselves had identified. National news editor for The Age Tom Hyland condemned the playwright and her play in his editorial ‘Drowning in propaganda’ for ‘putting prejudice before facts’ and as ‘a cop-out’ for presenting ‘unambiguous … divisions, … no moral complexities, no blurring party lines’ and for ‘ignor[ing] another political truism: truth is the best propaganda’.16 In this example, theatre was simultaneously criticised for ignoring the facts (for being liminal and creative), as well as for not blurring political distinctions (for being didactic and not liminal enough). In effect, the play became a vehicle for escalating and personalising an already polarised debate. Herald Sun’s columnist Andrew Bolt, perhaps further irked by a reference to him within the play, in the character ‘Andrew Blot’, described Two Brothers as ‘smug vomit hate’ and ran a series of overt witch-hunt style columns increasingly attacking Rayson and ‘Hannie’s evil brew whose latest play accuses our navy of murdering women and children’; ‘Rayson, this student of humanity doesn’t actually know or understand anyone who isn’t of the Left … When did these … hate-filled barbarian artists … resign from civilised society?’17 In his condemnation of the artist, Bolt made little reference to Two Brothers and instead chose to name and expose Rayson’s husband as another ‘member of the subsidised cultural elite’.18 Less inflammatory articles continued to represent the play as essentially a personalised and polarised debate between ‘Rayson’s … bleeding heart propaganda … pandering to the left’ and ‘Bolt’s response’ representing ‘the Government’s defenders’.19 Liminality is not perceived as a norm in theatre in these above examples. In contrast, newspapers stressed the binary nature of these works and thus contributed to a general understanding of theatre as a divisive activity. In other words, specific new ideas and positions regarding Australian contemporary sociopolitical points of crisis or conflict were not addressed in these newspaper responses to subclass 26a and Two Brothers. They were ‘misrecognised’ by the media as either for or against the status quo.20 Two Brothers is against the government of the day. Subclass 26a is against asylum seeker policies of the day. But even this summary of newspaper media accounts is incorrect. To a great extent, the media ignores the theatre works themselves and substitutes them with ‘one’ individual responsible for such an unorthodox and vocal public stance. According to the majority of these newspaper accounts, Hannie Rayson is against the government of the day and Bagryana Popov is against asylum seeker policies.

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Victor Turner and his colleague Richard Schechner might argue this newspaper ‘reading’ of theatre in fact follows a broader ritual process. Here the most significant, creative and novel elements occurring within the liminal phase of actual performance are taboo. They cannot be spoken about within the general public arena beyond the ritual-performance itself. In fact, Pierre Bourdieu goes further, arguing that they are inexpressible, most often incapable of being recognised beyond the liminal stage of the ritual itself (in this case the theatre performances).21 Thus, media responses within the public arena are limited to suggesting what theatre should do and what it reflects. In both cases, the media situates theatre in a polarised society divided between orthodox and heterodox, right and left. In fact, there is no place for liminality. Theatre, here, is positioned as a representative of the unorthodox left and cast in the form of a radical, unorthodox, female playwright and female director. If, as ritual theorists typically assert, the liminal phase is truly transformative, if theatre performance can and often does present and communicate new ideas and previously unthinkable beliefs and values, then the newspaper responses to these ‘home-grown’ theatrical works should involve some reference to or articulation of new ideas and values. At the very least, they should allude to these new interpretations within theatre productions that reach beyond current socio-political binary divisions and conflicts. According to the liminal-norm assumption, these articles and reviews should indicate how the theatre performances presented ‘redressive actions’, ‘restored’ certain social behaviours and resolved conflicts.22 Given our actual findings exemplified by general newspaper media responses to these two original works, does this then suggest that Australian theatre in 2005 is not transformative because it does not extend social boundaries? Instead, contemporary Australian theatre is positioned within our society’s existing binary framework. Again utilising Bourdieu, we can argue theatre is misrecognised by newspapers as ‘unorthodox’, ‘heterodox’ and radically left-wing.23 Yet the context of both plays does lend itself to such an interpretation as representative of ‘Australian’ heterodox, left-wing values and beliefs because both plays overtly engage with topical, politically polarised issues. The creators themselves freely admitted this: ‘I [Popov] saw people being treated in a way I didn’t agree with’; ‘Anyone could be in this position [a detained refugee] and I want people to know that’.24 According to Rayson, ‘this play [Two Brothers] is a thriller about power and evil. And yes, I do hope that it energises the audience to ask questions about the real world. Three-and-a-half years after Tampa, fifty-four people are still incarcerated on Nauru’.25 Yet at the same time, both artists stressed the difference between their political convictions and the creative nature of theatre. Hayson argued, ‘If I had wanted to write an account of the sinking of the SIEV X, I would have called my boat [in the play] SIEV X … But I chose to write a political thriller … [t]hat clearly signals to an audience that we have leapt into fiction’.26 Similarly, Popov stressed that subclass 26a is not a protest against the Federal Government’s actions: ‘I would write a letter if that’s what I wanted … Physical theatre works on entirely different levels.’27 Research that employs Turner’s theories in regards to theatre argues for a more nuanced approach. Theatre, ritual theory asserts, is essentially about liminality. It is created to provide a safe outlet to push beyond existing perimeters of thought

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and belief and to express new ideas that have not yet found their way into that society’s framework of orthodox versus heterodox. Theatre is not always didactic. It moves beyond binary oppositions, beyond established social boundaries. So how can we reconcile these two ways of recognising theatre? How can we bridge the gap between research and the current Australian socio-political climate? Turning to Turner’s extended application of liminality, we can view media responses as less connected to the performance-ritual itself and more as part of the broader social context. Turner’s layered model for explaining and locating liminality within ritual is two-tiered. Firstly, there is the performance-ritual itself which is, as outlined earlier, a liminal event (such as a theatre performance). This comes after separation by a group or individual and before reintegration of that group back into the general community. The second aspect looks at the social context for the performance. Turner identifies the general ritual framework of which performance is part as social drama. A social drama is a ‘disharmonic social process … arising in conflict situations’.28 It involves four stages:
(i) ‘breach’ from the status quo involving separation of previously unidentified individuals or group [sic] from a homogenous group; (ii) ‘crisis’—public recognition of a changed, conflicted, newly divided and unresolved society; (iii) ‘redressive action’—steps by society towards resolving the conflict; and, (iv) ‘reintegration’—re-formation of the (altered) status quo.29

Crisis is the new and emphasised component absent in van Gennep’s earlier theory. By reapplying Turner’s more detailed explanation of liminality and ritual processes beyond the ‘liminal-norm’, we can argue that these media responses are part of the ‘crisis’ phase within ritual and therefore express the social conflicts precipitating change. The crisis phase is where the breach in ‘norm-governed social relations’ is recognised publicly, as ‘it takes up its menacing stance in the public forum’.30 Thus, the media responses to these theatre performances form part of a broader ‘social drama’. They are part of crises within current Australian society yet to be worked through, redressed or resolved. Boulevard Delirium by director-creator Barrie Kosky contrasts markedly with the two earlier mentioned plays. The cabaret-style production was first performed at Melbourne’s Malthouse in June 2005 and returned there to begin an east coast tour in November–December 2005. Boulevard Delirium’s creative inspiration was derived from past eras and refers to other cultural traditions and stereotypes, those of cabaret, of American and European female singers of the 1920s to 1940s, and of divas and drag queens. So, what were subsequent media responses to a work that, unlike the previous two plays, worked with themes other than the politically topical? In this less politically heated context, did newspapers reflect an acceptance for theatre to work at pushing beyond the recognised social boundaries and divisions? In other words, did the articles reflect a ‘liminal-norm’ attitude to theatre in this case? Like subclass 26a, key theatre-makers within Boulevard Delirium were themselves typecast as ethnic fringe dwellers of Australian mainstream society. ‘After struggling through … the prejudice of homophobia, Capsis has found a

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niche for himself as a performer’, says the Sydney Morning Herald. In addition, ‘being small, ethnic and incipiently homosexual is difficult at any school … now as a performer Capsis, 41, is channelling his feminine connection’.31 Kosky, the primary creator of the work, was viewed as a notorious provocateur (not unlike Rayson), with comments ranging from ‘Kosky happily tosses bomb after bomb into the conversation ... intent on stirring the pot’ to ‘It wouldn’t be a Kosky production if it didn’t test the audience’s nerve’.32 Yet coverage of Boulevard Delirium was unlike the more politically ‘hot’ theatre works discussed earlier. From the typical comments above, we see a general acceptance and expectation that this theatre work should provoke. However, in accordance with Turner’s and Schechner’s understanding of liminality in performance, analysis is restricted in the surveyed coverage to key theatre practitioners and not to the liminal qualities found within the Boulevard Delirium performances. As in the previous two cases, there is almost no engagement with the theatre work itself. Almost without exception, accounts of the performance itself dwelt on the performer and his ‘unorthodox’ sexuality. In doing so, they redefined, misrecognised and blurred the boundaries between the theatre work, the art of performing and the actor-singer himself: ‘He is a very rare bird indeed … there is something compelling about him, something liminal or ambiguous … apparent even when he’s in jeans and a shirt.’ Furthermore, ‘Capsis has an eerie way with women; when he imitates them, he is them’.33 Similar to reviews of subclass 26a, Boulevard Delirium was praised according to how closely the performer (Capsis) represented theatre personae outside the performance itself. Consequently the majority of surveyed newspaper articles and reviews judged the theatre performance by the degree to which key creator-collaborators Kosky and Capsis appear to match the journalists’ anticipated stereotypes: ‘There are lots of people in the creative world who try to be weird … Capsis [is] genuinely odd … This … is the compelling aspect of his performance; [his] utter authenticity’.34 Here, theatre is not accepted as a liminal space or event, separated from other aspects of daily life. Rather, newspapers attempted to identify individuals’ unorthodox characteristics in the everyday and misrecognised these existing stereotypes in Australian society for the theatre performance Boulevard Delirium. Other existing divisive socio-political issues and stereotypes were also identified and fore-grounded: ‘Our … Australian’, politically ‘starved’, ‘young’ culture versus ‘their’ (western Europe’s) politically nourished, mature culture. This was further cemented by coverage which emphasised both Kosky’s and Capsis’s foreignness. Valerie Lawson’s Age article implied Kosky was not a complete Australian: ‘jewish … gypsy Kosky looks more like a Berliner than a boy from Melbourne’.35 But when assessing his craft, media coverage still identified Kosky as: ‘The Great … Australian … director’.36 The sponsorship for the Australian performances of Boulevard Delirium came from Australia. However, original funding, production and creation were undertaken in Vienna and Berlin. Given these conflicting distinctions, was this theatre work accepted by newspaper media as an Australian production? What makes a production Australian, and is this question relevant? Yes, it is, in relation to Turner’s ritual theory which regards theatre as a way in which a given society can examine and express ‘unsafe’ topics (in this case an ‘Australian’

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society). According to most newspaper responses, an Australian production is one that includes Australian citizens (not necessarily residents) who are creative contributors. It is also seen as an Australian production when current political— that is, divisive, binary ‘Left’ versus ‘Right’—issues, allegiances and propaganda can be identified within the work. This observation, as noted earlier, is somewhat tempered by the selected newspapers’ own agendas which can encourage their tendency to arrive at divisive, binary understandings of theatre. Against this tendency, Helen Thompson’s January 2006 article in The Age summarised Australian theatre in 2005 as a year of ‘political theatre’. What does this mean? Thompson argued that Australian theatre—and that included all theatre performed in the country whether the creators or performers were from overseas or not—was primarily about ‘giving voice to the silent and the silenced’. These definitions sit comfortably with Turner’s ritual theory—especially from the perspective of a ritual framework whereby media coverage forms part of the broader ritual process. However, the performances themselves were commenting at more levels than this. All three plays started with known divisions but through performance ultimately blurred previously established categories. Two Brothers blurred satire and tragedy. Subclass 26a merged contemporary dance, live music and text with highly stylised choreography. It utilised repeated sequences where actors swapped roles from refugee to detention guard to immigration officer and back again in order to blur stereotypical understandings of each role. Capsis in Boulevard Delirium seamlessly moved between female divas of various eras and cultural backgrounds and Master of Ceremonies. These interchanging roles were performed in the one costume: a ringmaster’s suit. All of these theatre performances blurred notions of identity—albeit to differing degrees. In subclass 26a and Boulevard Delirium especially, the audience were required to identify characters and emotions by vocals and gestures alone. The performers’ outer physical features and costumes were often at deliberate odds with the characters represented on stage. Stereotypes were undermined and thereby questioned. Characters were presented ‘in flow’ and not as static, completely recognisable types. This ‘blurring’ went unrecognised by most newspaper media accounts. Only Owen Richardson’s review of Boulevard Delirium clearly touched on the liminal qualities present in the performance.37 Aside from this one exception, media coverage was unable to think beyond essentialist left, unorthodox, anti-government versus right, orthodox progovernment categories when responding to these contemporary Australian theatre works. Moreover, there was a tendency for newspaper articles to confuse ‘the singer for the song’. In other words, theatre works were personalised, misrecognised and reduced to false and reductive character studies of key theatre creators or performers. Two Brothers was largely reduced to accounts of the leftwing activist Rayson railing against the right-wing columnist Bolt. Subclass 26a was largely reduced to accounts of Popov the activist artist immigrant or Shokor the Iraqi refugee protesting against aylum seeker legislation. Boulevard Delirium was largely reduced to accounts of Kosky the great Jewish ‘gypsy’ or Capsis the ‘androgynous’, ‘ethnic’ ‘diva’ as examples of exotic theatre.38 How can we reconcile these two positions, these two ways of recognising, even defining, theatre between research and the current socio-political climate? What

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does this diverging response to contemporary theatre say about the state of original Australian theatre now? What do these media responses imply about the concept of a ‘liminal-norm’? In a polarised environment of orthodox versus heterodox, where is the ‘liminal-norm’? In research terms, perhaps, ‘liminalnorm’ is now indicative of quite a different, historical position. Instead of recognising and articulating liminal moments within the theatre performances as illustrated above, other seeds to the previously unthinkable and unacceptable can be traced in many of these surveyed newspaper articles. The notion of legislating a ban upon artistic works and exposing the theatrepractitioners responsible for them emerges from the above survey. Banning theatre and artists that are deemed too polemical and that are seen to be protesting against the government of the day by individual arts commentators and editorialists is a new socio-political threshold in Australian media. This is a new debate expressing unorthodox, radical arguments for and orthodox arguments against such action. Furthermore, this is a comparatively new, acceptable, thinkable action that therefore has transformed the previous socio-political status-quo. It is ironic then that Kosky, viewed by the surveyed newspapers as a provocative outsider to mainstream Australian society, himself misrecognises the changing state of Australian theatre, of what is possible and what is impossible: ‘I don’t think Australians respect [the power of theatre] … [Australians] have never been in a situation where a theatre has been shut down for political reasons or ... thrown into prison for writing a play’.39 In late 2005 Greg Burchall, summarising recent Australian theatre in light of the newly proposed sedition laws, reflected: ‘Of course Melbourne 2005 is not a Wiemar Republic … when Goebbels eventually banned all political themes from German stages’.40 Where political legislation, action and theatre meet in Australian society, there has emerged a previously unthinkable articulation of what is possible and what is unacceptable. In light of Turner’s framework which addresses both the social context for theatre performance and theatre performance itself as a liminal, ritual event, the legislation against sedition can be viewed as a ‘redressive action’ resulting from our (Australian) society’s hardening binary divisions. Within this context, the newspaper survey does indicate a shift in attitudes towards contemporary Australian theatre, possibly indicative of a larger socio-political trend. Analysing the importance of contemporary Australian theatre from a socioanthropological perspective requires us to think beyond the ‘liminal-norm’, to do more than merely recognise theatre performance as a potential site for expressing new ideas or values. The above survey of polarised media responses emphasises how little ‘liminal-norm’ assumptions explain theatre’s relevance within a broader socio-political context. Rather, analysis of Australian theatre that chooses to incorporate Turner’s concept of liminality requires more than a ‘short-hand’, generalised account of theatre’s social purpose. Turner’s notion of liminality requires us to undertake an ethnographic approach and to work simultaneously with frameworks relating to the performance-ritual itself and to its social and political context. In this way, analysis of media responses to Australian theatre from 2005 indicates how Turner’s theories on liminality are not merely static structuralist blueprints but, when applied more thoroughly, highlight how society is constantly shifting.41
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Unsolicited manuscripts ‘unwelcome’: the commercial implications
John Power
During the last decade, mainstream Australian publishers of fiction have by and large adopted a policy to decline viewing unsolicited works of fiction from previously unpublished authors or writers not represented by literary agents. This article argues that this policy may have negative financial ramifications on the houses that practise it. I offer some insights into the various core and peripheral publishing activities that are (and will continue to be) affected by this exclusionist policy, and demonstrate that this practice will ultimately prove to be unhealthy and commercially damaging for larger publishing houses that neglect newborn talent. My assessment draws upon a combination of historical research, intuition and observation, and is concerned with both the present and future consequences of limiting the publication of first works of fiction. I do not attempt to prove that such eventualities are unique to the modern era, nor that these impacts derive exclusively from frustration with the abovementioned policy. I do claim, however, that the relatively recent practice of rejecting unsolicited, unrepresented first works of fiction is likely to have long-term negative effects on the reputations, stability and competitiveness of these houses. Declining to view first works of fiction: the broader picture Many tasks relating to the publication of fiction have remained constant, broadly speaking, across the publishing industry, since the first novels and short stories were printed. Requirements to source manuscripts, edit them and transform the finished products into presentable and readable books have been common to publishing houses across the world for centuries. Differences between houses and their lists have usually been more reflective of company size and editorial boldness than procedural policy. One stark point of divergence, however, is the attitude of houses towards the publication of novels by first-time authors. In Australia, there were reportedly only 124 new works of fiction1 (including debut works) released in 2003, compared to 17,000 in the USA.2 Given that the USA population is approximately fourteen times larger than Australia’s, it seems remarkable that the USA should be producing 137 times as many new fiction titles. Australia would need to multiply its output by a factor of ten to match the USA on a per capita basis.3 Reviewing the acceptance policies of different houses reveals one of the few areas where otherwise similar companies have embraced opposite practices: some houses welcome unsolicited manuscripts, others erect clear barriers. Penguin Books Australia, for instance, has adopted the following policy regarding fictional works by previously unpublished authors:

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Other Contact Zones The Adult Publishing Department—comprising Penguin Books (our primary paperback imprint) and Viking (our hardback imprint)—are not accepting unsolicited manuscripts at this time.4

Similarly, Hodder Headline (now called Hachette Livre Australia) has announced:
Submissions from new and published authors will be considered if submitted through a literary agent.5

Simon & Schuster, Allen & Unwin and HarperCollins have adopted similar policy stances, as outlined publicly on their company websites. Only a handful of highprofile houses, among them Text Publishing and Macmillan, continue to accept unsolicited manuscripts without agent representation. The acceptance policies of most of the well-known publishing houses operating in Australia are listed in Table 1.
Table 1: Major Australian publishing houses: debut fiction manuscript acceptance policy Accepts Unsolicited Debut Manuscripts Without Literary Agent Endorsement No Yes (WA only) No No Yes (Indigenous Australians only) Yes No No No Yes No Yes

Publishing House Allen & Unwin Fremantle Arts Centre Press Hachette Livre Australia (formerly Hodder Headline Australia) HarperCollins (including Imprints Fourth Estate, Voyager et al.) IAD Press Macmillan Penguin Group Australia Random House (including Imprint Arrow et al.) Simon & Schuster Australia Text Publishing University of Queensland Press Wakefield Press

It is clear from Table 1 that the majority of ‘large’ publishers in Australia do not accept unsolicited and unrepresented fiction manuscripts. While five of the above twelve houses do accept unsolicited manuscripts, it must be noted that the bulk of titles are produced or distributed by ‘No’ advocates.

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So how many debut works of Australian fiction are being published as a proportion of other fiction titles? Table 2 offers a useful snapshot of a quarter-year sample of fiction titles released in Australia. Based on announcements of new Australian and International fiction titles, as listed in Australian Bookseller & Publisher during the months of March to May 2004, the figures reflect a small number of debut local fiction releases compared to releases by previously published Australian authors or foreign writers.
Table 2: Australian Bookseller & Publisher new fiction release announcements: March-May 2004
Publisher (incl. In-house or Australian Debut International Accept Represented Imprints) Entries (inc. Australian Entries Unsolicited Debut Titles) Titles Manuscripts

Allen & Unwin Duffy & Snellgrove Fremantle ACP Harlequin HarperCollins Hodder Headline Macmillan Penguin Australia Random House Simon & Schuster Text Publishing UQP Wakefield Press Zeus OTHERS Total

5 1 2 1 9 3 8 1 1 1 2 4 3* 41

1 1 1 1 1 1 1* 6*

18 19 22 25 5 8 24 14 4 37 176

No No Yes
(WA only)

Yes No No Yes No No No Yes No Yes
Subsidy Publishing

-

* Zeus, a subsidy publisher, is excluded from the total.

While the data in Table 2 is not meant to provide a complete list of titles disseminated in Australia over the sample period—bearing in mind that other releases from boutique houses, self-publishers, etc. are not mentioned—we can still glean at least four noteworthy trends from the data. First and most strikingly, there were only six debut works of Australian fiction cited out of a total of 217 new works released over the sample period. This equates to 2.7 per cent of overall fiction releases. Second, overseas titles outnumbered Australian releases by a ratio

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of more than 5:1. Third, the vast majority of titles are produced or distributed by firms that do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Last, the figures (debut Australian fiction compared to overall Australian fiction) tally perfectly with broader industry trends of overall Australian fiction releases compared to new releases of general non-educational books. According to an article printed in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2004, ‘Only 124 works of fiction were published locally last year [2003] of the 4,500 general non-educational books brought out’.6 This low proportion of Australian releases also represents a 2.7 per cent ratio. Why are so few first-time Australian titles being published? The main reason offered by publishing houses for declining to view unsolicited manuscripts relates to workload—houses allegedly cannot cope with the volume of parcels arriving every day from aspiring authors: there are not enough editors to scrutinise all submissions. But, as the figures suggest, there must be more to the picture than unworkable volumes of manuscripts. If houses really wished to publish more debut works of fiction, they could do so. Even under the self-imposed condition of accepting only agent-endorsed manuscripts, there would still be enough debut manuscripts in circulation to occupy more than 2.7 per cent of new lists. For example, Penguin Australia declared publicly7 that it has received as many as 3,700 unsolicited manuscripts in a single year. Even if only one per cent of new authors had agents, this would equate to approximately 37 ‘agent-endorsed’ unsolicited works rejected by Penguin in this period. Moreover, if the costs of assessing unsolicited manuscripts were deemed to be excessive, houses could find ways around the problem (charging fees for manuscript assessment, for instance). Clearly, there must be deeper reasons to explain why so few debut works are being published. The most obvious explanation relates to the perceived cost-efficiency of publishing or distributing overseas works in preference to locally sourced manuscripts. Table 2 displays the reliance many Australian publishers have on their conglomerate parents for new titles. These titles are sourced largely from established British and American authors who can boast international reputations and ‘bankable’ reader loyalties around the world. Broader financial consequences This article seeks to demonstrate that a failure to publish a fair spread of local debut fiction has the potential to damage publishing houses financially in a variety of ways. Neglecting the debut fiction market invites competition. New companies could emerge (with unchallenged access to the first-book market) to fill the void left by firms that ignore unsolicited manuscripts. These new companies, underpinned by the efficiencies of new technologies, could appropriate significant market share. Companies dealing only with established authors may find themselves relying heavily on a diminishing number of ‘star’ authors, paving the way in a competitive marketplace for increasingly expensive contracts to secure rights. Occasional failures would not be offset by broader, diverse debut releases. Exclusive reliance on established authors may reduce the number of titles produced per year, with a corollary expectation that sales per title must rise. Marketing expertise may suffer—potentially carrying over to all titles—as a result of limited dissemination of début/experimental works (which are the hardest ones
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to ‘sell’). In addition, editing expertise may suffer—editors are like gymnasts: removing the discipline of dealing with new authors (whose works almost always require complex editing) could lead to a general loss of expertise. A company’s image may suffer a negative impact. This raises the question of what will happen when a company’s logo begins to appear stale compared to rival firms’ public images, which are associated with experimental, fresh, new fiction. What effect would this have on the backlist image? Last, a company may lose opportunities to forge long-term, loyal relationships with authors at the start of their careers. Rival companies emerge Perhaps the most dangerous consequence of neglecting to satisfy the publishing needs of Australian debut fiction writers can be summed up as follows: neglected markets seldom remain unattended. When a particular market sector is underserviced or given short shrift by service providers, entrepreneurs have a habit of rising from the dust to fill the void. And there is certainly room for newcomers— a view endorsed by Michael Heyward of Text Publishing:
If you look at the data comparing Australia with OECD countries and other developed countries around the world, of the number of books published per 1,000 people, we’re very, very low on that table. So when I’m saying we need to publish more books, I’m saying we need more publishing companies in this country.8

Until recently, it must be admitted, larger established houses have had the luxury of rejecting debut manuscripts in the knowledge that most rejected works would not find widespread alternative avenues of publication. Many larger houses have assumed that debut writers are unlikely to pose a commercial threat via channels of self-publishing, e-publishing or boutique publishing services. Thus, larger houses have augmented their ratios of established or foreign fiction with equanimity. This cavalier approach has been dependent on a fundamental tenet of publishing: the industry is based on high-volume turnovers. Therefore, local boutique houses are unlikely to be able to afford the high up-front costs of editing, designing, printing and distributing large numbers of debut works. One might say that the giant publishers have called the boutique market’s bluff and won. Such an approach, however, may quickly come to haunt larger houses as boutique operators suddenly find that they can afford to experiment with lowvolume releases of debut works—and new technologies are already making lowvolume print runs possible. The importance of new technologies cannot be overstated, as they now permit profitable, low-volume print runs without hefty upfront costs. Most small publishers to date have had little flexibility with their costing procedures. The obligation to mount initial print runs of at least 500–1,000 copies, for instance, has been fundamental to basic equations of cost-efficiency in relation to realistic retail book prices. And the initial costs have been sufficiently onerous to disqualify from consideration all but the most brilliant or (hopefully) commercially viable debut proposals. New technologies, however, have the capacity to reduce traditional up-front printing costs and pave the way for highly cost-effective publishing practices at a boutique level. Specifically, Direct To Print (and digital offset) printing methods, as well as improved distribution systems, are on the verge of heralding a new era
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of print-run flexibility and affordability. According to John Della (Managing Director of PageSet, a large-sized pre-press and digital printing business based in Melbourne, Victoria), printing systems already have the ability to satisfy very small print runs:
Usually, just to achieve economies of scale in book printing, there needs to be an enormous volume. But with digital web machines like the Océ systems used by McPhersons Printing Group at its Maryborough [Victoria] plant, you can print anything from one book—known as Print on Demand—to any number you like. This technology produces books of very high quality on lightweight gsm paper; speed and flexibility are the keys to this solution. Therefore, it becomes costeffective for shorter print runs.

