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Unintended consequences of a liberal colonialist

By Hugh Macleman   May 2001

I have always absolved myself from the Australian collective guilt over the treatment of the Aborigines, and felt free to criticise successive governments’ miserly and reluctant handling of land rights issues. I am a “new Australian” and have never considered myself, or my family, culpable for the mass killing, disease and enforced assimilation which all but decimated the indigenous peoples who lived there prior to the arrival of the British. In fact, I was brought up to believe that while short-sighted and ruthless British colonisers were grabbing land and poisoning waterholes in terra nullius, my relatives were using the instruments…

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