Doctored evidence and invented incidents in Aboriginal historiography
Paper to conference on Frontier Conflict
National Museum of Australia
December 13-14, 2001
Reprinted in Frontier Conflict: The Australian Experience
Bain Attwood and S. G. Foster (eds.)
National Museum of Australia, Canberra 2003
Among the many cultural items produced to mark the centenary of Federation in 2001 were a number that charged Australia with having committed genocide against the Aborigines. These accusations were not simply of action by default, such as inadvertently introducing diseases that annihilated people who had no immunity to them. Australia was allegedly guilty of conscious, wilful genocide resembling the kind the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews in the 1940s. In a book written for the centenary, Australia: A Biography of a Nation, the expatriate journalist, Phillip Knightley, was one of those making this claim. He wrote:
It remains one of the mysteries of history that Australia was able to get away with a racist policy that included segregation and dispossession and bordered on slavery and genocide, practices unknown in the civilised world in the first half of the twentieth century until Nazi Germany turned on the Jews in the 1930s. 
When the National Museum of Australia was opened in 2001, it commemorated the genocide thesis in the very design of the building itself. Architect Howard Raggatt borrowed its central structure - shaped as a lightning bolt striking the land - from the Jewish Museum in Berlin, signifying that the Aborigines suffered the equivalent of the Holocaust. The Museum's own publication, Building History: The National Museum of Australia (2001), acknowledged this connection: 'The most dramatic of the architectural references is in the form of the First Australians gallery, with a zigzag footprint, or outline, which closely resembles the recently completed Jewish Museum Berlin designed by Daniel Libeskind'. The Museum's director, Dawn Casey, has described the institution as 'a birthday gift to Australia', but to symbolically accuse the nation of the most terrible crime possible is hardly the kind of present that anyone would welcome.
In 2000, when he published the passage above, Knightley was reflecting the consensus reached by the historians of Aboriginal Australia over the previous thirty years. This is not to say that the historians themselves used the Nazi analogy. Instead, they created a picture of widespread mass killings on the frontiers of the pastoral industry that not only went unpunished but had covert government support. They used terms such as 'genocide', 'extermination' and 'extirpation' so freely that non-historians like Knightley and Raggatt readily drew the obvious connection between Australia and Nazi Germany.
When I read Knightley's book, however, I believed there was a considerable body of evidence he had not considered, which contradicted the genocide thesis. To those in authority since 1788, the idea of exterminating the Aborigines would have been appalling. In fact, colonial governors, judges and politicians saw one of their main roles as preventing violence towards Aborigines by the lower orders of white society, especially in the convict era.  The crucial ingredient of genocide, political intent, had always been lacking in Australia's history. I also knew that in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many Aborigines had been employed in both the sheep and cattle industries of New South Wales and northern Australia and that many pastoralists not only enjoyed harmonious relations with them but were dependent upon their labour.  None of this fitted the scenario of a Holocaust. So in 2000 I began a project to examine the primary sources on which the genocide thesis was based.
As a result of this work,  I concluded that, when it is closely examined, the evidence for the claims of widespread mass killings of Aborigines turns out to be highly suspect. Much of it is very poorly founded, other parts are seriously mistaken, and some of it is outright fabrication. Even though my critique focused as far as possible on the historical evidence, most of the subsequent response to it in the media was ad hominem. Defenders of the orthodoxy attacked my politics, my morals and my ability to do historical research, while at the same time pretending that the academics I had criticised were reliable scholars whose opinions should be trusted.  Arguments of this kind, however, are irrelevant. This is a debate that will be settled not by appeals to reputation but by the presentation of evidence, and nothing else.
Despite their denials, the very fact that the orthodox school has at last been publicly subjected to some sceptical questioning has already, in this brief period, led some of its practitioners to abandon some of their more outlandish claims. These developments include:
· Whereas Lyndall Ryan was still claiming in 1996 that the Tasmanian Aborigines were 'victims of a conscious policy of genocide', Henry Reynolds now disagrees. In his latest book, An Indelible Stain?, he has conceded that what happened to the Aborigines in Tasmania did not amount to genocide. 