Furthermore, new work can be produced at an affordable price, with extra print runs commissioned later in reaction to market demand. With prohibitive up-front costs averted, smaller houses have greater leeway to publish works that might otherwise never receive a public release. Della continues:
It suddenly becomes cost-effective for shorter print runs, and this leaves the publisher to be more responsive to the first-time author. You can do an initial print run, gauge the market reaction, and do more runs if you want to. There are no penalties for re-runs … nor are there any real advantages of doing large first runs, because there are no significant set-up costs with each digital re-run (conventional offset re-runs, on the other hand, may require fresh plate production and other costly procedures). The small publisher might do a small first run and, in response to sales, elect to do re-runs or even an analogue print run … based on a sound assessment of the demand. The guesswork is removed.9

Della says the unit costs of small print runs are most impressive (1:1.5) , while the relative unit costs in table 3 below show that small digital print runs are not a great deal more expensive than larger conventional runs, in reality the real unit costs of smaller runs approach parity with those of larger runs because sizeable storage costs are removed. In the above example, the publisher who does an initial print run of 300 digital copies for immediate distribution does not face the storage costs that would have accompanied a run of 1,000 copies. But even more important than the relative unit costs of digital printing are the quantum costs: small publishers, hitherto unable to afford initial production costs regardless of the perceived viability of a book, can now proceed to release a title for a modest sum. This is a vital point for smaller publishers who may only have a modest sum to invest in a book in the first place.
Table 3: Conventional offset versus digital web printing: estimates provided by John Della Print run 1,000 300 Unit cost 1 1.5 Total unit cost 1,000 450

Conventional Digital

As new companies combine this technology with a loyalty to new authors, then older companies—having declined to view unsolicited manuscripts—could find

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themselves in a precarious position, utterly removed from a new generation of young writers whose works have appeared ‘out of nowhere’ on the back of new technology. Moreover, improved distribution practices, which are becoming increasingly global and cost-efficient in nature, could enhance the practicality of publishing initial small runs of debut works while further undermining those houses that ignore this market. Sam Constantopoulos10, Client Services Manager at Distribution Alliance International (DAI), a publishing distribution, storage and printing business based in Melbourne, says DAI began operations five years ago as a distributor of printed matter throughout Australia. Today the company represents almost fifty publishers, mostly magazine publishers, but also book publishers—among them Blackwell (Australia) and Adis (New Zealand). In recent months the company has prospered by adding, on average, a new publisher to its lists every two weeks. Whereas DAI began as a standard distributor of printed matter, Constantopoulos says it now undertakes all the distribution and printing requirements of the majority of its clients. All printing is conducted in Singapore, though negotiations are underway to form relationships with local printers. Firms like DAI have the power to support boutique publishing firms by removing many of the traditional ordering, clerical and non-editorial functions of the publisher. At present, publishers take requests for orders from clients and then instruct DAI (using a customised Internet portal called Janus) to fulfil the printrun accordingly. Retail booksellers, however, could also use the service to make their own book orders directly through DAI. The publisher’s role would be limited to providing DAI with PDF files of new titles. Asked if the system might be of value to large networks of boutique, small-volume publishers (allowing booksellers to place Internet orders for books from multiple publishers via a single website), Constantopoulos said his company ‘would jump at the chance’ to forge such relationships. It is worth mentioning here that Internet business applications are already popular with booksellers, 62 per cent of whom used online ordering facilities in 2002–2003.11 Both Della and Constantopoulos believe that printing and distribution technologies exist to cater to the current and future needs of small publishers, opening up new opportunities for competitively priced releases of new works of fiction. Significantly, the abovementioned technological efficiencies are not as relevant to publishers dealing exclusively with larger print runs of established authors’ works. On the contrary, as costs facing small publishers decline, larger houses dealing only with established authors may face increasing costs, mainly at the hands of agents and established authors who wield greater bargaining power when dealing with houses that feature no first-time authors. Agents/authors aren’t stupid When a publishing house declares that it wishes to do business exclusively with established authors, the house is admitting that established authors are its only resource. This effectively tells agents and career authors that they no longer have to compete with the house’s attention to first-time writers, and also limits the house’s negotiating power when finalising advances and royalties. For instance,
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the house can no longer say: ‘We love your work, Bob, but there’s a brilliant new author who’s writing similar stuff … he’s only asking for a quarter of what you want.’ Agents—aware that a house’s lists can only be bolstered by the purchase of rights to other established authors’ works, or by offering attractive commissions to well-known authors for fresh works—can embolden their demands according to market tolerances. As literary agent Richard Curtis has commented:
[The agent] knows all about their [the publisher’s] organisational structure and power hierarchy, their policies, their negotiating strategies, knows all about the friendships and rivalries that form the corporate profile. To know how a company reaches its decisions is to know how to influence those decisions.12

Furthermore, houses that ignore first-time writers are also missing out on potentially lucrative deals with novice writers. Débutants, most of whom are happy just to be published, are unlikely to demand tough royalty schedules. Such opportunities are lost when houses opt to deal only with experienced authors. The penalty of ignoring first-time writers is compounded when one considers that most debut novelists, for instance, are not represented by agents, and novice authors might be more than willing to accept deferred, pro forma payments in recognition of the house’s risks. Literary agents may be common companions to established authors, however writers of debut novels are often reluctant to engage agents for many reasons, including: uncertainty about up-front/ongoing expenses; fear of unqualified editorial manipulation/intervention; lack of knowledge of reputable agents; fear of loss of potential earnings; reluctance to be aligned to an agent’s preferred publishers/editors; uncertainty about the role of literary agents; and fear that an unscrupulous agent might steal original storyline ideas. Thus, when houses ignore first-time authors, they are missing out on ‘novice’ writers and reinforcing a built-in culture of ‘books as commerce’ with their authors/agents. Other perils can then ensue. The focus on established authors, along with the higher up-front investments they require (higher advances, sliding royalty rates, etc.), lead to a dependence on fewer authors to sell higher numbers of books. Instead of publishing being a ‘numbers game’, with frequent releases of works by both novice and established authors for acceptable returns, there is a reliance on star authors. But decisions to opt for a handful of champions are risky because the initial costs are massive and unexpected failures can lead to instant disaster. By contrast, a ‘deep list’ can withstand one-off failures because there are new recruits waiting in the wings to fill vacancies. A deep list also keeps all authors (novice and established) on their mettle! Moreover, a reliance on a handful of established authors, combined with pressure to commission works from celebrity authors whose fame is counted as a key to sales, shift the emphasis from finding books that are ‘well written’ to securing books that will be ‘bought’. The difference is subtle. When houses choose not to view unsolicited manuscripts, they are at risk of losing sight of new writers’ preoccupations, moods and trends, and are instead increasingly dependent on their own opinions or judgments about what the market wants. This is dangerous because books may be selected according to historically proven formulae rather than prevailing or emerging tastes. When book lists are shaped to fit a perceived readership, they may cease to reflect writers’ or readers’ true
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current sensibilities. Established authors, beholden to the commercial dictates of the house, then try to write works that they think will please the commissioning editors, potentially creating a self-perpetuating misreading of the market. A symptom of this phenomenon is the rise of genre writing, whereby multiple similar titles appear in imitation of tried and true ‘hot’ titles. In effect, writers and their publishers are using an existing popular theme to pre-empt future markets, which is risky when one considers that a new work, commissioned on the basis of today’s popular lists, may not be ready for publication for a couple of years. Losing touch with the market, however, is just one more consequence of closing the doors to debut authors. Another ramification is the potential loss of expertise, both in editing prowess and marketing performance, which results from dealing only with established writers. Loss of expertise A significant—though perhaps more contentious—negative consequence of dealing only with established authors is a loss of in-house expertise. According to an author13 whose debut novel was published recently by one of the Top 3 publishers in Australia, the experience of being published by a major publishing house was less than satisfactory. This author—previously published as a short story writer—says she received general guidance from her senior editor from the outset of the two-year writing process. ‘She [the senior editor] would offer helpful suggestions, but she didn’t try to steer things,’ said the author. The relationship with the company soured, however, once the manuscript was completed: ‘I was expecting an elbow-to-elbow edit and all I got was two hours.’ The author added that she had the impression the copy editors in the house were ‘nuff nuffs, the sort who read Chick Lit in their own time’. The author also said the resulting book causes her to cringe when she sees it on bookshop shelves. ‘I gave it a close edit on my own and shaved 30 pages off it’. This author said she would publish her second work of fiction at another publishing house (which happens to handle unsolicited manuscripts). While this experience is a single author’s perception, it still raises some doubts about the editing practices of modern publishing houses in general. Can we surmise that the major houses, which have largely severed their exposure to debut fiction, have come to rely too heavily on the ‘tried and true’ submissions of established authors (many of whom have their own editors/agents to polish a work before presentation to the publisher) and that debut authors might come to consider smaller, boutique houses as ‘preferred’ publishers—not as options of last resort? Along a similar theme, publishers who release only works by established authors risk losing crucial marketing expertise. A glance at Australian Bookseller & Publisher over the aforementioned sample period reveals no specific advertisements for new fiction titles. Those titles that receive editorial mention are normally accompanied by a standard cover illustration—marketing styles have not changed for years. New works by established authors tend to be ‘announced’ rather than ‘sold’, and there appear to be few differences in the marketing techniques applied to mid-list and blockbuster releases, save for greater TV and radio interview time devoted to ‘name’ authors to coincide with new releases. New
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boutique publishers under pressure to ‘sell’ debut works might adopt more inventive approaches to merchandising, undercutting the staid marketing campaigns that larger companies devote to their established authors. It is feasible that new, presumably youthful houses might adopt some of the vivacity of their (mostly young) debut authors, quickly creating a new-generation market for fresh works and simultaneously exposing the old-fashioned marketing approaches of their larger counterparts. The marketing branches of conglomerate firms, with nothing to offer except stables of established authors, might have difficulty competing against relatively new firms that can routinely highlight the latest wunderkind or ‘new discovery’. Opportunities abound for boutique firms with new authors to promote ‘cool’, ‘energetic’ and ‘avant-garde’ publications. And while it is tougher to ‘sell’ a debut author, it is much easier to market a progressive, hip and focused publishing company. Image One of the shortcomings of publishing only established authors is that the authors become the dominant ‘brand’ in the campaign. The publishing house and its logo take second place to the celebrity author’s name. Curtis sums up the situation as follows: ‘Publishers are confronted with a serious problem in this respect … because when it comes to selecting books, the “brand name” of the publisher means nothing to the consumer’.14 While this state of affairs poses few great threats at present to major houses, it may become problematic when stacked against boutique publishing houses specialising in debut works. New, small houses without the luxury of high-profile authors may have to sell themselves as much as their new releases, garnering a readership on the basis of the house’s ‘new wave’ or ‘cutting edge’ reputation. The logo on the spine of new books, in such cases, would probably be more powerful than the attraction of an unknown author’s name or an unfamiliar title. As these small houses embrace images of leanness, savoir-faire and trendiness, houses that deal only with established authors might inspire opposite associations of stuffiness, non-experimentalism and commercialism, coming to be seen as formulaic gatekeepers, reactive market followers and ‘tinsel town toadies’. Their own websites will attest to their chosen path—that they will never be able to ‘discover’ a new talent because they do not accept unsolicited manuscripts from unpublished authors. Their current neutral image, therefore, may quickly take on a negative hue alongside their bolder new cousins. Are ‘unwelcome’ signs unavoidable? A refusal to view unsolicited manuscripts is by any measure an absolutist stance, and absolutism—in publishing as in politics—is often met by assassination. In the case of exclusionist houses, the assassins may be small companies that pick up the first-book cause in a vacant market and establish swift reader loyalty through youthfulness, cost-efficiency and a parochial interest in local works. At present the larger companies’ reliance on literary agents as ‘gatekeepers’ is a furphy designed to do no more than establish which new authors are confident enough in their products to spend money on them. As Heyward has remarked, there are no more
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than six or twelve agents of worth in the country15, and so recommendations by firms like Penguin Australia that new authors consult the Yellow Pages phone directory for agents’ names is nothing short of a patronising insult. The real reason for locking the doors to first-time authors has more to do with easy earnings from foreign titles than quality control. However, new technologies may play a leading role in opening up the new-author market to more and more Australian boutique publishers—at the expense of exclusionist firms. Is a failure to accept unsolicited manuscripts a necessary evil in a competitive marketplace? No. Many of the world’s most respected publishing houses of fiction continue to welcome submissions ‘off the street’, and they have done so without finding the workloads to be life-threatening. Consider the French house, Les Editions de Minuit, for example, which published the first novels of Samuel Beckett, Claude Simon and Alain Robbe-Grillet, and which continues to publish award-winning literary fiction. Its policy (presented on its website) regarding manuscript submissions is to offer an almost supplicant welcome to all authors:
Nous prenons connaissance de tous les manuscrits écrits en langue française, dactylographiés ou passés au traitement de texte, si vous pensez qu’ils peuvent entrer dans le cadre de nos publications que nous présentons sur ce site ou que vous consulterez en librairie …16 [We accept all manuscripts written in the French language, in typed or digital format, if you think they might be in line with our publications presented on this website or found on the bookshelves …]

Clearly, renowned houses have continued to flourish despite the so-called burden of unsolicited manuscripts. Authors from Les Editions de Minuit have won awards including the Nobel Prize for Literature, Prix Médicis, Prix Goncourt, Prix Femina and Prix du Livre Inter, demonstrating that an ‘open-door’ policy to first-time authors need not compromise the quality or efficiency of a house. As larger publishers in Australia continue to erect barricades to debut authors, the odds of new houses appearing only increase. Supported by efficient technologies, vibrant new lists and new-generation flair, these houses may pose significant threats to established houses that neglect debut authors and, unlike their more senior counterparts, they will also be contenders for awards like ‘Best New Author’.

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Editorial Jason Ensor, Iva Polak and Peter Van Der Merwe 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ‘Politicians unite to condemn festival flag “ban”’, The Age, 23 January 2007. R Diprose, ‘The hand that writes community in blood’, Cultural Studies Review, vol 9, no 1, 2003, p 41. ibid., p 36. Lars Jensen, Unsettling Australia: Readings in Australian Cultural History, Atlantic Publishers, New Delhi, 2005, p 92. ‘Overboard’, Herald Sun, 8 October 2001. ‘PM does not want boat people who throw kids overboard’, Australian Associated Press, 10 October 2001. ‘Two birds with one stone’, Australian Financial Review, 11 June 2002. ‘Refugee issue not so straightforward’, The Evening Post, 31 August 2001. ‘Bush will call on Australian troops’, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 September 2002. ‘War on terror could take years—Howard’, The West Australian, 18 September 2001. Quoted by Mungo MacCullum, ‘Girt by sea: Australia, the refugees and the politics of fear’, 4 Classic Quarterly Essays on the Australian Story, Black Inc, Melbourne, 2006, p 205. ‘Mosque firebombed in Australia as race hate simmers’, Reuters News, 14 September 2001. Joanna Bourke, Fear: A Cultural History, Virago, London, 2005, p 358. Diprose, op. cit., p 47. Maryanne Dever, Australia and Asia: Cultural Transactions, Curzon Press, London, 1997, quoted in Lars Jensen, op. cit., p 17. Frank Furedi, Culture of Fear, Continuum, London, 2002, p 110. ‘Culture of hate’, Herald Sun, 17 September 2001. ‘Terrorism and illegals pose century’s first tests—Election 2001’, The Australian, 2 November 2001. Furedi, op. cit., p 16. ibid., p 115. ‘War on terror could take years—Howard’, The West Australian, 18 September 2001. ‘Securing nation’s freedom isn’t free’, The Spokesman-Review, 1 June 2003. ABC Television Website, (California, USA), accessed 25 January 2007, <http://abc.go.com/primetime/preview/2003-04/threatmatrix.html>. Bourke, op. cit., p 358. Diprose, op. cit., p 36. Avoiding guilt in city space: the story of Levinas in my life Angela Hirst 1 2 Emmanuel Levinas, ‘Ethics as First Philosophy’, in The Levinas Reader, S Hand (trans.), Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1989, p 82. Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence, A Lingis (trans.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1974 (1998), pp 114, 145–6; Levinas, ‘Nonintentional consciousness’, in Entre Nous: Thinking of the Other, M B Smith & B Harshav (trans), Columbia University Press, New York, 1998, p 131. David Clark, ‘On Being “The last Kantian in Nazi Germany”: dwelling with animals after Levinas’, in J Ham & M Senior (eds), Animal Acts: Configuring the Human in Western History, Routledge, New York, 1997, p 183. David Harvey, ‘Between space and time: reflections on the geographical imagination’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol 80, 1990, pp 422–3. Levinas, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, A Lingis (trans.), Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh, 1961 (2003), p 37. Levinas, op. cit., pp 111, 37–8. ibid., p 37. ibid., p 137. Levinas, Existence and Existents, A Lingis (trans.), Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1947 (2001), p 54.

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Reading the convict body: ‘deviant’ sex and the medical gaze in colonial Australia Catie Gilhurst 1 2 A Price, History of Norfolk Island 1774–1852, cy reel 880, p 175, Mitchell Library, Sydney (hereafter ML). The naked inspection formed part of the welcome ceremony for new arrivals at Norfolk Island. Both John Knatchbull and Thomas Cook noted the practice in their memoirs. See J Knatchbull, C Roderick (ed.), From Quarterdeck to Gallows: Including the Narrative Written by Himself in Darlinghurst Gaol 23 January – 13 February 1844, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1963, p 85; T Cook, The Exiles Lamentations or Biographical Sketch of Thomas Cook, first published 1841, reprinted Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1978, p 44. Price, op. cit. M Perrot, ‘Delinquency and the penitentiary dystem in nineteenth-century France’, in R Forster & O Ranum (eds), Deviants and the Abandoned in French Society, Annales, vol 4, John Hopkins University Press, 1978, pp 225–6. This article builds on Kay Daniels’s important and original research on female convicts. Daniels’s analysis of the role of the medical authorities in the female factories of Van Diemen’s Land suggested that colonial medical officers made important observations on female deviancy and sexuality long before the later works of the sexologists. This article is indebted to this comprehensive account. See K Daniels, Convict Women, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 1998, pp 177–83. In a wider context, Robert Aldrich has recently noted that many historians of Empire have been reluctant to examine same sex behaviour, whilst historians of sexuality have paid little attention to colonial homosexuality. See R Aldrich, Colonialism and Homosexuality, Routledge, London, 2003, p 6. See D Kent, ‘Decorative bodies: the dignificance of convicts’ tattoos’, Journal of Australian Studies, no 53, 1997, pp 78–88; J Bradley & H Maxwell-Stewart, ‘Embodied explorations: investigating convict tattoos and the transportation system’, in I Duffield & J Bradley (eds), Representing Convicts: New Perspectives on Forced Labour Migration, Leicester University Press, Leicester, 1997, pp 183–203; J Damousi, ‘‘‘What punishment will be sufficient for these rebellious hussies?’ Headshaving and convict women in the female factories, 1820s–1840s’, in I Duffield & J Bradley (eds), Representing Convicts: New Perspectives on Forced Labour Migration, Leicester University Press, Leicester, 1997, pp 205–14; D de Giustino, Conquest of Mind: Phrenology and Victorian Social Thought, Croom Helm, 1975. M Foucault, (R Hurley, trans.), The History of Sexuality Volume 1: An Introduction, Penguin, 1978, p 28. John Price, letter from Norfolk Island to Comptroller-General Hampton, 8 July 1847, in British Parliamentary Papers, Crime & Punishment, Transportation, (hereafter BPP, C & P, T), vol 9, 1849, pp 170–1. See C Gilchrist, ‘Space, sexuality and convict resistance in Van Diemen’s Land: the limits of repression?’, Eras, no 6, 2004. Reverend T Rodgers, Review of Dr Hampton’s First Report on Norfolk Island, 1849, p 12. ibid. These medical reports are printed in the parliamentary papers and they remain censored by the ubiquitous use of blank spaces and asterisks. ‘Dashes’ and ‘stars’ often littered hand-written pages when speaking of such ‘unspeakable’ matters. These medical reports were included in Despatch 54, Sir Eardley-Wilmot to Lord Stanley, 17 March 1846, in BPP, C & P, T, vol 7, 1843–47, pp 502–12. ibid. James Macnamara to Dr Robertson, Cleveland, 24 February 1846, Inclosure 14 in no 9, in Despatch 54, op. cit., p 508. J S Kerr has noted that bed boards were not as high as they had been recommended. Often, they were from six to fourteen inches, rather than the five-foot specified by the Inspectors of Prisons. Further, they were easily demountable to provide more room when large numbers of men required accommodation. During the 1840s when transported prisoners overwhelmed the colony of Van Diemen’s Land, Kerr suggests the ‘separation boards must have been as much out as in’. See J S Kerr, Design for Convicts: An Account of Design for Convict Establishments in the

