Invasion and Resistance: Aboriginal and Maori fighters take up arms against the British

by Karen Williams While little attention is paid to black and Asian prisoners transported during the colonisation of Australia, there is even less information about local Aboriginal people and the neighbouring Maori fighters who were exiled to or within Australia. Their exile happened as part of their wider experiences of organised resistance against colonisation and… Read More

Blackbirding: a story of forced labour in Australia

by Karen Williams  Sugar production is synonymous with forced labour and enslavement in the Caribbean and the Americas, and it is often associated with a high degree of exploitation. The production of the crop in Australia and the Pacific was no exception: and although it is not widely acknowledged, Australia’s sugar industry came about because… Read More

A queer history: South Africa’s KhoiKhoi in Australia

by Karen Williams The last man executed for sodomy in Australia in 1863 was an indigenous black South African soldier. He was one of hundreds of mainly African and Asian indigenous and enslaved people transported from Africa’s south and its surrounding islands to the new settlement in New South Wales and Tasmania. Also in Australia… Read More

Australia: Five men of African descent who have been forgotten from its history

Africa- of African descent: This article has changed the term “black” to “of African descent” after readers brought it to our attention that indigenous Australians refer to themselves as “black” within Australia. The modification was made to accommodate that information and to more accurately reflect the specific realities of Australia. Editorial note: The easy temptation… Read More

The African and Asian roots of White Australia

by Karen Williams I found the story of the Africans and Asians in Australia’s history as a loose thread, buried in a throwaway sentence about an enslaved South African woman, Rachel of the Cape1, who had been sentenced to seven years’ banishment from South Africa. She was convicted in a theft case in August 1830,… Read More

Koen West is the first Aboriginal superhero to emerge on our screens

by Suzy Wrong Cleverman is a superhero story, similar in style and format to many predecessors of the genre, but unique in its cultural context. Koen West is the first Aboriginal superhero to emerge on our screens, bringing along with him a wealth of tales and philosophies from Australia’s Indigenous communities. Conceptualised by Ryan Griffen,… Read More

#DontLetThemDrown: This is not a border enforcement issue, it’s a humanitarian crisis

by Kiri Kankhwende ‘Just over a month ago, 500 people drowned off the coast of Malta. As the International Organization for Migration describes, “two survivors reported that smugglers deliberately rammed and sunk their ship when migrants refused to board a less seaworthy vessel…there were only 11 identified survivors; witness reported that as many as 100… Read More