The Colonial Fantasy: Why White Australia Can’t Solve Black Problems

Sarah Maddison

The Colonial Fantasy: Why White Australia Can't Solve Black Problems
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The Colonial Fantasy: Why White Australia Can’t Solve Black Problems

Sarah Maddison

Australia is wreaking devastation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Whatever the policy- from protection to assimilation, self-determination to intervention, reconciliation to recognition- government has done little to improve the quality of life of Indigenous people. In far too many instances, interaction with governments has only made Indigenous lives worse.


Despite this, many Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders and commentators still believe that working with the state is the only viable option. The result is constant churn and reinvention in Indigenous affairs, as politicians battle over the ‘right’ approach to solving Indigenous problems.

The Colonial Fantasy
considers why Australia persists in the face of such obvious failure. It argues that white Australia can’t solve black problems because white Australia is the problem. Australia has resisted the one thing that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want, and the one thing that has made a difference elsewhere: the ability to control and manage their own lives. It calls for a radical restructuring of the relationship between black and white Australia.

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