The decade of the Great Depression, with the world on the downward slope to war. Even so, Australia seemed a dynamic country through the 1930s. Our fledgling country had won respect in the First World War, we were stepping up in international matters and were taking the time to look both forward as well as back, understanding where we had come from and where we wanted to go as a country.
Yet our first step back into the turbulent times of the 1930s is to one of Australia’s more shameful topics – the treatment of the country’s Indigenous population – as written by the then, Chief Protector of Aboriginals.
Can Our Aborigines be Preserved?
The piece will shock, yet it raises the issue of how much has Australia’s attitude and policy really actually evolved from this point? Today our language is far more ‘politically beige’, but many of the sentiments and policies are no different even today. In fact, several of the policies posited in this article from 1930 are FAR more genuine and sincere than those we see coming from the mouths of our politicians.
It is a sad fact that then, as now, “it seems the generally accepted view that the extinction of the Australian Aborigine is inevitable.” How far have we really come in Indigenous Rights?
Article from Sept 1930: Can our Aborigines be Preserved?
Party Spirit in Politics
“Party Politics, like war, has in its operation called out the best and the worst in human nature”…
Have you ever wondered how our two-party political system emerged? Can you image politics without the Liberal/Labor dichotomy? And is the system limiting the power of the people or enhancing it?
In today’s blast from the past we look back at a topic that is still with us today: Is out two-party system the best system we can have? Have a read as this article from 1931 turns the screws on one of our most taken for granted institutions…
Article from Sept 1931: Party Spirit in Politics
December 1937. The world is less than 2 years away from the war that would define our modern world. Still recovering from The Great War, the overwhelming feeling was that mankind would not so soon throw itself back into global conflict. Yet at some level there was no ignoring the mounting pressure-cooker aspect of international relations and the morbid feeling of history repeating…
The article we are featuring today, written late in 1937, is symptomatic of the times, concerned as it is with ‘Australia’s Enemies’ and the evaluation from which direction a future attach on our sovereignty might come. From the USA perhaps, Russia or – how right he was – the restless Japanese Empire.
Article from Dec 1937: Australia’s Enemies