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Darwin-L Message Log 2:14 (October 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<2:14>From Boalch@ba1.curtin.edu.au  Sun Oct  3 16:55:47 1993

Date: Fri, 15 Oct 93 10:39:04 WST
From: Gregg=Boalch%IS=Staff%CURTIN@ba1.curtin.edu.au
Subject: Tasmanian
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Marc Picard wrote

>	One thing they might probably all agree on, however, is the fact that
>"the most horrifying example of genocide from anywhere in the world was
>surely Tasmania: the original population of three to five thousand - before
>the white invasion in 1803 - was halved each decade, partly by introduced
>diseases, partly by murder. Then in 1830 the 300 that remained were moved to
>an island in the Bass Straits. Separated from their homeland, numbers
>decreased even more rapidly - there were 45 left in 1847 and only 13 by
>1861; Truganini, the last full-blood Tasmanian, died in 1876" (Dixon, p. 78).

On a personal note, I'm glad he raises this point, as many Australians (in
this part of the country a majority if the recent surveys are to be believed)
have no real understanding of what was done to the indigenous peoples by the
English settlers.

The High Court has handed down a ruling (Mabo) recognising that Aboriginals
were in fact here prior to British settlement (up until now, Australia was
legally empty when Cook & Co arrived), and that the indigenous people have
rights to land occupied continuously by them since 1788.

In this part of Oz, the powers that be wish to reverse that ie deny rights
specifically to Aboriginals while guaranteeing the same rights to all other
groups. And in the Year of the Indigenous Peoples too !

Apologies for the inclusion of this "flame" on the list, but if it weren't
for the genocide (both physical and cultural) we would know so much more
about these people - be they Tasmanian, Nungar, Pitjunjarra, etc etc etc.
And in this part of Oz anyway the majority of Oz don't accept what happened
nor do they think it relevant - after all, they're only "boongs".

By the way, I was born here...now my spleen is well and truly vented, I can
go back to marking assignments...grrrr

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