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Australia’s Empire$
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Deryck Schreuder and Stuart Ward

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563739.001.0001

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Indigenous Subjects

Indigenous Subjects

(p.78) 4 Indigenous Subjects
Australia’s Empire

Ann Curthoys

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the subjectivity of the Indigenous people in Australia at the interface of colonial contact. Unlike other imperial experiences of Britain, in Australia the status of Indigenous people was highly ambiguous from the outset. For the Aborigines, the British Empire not only brought the threat of destruction but also furnished the tools for adaptation. One historian has argued that Aboriginal people were regarded as both British subjects entitled to the protection of British law and a subjected people who posed an ever-present threat to colonial authority.

Keywords:   Indigenous people, Australia, British Empire, Aborigines, colonial authority

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