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Articles on Australian history

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Aboriginal elder Joy Murphy attending the unveiling of a mural painted by Indigenous people in prison, aiming to communicate a message of unity. JULIAN SMITH/AAP Image

The role of ‘re-storying’ in addressing over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Opportunities to give voice to Aboriginal people in prison have the potential to address the growing impacts of racism in the justice system in Australia.
A slide by Gordon H. Woodhouse to accompany a 1901 lecture by his father Clarence entitled ‘exploration and development of Australia’. State Library of Victoria

Friday essay: Our utopia … careful what you wish for

Exclusion has been central to utopian ideas of Australia since before Federation. It still lingers. To progress in this climate-challenged century, Australia’s foundational wrongs must be righted.
St Kitts-born Archibald Burt pictured beside sugar cane growing in his Perth garden in 1862. Burt, a former slave owner, became chief justice of Western Australia. State Library of Western Australia 6923B/182

Friday essay: beyond ‘statue shaming’ — grappling with Australia’s legacies of slavery

When Britain legislated to abolish slavery in 1833, some former slave owners moved to the Australasian colonies. New research traces this movement of people, money and ideologies.
Mrs Chan Harr, Marjorie Wong Yee, Annie Kwok, Norma Wong Yee, Ida Kwok, and Patty Wong Yee on their arrival in Sydney from Hong Kong on the SS Changte, 8 March 1938. ACP Magazines Ltd Photographic Archive, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales (ON 388/Box 043/Item 035)

‘Your government makes us go’: the hidden history of Chinese Australian women at a time of anti-Asian immigration laws

In 1901, there were almost 30,000 Chinese men in Australia but fewer than 500 women. Despite their small numbers, emerging research reveals surprising stories of Chinese Australian women’s lives.

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