Originally published in Radical Currents, Labour Histories, No. 1 Autumn 2022.
Australian Society for the Study of Labour History
In 1900 the Australian Constitution gave the Commonwealth Parliament not a ‘treaty power’ but a vague power over ‘external affairs’. Its precise meaning remained elusive for most of the twentieth century. But from the 1930s, Labor politicians, beginning with H. V. Evatt, Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs in the Curtin and Chifley governments in the 1940s, saw the potential of the ‘external affairs’ power. Continue reading
Slavery in Australia – Convicts, Emigrants, Aborigines
Kenneth McKenzie Dallas (1902- 1988) was a Tasmanian historian, teacher, writer and socialist. In September 1968, the Tasmanian Historical Research Association (THRA) published a collection of three articles by Dallas, each offering a different perspective on aspects of Australian history.
The third of the three: ‘Slavery in Australia – Convicts, Emigrants, Aborigines’ is perhaps the most controversial, some would say ahead of its time. He argues that the British colonial system was based on slavery. “That there are degrees of slavery does not alter the basic fact” (p 63). The article is republished here with the kind permission of the THRA.
Dallas – Slavery in Australia – Convicts, Emigrants, Aborigines
Defending Australia from the Pink Peril
From a lecture given in Australian History III, Australian National University, July 1972.
Printed in Woroni and then in National U.
In this lecture I want to lead you away from the notion of the Aborigine as a passive recipient of history, as no more than a victim. Instead, we shall recognise the Aborigine as an active agent in European history since first contact. Continue reading