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Australian Colonies During the Transportation Era, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1984, p 146. Mr Park to Dr Robertson, Oatlands, 4 March 1846, Inclosure 21 in no 9, in Despatch 54, op. cit., p 510. E S Hall to Dr Robertson, Hospital Probation Station, Deloraine, 25 February 1846, Inclosure 13 in no 9 and ibid., Colonial Hospital, Westbury, 23 February 1846, Inclosure 12 in no 9, in Despatch 54, op. cit., p 507; p 506. For a comparative study, see S Sen, Disciplining Punishment: Colonialism and Convict Society in the Andaman Islands, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2000, pp 131–65. The role of trained surgeons on the journey out has recently been explored in R Haines, Doctors at Sea: Emigrant Voyages to Colonial Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2006. For convict transportation, see K Humphery, ‘A new era of rxistence: convict transportation and the authority of the surgeon in colonial Australia’, Labour History, no 59, November 1990, pp 59–72; I Brand & M Staniforth, ‘Care and control: female convict transportation voyages to Van Diemen’s Land 1818–1853’, Great Circle, vol 16, no 1, 1994, pp 23–42. See R Evans & B Thorpe, ‘Commanding men: masculinities and the convict system’, Journal of Australian Studies, no 56, 1998, p 21. The corollary of this was that like disease, it could also be ‘caught’ and spread like an ‘infection’. Many colonial discourses are saturated in ‘pollution’ and ‘contamination’ anxieties and fears around unnatural sexual practices often utilised these same discourses. Stephen Garton’s recent book suggests that ‘at the heart of sexology was the question of disease and its cure’. See S Garton, Histories of Sexuality: Antiquity to Sexual Revolution, Equinox, London, 2004, p 178. William Champ, letter to Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, 30 June 1846, cited in E Fitzsymmonds (ed.), Norfolk Island 1846: The Reports of R P Stuart and T B Naylor, Sullivan’s Cove, 1979, p 72. See Despatch 54, (17 March 1846), op. cit., pp 502–12. Darlinghurst was originally intended to adopt the separate system of penal discipline but the associated system was introduced instead. See Kerr, op. cit., pp 96–100. G F Huston to Dr Robertson, Brown’s River, 26 February 1846, Inclosure 18 in no 9, in Despatch 54, op. cit., p 509. A Bashford & C Strange (eds), Isolation: Places and Practices of Exclusion, Routledge, London, 2003, p 12. Mr J Macdowell, Broadmarsh Probation Station, 23 February 1846, Inclosure 11 in no 9, in Despatch 54, op. cit., p 506. Dr Motherwell to Comptroller-General Forster, Mines, 13 December 1845, Inclosure 4 in no 9, in ibid., p 504. Patrick Black to Mr Stuart, Wedge Bay, 13 December 1845, Inclosure 10 in no 9, in ibid., p 506. List of cases of disease at each probation station, Inclosure 1 in no 9, in ibid., p 503. Mr Smart to Dr Robertson, Fingal Probation Station, 24 February 1846, Inclosure 17 in no 9, in ibid., p 509. M Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. A Sheridan, Penguin Books, 1977, p 172. M Foucault, ‘Body/power’ in C Gordon, (ed.), Michael Foucault Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972–1977, Harvester Wheatsheaf, New York, 1980, pp 56–7. S Sen, op. cit., p 161. Ideas of convict resistance have been examined by historians largely in relation to the master–servant relationship of the assignment system. Other historians have considered convict resistance in terms of an individual or a collective struggle against colonial authority. See A Atkinson, ‘Four patterns of convict protest’, Labour History, no 37, November 1979, pp 28–51; W Nichol, ‘‘‘Malingering”’ and the convict protest’, Labour History, no 47, November 1984, pp 18–27; R W Connell, ‘The convict rebellion of 1804’, Melbourne Historical Journal, vol 5, 1965, pp 27–37; H McQueen, ‘Convicts and rebels’, Labour History, no 15, 1968, pp 3–30. E S Hall, 25 February 1846, Inclosure 13 in no 9, Despatch 54, op. cit., p 507. Recent research on convict resistance has revealed the ways that convicts did manage to exert some degree of autonomy. Bruce Hindmarsh has suggested that the social and cultural activities

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of male convicts formed an important element in resisting the behavioural constraints that masters sought to impose as convicts asserted their autonomy over their right to non-work time. Hamish Maxwell-Stewart has examined the symbolic importance of the black economy at Macquarie Harbour as a challenge to the concept of labour un-freedom. See B Hindmarsh, ‘Beer and fighting: some aspects of male convict leisure in Van Diemen’s Land’, Journal of Australian Studies (New Talents 21C), 2000, pp 150–6; H Maxwell-Stewart, ‘Convict workers, penal labour and Sarah Island: life at Macquarie Harbour 1822–1834’ in I Duffield & J Bradley (eds), op. cit., pp 142–62. Despatch no 54, Sir Eardley-Wilmot to Lord Stanley, 17 March 1846, op. cit., p 502. ibid. ibid. Launceston Examiner, 1 July 1846. Launceston Examiner, 11 November 1846. Both the medical officer and the Chaplain resigned and returned to Britain. On his arrival, the Chaplain wrote to the London Times. He condemned the coalmines for converting ‘the convicts into demons’ and planting ‘in the southern hemisphere the germ of a race, to which, in moral turpitude, the annals of past history will furnish no parallel’. Reported in the Hobart Town Courier, 30 September 1846. This would have resonated with the British reading public. The social and moral evils of women and children working in coalmines had recently been revealed in a social survey conducted in 1842. The resulting report disclosed a moral condition, which, according to Lord Ashley was ‘disgusting and intolerable’. See A Heesom, ‘The Coal Mines Act of 1842: Social Reform and Social Control’, Historical Journal, no 24, 1981, p 72. The Chartist convict John Frost utilised the sexual imagery of the mines to shock his audiences on his return from the colony. See J Frost, The Horrors of Convict Life, two lectures, 31 August 1856, Sullivan’s Cove publisher, Hobart, 1973, p 45. H P Fry remarked on the coalmines as a site of colonial sexual anxiety in a letter to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, 17 August 1846, in BPP, C & P, T, vol 7, 1843–47, p 644. R Hyam has noted that male mining compounds in South Africa similarly caused ‘alarm to the imperial authorities’. See R Hyam, ‘Empire and sexual opportunity’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol 14, no 2, 1985, pp 57–9. A McMahon, ‘The convict stations of Norfolk Bay’, Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Papers & Proceedings, vol 13, no 3, May, 1966, p 55. T J Lempriere, cited in I Brand, Penal Peninsula: Port Arthur and its Outstations 1827–1898, Jason Publications, Tasmania, 1978, p 44. Launceston Examiner, 3 October 1846. James Purslowe, letter to Lord Stanley, printed in Launceston Examiner, 11 November 1846. Bishop of Tasmania, ‘Notes on transportation and prison discipline,’ Letter to Earl Grey, 15 February 1847, in BPP, C & P, T, vol 7, 1843–47, pp 443–4. Sir Eardley-Wilmot wrote to Lord Stanley concerning this particular case. Six men were later charged. Two were executed in Hobart and the other four were sentenced to Norfolk Island. See Sir Eardley-Wilmot to Lord Stanley, 6 February 1846, in BPP, C & P, T, vol 7, 1843–47, p 490. Mr Champ to Lieutenant-Governor Eardley-Wilmot, 14 March 1846, Inclosure 2 in no 9, ibid., p 503. Letter from Mr E Hill to Comptroller-General Champ, 3 September 1846, in BPP, C & P, T, vol 7, 1843–47, p 648. The then Comptroller-General, J S Hampton wrote the final report on the mines as a penal station in May 1848. He concluded that the coalmines had always been ‘the least satisfactory’ of all the probation stations. This was due to ‘the extreme difficulty of maintaining complete surveillance over the men while at work’. Furthermore, ‘the nature of the labour also interfered with strict and systematic discipline’. Comptroller-General report on the state of the convict department, 30 May 1848, in Despatch 123, Denison to Grey, 27 June 1848, in BPP, C& P, T, vol 9, 1849, p 253. In London, the Colonial Office agreed. See Earl Grey to William Denison, 31 January 1849, in ibid., p 281. The mines were contracted to a private individual, Alexander Clarke, and the labour was transferred from convicts under penal sentence to reformed ticket of leave men who had earned the right to work for a wage. J Weeks, ‘Discourse, desire and sexual deviance: some problems in a history of homosexuality’,

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in K Plummer (ed.), The Making of the Modern Homosexual, Hutchinson & Co, London, 1981, p 81. See P G Bouce (ed.), Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1982; N M Goldsmith, The Worst of Crimes: Homosexuality and the Law in Eighteenth-Century London, Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, 1998; A D Harvey, Sex in Georgian England: Attitudes and Prejudices from the 1720s to the 1820s, Routledge, London, 1994; R Trumbach, ‘London’s Sodomites: homosexual behaviour and western culture in the eighteenth century’, Journal of Social History, no 2, 1977, pp 1–33; R Trumbach, ‘The birth of the Queen: sodomy and the emergence of gender equality in modern culture 1660–1750’, in M Duberman et al., Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past, Nal Books, 1989. See L Bland & L Doan (eds), Sexology Uncensored: the Documents of Sexual Science, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1998; V A Rosario (ed.), Science and Homosexualities, Routledge, New York, 1997. The scandals of Lord Byron and sailors in the British Navy are perhaps the exceptions. See L Crompton, Byron and Greek Love: Homophobia in Nineteenth Century England, University of California Press, 1985; A N Gilbert ‘Sexual deviance and disaster during the Napoleonic wars’, Albion, vol 9, no 1, 1977, pp 98–113; A N Gilbert, ‘Buggery and the British Navy 1700–1861, Journal of Social History, vol 10, 1976, pp 72–98. See F Mort, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830, Routledge, London, 1987; S Garton, op. cit., pp 171–8. H Mayhew & J Binny, The Criminal Prisons of London and Scenes of Prison Life, Charles Griffen & Co., London, 1862. The link between the body and deviancy is explored in J Terry & J Urla (eds), Deviant Bodies: Critical Perspectives on Difference in Science and Popular Culture, Indiana University Press, 1995. H P Fry, letter to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, 17 August 1846, in BPP, C & P, T, vol 7 1843–47, p 644. E Lilburne, A Complete Exposure of the Convict System. Its Horrors Hardships and Severities including an Account of the Dreadful Sufferings of the Unhappy Convicts, cy reel 1590, p 10 (ML). See A Comfort, The Anxiety Makers: Some Curious Preoccupations of the Medical Profession, Nelson, London, 1967; L A Hall, ‘Forbidden by God, despised by men: masturbation, medical warnings, moral panic, and manhood in Great Britain, 1850–1950’, Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol 2, no 3, 1992, pp 365–87. Censorship and the desire to keep such ideas within professional medical hands meant that limits were often placed on the broader circulation of their findings. David Walker suggested that the correlation of criminality, degeneracy and seminal loss was a prominent idea in Australia from the 1860s to the end of the century, yet we might date it to a much earlier time. See D Walker, ‘Continence for a nation: seminal loss and national vigour’, Labour History, no 48, May 1985, pp 1–14. Anzacs, bushrangers and convicts: an ABC of (dead) heroes in contemporary historical fiction for Australian adolescents Kathryn James 1 2 3 4 5 Elisabeth Bronfen & Sarah Webster Goodwin, ‘Introduction’, in Sarah Webster Goodwin & Elisabeth Bronfen (eds), Death and Representation, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1993, p 15. David Price, History Made, History Imagined: Contemporary Literature, Poiesis, and the Past, University of Illinois Press, Urbana , 1999, p 92. Kate Darian-Smith & Paula Hamilton, ‘Introduction’, in Kate Darian-Smith & Paula Hamilton (eds), Memory and History in Twentieth-Century Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1994, p 2. Maureen Nimon & John Foster, The Adolescent Novel: Australian Perspectives, Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, 1997, p 20. Graeme Turner, National Fictions: Literature, Film and the Construction of Australian Narrative, 2nd edn, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 1993, p 107.

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6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Australian Government Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, ‘ANZAC Day’, Culture and Recreation Portal: Access to Australia’s Culture and Recreation, accessed 23 October 2003, <http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/anzac/index.htm>. Linzi Murrie ‘The Australian legend: writing Australian masculinity/writing “Australian” masculine’, Journal of Australian Studies, no 56, 1998, p 75. Deborah Edwards, ‘Race, death and gender in the Anzac memorial’, Art and Australia, vol 4, no 28, 1991, p 478. Stephen Garton, ‘War and masculinity in twentieth-century Australia’, Journal of Australian Studies, no 56, 1998, pp 91, 94. David Metzenthen, Boys of Blood and Bone, Penguin, Camberwell, 2003, p 25. ibid., p 26. ibid., pp 288, 102. ibid., pp 1–3. Rose Lucas, ‘Dragging it out: tales of masculinity in Australian cinema, from Crocodile Dundee to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’, Journal of Australian Studies, no 56, 1998, p.146. Metzenthen, op. cit., p 255. ibid., pp 192, 195. Kerry Mallan, ‘Challenging the phallic fantasy in young adult fiction’, in John Stephens (ed.), Ways of Being Male: Representing Masculinities in Children’s Literature and Film, Routledge, New York, 2002, p 153. Mallan is referring here to Robert Cormier’s Heroes, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1998. Metzenthen, op. cit., p 138. Lucas, op. cit., p 138. Metzenthen, op. cit., pp 274–5. ibid., pp 247–8. ibid,. pp 277, 286, 290. Bob Hodge & Vijay Mishra, Dark Side of the Dream: Australian Literature and the Postcolonial Mind, Allen & Unwin, North Sydney, 1990, pp 120–1. Clarke’s His Natural Life first appeared as a serial story in the Australian Journal from March 1870 to June 1872. The revised book, For the Term of His Natural Life, was then published in Melbourne by George Robertson in 1874. Laurie Hergenhan, Unnatural Lives: Studies in Australian Convict Fiction, 2nd edn, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1993, p 2. A W Baker, Death is a Good Solution: The Convict Experience in Early Australia, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1984, p 136. This is F C Hooper’s term for Point Puer in Prison Boys of Port Arthur: A Study of the Point Puer Boys’ Establishment, Van Diemen’s Land, 1834 to 1850, Cheshire, Melbourne, 1967. Raymond Evans & Bill Thorpe, ‘Commanding men: masculinities and the convict system’, Journal of Australian Studies, no 56, 1998, p 22. Gary Crew & Philip Neilsen, Edward Britton, Lothian, Port Melbourne, 2000, p 12. Robyn McCallum & John Stephens, ‘Unbronzing the Aussie: heroes and SNAGs in fiction and television for Australian adolescents’, in Dudley Jones & Tony Watkins (eds), A Necessary Fantasy: The Heroic Figure in Children’s Popular Culture, Garland, New York, 2000, p 344–5. Evans & Thorpe, op. cit., p 30. Crew & Neilsen, op. cit., p 8. ibid., p 38. ibid., pp 249, 242. Turner, op. cit., p 71. ibid., p 59. Crew & Nielsen, op. cit., p 233. Hodge & Mishra, op. cit., p 120. Crew & Nielsen, op. cit., p 254. ibid., p 249. Hodge & Mishra, op. cit., p 121. Ina Bertrand, ‘New Histories of the Kelly Gang: Gregor Jordan’s Ned Kelly’, Senses of Cinema, accessed 28 January 2004, <http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/03/26/ned_kelly.html>. Brian Ridden, Whistle Man, Lothian, Port Melbourne, 2000, p 121.

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44 ibid., p 7. 45 ibid., p 45, 28. 46 David Walker, ‘The getting of manhood’, in Peter Spearritt & David Walker (eds), Australian Popular Culture, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1979, p 124. 47 Ridden, op. cit., p 209. 48 ibid., p 202. 49 ibid., p 205. 50 ibid., p 147. 51 ibid., pp 89, 14. 52 ibid., p 71. 53 ibid., pp 173, 227. 54 Hodge & Mishra, op. cit., p 131. 55 Ridden, op. cit., p 215. 56 ibid., p 240. 57 ibid., p 232. 58 ibid., p 233. 59 See, for example: Lucas, op.cit.; Mallan, op. cit.; and McCallum & Stephens, op. cit. 60 McCallum & Stephens, op. cit., pp 343–4. 61 Lucas, op. cit., p 143. 62 Allan Kellehear & Ian Anderson, ‘Death in the country of Matilda’, in Kathy Charmaz, Glennys Howarth & Allan Kellehear (eds), The Unknown Country: Death in Australia, Britain and the USA, Macmillan, London, 1997, p 9. Still seeking the captive white woman: the necessity of white deprivation in Australia Kate Foord 1 I use the term ‘white’ throughout this article to encompass all non-Indigenous people in Australia. This is in order to emphasise that in the contemporary Australian context whiteness ‘makes itself’ primarily in relation to Indigeneity and does not require any particular skin colour or ethnicity in those people who are enacting it in its contemporary form. Australian national identity is white in this way: in relation to Indigeneity, and anybody can be called to that place. However, in insisting on that point it is important also not to annul the specifities of Australia’s history: for the prevailing national discourse in Australia has its history in a whiteness that did indeed exclude people from its membership on the basis of either or both those characteristics. This is why I have retained this problematic term ‘white’, although it is also in some ways a misleading one for the reasons I have outlined. Kay Schaffer traces the history of the first Australian captivity narrative, that of Eliza Fraser, in her In the Wake of First Contact: The Eliza Fraser Stories, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995. She also traces the history of the captivity narrative in ‘settler’ nations. In the United States, for example, the first known captivity story appeared in 1682, and by 1800 there had been some seven hundred publications of what had by then become a well-established genre (ibid., p 49). As Schaffer points out, the captivity narrative stories, particularly that of Eliza Fraser, have enjoyed several revivals in Australia since the original reports and publications in the nineteenth century. In the 1970s new historical, artistic and popular representations appeared in England, Australia, Canada and South Africa, among the Australian contributions Patrick White’s 1976 novel, A Fringe of Leaves (Schaffer, ibid., p 12). Another revival, this time in the 1990s, saw the publication of Schaffer’s own comprehensive history, as well as the publication of Liam Davison’s The White Woman, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1994; Julie Carr’s The Captive White Woman of Gippsland: In Pursuit of the Legend, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2001; and Kate Darian-Smith, Roslyn Poignant & Kay Schaffer, Captured Lives: Australian Captivity Narratives, Sir Robert Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, University of London, London, 1993. On the popularity of Davison’s novel, see the final chapter of Julie Carr’s The Lost White Woman of Gippsland, op. cit. Davison, op. cit., p 1. ibid., p 2.

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6 7 8 9 Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book VII — The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Jacques-Alain Miller (ed.), Dennis Porter (trans.), WW Norton, New York, 1992 [1959–1960], p 112. Jacques Lacan, Feminine Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the Ecole Freudienne, Juliet Mitchell & Jacqueline Rose (eds), Jacqueline Rose (trans.), WW Norton, New York, 1982, p 68. Lacan, Feminine Sexuality, p 168. This beyond of representation Lacan names the real, one of the three registers (the other two being the symbolic and the imaginary) which, Lacan theorised, map the subject of the signifier. Slavoj Zizek, ‘Woman is one of the names-of-the-father’, Lacanian Ink, no 10, http://plexus.org/lacink/lacink10/lac13.html, 1996. Lacan’s idea of the lady of courtly love is discussed at some length in Seminar VII, in particular in the chapter entitled ‘Courtly love as anamorphosis’. Lacan, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, pp 139–54. See Lacan’s discussion of sexuation in Seminar XX, Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book XX — Encore: On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge, Jacques-Alain Miller (ed.), Bruce Fink (trans.), WW Norton, New York, 1999 [1972–73]. The formulas of sexuation describe man and woman as both constituted by the phallic function, but whilst man is wholly bounded by it, woman is not, ibid., pp 78–89. See Colette Soler, ‘The curse on sex’, in Renata Salecl (ed.), Sexuation, sic 3, Duke University Press, Durham, 2000, pp 39–53, p 51. Lacan, Encore, op. cit., pp 99–100. Lacan identifies two moments in the formation of the subject by the signifier: alienation and separation. See especially Seminar XI, Lacan, 1979, 203–21. Alienation is Lacan’s translation of and formulation of the Freudian process of primary repression, where the unconscious is founded by a letter or trait, which becomes the representative of the drive. Lacan calls this process the splitting between being and meaning. In separation, the intersection between the two sets—being and meaning—is an emptiness into which something comes: object a. This is object a as both a bodily consistency and surplus jouissance. Lacan, Encore, op. cit., pp 99–100. This imaginary other is the ideal ego, the other who faces us and is level with us. The real aspect of the deprivation man demands centres on the object of the drive: there are objects of enjoyment that the drive encircles but never attains, and these objects are those taken from the Other and introjected as the first, or primordial, objects of the subject which are lost to the subject as a speakingbeing. The objects of the drive are enigmatic, or partial, objects that signify that somewhere the Other is enjoying. The Other may be enjoying completely, while the subject strives for what is left him/her, the partial objects. Davison, op. cit., p 15. Of course, in this quote she embodies danger as well. On the lure of the sirens, see Renata Salecl, ‘The silence of the feminine jouissance’ in Slavoj Zizek (ed.), Cogito and the Unconscious, Duke University Press, Durham, 1998, pp 175–95. Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, Seminar XI, Alan Sheridan (trans.), Penguin, Harmondsworth, England, 1979, p 60. Slavoj Zizek, Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel and the Critique of Ideology, Duke University Press, Durham, 1993, p 203. Lacan, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, p 150. The White Woman is not the only Australian novel to show the logic of a particular national fantasy, that white Australia is deprived of its originary claim to Indigenousness by another who precedes him. For discussion of Billy Sunday by Rod Jones, see Kate Foord, ‘Frontier theory: displacement and disavowal in the writing of white nations’, in Aileen Moreton-Robinson (ed.), Whitening Race: Essays in Australian Social and Cultural Criticism, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2004, pp 133–47.) Lacan, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, op. cit., p 230. ibid., p 229. This is not to argue against the legal correctness of the judgement, but rather to say that the logic of the fantasy I have outlined functions to hold the law in place. Davison, op. cit., p 6. ibid., p 13. ibid., p 12.

