The Spectre of History and Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians


  • Sathyabhama Daly James Cook University



The Speccie Thawley Essay Prize had me thinking about a person or event that helped shape modern Australia. Much has been said about Gough Whitlam and his influence on Australian history. In the contemporary period North Queenslander Noel Pearson, an Indigenous leader, educator and activist has dominated debates in Australian society about Indigenous Rights, education and recognition. I wondered, however, if individuals alone can influence and shape a society, or whether it is the collective consciousness of the people of a country that impacts upon history. This essay therefore is a questioning of modern Australia’s perception as an egalitarian society, with its ethos of ‘A Fair Go for All’, and if it extends to Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders, the original inhabitants of Terra Australis? My thoughts have been provoked by the failure of successive governments to address the recognition of Indigenous and Torres Islander people in the Australian Constitution.




How to Cite

Daly, S. (2016). The Spectre of History and Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 15(1).