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Never Trust a Government Man: Northern Territory Aboriginal Policy 1911-1939

Austin, Anthony R. (1997). Never Trust a Government Man: Northern Territory Aboriginal Policy 1911-1939. Darwin, N.T.: Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press).

Document type: Book
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Author Austin, Anthony R.
Title Never Trust a Government Man: Northern Territory Aboriginal Policy 1911-1939
Place of Publication Darwin, N.T.
Publisher Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press)
Publication Year 1997
ISBN 9781876248024   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Total Pages 143
Language English
Field of Research 2103 - Historical Studies
1605 - Policy and Administration
Abstract 'Never Trust a Government Man' is a history of the administration of Aboriginal affairs by the Commonwealth Government in the Northern Territory in the period to the Second World War. It provides the most detailed account yet of the development of government policy in the areas of justice, employment, missionary activities, and welfare. Government activities are set in the context of white racism in the North and in the nation's capital. The book shows that Aboriginal people had good reason not to trust government men. They were deprived, in the name of protection, of the civil liberties and welfare assistance that non-Aboriginal Australians could take for granted. They knew better than to expect fair treatment by most police officers, or in the courts, or in the workplace. They successfully opposed constant attempts to deprive them of their Aboriginal identity. Yet during the period covered by this book, there was a very gradual improvement in their treatment. A small number of northern officials and southern politicians quietly, often timorously, rarely vigorously, urged a modicum of fairness, while vociferous southern humanitarian groups exerted pressure on the Commonwealth Government out of all proportion to their small membership. 'Never Trust a Government Man' will be of interest to the general reader and to students of Australian history as well as those concerned with matters of social justice for Aboriginal people. At the time of publication, Tony Austin was an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education of the Northern Territory University ( now Charles Darwin University). He has lived in Darwin since 1981. He commenced work as a secondary school teacher in Victoria, and since the n has worked in curriculum development and teacher education in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, and Hong Kong. He has written a number of books and articles dealing with the treatment of Aboriginal people and the history of education in Papua New Guinea.
Keyword Indigenous
Northern Australia
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