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28 ibid., p 3. 29 Zizek, Tarrying with the Negative, op. cit., p 202. 30 In Lacanian mathemes, this is written as a fusion of two elements: S1 (the master signifier) and a (the object a or condensation of jouissance). 31 This is one of the later Lacan’s seminars on the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary. 32 See Paul Verhaeghe & Frédéric Declerqc, ‘Lacan’s analytic goal: le sinthome or the feminine way’ in Luke Thurston (ed.), Re-inventing the Symptom: Essays on the Final Lacan, Contemporary Theory Series, Other Press, New York, 2002, pp 59–82, p 67. 33 Lacan, Encore, op. cit., p 81. 34 Davison, op. cit., pp 132–3. 35 Kirsten Hyldgaard, ‘Sex as fantasy and sex as symptom’, Umbr(a), no 1, 1998, <http://wings.buffalo.edu/student-life/graduate/gsa/lacan/sexasfantasy.html>. 36 Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book X—Anxiety, Cormac Gallagher (trans.), from unedited French typescripts, unpublished manuscript, 1962–63, Session of 20 March 1963. 37 On the question of the communal and non-communal object, see Kate Foord, ‘Terra Nullius: Lacanian Ethics and Australian Fictions of Origin’, PhD thesis, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne, 2005, Chapter one; Jean Allouch, ‘How Lacan invented the object (a)’, Papers of the Freudian School of Melbourne, no 19, pp 47–70; discussion of singularity in Joan Copjec, Imagine There’s No Woman: Ethics and Sublimation, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2002, pp 23–4. 38 Davison, op. cit., p 32. 39 See Alenka Zupanèiè, ‘The Subject of the Law’, in Slavoj Zizek (ed.), Cogito and the Unconscious, sic 2, Duke University Press, Durham 1998, pp 41–73, 72–3. Zupanèiè refers the reader to Slavoj Zizek, The Indivisible Remainder: An Essay on Schelling and Related Matters, Verso, London, 1996, p 93 for a detailed elaboration of this point. 40 Lacan’s theory of the discourses, and the subject’s place within them, can be found in his Seminar XVII (The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book XVII—The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, Jacques-Alain Miller (ed.), Russell Grigg (trans.), unpublished manuscript, 1969–70). On the subject of citation, the subject who is spoken by the Other, see in particular the session of 17 December 1969. 41 Davison, op. cit., p 153. Isolation: a state of mind Elaine Rabbitt Rose Hollister, ‘News of the north’, West Australian, 28 December 1973, p 99. Christine Choo, ‘Asian men on the west Kimberley coast, 1900–1940’, in Jan Gothard (ed.), Asian Orientations, Studies in Western Australian History, no 16, 1995, p 62. 3 ibid., p 65. 4 Elaine Rabbitt, ‘Kimberley Women: Their Experiences of Making a Remote Locality Home’, PhD thesis, Edith Cowan University, 2004, p 144. 5 Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, Doubleday/Currency, New York, 1990. 6 Dorothy Edwards, ‘Speech notes’, Women in Isolation Conference, Broome, Acc 1591, File 115/73, State Records Office Western Australia, May 1974. 7 Marion Nixon, The Rivers of Home. Frank Lacy—Kimberley Pioneer, Vanguard Service Print, Perth, 1978. 8 Greg Crough & Christine Christophersen, Aboriginal People in the Economy of the Kimberley Region, North Australia Research Unit, Australian National University, Darwin, 1993; Regional Development Council of Western Australia, 2001; Department of Local Government and Regional Development, Western Australia, Regional Price Index, accessed 20 May 2005, <http://www.dlgrd.wa.gov.au/statisticinfo/regionpriceindex.asp>. 9 Rabbitt, op. cit., pp 16–17. 10 Kenneth Dempsey, Smalltown: A Study of Social Inequality, Cohesion and Belonging, Oxford University, Melbourne, 1990. 11 ibid. 12 Cheryl Lange (ed.), Being Australian Women: Belonging, Citizenship and Identity, Centre for 1 2

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Western Australian History, Dept of History, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, 2000. Dempsey, op. cit., p 29. Gail Sheehy, New Passages, HarperCollins, London, 1996. From the West Coast of South Australia. Alice, personal communication, 10 August 1998. Carol, personal communication, 4 May 1998. From central Western Australia. Kerry, personal communication, 24 April 1998. Sue, personal communication, 6 May 1998. Pat, personal communication, 19 March 1998. Jodie, personal communication, 7 June 1998. Pallas, personal communication, 2 June 1998. Shire of Broome, Broome Shire Council Ordinary Meeting, [minutes], 19 July 1994. Linda, personal communication, 20 June 1998. Ollie Smith & Diana Plater, Raging Partners, Magabala Books, Broome, 2000, pp 251–70. Sarah Yu, ‘Broome Creole: Aboriginal and Asian partnerships along the Kimberley coast’, Queensland Review, vol 6, no 2, 1999, pp 59–73. Elaine Rabbitt, Kimberley Migrant Settlement Needs Project, Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Perth, 1995, p 17. ibid., p 28. ibid.; Lange, op. cit., p 2. The term ‘coloured’ as appropriated for the sake of this paper denotes the multicultural/multiethnic population typical of Broome. Minna, personal communication, 26 March 1998. Choo, op. cit., pp 96–126. Minna, op. cit. ibid. Linda, op. cit. Minna, op. cit. Linda, op. cit. Sarah Yu & Carol Tang Wei, The Story of the Chinese in Broome, Pindan Printing, Broome, 1999. Rabbitt, 2004, op. cit., pp 179–81. Rabbitt, 1995, op. cit., pp 17–18. Dempsey, op. cit., p 197. Lange, op. cit., p 6. ibid., p 7. Alice, op. cit. Kerry, op. cit. Arlene, op. cit. Bernadette, personal communication, 1 May 1998. Linda, op. cit. Minna, op. cit. ‘Madonnas’, ‘seductresses’, ‘pets’, and ‘iron maidens’: are lawyers managing badly? Geraldine Neal 1 2 See Anne Trimmer, The State of the Profession, Address delivered at 23rd Australian Legal Convention, October 2001. For example: Gisela Shaw & Ulrike Schultz (eds), Women in the World’s Legal Professions, Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2003; Joan Brockman, Gender in the Legal Profession: Fitting or Breaking the Mould, UBC Press, Vancouver, 2001; Deborah Rhode, The Unfinished Agenda: Women and the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, 2001; Hilary Sommerlad & Peter Sanderson, Gender, Choice and Commitment: Women Solicitors in England and Wales and the Struggle for Equal Status, Ashgate/Dartmouth, Aldershot, 1998; Rosemary Hunter & Helen McKelvie, Equality for Women at the Victorian Bar: A Report to the Victorian Bar Council, Victorian Bar

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Inc., Melbourne, 1998; Margaret Thornton, Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1996; Keys Young, Research on Gender Bias and Women Working in the Legal System: Report, Prepared for Ministry for the Status and Advancement of Women, NSW, 1995. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Men and Women of the Corporation, Basic Books, New York, 1977. Kanter considered the use of the preposition ‘of’ in her book title as significant in that it reflected the power of the organisation over the people who worked within it. The professional experiences of barristers, and lawyers outside private practice (i.e. within corporations, academic institutions and/or government departments) are not subjects of my research. While the focus of my doctoral work is solicitors in Queensland, experiences of other lawyers (both within and outside Queensland) are, of course, significant in setting the Queensland story within a wider narrative. The Queensland legal profession also remains a ‘split’ one, with prospective lawyers electing to be admitted as either solicitors or barristers. Some Australian sfctates have a ‘fused’ profession (although such distinctions become less significant as Australia moves towards a unified ‘national’ profession). Initially, women were effectively excluded from legal practice when courts (in Australia and overseas) interpreted the statutory requirement for candidates for admission to be fit and proper persons, to be limited to men, as they found women were not included in the various legislative references to ‘persons’. In Queensland the Legal Practitioners Act 1905 paved the way for the admission of women, and the first woman solicitor (Agnes McWhinney) was admitted to legal practice in 1915. My research utilised a multi-method approach that incorporated qualitative and quantitative techniques (including a state-wide survey, statistical analysis, in-depth interviews, and content analysis of key policies and publications of the solicitors’ peak professional body, the Queensland Law Society). A survey was sent to 550 randomly selected solicitors (275 females and 275 males) throughout Queensland (using the postcode as a stratifying variable), generating quantitative and qualitative data; quantitative responses have been analysed using SPSS statistical software. In-depth interviews were conducted with two groups: (i) from those survey respondents who indicated a willingness to be involved in the interview phase; and (ii) a snowball sample of current and former staff and office holders of the Queensland Law Society. Significant source documents in the research project include the materials from the Society’s Practice Management Course, the QLS website (particularly the professional policies and guidelines), QLS reports and publications. The initial survey attracted a response rate from those surveyed of 41.1% from the women and 34.6% from the men. Judy Wajcman, Managing like a Man—Women and Men in Corporate Management, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1999, p 110. Catherine R Smith & Jacquie Hutchinson, Gender: A Strategic Management Issue, Business and Professional Publishing, Sydney, 1995, p 74. Smith & Hutchinson, op. cit., p 75. Elizabeth Chambliss & Christopher Uggen, ‘Men and women of elite law firms: re-evaluating Kanter’s legacy’, Law and Social Inquiry, vol 25, no 1, 2000, pp 41–68; Patricia MacCorquodale & Gary Jensen, ‘Women in the Law: partners or tokens?’, Gender and Society, vol 7, no 4, 1993, pp 582–93 (especially as regards token status). Thornton, op. cit., p 182. Kanter, op. cit., p 234. Wajcman, op. cit., p 110. ‘The Lives of Lawyers’ survey, question 20. ?2=8.706; df=1; p=0.003. Sommerlad & Sanderson, op. cit., p 158. ibid., p 161. ibid. See, generally, Hilary M Lips, Sex and Gender: An Introduction, 3rd edn, Mayfield, Mountain View, California, 1988, pp 5–15; Gary N Powell, Women and Men in Management, 2nd edn, Sage, Newbury Park, 1993, p 178; Anne Spencer & David Podmore (eds), In a Man’s World: Essays on Women in Male-Dominated Professions, Tavistock, London, 1987; also see Sommerlad & Sanderson, op. cit., p 52, for a discussion of the ‘characteristics’ of law—where law is seen as rational, objective, abstract and principled (supposed male traits), as opposed to

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stereotypical female traits (irrational, subjective, contextualised and personalised). ?2=27.592; df=1; p=0.000. ?2=22.219; df=1; p=0.000. ?2=21.717; df=1; p=0.000. ?2=24.910; df=1; p=0.000. ?2=31.112; df=1; p=0.000. Rand Jack & Dana Crowley Jack, Moral Vision and Professional Decisions: The Changing Values of Women and Men Lawyers, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989, p 134. Michael Thomson, ‘Femocrats and babes: women and power’, Australian Feminist Studies, vol 16, no 35, 2001, pp 193–208, p 200. Robyn Rowland, Woman Herself: A Transdisciplinary Perspective on Women’s Identity, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988, pp 98–9 (also citing work of Virgina Novarra, who spoke of men’s expectations that women would be ‘receivers of the psychological waste products of the day’s work’). Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Women in Law, Basic Books, New York, 1981, p 268 ff. The works of Epstein and Kanter, published within a few years of each other in the United States, have been described as ‘companion volumes’. The Dean of Law at Macquarie University strongly endorsed Thornton’s categories/roles imposed on academic and legal women. Rosalind F Croucher,‘The academy as kitchen—a subversive perspective on the (prehistoric) paradigm of “women-in-the-kitchen’”, Hecate, vol 31, no 1, 2005, pp 6–20, 20 note 36 & 35. Kanter, op. cit., p 234. Wajcman, op. cit., p 111. Thornton, op. cit. Saija Katila & Susan Merilainen, ‘Metamorphosis: from “nice girls” to “nice bitches”: resisting patriarchal articulations of professional identity’, Gender, Work and Organization, vol 9, no 3, 2002, pp 250, 336–54, 338. Margaret Heffernan, The Naked Truth: A Working Woman’s Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2004, p 27 ff. Epstein, op. cit., p 188. ibid., p 292. ibid., p 311. Graham Andrewarrtha, ‘The future role of human resource management’, in Graham O’Neill & Robin Kramar (eds), Australian Human Resources Management—Current Ttrends in Management Practice, vol 2, Business and Professional Publishing, Warriewood, 1999, pp 7–8. ?2=11.648; df=1; p=0.001. As well as various examples included on completed survey instruments, a number of practitioners during the interview phase of the research also related instances of sexual harassment and inappropriate, sexually-charged workplace cultures, and expressed concern and disappointment that such incidents continued to occur within the profession. See Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and Federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984. Both prohibit discriminatory/less favourable treatment at work on the basis of sex, and both outlaw sexual harassment. Thornton, op. cit. See note 6. ‘Lives of Lawyers’ survey, question 14. For the importance of strong workplace policies to enable employers/business owners to resist claims of vicarious liability for discrimination and harassment, on the basis that they have taken ‘reasonable steps’, see Karen Walters, ‘Vicarious liability—what does it mean in practice?’, Balancing the Act, Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, newsletter issue 3, July 1998, pp 4–5; see also Kate Jenkins & Craig Lawrie (eds), Women in the Workplace—Sexual Harassment and Discrimination, Prospect Media, Sydney, 2000. Kanter, op. cit., p 233; also, Anne Summers, Damned Whores and God’s Police: The Colonisation of Women in Australia, Penguin Books, Melbourne, 1975. Kanter, ibid. Kanter, ibid., p 235; Wajcman, op. cit., p 111. Catalogue of Products for Lawyers, Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, Reading, Berkshire, 2001,

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p 4. Kanter, op. cit., p 235. Epstein, op. cit., p 277. ibid., pp 104–5. Kanter, op. cit., p 233. It is beyond the scope of this paper to analyse the important work done by Kanter in developing the concept of women as ‘tokens’ (i.e. numerically few) within organisations, however she argued that where women existed in ‘token’ numbers, male colleagues encapsulated them in categories that the men could respond to and understand. These categories could develop around a single (perceived) behaviour or characteristic, ‘building this into an image of the token’s place in the group and forcing her to continue to live up to the image’. She posited that women’s increasing numbers would remove their token status (although that is now seen as a vain hope by some). Margaret Heffernan, The Female CEO ca. 2002, accessed 25 October 2004, <http://pf.fastcompany.com/magazine/61/female_ceo.html>. ‘Lives of Lawyers’ survey, question 10: ?2=11.180; df=1; p=0.001. See, also, Rosemary Pringle, Secretaries Talk: Sexuality, Power and Work, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1988; Deborah Sheppard, ‘Organisations, power and sexuality: the image and selfimage of women managers’, in J Hearn, D L Sheppard, P Tancred-Sheriff & G Burrell (eds), The Sexuality of Organisation, Sage, London, 1989 . Epstein, op. cit., p 278, makes the point that female staff may object to working for women lawyers because the women tend to have heavier workloads (as they feel they have to do more to prove themselves). This is not an area specifically explored in my research. In October 2001, a total of 4,207 solicitors (of whom 1,141, or 27.12%, were women) were engaged in private legal practice in Queensland. More than 40% of all male practising solicitors were principals in legal firms and/or sole practitioners, while only some 5% of all women practitioners held these management/ownership roles. (Total principals in practice were comprised of 89.75% men and 10.25% women.) Figures supplied by staff at the Queensland Law Society, 22 October 2001. Sommerlad & Sanderson, op. cit., p 159. ibid., p 157. Wajcman, op. cit., pp 165, 109. See also Katila & Merilainen, op. cit., p 350. Wajcman, op. cit., p 111. ibid. ‘Lives of Lawyers’ survey, question 14. N=98 ?2=0.332; df=1; p=0.564. L R Gomez-Mejia, D B Balkin & R L Cardy, Managing Human Resources, Prentice Hall, Saddle River, New Jersey, p 131. Margaret Thornton, Gender, Legality and Authority, paper presented at Australian Lawyers and Social Change Conference, Australian National University, September 2004, accessed 28 February 2006, <http://www.anu.edu.au/alsc>. Epstein, op. cit., p 278. ibid., p 287. ibid., p 280. Thornton, op. cit.; Katila & Maerilainen, op. cit.; Croucher, op. cit.; Teresa Moore, ‘The changing academic workplace: public and private transformations’, New Talents: Backburning, Journal of Australian Studies, no 84, API Network, 2005, pp 73–83. Kanter, op. cit., p 43. ibid., p 63. ibid., p 23. ibid., p 207. ibid., p 240. ibid., p 64. ibid., pp 131, 133. ibid., pp 176, 181. ibid., p 262. Kanter, Rosabeth Moss, ‘Reflections on women in the legal profession: A sociological

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perspective’, Harvard Women’s Law Journal, no 1, 1978, pp 1–17. 84 Cheryl R Lehman, ‘Quiet whispers … men accounting for women, west to east’, in David L Collinson & Jeff Hearn (eds), Men as Managers and Managers as Men: Critical Perspectives on Men, Masculinities and Management, Sage, London, 1996, p 154. 85 Moore, op. cit., and a series of discussions and email exchanges with the writer in October 2005. 86 On the significance of status and associated roles, see Robert K Merton, ‘The role-set: problems in sociological theory’, British Journal of Sociology, vol 8, issue 2, June 1957, pp 106–20. 87 ‘Lives of Lawyers’ survey, question 11. 88 Katila & Marilainen, op. cit., p 350. 89 For example, Law Society of New South Wales, After Ada: A New Precedent for Women in Law, Law Society of New South Wales, Sydney, 2002; Law Council of Australia, 2010: A Discussion Paper—Challenges for the Legal Profession, Law Council of Australia, Canberra, 2001; Law Society of New South Wales, 2001 Equal Opportunity Handbook and Model Policies, Law Society of New South Wales, Sydney, adopted 22 November 2001; Sue Kaufman & Georgina Frost, Flexible Partnership—Making it Work in Law Firms, Victorian Women Lawyers, Melbourne, 2001; Law Institute of Victoria, Thriving and Surviving: Employment Practices and Achieving a Healthy Balance, Law Institute of Victoria, Melbourne, 2001; Victorian Women Lawyers, A Snapshot of Employment Practices 2001: A Survey of Victorian Law Firms, Victorian Women Lawyers, Melbourne, 2001; Law Society of Western Australia and Women Lawyers of Western Australia, Report on the Retention of Legal Practitioners. Final Report, March 1999; Law Society of New South Wales, Quality of Life: Industrial Issues Taskforce Report, Law Society of New South Wales, Sydney, 1999, accessed 27 October 1999, <http://lawsocnsw.asn.au>; Kris Will & Georgina Frost (eds), Taking Up the Challenge: Women in the Legal Profession, Victorian Women Lawyers, Melbourne, 1999; Mark Herron, Annie Woodger & George Beaton, Facing the Future: Gender, Employment and Best Practice Issues for Law Firms, vol 1: The Job Satisfaction Study, vol 2: Effective Practices Guide, Victorian Law Foundation, Melbourne, 1996. Experimenting with change: experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death in Australia in the 1980s Susannah Thompson 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 See, for example, H Marchant & B Wearing (eds), Gender Reclaimed: Women in Social Work, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, c. 1986, p 59. Libby Lloyd, oral history interview with author, November 2004. Interview undertaken as part of a wider oral history project for the author’s doctoral research. Tapes and transcripts are in the possession of the author. This phrase was coined by Margaret Nicol, in her book Loss of a Baby: Understanding Maternal Grief, Bantam, Sydney, 1989, p 6. See J Allen, Sex and Secrets: Crimes Involving Australian Women Since 1880, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1990, p 33. See Janet McCalman, Sex and Suffering: Women’s Health and a Women’s Hospital: The Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1998. Kerreen Reiger, Our Bodies, Our Babies: The Forgotten Women’s Movement, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2001, p 37. Reiger, op. cit., p 65. A major component of this research is an oral history project involving women ranging in age from 25 to 90 years old. Overwhelmingly, the older interviewees expressed that they were expected to resume their ‘normal’ lives upon returning home, and that the subject was usually never mentioned again within the family. Prior to the 1970s, very little writing on the subject of the impact of perinatal death existed in medical and psychological literature; however, the beginning of the decade marked a focus on this type of loss. In Australia, obstetrician Patrick Giles’s 1970 study found that stillbirth and neonatal death were major life events that could have deep emotional effects on a woman, whilst the work of American physicians Klaus and Kennell gave rise to the idea that attachment began before birth, which would then lead to a period of bereavement if the child was stillborn or died shortly after birth. See, for example, P Giles, ‘Emotional impact of stillbirth’, Australia and New

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Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol 10, 1970, pp 207–10; John Kennell et al., ‘The mourning responses of parents to the death of a newborn infant’, New England Journal of Medicine, no 283, pp 344–49; Marshall Klaus & John Kennell, Maternal-Infant Bonding: The Impact of Early Separation or Loss on Family Development, Mosby, St Louis, 1976. The radical ideas of the 1970s often went unnoticed or were ignored within the clinical setting, and many women were still shielded from their dead or dying infants and denied the opportunity to participate actively in the funeral arrangements. Indeed, some of the women interviewed, whose babies died during this decade, still have no knowledge as to where their infant was buried. The complex culture of an institution such as a maternity hospital has been well explored in McCalman’s social history of the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Sex and Suffering, op. cit. Libby Lloyd, interview with author. Ms Lloyd is currently employed at King Edward Memorial Hospital and has been in this position for over 26 years. Ms Lloyd remembers hearing Dr Kubler-Ross for the first time at the University of Western Australia, while she herself had just had a miscarriage—so Kubler-Ross’s examination of grief and loss was pertinent professionally and personally. See, for example, Lesley Barclay, ‘Report on overseas midwifery practices’, Australian Nurses Journal [ANJ], vol 8, no 7, pp 18–22; Jane Shoebridge, ‘Questioning current attitudes in nursing midwifery’, ANJ, vol 9, no 3, 1979, pp 44–9. Groups such as the Childbirth Education Association and the Nursing Mothers’Association were part of the cultural change towards the acceptance of patients’ rights and a more holistic approach to health care. See Reiger, op. cit., pp 43–51. D Milliken, ‘Changes in the neonatal nurses role’, ANJ, vol 8, no 4, 1978, pp 30–3, 40. Lloyd, interview with author. See, for example, Marchant & Wearing (eds), op. cit., p 59. At Melbourne’s major maternity hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital, several women approached social work staff in the early 1980s, requesting that they be allowed to bury the remains of their babies in a cemetery. This matter was discussed by Bethia Stevenson, Social Work Department, with members of the Perinatal Deaths Multidisciplinary Committee in April 1986. Unpublished document, in Social Work Department (RWH) papers. The Crown Solicitor’s opinion was contained within a letter from H V Feehan, Secretary, Hospitals Division, Health Department of Victoria, to the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne, Dr Yeatman, on 31 October 1982. Mr Feehan was responding to an earlier letter from Dr Yeatman, dated 15 November 1982, in which he raised the issue of the burial of pre-twenty-week foetuses, after several requests from RWH patients. Letter contained in Social Work Department (RWH) papers. Traditionally, miscarried babies up to 28 weeks were disposed of in the hospital incinerator, and babies of a ‘viable’ gestation were either buried through private arrangements or, more commonly, through a hospital-arranged burial. Social Work Department, Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne, ‘Procedure statement: baby death and the social work department’, 1982, contained in Social Work Department (RWH) papers. The manual reminded staff that parents were not to be encouraged to attend the burial and that no markers or memorialisation of any sort were allowed by the cemetery. See Pat Jalland, Australian Ways of Death: A Social and Cultural History 1840–1918, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 2002. Section 16.3.5, Memorialisation of stillbirths buried in public graves, Royal Women’s Hospital Extracts of Discussion Paper: Extracts from Mortuary and Cemeteries Administration Committee Review of Cemetery Legislation—Discussion Paper November 1986, contained with Social Work Department (RWH) papers. Nancy, personal communication with author, 12 May 2005. Bethia Stevenson, memorandum to Assistant Director of Medical Services, Dr Flower, 10 April 1980, contained with Social Work Department (RWH) papers. For example, a bereaved father, whose baby had died at RWH after being born prematurely, wrote to the Assistant Medical Director in 1980 that, in his opinion, the hospital-arranged burial ‘detracts from the dignity of human life and relegates the baby to a non-entity status. On both

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religious and humanitarian grounds it is a shocking indictment of the value that your hospital places on human life’. Excerpt from letter from Mr A to Dr C Flower, 13 February 1980, contained with Social Work Department (RWH) papers. Australian Funeral Directors’ Association set this fee for hospital-arranged burials in 1984. Many parents were increasingly dissatisfied with communal burials. For example, in September 1985 SANDS (Victoria) made a submission to this effect to the Mortuary Industry and Cemeteries Administration Committee, which was, according to Marilyn Kenny, ‘extremely interested and concerned to hear of the problems with hospital burials’. From Marilyn Kenny, ‘Hospital burials for babies dying in the perinatal period—alternatives’, unpublished report c. 1986, contained in Social Work Department (RWH) papers. Social workers in Melbourne visited Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton, Fawkner Cemetery, and Springvale Necropolis. Social workers from KEMH in Perth met with cemetery board members at Karrakatta Cemetery to raise concerns held by the department and SANDS as to the nature of communal burials. From Social Work Department (KEMH) papers, and Social Work Department (RWH) papers. Marilyn Kenny, a social worker at RWH, was given the task of assessing the current system of hospital-arranged burials in communal grave sites, the results of which she discussed in an unpublished document, ‘Hospital burials for babies dying in the perinatal period—alternatives’. Bethia Stevenson, ‘Inspection of proposed infant burial sites at Springvale Necropolis’, unpublished report, 7 March 1984, contained in Social Work Department (RWH) papers. Reverend Robert Anderson, oral history interview with author, November 2004, transcript in author’s possession. Reverend Anderson has been the chaplain at KEMH since 1987, after an arrangement was made between the hospital and the Anglican Diocese of Perth. ‘Sandra’, personal communication with author, ‘Sandra’ is a pseudonym used to protect the identity of the individual. Belinda Jennings, interview with author, November 2004. See also Reiger, op. cit., who quotes the prominent obstetrician Dr Kevin McCaul as firmly believing that a set percentage of babies would die, despite the skill of the obstetrician: ‘It doesn’t matter how bright the obstetrician is, how bright the patient is, and all the best doctors in the world, the day of judgement says that twenty per cent have got to have a risk and this is still the same’, p 29. Peter Barr & Deborah de Wilde, Stillbirth and Newborn Death: Death and Life are the Same Mysteries, Planet Press, Camperdown, NSW, 1987, p 6. Memorandum, Marilyn Kenny to Bethia Stevenson, 13 July 1981, contained in Social Work Department (RWH) papers. This incident was recounted by Marilyn Kenny to Bethia Stevenson in ibid. Memorandum, Marilyn Kenny to Bethia Stevenson, 1983, contained in Social Work Department (RWH) papers. Reiger, op. cit., p 57. Terri, personal communication with author, 25 May 2005. As a result of Margaret Nicol’s research at KEMH, some staff at the hospital advocated this move, in an article in the Medical Journal of Australia [MJA]. Margaret T Nicol, Jeffrey R Tompkins, Norman A Campbell & Geoffrey J Syme, Maternal Grieving Response After Perinatal Death, MJA, vol 144, March 1986, p 289. Alice Lovell, ‘Some questions of identity in late miscarriage, stillbirth and perinatal loss’, Social Science Medicine, no 11, vol 17, p 756. Emanuel Lewis, ‘The abhorrence of stillbirth’, The Lancet, 4 June 1977, p 1188. It is important to note that Dr Lewis, himself an obstetrician, was one of the first British writers to advocate a more caring approach towards bereaved mothers. It is interesting to note, however, his use of language and the way that he describes stillbirth and neonatal death. This issue had been raised in 1980 by social workers at RWH, who noted that ‘some patients in the hospital have experienced bad reactions from staff with stillbirths and in particular physically deformed babies … following delivery of children with gross physical abnormalities there was a tendency of some staff not to talk to the mother until the paediatrician had seen the child and then often the mother was not shown the stillborn child. This led to the mother imagining unrealistic abnormalities present’. From Minutes of PDMC, 4 March 1980, contained in Social Work Department (RWH) papers. ‘Sandra’, personal communication with author.

