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Articles on Australian history

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A Pacific island woman with a child planting sugar cane in a field, Bingara, Queensland, c 1897. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Friday essay: ‘I said no’ – Nie’s refusal and the troubling question of Pacific slavery in Australia

In 1881, a Pacific Islander woman brought here to work on a sugar cane plantation ran away. She was violently retrieved by her employer. Her story sheds moving light on a dark history of exploitation.
Eugene von Guérard, Mount Kosciusko, seen from the Victorian border (Mount Hope Ranges) 1866. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1870 Photo: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Mount Kosciuszko: how Australia’s highest peak came to be named for a freedom fighter against Russian aggression

Tadeusz Kościuszko was a revolutionary thinker who was Commander in Chief of the Polish-Lithuanian armed forces.
Police investigating the cold case murder of US man Scott Johnson, a suspected gay hate crime, at North Head, Manly, in 2020. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

‘Cold case’ gay murders: two books illuminate Australia’s dark history of police and military violence

Two books on historical gay hate crimes – the murder of George Duncan in Adelaide, 1972, and army officer Warwick Meale in Townsville, 1942 – aim to create positive change by revealing past injustice.

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