Articles on Frontier Wars

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A picture of strength: lifelong activist Bonita Mabo OA in front of her portrait as a young woman, which features in her granddaughter Boneta-Marie Mabo’s first solo exhibition. Josef Ruckli, courtesy of the State Library of Queensland

Black Velvet: redefining and celebrating Indigenous Australian women in art

Boneta-Marie Mabo's art responds to a colonial past in which Aboriginal women were fetishised as "black velvet". But it also celebrates strong women, including her activist grandmother Bonita Mabo.
In some parts of Australia, cattle properties have been hand over to the traditional owners, but for others the return of their land seems further away than ever. AAP/Jordan Baker

Kidman’s sale marks second wave of South Australian colonisation

The company built by 'Cattle King' Sidney Kidman is for sale. He enjoyed good relations with the Indigenous inhabitants, but proper recognition of their rights to their land seems ever more elusive.
Aboriginal gargoyles are the Australian War Memorial’s only overt representation, albeit unintentional, of a violent history of colonisation. James Sinclair

Gargoyles and silence: ‘our story’ at the Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial promises to tell 'our story' about the nation's war experience – but it silences many stories about Australia's nationhood and glosses over Indigenous experience.
The Australian War Memorial recognises wars ranging from Afghanistan right back to pre-Federation conflicts, but not Australia’s first war. Alan Porritt/AAP

On Anzac Day, we remember the Great War but forget our first war

On Anzac Day, Australia remembers its war dead, with one tragic exception. Australia is apparently disinclined to acknowledge the fact or the importance of frontier conflicts. What’s the nexus between…
Nowhere was resistance to white colonisers greater than from Tasmanian Aborigines, but within a generation only a few had survived the Black War. Robert Dowling/National Gallery of Victoria

Tasmania’s Black War: a tragic case of lest we remember?

Tasmania’s Black War (1824-31) was the most intense frontier conflict in Australia’s history. It was a clash between the most culturally and technologically dissimilar humans to have ever come into contact…

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