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48 49 50 51 52 53 Lovell, op. cit., p 756. Nancye, personal communication with author, June 2005. Nicol, op. cit., p 88. Lovell, op. cit., p 757. Belinda, interview with author. The Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne, Midwifery for Student Midwives, Melbourne, 1975, pp 101, 102. Grief, medicine and magic: sickness on Aboriginal missions, 1825–1850 Jessie Mitchell Henry Reynolds, The Other Side of the Frontier, James Cook University, Townsville, 1981, pp 47–8, 72–3, 102–3. 2 Beverley Blaskett, ‘The level of violence: Europeans and Aborigines in Port Phillip, 1835–1850’, in Susan Janson & Stuart MacIntyre (eds), Through White Eyes, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1990, pp 77–100. 3 Noel Butlin, Our Original Aggression: Aboriginal Populations of Southeastern Australia 1788–1850, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1983. 4 Judy Campbell, Invisible Invaders: Smallpox and Other Diseases in Aboriginal Australia 1780–1880, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2002. 5 See Jessie Mitchell, ‘Flesh, Dreams and Spirit: Life on Aboriginal Mission Stations, 1825–1850: A History of Cross-Cultural Connections’, PhD thesis, Australian National University, 2005. For discussion of similar topics, see Christopher Anderson, ‘A case study in railure: Kuku-Yalanji and the Lutherans at Bloomfield River, 1887–1902’, in Tony Swain & Deborah Bird Rose (eds), Aboriginal Australians and Christian Missions, Australian Association for the Study of Religions, Bedford Park, 1988, pp 321–37; Deborah Bird Rose, ‘Signs of life on a barbarous frontier: intercultural encounters in North Australia’, in Humanities Research, vol 2, 1998, pp 17–36. 6 J C S Handt, Journal, 14 August 1833, p 14, in Hilary M Carey & David A Roberts (eds), The Wellington Valley Project: Letters and Journals Relating to the Church Missionary Society Mission to Wellington Valley, NSW, 1830–45, (WVP), <http//:www.newcastle.edu.au/group/discipline/history/wv-project/>; Watson, Journal, WVP, 4 November 1832, p 10; 31 December 1832, p 29; and 1 May 1833, p 8. 7 W Baylie, ‘Medical Reports to George Augustus Robinson’, 30 October 1841–25, April 1842, Aboriginal Affairs Records (AAR), VPRS4467, Reel 2, Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV). 8 For further discussion of Indigenous acceptance of missionary gifts, food and protection, see Mitchell, op. cit., pp 36–59. 9 W H Baylie, ‘On the Aborigines of the Goulbourn district’, Port Phillip Magazine, vol 1, no 2, January 1943, pp 88, 91; London Missionary Society Deputation, ‘Information regarding the Aboriginals of NSW’, in Niel Gunson (ed.), Australian Reminiscences and Papers of L E Threlkeld, Missionary to the Aborigines 1824–1859, vol 2, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra, 1974, p 341; Edward Stone Parker, Quarterly Journal, July 1841, AAR, VPRS4467, reel 2, PROV; Edward Stone Parker, ‘4 September 1841’, Quarterly Journal, 1 September – 30 November 1841, AAR, VPRS4467, reel 2, PROV; George Augustus Robinson, Journals: Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate, vol 1, 1 January 1839 – 30 September 1840, Ian D Clark (ed.), Heritage Matters, Melbourne, 1998, p 40; William Thomas, ‘March abstract 1839, 4 October 1839, 19–20 November 1839’, William Thomas Papers (WTP), MF323, reel 1, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS); L E Threlkeld, in John Fraser (ed.), An Australian Language As Spoken by the Awabakal, the People of Awaba or Lake Macquarie, Government Printer, Sydney, 1892, p 48; Francis Tuckfield, Francis Tuckfield Journal: 1837–1842 (FTJ), 14 December 1839, MS11341, Box 655, SLV; William Watson, Journal, WVP, 12 May 1833, p 11. Later anthropological examples include A P Elkin, The Australian Aborigines, Halstead Press, Sydney, 1943, pp 206–7, 215–16; and A W Howitt, The Native Tribes of South-East Australia, MacMillan, London, 1904, pp 355–66. 10 Heather McDonald, Blood, Bones and Spirit: Aboriginal Christianity in an East Kimberly Town, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2001, pp 20–3. 1

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11 For instance, Günther, 5 August 1838, Journal, WVP, pp 9–10, ; Thomas, 19–20 November 1839, WTP, MF323, reel 1, AIATSIS. 12 James Dredge, 9 October 1839, James Dredge Diaries (JDD), MS11625, MSM534, SLV. 13 Thomas, 8–9 November 1840, WTP, MF323, reel 2, AIATSIS. 14 Francis Tuckfield to Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, 20 February 1839, in Michael Cannon (ed.), Historical Records of Victoria: The Aborigines of Port Phillip, 1835–1839 (HRV), vol 2A, Victorian Government Printing Office, Melbourne, 1982, p 114. 15 Edward Stone Parker, 5 October 1841, Quarterly Journal, 1 September – 30 November 1841, AAR, VPRS4467, Reel 2, PROV. 16 Thomas, 13 December 1846, 18 December 1846, WTP, MF323, reel 3, AIATSIS. 17 Günther, 26–27 July 1839, Journal, WVP, pp 10–11. 18 Tricia Henwood, ‘Rev L.E. Threlkeld and the Awabakal Aborigines: An Example of Cultural Interaction, 1824–1841’, History Honours Thesis, LaTrobe University, 1978, MS2026, AIATSIS, p 51. 19 Edward Stone Parker, 12 July 1842, Quarterly Journal, 1 June – 31 August 1842, AAR, VPRS4467, Reel 2, PROV. 20 Edgar Morrison, ‘The Loddon Aborigines: tales of Old Jim Crow’, in Geoff Morrison (ed.), A Successful Failure: The Aborigines and Early Settlers, Graffiti Publications, Maryborough, p 187; Edward Stone Parker, July 1841, Quarterly Journal, AAR, VPRS4467, reel 2, PROV; Edward Stone Parker, ‘The Aborigines of Australia, 1854’, in Edgar Morrison (ed.), Frontier Life in the Loddon Protectorate, n.p. cited, Melbourne, 1967, p 18. 21 Thomas, 15 & 17 August 1845, WTP, MF323, reel 3; William Thomas to Mr Duffy, undated letter, in WTP, MF323, reel 5, fiche 157–61, AIATSIS. 22 Patty O’Brien, ‘The gaze of the “ghosts”: images of Aboriginal women in New South Wales and Port Phillip (1800–1850)’, in Jan Kociumbas (ed.), Maps, Dreams, History: Race and Representation in Australia, Dept of History, University of Sydney, Sydney, 1998, pp 383, 386; R H W Reece, Aborigines and Colonists: Aborigines and Colonial Society in New South Wales in the 1830s and 1840s, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1974, p 54. 23 Peter Cunningham, Two Years in New South Wales, vol 2, Henry Colburn, London, 1827, p 45. 24 Russell McGregor, Imagined Destinies: Aboriginal Australians and the Doomed Race Theory, 1880–1939, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1997. 25 Watson, 30 June 1833, Journal, WVP, p 17. 26 Handt, 29 May 1833, Journal, WVP, p 5; Watson, 30 June 1833, Journal, WVP, p 17. 27 Watson to Dandeson Coates, 31 December 1832, WVP, p 2; Watson, 6 October 1833, Journal, WVP, p 7. 28 Frank Mort, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830, Routledge, London, 2000 (1987), pp 12–3, 18, 24–5, 30–1. 29 James Dredge to Jabez Bunting, 17 February 1840, Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (WMMS) Archive, Mp 2107, Box 1, National Library of Australia (NLA); Handt, 25–26 March 1834, Journal, WVP, p 6. 30 Benjamin Hurst to General Secretaries, 23 June 1842, WMMS Archive, Mp 2107, Box 2, NLA; Benjamin Hurst to J McKenny, 8 March 1842, WMMS Archive, Mp 2107, Box 2, NLA 31 L E Threlkeld, ‘Memoranda’, in Niel Gunson (ed.), Australian Reminiscences and Papers of L E Threlkeld, Missionary to the Aborigines 1824–1859, vol 2, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra, 1974, vol 1, p 137; Watson, 20 December 1835, Journal, WVP, p 9. 32 Joseph Orton, 27 November 1840, Joseph Orton Journal 1832–1839 & 1840–1841 (JOJ), MF302, AIATSIS (original held at Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales). 33 William Thomas to G A Robinson, 1 March 1847, AAR, VPRS4467, reel 2, PROV; Watson, 24 December 1835, Journal, WVP, p 10. 34 Dredge, 8 May 1839, JDD, MS11625, MSM534, SLV; Günther, 2(?) June 1839 [date unmarked], Journal, WVP, p 8; Hyland Neil Nelson, ‘The missionaries and the Aborigines in the Port Phillip district’, in Historical Studies, Australia and New Zealand, vol 12, no 45, 1965, p 57. 35 Watson, 31 March 1834, Journal, WVP, p 23; 22 April 1834, Journal, WVP, p 1. 36 Mort, op. cit., pp 24–5. 37 Günther, 5 August 1838, Journal, WVP, p 10. 38 Watson, 8 December 1836, Journal, WVP, p 15. 39 Orton, 24 May 1839, JOJ, MF302, AIATSIS; Thomas, 16 October 1847, WTP, MF323, reel 3,

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AIATSIS. 40 Edward Stone Parker, 5 October 1841, Quarterly Journal, 1 September – 30 November 1841, AAR, VPRS4467, Reel 2, PROV. 41 Francis Tuckfield to Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, 20 February 1839, in Cannon (ed.), op. cit., vol 2A, p 114. 42 Pat Jalland, Death in the Victorian Family, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996, pp 21, 26–31, 33, 38–41. 43 For example, see Butlin, op. cit., p 80; Campbell, op. cit., pp 104, 162, 216. 44 Watson, 3 October 1832, Journal, WVP, pp 29–32. 45 John Smithies to General Secretaries, 10 January 1843, WMMS Archive, Mp 2107, box 2, NLA. 46 John Smithies to General Secretaries, 21 September 1845, WMMS Archive, Mp 2107, box 2, NLA. 47 Nan Marie McMurry, ‘“And I? I Am in a Consumption”: The Tubercular Patient, 1780–1930’, PhD thesis, Duke University, 1985, pp 17–21, 25–39, 55. Place spirit and intangible cultural heritage in a contested land Amanda Kearney I wish to acknowledge and thank the Yanyuwa women and men with whom I have worked over the years, in particular Annie Karrakayn, Dinah Norman Marrngawi, Dinny McDinny Nyilba, Pyro Dirdiyalma, Jemima Miller Wuwarlu and Rosie Noble Wundirrimara. You have given me a profound appreciation for the power and pervasiveness of the intangible. I am also grateful to Professor Tanaka of Jinbunken, Kyoto University, for creating an environment in which my ideas could reinvent themselves. I express my gratitude to many people I have met in Japan who have changed my perception and acquainted me with an international perspective on how things are done outside of Australia. In 1996 Attwood wrote of Indigenous resistance to intellectual colonialism in Australia by stating that ‘Aborigines have not only reclaimed the right to tell their own histories but have also questioned the specific context of conventional Australian histories. Furthermore, they have been seeking to curb the dominance of Aboriginalist knowledge, which they regard as intellectual colonialism, by claiming the right of custodianship, even of ownership, of the Aboriginal past’. B Attwood, Introduction, in B Attwood (ed.), In the Age of Mabo: History, Aborigines and Australia, Allen & Unwin, New South Wales, 1996, p xxii. 2 For a more detailed discussion of intangible heritage, see H Deacon, L Dondolo, M Mrubata & S Prosalendis, The Subtle Power of Intangible Heritage: Legal and Financial Instruments for Safeguarding Intangible Heritage, compiled by the Social Cohesion and Integration Research Programme at the HSRC, HSRC Press, South Africa, 2004. 3 See Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), Preservation and Promotion of the Intangible Cultural Heritage: 1998 Regional Seminar for Cultural Personnel in Asia and the Pacific, Tokyo, 24 February – 2 March 1998, ACCU, Tokyo, 1998. 4 UNESCO, ‘Legal responses by the international community at UNESCO—from the 1989 recommendation to the 2003 convention’, Part II:B, in The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Information Kit, Paris, 17 October 2003, accessed 17 March 2006, <http://www.portal.unesco.org/culture>. 5 D B Rose, Reports from a Wild Country: The Ethics of Decolonisation, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2004, p 66. 6 ibid., p 67. 7 ibid. 8 UNESCO, ‘Principles, definitions and organs of the convention—preamble’, in Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Information Kit, Paris, 17 October 2003, accessed 17 March 2006, <http://www.portal.unesco.org/culture>. 9 UNESCO, ‘Principles, definitions and organs of the convention—article 2, paragraph 1’, ibid. 10 UNESCO, ‘Principles, definitions and organs of the convention—article 1’, ibid. 11 UNESCO, ‘What is at stake: a precious and endangered heritage—part 3, Origin and existence’, ibid. 12 ibid. 1

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13 UNESCO, ‘National and international safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage—part 2A’, ibid. 14 As a point of interest, these twenty-three states include: Algeria, Mauritius, Japan, Gabon, Panama, China, Central African Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Republic of Korea, Seychelles, Syrian Arabic Republic, United Arab Emirates, Mali, Mongolia, Croatia, Egypt, Oman, Dominica, India, Vietnam and Peru. UNESCO, ibid. 15 Elsewhere I have written on this subject in the framework of landscape de-signification by the occupying interests of invading or colonising cultures. See A Kearney, ‘An Ethnoarchaeology of Engagement: Yanyuwa Country and the Lived Cultural Domain in Archaeology’, PhD thesis, Melbourne University, 2005. 16 N Abu el-haj, Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-fashioning in Israeli Society, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2001, p 18; L Russell & I McNiven, ‘Monumental colonialism: megaliths and the appropriation of Australia’s Aboriginal past’, Journal of Material Culture, no 3 (3), 1998, pp 283–99, 285. 17 See Russell & McNiven, op. cit. 18 See Rose, op. cit.; Cowlishaw also devotes a great deal of discussion to this matter and to other issues of racial intimacy and autonomy in Australia. See J Cowlishaw, Blackfellas, Whitefellas and the Hidden Injuries of Race, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2004; J Cowlishaw, Rednecks, Eggheads and Blackfellas: A Study of Racial Power and Intimacy in Australia, Allen & Unwin, New South Wales, 1999. 19 U Bulag, ‘Abstract—hunting Chinngis Khan’s skull and soul: Eurasian frontiers of historical, ideological and racial imaginations’, Transnationality Studies Seminar, no 38, Osaka University, 5 November 2004. 20 R Van Dyke & S Alcock, Archaeologies of Memory, Blackwell Publishers, Melbourne, 2003, p 5. See, also, P Adams, ‘Peripatetic imagery and peripatetic sense of place’, in P Adams, S Hoelscher & K Till (eds), Textures of Place: Exploring Humanist Geographies, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2001, pp 186–206; S Feld & D Basso (eds), Sense of Place, School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, 1996; C Gosden, Social Being and Time, Blackwell, Oxford, 1994. 21 See J Pearsall & B Trumble, The Oxford English Reference Dictionary, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996, p 492; J Sykes (ed.), The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1976, pp 342–3. 22 In 1977 the Yanyuwa people were one of the first Aboriginal groups to claim exclusive rights to their homelands under the Land Rights Act 1976. Since then the community has lodged a number of claims to exclusive ownership of land, sea banks and seagrass beds in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria. For an overview to the recent history of Yanyuwa people and their country, see R Baker, Land Is Life: From Bush to Town—The Story of the Yanyuwa People, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1999. 23 See Rose, op. cit. 24 J Bradley, Yanyuwa Country: The Yanyuwa People of Borroloola Tell the History of Their Land, Greenhouse Publications, Melbourne, 1988, p 15. 25 ‘Manangoora’ is the English spelling given to the Yanyuwa place name of Manankurra. 26 This statement comes from Garrwa elder Dinny McDinny Nyilba. 27 The Yanyuwa dictionary was compiled over several decades, in association with Yanyuwa families, linguist Jean Kirton and anthropologist John Bradley (J Bradley with J Kirton and the Yanyuwa Community, Yanyuwa Wuka: Language from Yanyuwa Country, a Yanyuwa Dictionary and Cultural Resource, unpublished document, 1992). The compilation of the Yanyuwa visual atlas was also coordinated by John Bradley, Yanyuwa families and Nona Cameron (Yanyuwa Families, J Bradley & N Cameron, Forget About Flinders: A Yanyuwa Atlas of the Southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, private publication, Brisbane, 2003). Land claim evidence has been recorded by John Avery and Dehne McLaughlin (J Avery & D McLaughlin, Submission by Northern Land Council to the Aboriginal Land Commissioner on the Borroloola Region Land Claim, 27 September 1977, Northern Land Council, Darwin, 1977), and John Bradley (J Bradley, Warnarrwarnarr-Barranyi (Borroloola 2) Land Claim, Anthropologist’s report on behalf of the claimants, Northern Land Council, Darwin, 1992. Documentaries filmed with Yanyuwa community members have included: Two Laws: Kanyamarda Yuwa, Borroloola

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Community in conjunction with C Strachan & A Cavadini, 1981; Li-Anthawirriyarra: The People of the Sea, Aboriginal Sacred Sites Authority, 1985; Journey East/Buwarrala Akarriya, Marndaa Productions in association with the Yanyuwa community, Producer D Sonnenberg & J Wositzky, 1989; and The Aeroplane Dance: Ka-wayawayama, Film Australia in conjunction with SBS, Director T Graham, 1994. The Yanyuwa Community Diwurruwurru—Message Stick website, developed in association with Francis Devlin-Glass of Deakin University, is available at <http://www.deakin.edu.au/arts/diwurruwurru>. These young people are trained as members of the Li-anthawirriyarra Sea Ranger Unit, in association with Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Association. See UNESCO, op. cit. The Yanyuwa community is just one of numerous Indigneous communities in Australia activating the means to record and manage cultural information and to maintain the transmission of distinct cultural knowledge. In addition, there are between 5,000 and 8,000 internationally unrecognised nations of the Fourth World that pre-date and continue to resist the spread of the modern state. At the same time, some 168 international states continue to occupy, suppress and exploit many of these nations. It is in this context that information, ideas and resistance strategies are developing and being shared across Indigenous nations via mail, telephone, fax, internet and computer bulletin boards. B Neitschmann. ‘The Fourth World: nation versus states’, in G Demko & W Wood (eds), Reordering the World: Geopolitical Perspectives on the Twenty-First Century, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1994, pp 225–42. See U Bulag, op. cit. Looking ‘blak’ in anger: Indigenous Australian photographic art in intercultural contact zones Elisabeth Gigler 1 The term ‘blak’ was coined by Destiny Deacon and was first used in her series Blak lik mi (1991) and stands for a ‘contextualised, specifically Australian, Indigenous Blackness’; See Sylvia Kleinert & Margo Neale (eds), The Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2000, p 571. Marcia Langton and Eleonore Wildburger have elaborated on the concept of intercultural, intersubjective contact zones. See Marcia Langton, ‘Well, I heard it on the radio and I saw it on the television …’: an essay for the Australian Film Commission on the politics and the aesthetics of filmmaking by and about Aboriginal people and things, Australian Film Commission, Sydney, 1993; Eleonore Wildburger, Politics, Power and Poetry: An Intercultural Perspective on Aboriginal Identity, Stauffenburg Verlag, Tübingen, 2003. Austin Harrington, Art and Social Theory, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2004, p 3. Eleonore Wildburger, ‘Indigenous Australian art: big business or a question of identity?’, forthcoming article, 2006. Anne Maxwell, Colonial Photography and Exhibitions: Representations of the ‘Native’ People and the Making of European Identities, Leicester University Press, London, 1999, p ix. Robert Manne, In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right, Black Inc Publishing, Melbourne, 2001, p 2. See Robert Manne, ‘The stolen generations’, in Michelle Grattan (ed.), Essays on Australian Reconciliation, Bookman Press, Melbourne, 2000, p 13. Destiny Deacon, interview at a lecture at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2003, and a panel discussion at Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 2004, quoted in Destiny Deacon—Walk and Don’t Look Blak, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2004, p 18. See Kleinert & Neale (eds), op. cit. Langton quoted in Kleinert & Neale (eds), op. cit. This term refers to the predominant representation of Indigenous Australians in mass media as problematic, as a source of troubles and as a threat to white society. I relate to the context of this term as described by Steve Mickler, 1998, quoted in Oxenham et al., A Dialogue On Indigenous Identity: Warts ‘n’ All, Curtin Indigenous Research Centre, Gunada Press, Perth, 1999, p 149. Kleinert & Neale (eds), op. cit. See, for example, Victoria Haskins, ‘“Could you see the return of my daughter”: fathers and daughters under the New South Wales Aboriginal Protection Board Child Removal Policy’,

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Australian Historical Studies, no 34, April 2003, pp 106–21; Victoria Haskins, ‘“A better chance”?—sexual abuse and the apprenticeship of Aboriginal girls under the NSW Aboriginal Protection Board’, Aboriginal History, issue 28, 2004, pp 33–58. The title of Deacon’s work also refers to the powerful documentary Lousy Little Sixpence (1983) directed by Alec Morgan and Gerry Bostock, on the stolen generations, land rights and selfdetermination. Quoted in Virginia Fraser, ‘Destiny’s dollys’, Photofile, no 40, November 1993, p 9. Russell Meares, ‘The metaphor of play’, Jason Aronson Inc, USA, 1993, in Destiny Deacon— Walk and Don’t Look Blak, op. cit., p 18. ‘Black velvet’ was a common historically used term referring to Indigenous Australian women as sexual partners of white men. Jennifer A Martinello, ‘Text and transposition: Aboriginality, representation and reappropriation’, in James N Brown & Patricia M Sant (eds), Indigeneity: Construction and Representation, 1999, p 160. Susan Sontag, On Photography, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd, Toronto, 1978, p 23. Stuart Hall & Mark Sealy, Different. A Historical Context. Contemporary Photographers and Black Identity, London, 2001, p 36. See, for instance, Stuart Hall (ed.), Representation: Cultural Representation and Signifying Practices, SAGE Publications, London, 1997; Stuart Hall, ‘Cultural identity and diaspora 1990’, in Nicolas Mirzoeff (ed.), Diaspora and Visual Culture. Representing Africans and Jews, Routledge, New York, 2000, pp 21–33. See Kitty Zijlmans, ‘Die Welt im Blickfeld. Unterwegs zu einer global orientierten Kunstgeschichte’, in Volkenandt, op. cit., pp 243–59. See Geraldo Mosquera, ‘Das Marco-Polo-Syndrom’, in exhibition catalogne, Havanna / Sao Paolo, 1995, p 37, Junge Kunst aus Lateinamerika. Haus der Kulturen der Welt / Berlin, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst / Aachen, Fundaçao Bienal de Sao Paulo, Berlin, 1995, pp 34–9. Toni Schirato & Jen Webb, Reading the Visual, Allen & Unwin, NSW, 2004, p 2. Victoria D Alexander, Sociology of the Arts: Exploring Fine and Popular Forms, Blackwell Publishing, Cornwall, 2003, p 181. Roland Barthes, ‘The death of the author’, Image Music Text, Fontana Press, London, 1969, p 148. See Alexander, op. cit., p 258. Barthes, op. cit., pp 146, 148. See Michael Foucault, ‘What is an author?’, in Josue V Harari (ed.), Textual Strategies: Perspectives in Post-Structuralist Criticism, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1979, pp 141–60. See Langton, op. cit.; Wildburger, op. cit. Langton, op. cit., p 81. See Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1999, pp 13, 41. George Orwell, 1954, p 197, quoted in Lynnette Russell, Savage Imaginings: Historical and Contemporary Constructions of Australian Aboriginalities, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2001, p 92. With the term ‘Indigenous Australian art’ my intention is not to impose a generic label on Indigenous Australian cultural production. I acknowledge the universal and global references of their artworks. However, the intention of the article is to focus on artworks that evidently deal with specific issues of Australian colonial history and its aftermath, which are a central topic in many artworks, predominantly by Indigenous Australian artists. John R Gillis (ed.), Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1994, p 20. ‘China China’: autoethnography and Ah Xian’s porcelain forms Marita Bullock Thanks to Brigitta Olubas and Elizabeth McMahon for critical feedback on this work in its early form as a PhD chapter. 1 Other Chinese-Australian artists include Shen Jiawei, Guan Wei, Li Bao Hua, Wang Zhi Yan and

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Guo Jian. In the introduction to his exhibition catalogue, China China (The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, 2000), Xian raises the question of how to negotiate a Chinese culture that is being devalued from within (7), and whilst this does imply a sense of protectiveness towards Chinese traditions, Xian also cautions against a reactionary resistance to Western global technologies and art forms and the ‘narrow national essentialism’ this implies (8). Rey Chow discusses the essentialist presumptions that limit many forms of anti-Orientalist critique, in Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography and Contemporary Chinese Culture, Columbia University Press, Columbia, 1995, pp 38, 43, 176–82. The validation of Chinese nativist values is the defining aspect of Chinese communism since 1911, however Australia is not immune to this nationalistic fervour either. Since its colonisation, Australian has defined Asia as the ‘Other’, and has vigilantly repelled its intrusions into the symbolic and political space. This dynamic reached a new fervour with the election of the Howard coalition government in 1996; since his term as prime minister began, John Howard has remained unequivocal in his declaration that Australia is not part of Asia, and he has issued some of the most severe and restrictive policies to date, some of which are mandatory detention, the Border Protection Act and the Pacific Solution, which proposed to remove asylum seekers from Australian soil and to deport them to Nauru, the Cocos Islands and Ashmore Reef. For a detailed analysis of the nationalistic rhetoric in Australia, see the following texts: Ghassan Hage, ‘Polluting memories: migration and colonial responsibility in Australia’, in Meaghan Morris & Brett de Bary (eds), Race, Panic and the Memory of Migration, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, 2001, pp 333–62; Anthony Burke, In Fear of Security: Australia’s Invasion Anxiety, Pluto Press, New South Wales, 2001; David Walker, Anxious Nation: Australia and the Rise of Asia, 1850–1939, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1999; Peter Mare, Borderline: Australia’s Treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2001. Rey Chow, Ethics After Idealism: Theory—Culture—Ethnicity—Reading, Indiana University Press, Indiana , 1998, p 27. Hal Foster, The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1996, p 165. ibid. Foster cites Fred Wilson’s site-specific project ‘Mining the Museum’ as exemplary of the ethnographic turn. Wilson entered the Maryland Historical society as an ethnographer/archaeological investigator and reconfigured the various African-American histories that are often deemed lost, repressed or otherwise displaced. For a collection of essays on the topic of the ethnographic turn in art, see Alex Coles, Site Specificity: The Ethnographic Turn, Black Dog Publishing, London, 2000. Foster, op. cit., pp 199–202. ibid., pp 191, 196–7. Foster argues that art practices that borrow from ethnographic methodologies often tend to assume that the ‘Other’ has special access to primary psychic and social processes from which the hegemony is somehow blocked, and, in doing so, they often resuscitate the reductive primitive urge played out in many Modernist art projects (1996, pp 178–182, 197). Miwon Kwon also critiques the capitalist interests underpinning site-specific art projects that are associated with the turn toward ethnography in art. She argues that despite the underlying assumption that site-specific practices have liberated art from its Eurocentric bias of art historical presence, site specific art practices often relocate the ideals of originality and authenticity associated with the symbolic presence of the art work to the place of its presentation. Sitespecificity retains the Eurocentric bias of culture in the way it affirms a sense of particularity and identity within the circuits of niche marketability and product differentiation. See One Place After Another: Site Specific Art and Locational Identity, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2002, pp 54–5. Matthew Rampley, in Alex Coles (ed.), ‘Anthropology at the origins of art history’, Site Specificity: The Ethnographic Turn, Black Dog Publishing, London, 2000, pp 138–63. For a detailed discussion of some of the limitations of contemporary artists’ turn to ethnographic fieldwork, see Miwon Kwon’s essay ‘Experience vs interpretation: traces of ethnography in the work of Lan Tuazon and Nikki S Lee’, Site Specificity: The Ethnographic Turn, ibid., pp 74–91. Many of the references to Xian’s work occur in newspapers, and they tend to be brief overviews

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of Xian’s personal history and discuss his status as an emerging artist in Australia. See Holland Cotter, ‘China refigured’, New York Times, 8 November 2002, p 37; Benjamin Genocchio, ‘Blooming lotus strides ahead’, Weekend Australian, 8–9 December 2001, p 21; Bruce James, ‘When heavy metal carries no weight’, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 December 2001, p 15; and John McDonald, ‘The cultural revolution: the revitalisation of contemporary Australian art by post–Tiananmen Square massacre Chinese exiles’, The Australian Financial Review Magazine, December 2002, p 18. Some of the more detailed accounts of his ‘China China’ series are to be found in art journals, but these analyses also tend to be brief, or tend to discuss his work in relation to other emerging artists. See Roni Feinstein’s ‘A journey to China’, Art in America, February 2002, pp 108–13; Linda Jaivan, ‘Ah Xian, recent works in porcelain’, Art Asia Pacific, vol 1, no 33, 2003, pp 28–30; Jeremy Eccles, ‘Turn your head to the shore’, Art Monthly Australia, vol 3, no 141, 2001, pp 24–5; Claire Roberts, ‘Fishes and dragons: the China China series of works in porcelain by Ah Xian’, China China, exhibition catalogue, The Powerhouse Museum, 2000, pp 12–17; Rhana Devenport, ‘Ah Xian’s ‘China, China’: journey as a counter world’, 8 Triennale Kleinplastik Fellbach, 2001, pp 32–5; and ‘Facimile and the impossibility of perfection: Ah Xian’s China China’, Object, no 2, 2000, pp 50–4. Some of the recent exhibitions are the third ‘Asia Pacific Triennial’, September 1999 – January 2000; the ‘Above and Beyond’ exhibition (1997), the ‘National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition’ (2001), and ‘In and Out—Contemporary Chinese Art from China and Australia’ (1997–2000). See Madeleine O’Dea’s article ‘Local heroes’, VIVE: Ansett Australia Magazine, 16, Spring 2000, p 212. Melissa Chiu discusses the exhibitions ‘Out of Australia’ (which toured Sydney and Canberra in 1990); the last three ‘Asia–Pacific Triennials’ (QAG, Brisbane, 1993–1999); ‘Here Not There’ (IMA, Brisbane, 1993); ‘Above and Beyond’ (toured nationally in 1996); and ‘Transit’ (AGNSW, 1998). See her article ‘The transcultural dilemma: Asian Australian artists in the Asia debate’, in Helen Gilbert, Tseen Khoo & Jacqueline Lo (eds), Diaspora: Negotiating Asian Australia, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2000, pp 27–43; and ‘Asian Australian artists—cultural shifts in Australia’, Art and Australia, vol 2, no 37, 1999–2000, pp 252–61. This climate of fear created around the refugee was made manifest by the Tampa crises (August 2001), which involved the government’s manipulation of the media coverage of the arrival of a boat of ‘illegal immigrants’ on Australian shores, in order to win support for its policy of mandatory detention. The government fabricated the event by accusing a number of refugees of throwing their children overboard as a form of blackmail. See Mungo MacCallum, Girt By Sea, Australia, the Refugees and the Politics of Fear, Black Inc, Melbourne, 2001; David Marr & Maria Wilkinson, Dark Victory, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2003; Jacqueline Lo, Tseen Khoo & Helen Gilbert, Diaspora: Negotiating Asian Australia, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2000. The proliferation of exhibitions devoted to the analysis of Asian–Australian relations throughout the 1990s is testament to this. See Melissa Chiu’s articles for more details, ibid. See Anne Maria Nicholson’s interview, ‘Work of Chinese-born artist wins praise’, transcript, 7:30 Report, 27 December 2001, accessed 7 August 2003, <http:www.abc.net.au/7:30/s448527.htm> Chow, op. cit., p 27. ibid. See Jeremy Eccles, ‘Turn your head to the shore’, Art Monthly Australia, vol 3, no 141, 2001, pp 24–5. See Roberts, op. cit., pp 13–14. For a discussion of the way in which the display of Chinese antiquities in British museums played an instrumental part in Europe’s solidification of its stereotypes of Chinese national identity, see Craig Clunas, ‘Oriental antiquities/Far Eastern art’, in Tani E Barlow (ed.), Formations of Modernity in East Asia, Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 1992, pp 413–46. Xian’s dialogue is cited in Roberts, op. cit., pp 13–14. Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture, Routledge, London, 1994, p 74. Anne Maxwell, Colonial Photography and Exhibitions: Representations of the ‘Native’ and the Making of European Identities, Leicester University Press, London, 1999, p 59. ibid., pp 60–4. See Carl A Trocki, Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy: A Study of the Asian

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Opium Trade, Routledge, London, 1999. 32 Chow refers to the genre of films produced by the directors Chen Kaige, Tian Zhuangzuong and Zhang Yimou. However, she argues that this obsession with the primitive is a tendency that sutures China’s cultural production at large. She is particularly interested in the spate of films produced during the 1990s that marked a return to ancient aesthetics and arcane Confucianist philosophies associated with the starkness and bruteness of nature, as well as the presence of the ‘folk’, rural life, and oppressed women. See Rey Chow, Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography and Contemporary Chinese Culture, Columbia University Press, Columbia, 1995, pp 35–7. 33 Hannah Arendt (ed.), Harry Zohn (trans.)‘The task of the translator: an introduction to the translation of Baudelaire’s Tableaux Parisiens’, Illuminations, Fontana Press, London, 1992, pp 70–82. 34 Chow, op. cit., pp 35–7. 35 ‘The task of the translator’, quoted in Primitive Passions, p 185. 36 Chow, op. cit., p 185. 37 See Paul de Man’s essay ‘“Conclusions” on Walter Benjamin’s “The task of the translator”’, William D Jevett (trans.), Yale French Studies, no 69, 1985, pp 25–46. 38 Chow, op. cit., p 187. 39 ibid., p 188. 40 ibid. 41 ibid., p 186. 42 ibid., p 187. 43 ibid., p 80. 44 Benjamin, quoted in Primitive Passions, p 185. 45 Chow, op. cit., 180. 46 ibid. 47 ibid., pp 180–1. 48 ibid. 49 ibid., pp 198–9. 50 ibid., p 201. 51 ibid. 52 Chow argues that the nativist values in contemporary China are often deployed under the political rhetoric of ‘the people’. She argues that, since the rise of the Communist Party in 1911, the rhetoric of ‘the people’ has long been invested with an organicism that purportedly stands in resistance to the Confucian class hierarchy, and, more recently, the imperialism of capitalism represented by the United States and Western Europe. See Chow’s essay ‘We endure, therefore we are’, Ethics After Idealism, pp 115–16. 53 Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (trans.), Harvard University Press, Harvard, 2002, p 486. Representation, the photograph and the performativity of the pose Hamish Morgan I would like to thank Mark Galiford and, especially, Stephen Pritchard and Liz Reed for their contributions to this article. 1 2 Whilst there was a core group of people who stayed at Ululla most of the time, there were also lots of people who would frequently come and go. I use ‘we’ a great deal in this paper, athough ultimately there is no way to justify its use in an essay that is very much a personal response to an experience. The use of ‘we’ does provide a certain relief from the abstract and objectifying language of ‘the subject’. It is also an attempt to elicit the reader’s own experience of performing for others in those ungainly moments in front of the address of the camera. The use of ‘we’ is, of course, never innocent and it can not be used without the shadow of its essentialising, universalising and arrogant usage contaminating its use here. Nevertheless I will ask the reader for leniency in its use. The conception of the ‘other’ that this essay explores is not that of Aboriginal people being the other of ‘white’ Australia. The ‘other’ within this essay is the philosophical other—the other that is any other person. The context of living in an Aboriginal community made me more sentient

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to the role of the other in the subject’s signification. Perhaps it was the fact that I am a nonIndigenous other, a whitefella who is a certain type of other, who represents a certain history, that made me more sentient to the way Indigenous others interpolated me. This awkwardness stems from the gap between the idea I have of myself (formed by a certain historical experience) and the idea others have of me (formed by a certain historical experience). Perhaps it was this that made me vulnerable and sensitive to being seen as part of a history that was not my ‘own’. An other amongst others, yet we both bore the marks of others before us. This use of the concept of ‘another amongst others’ is an attempt to flesh out the vulnerabilities, dependencies and sensitivities of subject generation and the responsibilities the self has to others, and this may require a certain de-politicisation and de-historisation of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relationships. However, I stand firm that the risk is generative. Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida (trans.), Richard Howard, Vintage, London, 1981, p 8. ibid., p 14. ibid., pp 11–12. ibid., p 14. It is worth noting Derrida’s comment on the multiplicity and duplicity of an ‘event’: ‘an event since its singularity, from the word go, is doubled, multiplied, divided, and discounted, immediately concealing itself in an unintelligible “double bottom” of non-presence, at the very moment it seems to produce itself, that is to say, to present itself’. Jacques Derrida, Barbara Johnson (trans.), Dissemination, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1981, p 292. Thus photographs are never ‘events’ that ‘capture’, they capture nothing but the unity of iteration, the duplicity of repetition, a moment of performance. Barthes, op. cit., p 6. Barthes argues that ‘it is not impossible to perceive the photographic signifier (certain professionals do so), but it requires a secondary action of knowledge or of reflection’ (Camera Lucida, p 6). Although not impossible, it is certainly not obvious; it is the elliptical (a marked absence) nature of photography that makes it appear as ‘real’, that makes it difficult to focus on. Susan Sontag, On Photography, Penguin, Ringwood, 1979, p 154. Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, Brian Massumi (trans.), A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, The Athlone Press, London, 1988, p 10. Peggy Phelan, Unmarked: The Politics of Performance, Routledge, London, 1993, p 10. Pierre Bourdieu, Luc Boltanski et al. (trans.), Photography: A Middle-brow Art, Shaun Whiteside, Polity, Cambridge, 1990, p 83, my emphasis. Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. The rock holes are a particularly spectacular part of semi-desert/desert country. Rock hole country is made up of eroded rock of a beautiful burnt orange colour, and is similar to a small escarpment. The rock holes are usually no more than ten metres above the surrounding county. Although not very high, you can see for miles from the top. They are deep holes in the rock surface that hold water after rain. Whilst there is no permanent water on Ululla, there is one rock hole, where the photo was taken, that would hold water for a few months after decent rains. The place where David Gulpilil’s character attempts to drown Gary Sweet’s character in a rock pool in the movie The Tracker is not dissimilar to the rock hole country where the photo was taken. Emmanuel Levinas, Alphonso Lingis (trans.), Otherwise Than Being Or Beyond Essence, Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh, 1998, p 50. Alphonso Lingis, ‘Translator’s introduction’, Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence, pp xvii–xlv, xxii. Judith Butler (while drawing more on Foucault than Levinas) argues that subjectivity is possible because an agent is ‘subjected’ to power, which is both forming and inhibiting. Butler writes that subjection is a ‘power exerted on a subject, subjection is nevertheless a power assumed by the subject, an assumption that constitutes the instruments of that subject’s becoming’. Thus, agency can be located as a productive expression of this ambivalence, of the productive and constituting subjection to power. The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection, Stanford University Press, California, 1997, p 11. Levinas, op. cit., p 53. Lingis, op. cit., p xxx. Levinas, op. cit., p 126. ibid., p 117.

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24 25 26 27 28 29 ibid., pp 126–7. Alphonso Lingis, Phenomological Explanations, M Nijhoff, Hingham, 1986, p 59. Lingis, ‘Translator’s introduction’, op. cit., p xviii. Derrida, op. cit., p 158. ibid., p 297. In Barthes, op. cit., pp 26–7, Barthes describes the ‘punctum’ as the
element which rises from the scene, shoots out like an arrow, and pierces me … this prick, this mark made by a pointed instrument … it also refers to the notion of punctuation, and because the photographs I am speaking of are in effect punctuated, sometimes even speckled with these sensitive points; precisely, these marks, these wounds are so many points.

The punctum is the point that turns over in the mind. It is also the element that exposes: ‘to give examples of punctum is’, Barthes notes, ‘in a certain fashion, to give myself up’ (p 43). The punctum comes to disrupt, and by this disruption it constitutes thought and agency. Colonists in southern Western Australia and the picturesque: a mode of viewing or a political tool? Jane Davis 1 This article is part of a larger work in progress that focusses on colonists in southern Western Australia and their relationship with the environment. Due to limited space, this paper considers only women colonists, whereas my broader study also includes men. With respect to discussions concerning the picturesque and the colonists, my arguments apply equally to women and men. A ‘Claude glass’ is a convex tilted mirror through which the tourist viewed landscapes. It gave the view through the glass a blue tint and framed the scene, in an attempt to imitate the landscape paintings of Claude Lorrain. For further discussion of these ideas, see Keith Thomas, Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England 1500–1800, Allen Lane, London, 1983, pp 264–301. The ways in which the colonists viewed the landscape have been the focus of much scholarship. For example, see R L Heathcote, ‘The visions of Australia 1770–1970’, in A Rappaport (ed.), Australia as Human Setting, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1972, pp 77–98; R L Heathcote, ‘Early European perceptions of the Australian landscape: the first hundred years’, in George Seddon & Maris Davis (eds), Man and Landscape in Australia, Australia Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1976, pp 29–46; J M Powell, Environmental Management in Australia 1788–1914, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1976; J M Powell, Mirrors of the New World, Archon Books, Hamden, Connecticut, 1977; Kevin Frawley, ‘Evolving visions: environmental management and nature conservation in Australia’, in Stephen Dovers (ed.), Australian Environmental History, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1984, pp 55–78. Elizabeth Bohls, Women Travel Writers and Language of Aesthetics 1716–1818, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995; Indira Ghose & Sara Mills, Introduction, in Indira Ghose & Sara Mills (eds), Fanny Parkes, Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2001; Paul Carter, The Road to Botany Bay: An Essay in Spatial History, Faber & Faber Ltd, London, 1987; Simon Ryan, The Cartographic Eye, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996; Paul Miller, in Jennifer McDonell & Michael Deves (eds), ‘Monotony and the picturesque: landscape in three Australian travel narratives of the 1830s’, Land and Identity: Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference of Association for the Study of Australian Literature, Association for the Study of Australian Literature, Armidale, NSW, 1997. There is a plethora of sources on romanticism. For a general introduction to this movement, see, for example, Iain McCalman (ed.), The Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age: British Culture 1776–1832, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999. There is also a useful introduction in David Pepper, The Roots of Modern Environmentalism, Routledge, London, 1989, pp 76–81. Edmund Burke, Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, first published in 1757, discussed in Christopher Hussey, The Picturesque: Studies in a Point of View, G P Putnam’s Sons, London, 1927, pp 12–13. William Gilpin’s first tour book was published in 1782, but his clearest ideas on what constituted picturesque scenes were published in 1792, as Three Essays: On Picturesque Beauty; On Picturesque Travel; and On Sketching Landscape, London, 1792. These works are discussed

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further in Malcolm Andrews, The Search for the Picturesque, Scolar, Aldershot, 1989, pp 56–8. 9 ibid., p 56; Hussey, op. cit., p 14. 10 Hussey, op. cit., p 2. 11 Uvedale Price, Essays on the Picturesque, 1794; Richard Payne Knight, Analytical Inquiry into the Principles of Taste, 1805, discussed in Hussey, op. cit., pp 13, 16; Anne Birmingham, Landscape and Ideology: The English Rustic Tradition, 1740–1860, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1986, pp 66–71. 12 Andrew Hemmingway, Landscape Imagery and Urban Culture in Early Nineteenth Century Britain, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992, p 68. 13 Hussey, op. cit., p 66. 14 Birmingham, op. cit., p 70; Hussey, op. cit., p 69. 15 Hemmingway, op. cit., p 21. 16 Bohls, loc. cit. 17 ibid., p 97. 18 Fanny Parkes, Indira Ghose & Sara Mills (eds), Wanderings of Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2001. 19 ibid., pp 7–8. 20 ibid., pp 9–10. 21 ibid., p 8. 22 Carter, op. cit., chap 8. 23 Ryan, loc. cit. 24 ibid., p 54. 25 Miller, op. cit., p 53. 26 For more information on the settlement of the Avon Valley, see Donald S Garden, Northam: An Avon Valley History, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1979. 27 Eliza Brown, letter to William Bussey, Grassdale, 3/7/1841, Peter Cowan (ed.), A Faithful Picture; the Letters of Eliza and Thomas Brown at York in the Swan River Colony 1841–1852, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Fremantle, 1977, p 23. 28 Eliza Brown, ‘Narrative of a journey from York to Champion Bay, in the colony of Western Australia, during the months of May and June, 1851’, ibid., p 149–50. 29 Mrs Edward Millett, An Australian Parsonage, or the Settler and the Savage in Western Australia, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, facsimilie edition, 1980 (first published in London, 1872), p 267. 30 ibid., p 268. 31 ibid., p 47. 32 ibid., p 21. 33 ibid., p 96. 34 For more biographical information on Louisa Clifton, see George Russo, A Friend Indeed: Louisa Clifton of Australind WA, Vanguard Press, Perth, 1995. 35 Barbara Chapman, The Colonial Eye, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, 1979, p 113. 36 Louisa Clifton, Diary, BL, MN 1294, ACC 398A, 29/5/1841 37 ibid., 5/4/1841. 38 ibid., 18/5/1841. 39 Hemmingway, op. cit., pp 21, 68. Climate change messages and strategies by Australian NGOs Nina Hall and Cassandra Star 1 2 M Giugni, Introduction, in M Giugni, D McAdam & C Tilly (eds), How Social Movements Matter, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1999, pp xxii, xv. See J Dryzek, D Downes, C Hunold, D Schlosberg & H-K Hernes, Green States and Social Movements: Environmentalism in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Norway, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003; D McEachern, ‘Environmental policy in Australia 1981–91: a form of corporatism?’, Australian Journal of Public Administration 52, no 2, 1993, pp 173–86; T Princen & M Finger, Environmental NGOs in World Politics: Linking the Local and the Global, Routledge, London, 1994. D Worth, ‘The WA forest conflict: the construction of the political effectiveness of advocacy

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organisations’, Grit, Journal of Australian Studies, no 78, 2003, pp 83–103. T J Doyle, Environmental Movements in Minority and Majority Worlds: A Global Perspective, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2005. Giugni, op. cit., p xxi. For example, see J Whelan & K Lyons ‘Community engagement or community action: choosing not to play the game’, Environmental Politics, vol 14, no 5, 2005, pp 596–610. Doyle, op.cit., pp 4–6. ibid. See V Minichiello, ‘In-depth interviewing’, in V Minichiello, R Timetell & L Alexander (eds), In-Depth Interviewing: Researching People, Longman Cheshire, Melbourne, 1990, p 158; G McCracken, The Long Interview, Sage, London, 1998; S Reinharz, Feminist Methods in Social Research, Oxford University Press, New York, 1992. IPCC, Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report, Summary for Policymakers of the Third Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva, 2001, p 5. DPMC, Securing Australia’s Energy Future, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra, 2004, p 23, accessed 15 September 2005, <www.dpmc.gov.au/energy_future>. ibid., p 24. A Kent & D Mercer, ‘Australia’s mandatory renewable energy target (MRET): an assessment’, Energy Policy (in press, corrected proof, available online), 14 November 2004, p 2. AGO, The National Greenhouse Strategy: Strategic Framework for Advancing Australia’s Greenhouse Response, Australian Greenhouse Office, Canberra, 1998, p viii. DPMC, op. cit., p 24. DPMC, op. cit., p 1. Kent & Mercer, op. cit. ibid. ACF, ‘Asia Pacific Partnership: a missed opportunity to deliver CO2 cuts’, Media Release, Australian Conservation Foundation, 12 January 2006, accessed 25 January 2006, <www.acfonline.org.au>; WWF, ‘AP6 locks world in to four degrees global warming’, Media Release, WWF Australia, 12 January 2006, accessed 25 January 2006, <www.wwf.org.au>. CANA 2005d. Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth (Australia), personal communication, 19 November 2004. Walker, op. cit. Anna Reynolds, WWF Australia, personal communication, 2 December 2004. Based on Erwin Jackson, Australian Conservation Foundation, personal communication, 10 November 2005; J Mishael, Australian Conservation Foundation, personal communication, 3 November 2005; Geoff Evans, Mineral Policy Institute, personal communication, 20 October 2005; Danny Kennedy, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, personal communication, 25 October 2005; Stephanie Long, Friends of the Earth, personal communication, 20 October 2005; Anna Reynolds, WWF Australia, personal communication, 8 November 2005; Julie-Anne Richards, Climate Action Network Australia, personal communication, 17 October 2005; Steve Phillips, Rising Tide, personal communication, 17 October 2005. Richards, 2005, op. cit. Evans, op. cit. Phillips, op. cit. Long, op. cit. Walker, 2004, op.cit. Reynolds, 2004, op. cit. Erwin Jackson, ‘The environment movement on climate change’, Proceedings of the Climate Action Network Australia Annual Conference: Dangerous Climate Change—Together We Can Stop It, Melbourne, 29–30 September 2005. Confidential(c) 2005. See M Sawer & B Hindess (eds), Us and Them: Anti-Elitism in Australia, API Network, Perth, 2004. Walker, 2004, op.cit. Julie-Anne Richards, CANA, personal communication, 1 December 2004. DEC, Who Cares about the Environment in 2003? A Survey of NSW People’s Environmental

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Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Sydney, 2003, p 22. Colmar Brunton Social Research and Redsuit Advertising, Community Perceptions of Climate Change: A Report on Benchmark Research, Australian Greenhouse Office, Canberra, 2003, pp 6–7. ibid., C Riedy, ‘The Eye of the Storm: An Integral Perspective on Sustainable Development and Climate Change Response’, PhD Thesis, University of Technology Sydney, 2005, p 158. CBSR and RA, op. cit., p 6. DEC, op. cit., p 49. CBSR and RA, op. cit., p 9. ibid., p 7. ABS, 4602.0 Environmental Issues: People’s Views and Practices, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, 2005. S Maddison & S Scalmer, Activist Wisdom: Practical Knowledge and Creative Tension in the Life of Social Movements, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2005, p 46. NGO campaigner ‘Anon. 1’, personal communication, 8 December 2004. Media journalist ‘Anon. 1’, personal communication, 18 October 2005. See W Kininmonth, ‘A change in the weather is no reason to get steamed up over gases’, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 September 2005; B Carter, ‘All the signs of full-blown mother earthism’, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 2005. Media journalist ‘Anon. 2’, personal communication, 7 November 2005. Stephanie Peatling, Sydney Morning Herald, personal communication, 18 October 2005. Media journalist ‘Anon. 1’, op. cit. Media journalist ‘Anon. 2’, op. cit. Peatling, op. cit. Reynolds, 2005, op. cit. Richards, 2005, op. cit. Phillips, op. cit. Kim Yeadon, NSW Member of Parliament, personal communication, 24 October 2005. ibid. Political staffer ‘Anon. 1’, personal communication, 16 November 2005. Richards, 2005, op. cit. Evans, op. cit. Erwin Jackson, personal communication, op. cit. Mishael, op. cit. NGO campaigner ‘Anon. 1’, op.cit. John Daley, Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, personal communication, 7 November 2005. Fiona Nicholls, Rio Tinto, personal communication, 13 December 2005. Stuart Ritchie, Cement Industry Federation, personal communication, 25 October 2005. Industry staffer ‘Anon. 1’, personal communication, 10 November 2005. Greg Bourne, Worldwide Fund for Nature Australia, personal communication, 4 January 2006. Ritchie, op. cit. Nicholls, op. cit. Industry staffer ‘Anon. 2’, personal communication, 15 December 2005. Daley, op. cit. Industry staffer ‘Anon. 1’, op. cit. Burt Beasley, Tarong Energy, personal communication, 19 December 2005. Richards, 2005, op. cit. Evans, op. cit. Anna Reynolds, Worldwide Fund for Nature, personal communication, 8 November 2005. Policy officer ‘Anon. 1’, personal communication, 15 October 2005. Policy officer ‘Anon. 4’, personal communication, 12 December 2005. Michael Hitchens, Economist, personal communication, 24 October 2005. Policy officer ‘Anon. 4’, op. cit. Policy officer ‘Anon. 3’, personal communication, 7 November 2005.

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Policy officer ‘Anon. 1’, op. cit. Hitchens, op. cit. Barrie Pittock, climate scientist, personal communication, 24 December 2005. Policy officer ‘Anon. 2’, personal communication, 15 October 2005. Nicholls, op. cit. See P Bridgman & G Davis, The Australian Policy Handbook, 3rd edn, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2004. 90 C Gough & S Shackley, ‘The respectable politics of climate change: the epistemic communities and NGOs’, International Affairs 77, no 2, 2001, p 329. 91 Reynolds, 2004, op. cit. 92 See R D Herman & D O Renz, ‘More theses on nonprofit organizational effectiveness: results and conclusions from a panel study’, Proceedings from the International Society for Third Sector Research Sixth International Conference, Toronto, Canada, 11–14 July 2004; B Moyer, Doing Democracy: The Map Model for Organizing Social Movements, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, Canada, 2001; P D Schumaker, ‘Policy responsiveness to protest-group demands’, Journal of Politics, no 37, 1975, pp 488–521. Water myths and water reforms Kirsten Henderson 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 D Ingle-Smith, Water in Australia. Resources and Management, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998, p 294. W R D Sewell, D I Smith, & J W Handmer, ‘From myths to reality: the evolution of Australian water planning’, in J W Handmer (ed.), Water Planning in Australia. From Myths to Reality, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, ANU, Canberra, 1985 pp 233–6. L Godden, ‘Perception of water in Australian law: Re-examining rights and responsibilities’, in Water—the Australian Dilemma. Symposium of the Australian Academy of Technical Science and Engineering, Canberra, 2003, p 2, <www.atse.org.au>. Victorian Parliamentary Papers, vol 3, No 74, 1882–83 Supply of Water to the Northern Plains; A Deakin, First Progress Report: Irrigation in Western America, John Ferres, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1885. B R Davidson, Australia Wet or Dry?, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969, pp 52–3; Ingle-Smith, op. cit., p 151. Ingle-Smith, ibid., p 153. J M Powell, Watering the Garden State. Water, Land and Community in Victoria 1834–1988, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1989, p 114. J Williams, ‘Can we myth-proof Australia?’, Australiasian Science January/February 2003, pp 40–2; A Wahlquist, ‘The West’s water war’, The Australian, 4 February 2005. I R Tyrrell, True Gardens of the Gods: Californian–Australian Environmental Reform, 1860–1930, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1999, p 103. P Sinclair, ‘Making the Deserts Bloom: Attitudes Towards Water and Nature in the Victorian Irrigation Debate 1880–1890’, MA thesis, University of Melbourne, 1994, p 54. Ingle-Smith, op.cit., p 150–2; Tyrrell op. cit., p 136. Sinclair, op. cit., p 62; M Bellanta, Irrigation Millenium: Science, Religion and the New Garden of Eden, 2002, accessed 27 April 2005, <www.arts.monash.edu.au/eras>. Sewell, Smith & Handmer, op. cit., pp 233–6. Ingle-Smith, op. cit., p 163. P Sinclair, The Murray. A River and its People, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2001, p 44. ibid. P Macnaghton & J Urry, Contested Natures, Sage publications, London, 1998, p 14. D Edman, S Deveruex, C Tedeschi & F Walsh, Juggling Time. How Australian Families Use Time, Office of the Status of Women, Department of Premier and Cabinet, 1991, p 13; Australian Bureau of Statistics, How Australians Use Their Time Cat. No. 4153.0, Canberra, 1997, pp 4–5. <www.nwc.gov.au>, accessed 14 February 2006. Australian Academy of Technological Sciences, Water In The Australian Economy, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and The Institution of Engineers, Melbourne, 1999, p 68; S Keyworth, ‘Murray Darling Basin water management’, in Australian Society for Viticulture 84 85 86 87 88 89

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and Veneology Proceedings, Mildura, Victoria, 2002, pp 1–5; Australian Bureau of Statistics, Year Book Australia, ABS catalogue no 1301.0, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2003, p 494; R Sproull & S Lewis, ‘Murray water cuts to cost 900 Jobs’, The Australian, accessed 11 October 2004, <www.theaustraliannews.com.au>. Australian Bureau of Statistics, loc. cit.; National Land and Water Resources Audit, Australian Water Resources Assessment 2000. Surface Water and Groundwater—Availability and Quality, National Land and Water Resources Audit, Canberra, 2001; N Schofield, A Burt, & D Connell, Environmental Water Allocation: Principles, Policies and Practices, Land & Water Australia, Canberra, ACT, 2003. Ingle-Smith, op. cit., p 269–73. Commonwealth Government, ‘Ecologically sustainable development: a Commonwealth discussion paper’, Australian Government Printing Service, Canberra, 1990. Independent Committee of Inquiry into Competition Policy in Australia, National Competition Policy, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1993. G Anderson & R Glindemann, ‘Focus: water—June 2004’, Allens Arthur Robinson, 2004, accessed 27 January 2005, <www.aar.com.au>. Commonwealth Government, op. cit. J Dryzek, The Politics of the Earth, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997, p 61. Godden, op. cit., p 6. Macnaghton & Urry, op. cit., p 213 ; Sinclair, The Murray, op. cit. p 44; V Strang, The Meaning of Water, Berg Publishers, Oxford, 2004. T Fullerton, Watershed, ABC Books, Sydney, 2001, p 159; A Watson, ‘Approaches to increasing river flows’, The Australian Economic Review, vol 36, no 2, 2003, p 221. Godden, op. cit., p 5. D Rose, ‘Fresh water rights and biophilia: Indigenous Australian perspectives’, Dialogue, vol 23, no 3, 2004, p 35. Devaluing refugees and refugee activists Andrew Herd 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Brian Martin, Iraq Attack Backfire, 2004, accessed 30 December 2004, <http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin>. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘United Nations Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees [1967]’, 1996, <http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/publ> For a review of these debates, see Klaus Newmann, Refuge Australia: Australia’s Humanitarian Record, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2004. Tony Kevin, A Certain Maritime Incident, Scribe, Melbourne, 2004, p 82. ibid., p 96. ibid., p iii. Select Committee on a Certain Maritime Incident, ‘Report into a Certain Maritime Incident’, 2002, p 27, Section 196, Migration Act (Cwlth), 1958. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Face the Facts: Questions and Answers about Refugees, Migrants and Indigenous People, p 8, 2003, accessed 18 October 2004, <http://www.humanrights.gov.au/racial_discrimination/face_facts>. Mungo MacCallum, ‘Girt by sea: Australia, the refugees and the politics of fear’, Quarterly Essay, vol 5, 2002, p 43. See Robert Manne, ‘Howard moves forward—by retreating’, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 October 2001, p 16, Phillip Ruddock, ‘When refugees jump the queue’, Daily Telegraph, 13 June 2001, p 28. Mary Crock & Ben Saul, Future Seekers: Refugees and the Law in Australia, The Federation Press, Sydney, 2002, p 35. Lindsay Murdoch et al., ‘Despair drove us, say refugees’, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 October 2001, p 1. Crock & Saul, op. cit., p xv. Cited in ibid., p 4. MacCallum, ‘Girt by sea’, op. cit., p 43.

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17 David Marr & Marian Wilkinson, Dark Victory, 2nd edn, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2004, p 194. 18 Peter Reith, Transcript of Interview with Derryn Hinch, 13 September 2001, accessed 2 June 2005, <http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/ReithSpeechtpl.cfm?CurrentId=999>. 19 Dennis Atkins, ‘PM links terror to asylum seekers’, Courier Mail, 7 November 2001, p 1. 20 Marr & Wilkinson, op. cit., p 370. 21 John Howard, in Michael Leach, ‘“Disturbing practices”: dehumanizing asylum seekers in the refugee “crisis” in Australia, 2001–2002’, Refuge, vol 21, no 3, 2003, p 27. 22 Aziz Choudry, Playing With Children’s Lives A Tried and Tested Tactic for Australian Government, 31 March 2002, accessed 22 January 2005, <http://www.zmag.org/Sustainers/Content/2002-03/31choudry.cfm>. 23 Select Committee on a Certain Maritime Incident, ‘Report into a Certain Maritime Incident’, p 24 24 Andrew West, ‘Asylum-seeker teenagers join lip sewing protest’, Sun Herald, 20 January 2002, p 7. 25 Leach, op. cit., p 29. 26 Anna Trembath & Damian Grenfell, ‘No horizons: Baxter and beyond: where now for the refugee movement?’, Arena Magazine, vol 65, 2003, p 9. 27 For a review of this incident, see Brian Martin & Iain Murray, ‘The Parkin backfire’, Social Alternatives, vol 24, no 3, 2005, pp 46–9. 28 Tony Kevin, ‘SIEV X: an author’s postscript’, Overland, vol 181, 2005, pp 107–8. 29 ibid., p 108. 30 Andrea Maksimovic, ‘Beyond north and south: Woomera 2002’, Arena Magazine, vol 59, 2002, p 12. 31 Julie-Anne Davies, ‘Elite warfare’, The Age, 19 January 2002, p 1. 32 See <www.tonykevin.com> for a list of articles and presentations by Tony Kevin. 33 Kevin, A Certain Maritime Incident, op. cit., p 19. 34 For example, see Jo Coghlan, ‘In their voice—experiences of Australia’s mandatory detention policies’, in Jo Coghlan, John Minns & Andrew Wells (eds), Seeking Refuge: Asylum Seekers and Politics in a Globalising World, University of Wollongong Press, Wollongong, 2005, pp 81–96. 35 Don Greenlees, ‘I have lost everything’—Mother grieves for three girls—353 ASYLUMSEEKERS DROWN’, The Australian, 24 October 2001, p 1. 36 Peter Mares, Borderline: Australia’s Response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Wake of the Tampa, 2nd edn, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2002, p 202 37 MacCallum, ‘Girt by sea’, op. cit., p 43. Protest from the fringe: opposing Australia’s education aid reform Eugene Sebastian 1 2 3 4 The author would like to acknowledge the comments given by Dr Rodney Smith. Thanks also to Leslie Williams and Dr Melissa Butcher for comments on earlier drafts. Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, The Jackson Report on Australia’s Overseas Aid Program, The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1985. See Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, The Emergence of Entrepreneurial Public Universities in Australia, IMHE General Conference of the OECD Paris, September, 2000. Fifteen years after the implementation of the full-fee program, the export education services sector surpassed the value of the country’s traditional export performer, wheat. The industry, which is now referred to as the international education industry, grew by 16 percent, to attract 185,000 international students. This is well in excess of the overall growth of its competitors, the United States (5 percent) and the United Kingdom (2 percent). In 2001, the sector generated AUD$3.7 billion, with the largest proportion of overseas tertiary students per head of university student population (14.3 percent) of any of the major providers of international education in the world. In 2004 the total value of Australia’s education exports reached AUD$5.059 billion. See Australia Education International, Report to Industry, January–June 2001; and IDP Education Export Statistics <http://www.idp.com/research/statistics/article403.asp>.

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5 6 The Colombo Plan meeting took place in the capital of Ceylon, Colombo, 9–14 January 1950. Participating Commonwealth members were the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, India, Pakistan and Ceylon. Daniel Oakman, Facing Asia: A History of the Colombo Plan, Pandanus Books, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, 2004, p 179, cites Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, Census of the Commonwealth of Australia, 30 June 1954, vol 8, pp 22–3, 30; June 1961, vol 8, p 27; and ‘Review of Australian External Aid: Assessment of Colombo Plan Training, Doc. AR/51’, 16 December 1964, A1838, 2020/1/24/23, NAA. Colombo Plan Council, Technical Cooperation Under the Colombo Plan—Report by the Colombo Plan Council for Technical Cooperation in South and South East Asia, 1 July 1964 to 30 June 1965, Ceylon, Colombo Plan Bureau, Government Press, 1965; Colombo Plan Bureau, Report of the Consultative Committee of Economic Development in South and South-East Asia; Fourteenth Annual Report of the Consultative Committee, Karachi, November 1966, London, HMSO, 1967; cited by Daniel Oakman, 2004, p 82. Hans de Wit (ed.), Strategies for Internationalization of Higher Education. A Comparative Study of Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States of America, European Association of International Education, Amsterdam, 1995, p 123. ibid. See H Hudson, Overseas Student Policy in Australia, 1980–1990, a report prepared for the Industry Commission, 1991. See Committee of Review of Private Overseas Student Policy, Mutual Advantage: Report of the Committee of Review of Private Overseas Student Policy, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1984. Sir Gordon Jackson served as director, member of the Board of Management and chairman of various companies and organisations, including Rothmans Holdings Limited, CSR, Australian Industry Development Corporation, United Technologies Corporation, The Foundation for Development Corporation, Sydney Hospital Foundation for Research, Australian National University, Order of Australia Association, Police Board of New South Wales and the Salvation Army. Australian Financial Review, 5 February 1985 OSCAFF, ‘OSCAFF Activities: 1985–86’, Melbourne, OSCAFF, 1986. Unpublished documents. The Star, Malaysia, 7 March 1985. OSCAFF, Stop Fee Increases for Overseas Students, Melbourne, 1985, p 1. The Star, Malaysia, 5 March 1985. Sydney Morning Herald, 5 March, 1985. ibid. News release, Senator Susan Ryan, Minister for Education, New Policy on Overseas Students, 22 March 1985. ‘OSCAFF Activities: 1985–86’, op. cit. M D Cross & B C Humphreys, Petition: Visa Charges for Overseas Students, House of Representative, Parliament of Australia, 1985, p 1645. Steven Gan, press release, UNSW Day of Mourning, NSWOSC, the New South Wales Collective, 23 April 1985. Pang Hai Long, NSWOSC press release, Overseas Students Department, Students’ Union, University of New South Wales, 1985. ibid. NSWOSC, Results of a survey of private overseas students studying in educational institutions in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1985, p 2. Adam Rorris, press release, University of Sydney Student Representative Council, 18 March 1985. Financial Review, 9 September 1985. ibid. W W Onn, N K Peng & P Subramaniam, Report of the Overseas Students Campaign Against Full Fees (OSCAFF) to the National Overseas Students Conference, Sydney, 13–17 May 1985, p 2

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31 ibid., p 3. 32 Peter Subramaniam, preamble to structure, OSCAFF, Melbourne, 1986, p 8. 33 See G Yau, History of the Overseas Students Movement, International Students Handbook, UNSW International Students Department, Student Guild, Sydney, 1994. 34 See Graham Hastings, It Can’t Happen Here: A Political History of Australian Student Activism, The Students Association of Flinders University, Adelaide, 2002. 35 Pang Hai Long, op. cit. 36 ibid. 37 Hastings, op. cit. 38 Steven Gan, press release, NSWOSC, 22 May 1985. 39 ibid. 40 OSCAFF, 1985, Campaign Package for Campuses in Victoria, ‘OSCAFF Activities: 1985–86’, op. cit., p 3. 41 The lobby team was composed of eleven overseas students and three members of the National Union of Students. The delegation included Ng Kong Peng and S Subramaniam from Monash University; Raj Kannan, K K Ng, K E Cheng and K T Lim from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; Sayed Khayum, Mark Randell and ‘Tiny’ from Warnambool; and L L Chua, D Atkin, Evan Thornley and Peter Subramaniam from the University of Melbourne, OSCAFF Campaign 1985 End of Year Report, OSCAFF Activities Report, Melbourne, 1985. 42 Senator Macklin, Democrat spokesperson on Education, was overseas at the time. 43 Senator Don Chipp, Correspondence, G D Mackay, Canberra, Parliament of Australia, The Senate, 1985. 44 G Clayton, Analysis of a Survey of Overseas Students Relating to the Introduction of Full Fees Recovery, Statistical Consulting Centre, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1985. 45 Peter Shack, Parliamentary Debate, Overseas Students Charge Amendment Bill, 20 November 1985, p 3249. 46 OSCAFF Campaign, End of Year Report, OSCAFF Activities Report, Melbourne, 1985. 47 ibid. 48 ibid. 49 Peter Subramaniam, OSCAFF Campaign 1985, End of Year Report, OSCAFF, Melbourne, 1985. 50 ibid. 51 ‘OSCAFF Report: 1985–86’, Melbourne. 52 ibid 53 Peter Shack, Overseas Students Charge Amendment Bill 1985, House Hansard, 20 November 1985, p 3249. 54 Peter Milton, Overseas Students Charge Amendment Bill 1985, House Hansard, 20 November 1985, p 3259. 55 Temporary residents include tourists, guest workers, expatriates and refugees. Speech act theory, maledictive force and vilification in Australia Nicole Asquith The findings reported in this article were developed from data provided by the NSW AntiDiscrimination Board, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Lesbian and Gay AntiViolence Project. Without the support and assistance from staff members and elected representatives of these organisations, this research would never have been possible. Further, I am grateful to Ms Sonya Stanford for her insights and comments on earlier drafts of this paper. 1 For a full discussion of Millian free speech theory, see H L Gates, Jr, A P Griffin, D E Lively, R C Post, W B Rubenstein & N Strossen (eds), Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex, New York University Press, New York, 1994; S J Heyman (ed.), Hate Speech and the Constitution, Garland Publishing, New York, 1996; D S Allen and R Jensen (eds), Freeing the First Amendment: Critical Perspectives on Freedom of Expression, New York University Press, New York, 1995; C L Ten, Mill on Liberty, Oxford University Press, New York, 1980. In this paper, as with my dissertation, I have made a break with traditional analyses of violence against gay men, lesbians and Jews, particularly in relation to the terms used to define ‘mere words’. In the construction of ‘hate speech’ (and, of course, in the deployment of speech act

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theory), most analyses gloss over the fact that these practices include spoken and written forms of hatred. To remedy the shortcomings of the term ‘hate speech’, I have resurrected the term ‘malediction’, for its verbal and textual properties and for its stronger meaning: ‘the utterance of a curse, the condition of being reviled, and an evil intention or deed’. Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2002. K Gelber, Speaking Back: The Free Speech Versus Hate Speech Debate, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 2002 J Butler, Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performance, Routledge, New York, 1997. N L Asquith, ‘Text and Context of Malediction: A Study of Antisemitic and Heterosexist Hate Violence in New South Wales (1995–2000)’, PhD Thesis, University of Melbourne, 2004, p 408. The claims and recommendations made in this paper are based upon a quantitative and textual analysis of 1227 complaints of antisemitic and heterosexist hate violence (Tracking Violence), discrimination and vilification lodged with the Lesbian and Gay Anti-Violence Project (AVP), the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and the New South Wales AntiDiscrimination Board (ADB) between January 1995 and December 1999. This initial research has been enhanced by the textual analysis of 173 articles relating to the Cronulla riots, published in Australian newspapers between 10 December 2005 and 19 January 2006. C MacKinnon, ‘Not a moral issue’, in K J Maschke (ed.), Pornography, Sex Work, and Hate Speech, Garland Publishing Inc, New York, 1997. M Matsuda, C R Lawrence, R Delgado & K Williams Crenshaw (eds), Words that Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech and the First Amendment, Westview Press, Boulder, San Francisco, 1993. J L Austin, How to Do Things with Words, Oxford University Press, London, 1980, p 109. ibid., p 163. ibid., p 153. ibid. ibid., p 155. R Langton, ‘Speech acts and unspeakable acts’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol 22, no 4, 1994, p 305. See, for example, Gelber, op. cit.; Butler, op. cit.; Gates et al., op. cit.; S J Heyman (ed.), Hate Speech and the Constitution, Garland Publishing, New York, 1996; and D S Allen & R Jensen (eds), Freeing the First Amendment: Critical Perspectives on Freedom of Expression, New York University Press, New York, 1995. Langton, op. cit., p 325. ibid., p 328. ibid., p 307. ibid., p 314. ibid. S Brison, ‘Trauma narratives and the remaking of the self’, in M Bal, J Crewe & L Spitzer (eds), Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present, University Press of New England, Hanover, 1999, p 42. Culbertson, 1995, p 174 cited in ibid., p 42. Langton, op. cit., p 315. Austin, op. cit., p 101. Langton, op. cit., p 315. ibid. Butler, op. cit. ibid., p 161. ibid., p 50. ibid. ibid., p 157. ibid., p 161. ibid. P Bourdieu, in J B Thompson (ed.), Language and Symbolic Power, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1991, p 111. Langton, op. cit., pp 298–9. In the analysis of complaints lodged by gay men and lesbians to the Lesbian & Gay Anti-

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Violence Project, only 17 per cent of complainants indicated that they felt capable of responding to their perpetrator or of fighting back. Harou-Sourdon v TCN Channel Nine, EOC 92–604, 1994 cited in L McNamara, Regulating Racism: Racial Vilification Laws in Australia, Sydney Institute of Criminology, Sydney, 2002, p 186. R Takach, ‘Gay and lesbian inequality: the anti-vilification measures’, Australasian Gay and Lesbian Law Journal, vol 4, 1994, p 41. Gelber, op. cit., p 25. McNamara, op. cit., p 175. Gelber, op. cit., p 24. Bourdieu, op. cit., p 239. A case for suppression: an examination of the Russian Workers’ Association in World War I era censors’ reports Louise Curtis The author acknowledges her doctoral supervisors Prof Wayne Hudson and Dr Belinda McKay for their help and input. She also thanks the referees of this article for their critical reading and valuable suggestions for improvements. 1 2 The term ‘Russian’ in this article refers to the State rather than to an ethnicity. The Russian Empire was highly multi-ethnic, and the Russians arriving in Brisbane were representative of this diversity. Raymond Evans, Loyalty and Disloyalty: Social Conflict on the Queensland Homefront, 1914–1918, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1987; The Red Flag Riots: A Study of Intolerance, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1988; ‘“Agitation, ceaseless agitation”: Russian radicals in Australia and the Red Flag Riots’, in John McNair & Thomas Poole (eds), Russia and the Fifth Continent: Aspects of Russian-Australian Relations, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1992, pp 126–71. Boris Christa, ‘Russians’, in James Jupp (ed.), The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of the Nation, its People and their Origins, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001, pp 636–42. Poole & Eric Fried, ‘Artem: a Bolshevik in Brisbane’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol 31, no 1, 1985, pp 243–54; McNair & Poole (eds), op. cit.; Fried, ‘Russians in Queensland, 1886–1925’, BA Hons thesis, University of Queensland, 1980; Fried, ‘Sergeyev’ and ‘Simonoff’ in Geoffrey Serle (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol 11, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1988. Elena Govor, Australia in the Russian Mirror: Changing Perceptions 1770–1919, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1997; Russian Anzacs in Australian History, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2005. See also ‘Malen’kaia Sibir’ na Plato Aterton [Little Siberia on the Atherton Tablelands]’, Avstraliada, vols 20–21, 1999, pp 5–9, 10–13, 21; My Dark Brother: The story of the Illins, a Russian-Aboriginal family, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2000. Kevin Windle, ‘Round the world for the revolution: a Bolshevik agent’s mission to Australia, 1920–22, and his interrogation by Scotland Yard’, Revolutionary Russia, vol 17, no 2, December 2004, pp 90–118; ‘“The Achilles heel of British imperialism”: A Comintern agent reports on his mission to Australia 1920–1922’, Australian Slavonic and East European Studies, vol 18, nos 1–2, 2004, pp 143–76. See also ‘“Unmajestic bombast”: The Brisbane Union of Russian Workers as shown in a 1919 play by Herman Bykov’, Australian Slavonic and East European Studies, vol 19, nos 1–2, 2005, pp 29–51. Frank Cain, The Origins of Political Surveillance in Australia, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1983; ‘Political surveillance in Australia 1916–1983: administrative aspects’, in J J Eddy & J R Nethercote (eds), From Colony to Coloniser: Studies in Australian Adminstrative History, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, 1987, pp 168–81, 270. See also ‘The industrial workers of the world: aspects of its suppression in Australia, 1916–1919’, Labour History, vol 42, 1982, pp 54–62; The Wobblies at War: A history of the IWW and the Great War in Australia, Spectrum, Melbourne, 1993. Kevin Fewster, Expression and Suppression: Aspects of Military Censorship in Australia during

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the Great War, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1980; ‘The operation of state apparatuses in times of crisis: censorship and conscription, 1916’, War and Society, vol 3, no 1, 1985, pp 37–54. C D Coulthard-Clark, The Citizen General Staff: The Australian Intelligence Corps 1907–1914, Military Historical Society of Australia, Canberra, 1976. John Hilvert, Blue Pencil Warriors: Censorship and Propaganda in World War II, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1984. One or two Russians even entered Queensland by showing theatre programs in lieu of identity papers—the programs were dutifully processed by Brisbane officials. Solomon Stedman, ‘From Russia to Brisbane, 1913’, Journal and Proceedings of the Australian Jewish Historical Society, vol 9, 1959, p 22; Christa, op. cit., p 637. Fried, ‘The first consul: Peter Simonoff and the formation of the Australian Communist Party’, in McNair & Poole (eds), op. cit., p 111. Charles Price, ‘Russians in Australia: a demographic survey’, in McNair & Poole (eds), op. cit., p 67–70. Evans, The Red Flag Riots, op. cit., p 28; Evans, Loyalty and Disloyalty, op. cit., pp 114–15. Ekho Avstralii [Echo of Australia], 1912; Izvestia Soyuza Russkikh Emigrantov [Bulletin of the Union of Russian Emigrants], 1914–1916; Rabochaya Zhizn [Workers’ Life], 1916–1917; Znanie i Edinenie 1918, in English as Knowledge and Unity 1918–1921. Other related newspapers include Deviatyi Val [The Ninth Wave] and Nabat [The Alarm Bell]. See Fried, ‘Russians in Queensland’ and the Poole-Fried Collection, Fryer Library, University of Queensland. L G Kalinin, President to Russian Consulate, Brisbane, 8 February 1911, PRV10729-1-86, Queensland State Archives. Robert Murray, Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919–1920, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1964, p 38. Sally Miller, The Radical Immigrant, Twayne, New York, 1974, p 120. P O’Hara, Criminal Investigation Branch, Queensland Police to Department of External Affairs, 13 February 1913, A1/1, 15/11795, National Archives of Australia (NAA). Detective-Sergeant O’Hara specialised in local Russian affairs, and consulted with members of federal intelligence organisations, such as G F Ainsworth, Special Intelligence Bureau Chief in Brisbane. See BP230/3, 1–3, NAA. Peters, Customs House, Brisbane to Atlee Hunt, Secretary, Department of External Affairs, 9 August 1913, A1/1, 15/11795, NAA. O’Hara, loc. cit. Chief Secretary’s Office, Brisbane to Prime Minister, 18 August 1913, A1/1, 15/11795, NAA. Joseph Cook, Department of the Prime Minister to the Premier of Queensland, 27 November 1913, A1/1, 15/11795, NAA. War Precautions, Commonwealth Acts, vol XIII, p 12. Initially the fight for Australians was against German colonial outposts at Samoa, Nauru and New Guinea, as well as the German East Asia Squadron. War Precautions, op. cit., p 169. This is the evocative title of a pamphlet by Dash: Queer Queensland: The Breeding Ground of the Bolshevik, Brisbane, 1918. The author of this publication is Captain G M Dash, the Organising Secretary of the Queensland Recruiting Committee, as well as the Commonwealth War Loan Publicity Officer. Evans, ‘The battles of Brisbane: The conscription struggle 1916–17’, Brisbane at War, Brisbane History Group, Papers no 4, 1986, p 12. Censors’ Notes, QF2294, MF1741 and MF2454, BP4/2, NAA. All subsequent references to Censors’ Notes will only specify the item number and series. MF2568, BP4/2. MF2568, MF1546 MF2493 and MF2492, BP4/2 and RE1238, MP95/1. See Salary Registers, First World War, 1st Military District, BP147/1, NAA. QF2433, BP4/2. For a thorough investigation of intelligence organisations and their staff in Australia, see Fewster, Expression and Suppression, and Cain, The Origins of Political Surveillance.

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36 Language specialist and later Professor of English at the University of Queensland, Stable was a formidable opponent of disloyal elements during his time as censor. He served again in World War II. 37 Cain, The Origins of Political Surveillance, op. cit., pp ix, 106. 38 This article is based on selected weekly reports from the First Military District (1MD) in Brisbane, 2MD in Sydney and 3MD in Melbourne. 39 QF2294, BP4/2. 40 The censors did not detail the identity or connections of Bolshevik Artem (Sergeyev) in their notes to his letters. It is the case that Sergeyev departed Australia in 1917 when the censors’ reports were less detailed than towards the end of the war, and it is likely that he wrote in English, yet the lack of censors’ comments on his letters in 1918 is noticeable. See Q2851 and QS12, BP4/2. 41 Govor, Russian Anzacs, op. cit., p 186. 42 QF2877, BP4/2. 43 M Procharoff, Peeramon to A Zuzenko, Brisbane, 28 November 1918, QF2558, BP4/2. 44 QF4331, BP4/2. 45 RE1017, MP95/1. 46 QF4343, BP4/2. 47 RE1099, MP95/1. 48 QF2877, BP4/2. 49 QF4420, BP4/2. 50 QF2312, BP4/2. 51 QF4328, BP4/2. 52 MF2495, BP4/2. 53 MF2871 and QF2347, BP4/2. 54 MF2667, BP4/2. 55 Q2835-41, BP4/2. See Fried, ‘The first consul’, op. cit. 56 MF1280 and MF1967, BP4/2 and RE1313, MP95/1. 57 P Simonoff, Brisbane to Russian Association, Melbourne, 5 September 1918, MF1740A, BP4/2. 58 Henry Caplan, Halifax, to W Kaplan, Russia, 27 August 1918, RE1238, MP95/1. 59 A Zuzenko, Brisbane, to V Petruchenia, Melbourne, 4 February 1919, MF2581, BP4/2; Matulishenko [Zuzenko], Knowledge and Unity, issue 20, 27 November 1918. 60 P Mirkin, Sydney, to L Mirkin, Siberia, 9 April 1919, RE1724, MP95/1. 61 Papers from N Lagutin, late secretary of Russian Club, Box 6, BP4/1, 66/4/3557. Records of these searches and inventories of deportees’ property are held in NAA Brisbane office. 62 The Soviet Alliance, Brisbane, to Fedoroff, Sydney, 14 August 1919, RE1863, MP95/1. 63 QF1553 and MF2679, BP4/2. 64 MF1467 and MF2930, BP4/2. 65 It was felt that those of foreign extraction living in a British community ‘might have been expected to have imbibed some British principles—one of which is that it is contemptible for a dog to bite the hand that feeds it’. QF2254, BP4/2. 66 Robert Williams, ‘Russia as I saw it’, Knowledge and Unity, 4 September 1920, p 4. 67 Amanda Gordon, ‘The conservative press and the Russian revolution’, in Cameron Hazlehurst (ed.), Australian Conservatism: Essays in Twentieth Century Political History, Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1979, p 48. 68 Simonoff was instrumental in founding the Communist Party of Australia in 1920, and Zuzenko returned to Australia 1920–22. See Windle, ‘Round the world for the revolution’, and ‘A Troika of agitators’, op. cit. 69 Eric Fry (ed.), Rebels and Radicals, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1983, p x. The ‘liminal-norm’? A survey of recent media responses to Australian theatre Elissa Goodrich 1 2 Jon McKenzie, ‘The liminal norm’, in Henry Bial et al. (eds), The Performance Studies Reader, Routledge, New York, 2004, pp 26–32. Hannie Rayson’s Two Brothers was first performed in May 2005, by the Melbourne Theatre Company, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Bagryana Popov’s subclass 26a

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was first performed in February 2005, at 45 Downstairs in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria; Barrie Kosky’s Boulevard Delirium was first performed in Australia at the Malthouse Theatre in Southbank, Melbourne, Victoria. Arnold van Gennep, Monika B Vizedon & Gabrielle L Caffee (trans.), The Rites of Passage, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1960. ibid., p 18. This expression is taken from Edward Said, ‘Opponents, audiences, constituencies and community’, in Hal Foster (ed.), The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, Bay Press, Seattle, Washington, 1989, pp 135–59. Victor Turner, From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play, PAJ Publications, New York, 1982, pp 41–53. Victor Turner, The Anthropology of Performance, PAJ Publications, New York, 1987, p 81. subclass 26a, publicity postcard, Melbourne, 16–27 February 2005. See Canberra Times, 13 July 2005, Sun Herald, 8 May 2005, and Sydney Morning Herald, 14 May 2005. Canberra Times, 13 July 2005. Matthew Westwood, in The Australian, 28 March 2005. ibid. Sunday Herald, 13 February 2005 and Melbourne Times, 16 February 2005. The Age, 13 February 2005 and Sunday Herald, 13 February 2005. Herald Sun, 16 February 2005. Tom Hyland, in The Age, 16 April 2005. Herald Sun, 15 April 2005. ibid. Hyland, The Age [as previously cited] and Catherine Keenan, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 May 2005. Pierre Bourdieu, Richard Nice (trans.), Outline of a Theory of Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1977, pp 168, 170. ibid., see pp 164–71. Turner, Anthropolgy, op. cit., pp 74–5. Bourdieu,op. cit., pp 168, 170. Bagryana Popov, in Melbourne Times, 16 February 2005, The Age, 16 February, 2005 and Sunday Herald, 13 February 2005. Hannie Rayson, in The Age, 19 April 2005. ibid. Popov, in The Age, 16 February 2005. Turner, Anthropology, op. cit., p 74. ibid., pp 74–5. ibid., p 81. Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November 2005 and Herald Sun, 20 November 2005. The Age, 28 May 2005 and Herald Sun, 11 December 2005. Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2005 and Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November 2005. Sydney Morning Herald, 13 November 2005. Valerie Lawson, in The Age, 26 November 2005. Weekend Financial Review, 25–26 June 2005. Owen Richardson, in Sunday Age, 12 June 2005. The Age, 26 November 2005, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 December 2005 and Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November 2005. Barrie Kosky, in The Age, 28 May 2005. Gary Burchall, in The Age, 10 December 2005. To this we should also include Pierre Bourdieu’s ritual theories. Unsolicited manuscripts ‘unwelcome’: the commercial implications John Power 1 2 J Lee, ‘Publishers not making new authors’, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 May 2004. ‘Statistics on books & publishing’, Para Publishing, accessed 20 May 2005,

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<http://www.parapublishing.com>. J Sullivan, ‘What’s the story with Australian fiction?’, The Age, 14 August 2004. See <www.penguin.com.au>. See <www.hha.com.au>. Lee, op. cit. ‘Getting published’, The Writing Centre, accessed 15 May 2005, <http://www.allenandunwin.com/writing/publish.asp>. Transcript, ‘The fate of fiction’, Books & Writing, with Ramona Koval, Radio National, 28 November 2004. Interviewed by the writer, 31 May 2005. Interviewed by the writer, 25 May 2005. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005, 1371.0 Book Retailers, Australia, 2004. R Curtis, Beyond the Bestseller, New American Library, 1989, p 7. Interviewed by the writer, 4 April 2005, on condition of anonymity. Curtis, op. cit., p 154. Transcript, ‘The Fate of fiction’, Books & Writing, with Ramona Koval, Radio National, 28 November 2004. See <www.leseditionsdeminuit.fr>.

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Nicole Asquith received her PhD from the Key Centre for Women’s Health in Society, University of Melbourne, in December 2004. Since this time, she has been employed by the Department of Political Science, University of Melbourne, as a Lecturer of Sociology, and is the Senior Policy and Research Officer for the Australasian Police Multicultural Advisory Bureau. Marita Bullock was awarded her PhD (UNSW) on Walter Benjamin’s writings on trash in light of theories of modernity, postmodernity and contemporary Australian visual culture. She is currently transforming her thesis into a book and is employed as a full-time researcher on a project exploring literary obscenity and censorship in twentieth-century Australia (Macquarie University). Louise Curtis is a PhD candidate in the School of Arts, Media and Culture at Griffith University. Her thesis explores the surveillance and suppression of the Brisbane-based Russian Workers’ Association. Previously, she studied literature and history at the University of Queensland and has since worked as a secondary teacher in Australia and the UK. Louise tutored history in the School of Arts, Media and Culture and has completed research assistance work on several projects at Griffith University. She currently works as an Access Examiner at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra. Jane Davis is currently undertaking a PhD in the school of History at the University of Western Australia. The focus of her thesis concerns interactions between colonists in southern Western Australia and their environment and was inspired by her own response to this landscape Jason Ensor is a PhD candidate at the Australian Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology. His thesis concerns Australian literary history and print cultures, particularly the influences of British-led publishing practices on the production of the novel in Australia. Prior to commencing his PhD, Jason operated a successful software development company for five years which provided unique online business solutions for peak arts organisations in Queensland. This detour followed the completion of a masters thesis on secular and theological apocalypses in Australia before recently driving across the Nullabor and returning to his core interest in fiction publishing. Jason has also previously worked as production editor on several editions of JAS and the inaugural edition of New Talents in 2000. In his private time he edits ArtsNaked at <www.artsnaked.com>. Kate Foord teaches in literary studies at Deakin University and is currently writing a book on Lacanian ethics, Australian fiction and the contemporary relation of ‘white’ to Indigenous Australia. She is training as a Lacanian psychoanalyst with the Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis in Melbourne.

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Elisabeth Gigler is a PhD student at the Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt, Austria. She holds a MA degree in English/American Studies and Italian Studies from Karl-Franzens-University of Graz, Austria. Her MA thesis focused on ‘Contemporary Indigenous Australian Songs in Their Socio-political Context’. She is currently engaged in her PhD project dealing with art photography by a selection of Indigenous Australian artists, seeing the artworks as platforms of intercultural communication. Her areas of interest include visual arts and music as opportunity for entering into dialogues and exchange across cultures. Catie Gilchrist graduated from Glasgow University, Scotland, 1997 with a firstclass honours degree in European History. The following year she completed a Masters degree in Women’s History at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London. In 2004 she was awarded a PhD from the University of Sydney for her thesis, ‘Male Convict Sexuality in the Penal Colonies of Australia, 1820–1850’. This thesis received the 2005 commendation from the Australian Historical Association’s Searle Award which is a biennial award for best thesis written on Australian History. This is the seventh article to be published from Catie’s thesis. Her other academic interests include the history of sexuality, scandal, women and material culture in the eighteenth century and anything to do with colonialism and the British Empire. Elissa Goodrich is a Masters of Creative Arts by Research student at the University of Melbourne in History and Theatre Studies. Her thesis investigates ritual creation and subversion in physical theatre. Elissa is a Victorian College of the Arts graduate and a Melbourne-based freelance percussionist, composer and autonomous arts-maker working in contemporary physical theatre, art installation and music projects. Nina Hall is a PhD candidate analysing the obstacles and opportunities facing climate change campaigns by environmental non-government organisations in Australia. She is an environmental scientist and has combined her work in academia and local government with activism in environmental groups. Kirsten Henderson in a PhD student with the Sociology program of the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University. She lives and studies in Mildura, a rural city set on the banks of the River Murray in north-west Victoria, hence the inspiration for the topic of her thesis, ‘The Politics of Water in Australia’. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Deakin University (2003) and also a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Tasmania (1990). She has lived and worked in Japan, the United States, Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. Andrew Herd completed a Master of Arts (Research) at the University of Wollongong in 2006. His thesis was entitled ‘Refugees in the 2001 Australian Federal Election: An Analysis Using the Backfire Model’ and reviewed efforts by the Australian Government to suppress outrage in the community over their treatment of refugees during the children overboard and SIEV X incidents. In 2007 Andrew started his PhD at the Australian National University and has

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continued to explore government inhibition of outrage, focusing on the Pacific Solution and extraordinary rendition. Angela Hirst is an honorary research fellow in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at the University of Queensland. Her work uses Levinasian ethics to approach the particularly spatial issues surrounding urban food practices. Kathryn James completed a PhD in Literary Studies at Deakin University, Melbourne, in late 2005. Her thesis, entitled ‘Matilda’s Last Dance: Death, Gender, Sexuality and Australian Adolescent Literature’, examined various treatments and representations of death in a selection of contemporary texts aimed at adolescent readers. Kathryn has published articles in Papers: Explorations into Children’s Literature and Children’s Literature in Education. Her research interests are in the areas of transgressive and carnivalesque literature, visual texts, popular culture, gender theory, national identity, and cultural geography. A condensed version of this article was presented at the Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research (ACLAR) conference in July 2004. Amanda Kearney completed a PhD in 2005 at Melbourne University. Her work is inter-disciplinary, moving between anthropology, archaeology, and cultural geography to create a socially complicated approach to people’s relationships with place over time. This has been developed in working with Yanyuwa people, the Indigenous owners of land and sea in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Working with the young and old, she has documented the terms of engagement and experience that inform a uniquely Yanyuwa way of experiencing the land and seascapes. In 2005 Amanda held a research position at Kyoto University, investigating ongoing United States military occupations in Japan. She currently lectures on subjects of identity, gender and representation, and conducts research on Indigenous seascapes within the Centre for Indigenous Australian Studies at Monash University. Jessie Mitchell recently completed her doctoral thesis, ‘Flesh, Dreams and Spirit: Life on Aboriginal Mission Stations, 1825–1850’, for which she was awarded the 2006 Serle Prize by the Australian Historical Association. She has written and spoken on a range of topics connected to Indigenous–missionary relationships in the early nineteenth century, including issues of bodily ‘civilisation’, religious faith and the importance of land. Jessie is currently working on an ARC-funded project investigating the relationship between the rise of self-government movements in the Australian colonies and policy-making on Indigenous affairs in the mid-nineteenth century. Hamish Morgan is completing a PhD through the University of Technology Sydney. His thesis is a reflexive process that seeks to explore the notion of community in a cross-cultural frame by drawing upon post-structuralist philosophy, anthropology and in-community research (in a small Aboriginal community in central Western Australia).

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Geraldine Neal was formerly a solicitor in private practice for thirteen years and a Regional-Director of the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland. More recently, she was a part-time lecturer and course developer at Central Queensland University; a writer of post-graduate management materials for both Central Queensland and Deakin Universities (workplace discrimination, human resource management and conflict resolution); and a Mediator and workplace equity Consultant. She is a member of the Queensland Law Society’s Equalising Opportunities in the Law Committee and is currently working on a doctoral thesis that examines how solicitors articulate and manage their daily practice inside the Queensland legal profession. Iva Polak is a research fellow at the Australia Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, WA, and a PhD candidate at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. She is a teaching assistant at the English Department, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb and a research fellow on the project focusing on appropriation of Shakespeare’s texts in the local context. Iva has received MA Hons in comparative literature for her thesis on the development of Aboriginal literature in English, and currently performs doctoral research on magical realism in contemporary Aboriginal novels. Iva is a member of the Central European Association for Studies in Australia (EASA) and the Central European Association for Canadian Studies (CEACS), in addition to being on the editorial board of the Edupoint Journal for E-Learning technologies and a freelance translator of English, French and German. John Power is a full-time editor at Connection Magazines in Melbourne. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Philosophy and French from the University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Diploma in Publishing & Editing from Monash University. He recently completed his first work of fiction, a book of short stories, which is due to be published in late 2007. Elaine Rabbitt is the coordinator of Edith Cowan University’s School of Indigenous Australian Studies in Broome, Western Australia. She has spent many years working in the field of education and training. Elaine is a long-term resident of Broome and has experienced many changes to the town as it has developed. She has a keen interest in Broome’s history and has a vast collection of oral histories, photographs, and archival material collected over three decades. Eugene Sebastian is a part-time doctoral candidate at the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney. Eugene is currently responsible for developing international projects at the Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific (RIAP), University of Sydney. He has nearly ten years experience in implementing technical assistance projects for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UNICEF and AusAID. Eugene is also the chair of the Young Professionals Project <www.riap.usyd.edu.au/ypp>, a leadership and networking initiative for young professionals and scholars from corporate, government, non-government and education sectors.

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Cassandra Star is a Lecturer in Politics in the Faculty of Business, and a member of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments at the University of Southern Queensland. Her main research interests include the politics of climate change, both at the domestic and international levels, environmental issues within international relations theory, and the politics of higher education. Her current work focusses on understandings of social justice within international climate change debates. Susannah Thompson is a final year doctoral candidate in the Discipline of History at the University of Western Australia. Her research explores a group of Australian women’s experiences of stillbirth and neonatal death in the twentieth century. She is interested in the ways in which women have transgressed and defied cultural boundaries of ‘appropriate’ femininity. In her daily life, she is simultaneously inspired and distracted by her toddler and her husband, with whom she lives in Perth. Peter Van Der Merwe is completing his MA by research in the Department of English with Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. Peter’s academic interests include postcolonial theory and literature and theories of gender and sexuality. He has a particular interest in the inheritances of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century European theories of race and sexuality in colonial and postcolonial contexts. He was one of the editors of Antithesis in 2005 and has published short fiction in VoiceWorks, Muse and Incommunicado. Peter is also strongly involved in theatre and visual arts and recently returned from performing in Macbeth Rearisen at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He is currently collaborating in a work to be exhibited at the Midsumma Festival in Melbourne in early 2007. Peter tutors modern literature in the English Department at the University of Melbourne. Anne-Louise Willoughby has been a freelance journalist for the past 28 years and has worked as an editor for both Swan Publishing and Australian Consolidated Press; as a weekly columnist for News Limited; as a presenter for Channel 10; as a corporate publicist and as a copywriter for design agencies. Anne-Louise is currently in her third year of a BA degree at the University of Western Australia majoring in English and Italian. Anne-Louise’s area of interest is Creative Writing and the realm of fiction.

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