· Reynolds has also publicly conceded that his 1981 claim that 10 000 Aborigines were shot dead in Queensland was not based on a precise count but was only an 'educated' guess. 
· Reynolds has agreed that large-scale massacres of Aborigines were not typical of Australian frontier history, as the school has frequently claimed, and that most of the killings that did occur were in ones and twos. 
· I also think that anyone who has read with an open mind my articles in Quadrant in 2000 and the work of Rod Moran will concede that two of the most frequently cited sources about massacre stories, the missionaries Lancelot Threlkeld in New South Wales and Ernest Gribble in Western Australia, can no longer be treated as the reliable authorities they once routinely were. 
Let me take this opportunity to add a few more samples of evidence doctored and incidents invented by some of the speakers attending the National Museum's forum on Frontier Conflict. For several years now, Reynolds has been trying to persuade the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to mount a display honouring what he calls the Aboriginal 'guerilla fighters' of Van Diemen's Land. Reynolds has described the so-called guerilla war waged by the Tasmanian Aborigines as a struggle of momentous proportions. He claims it was 'the biggest internal threat that Australia has ever had'. The Tasmanians of the so-called Black War of 1824-1830, he says, were a superior force whose guerilla tactics outclassed the bumbling, red-coated British soldiers. 
The concept of 'guerilla warfare', which Reynolds claims was waged by the Aborigines in Van Diemen's Land, derived from the tactics of the Spanish forces on the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic wars. Instead of large, set piece battles, small groups of Spaniards would attack French forces and then quickly withdraw. Repeated over a long period, the tactic was a way for a small force to damage and demoralise a much larger one. Reynolds states that Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur, like many other officers in Van Diemen's Land, had fought in Spain and recognised he faced the same military tactic.  This is not true. Arthur's military career included Italy, Sicily, Egypt and the Netherlands, but never Spain.  Nonetheless, there is one passage written by Arthur about conflict with the Aborigines that Reynolds interprets as confirmation of his theory. Arthur wrote:
The species of warfare which we are carrying on with them is of the most distressing nature; they suddenly appear, commit some act of outrage and then as suddenly vanish: if pursued it seems impossible to surround and capture them. 
Reynolds claims that this description anticipates the anti-colonialist tactics of the twentieth century: it 'could have come from the manuals of guerilla warfare which proliferated in the 1960s'. He says it shows Arthur had grasped the military problem confronting him. It was 'a classic statement of the frustrations of a commander of conventional forces facing elusive guerilla bands'.  However, the full text of this statement reveals that Arthur was not talking about confrontations between conventional forces and guerillas at all. He was discussing assaults by Aborigines on isolated stockmen on the fringes of white settlement. Just before the statement Reynolds quotes, Arthur gave the context for what he said: 'Whenever they can successfully attack a remote hut, they never fail to make the attempt, and seldom spare the stockkeepers when they can surprise them'. Reynolds omits this part of the text to give the false impression that Arthur was talking about troops coming under surprise attack by Aboriginal warriors. He misrepresents Arthur's concerns, which were reserved entirely for isolated, unprotected civilians.
Reynolds also claims Arthur looked upon the Aborigines as his warrior equivalent. 'Governor Arthur showed an old soldier's respect for his Aboriginal adversaries.'  But Reynolds omits to tell his readers that Arthur specifically denied that Aboriginal tactics amounted to anything that resembled real warfare. In November 1828, Arthur wrote to London:
It is doubtless very distressing that so many murders have been committed by the Natives upon [the] stockmen, but there is no decided combined movement among the Native tribes, nor, although cunning and artful in the extreme, any such systematic warfare exhibited by any of them as need excite the least apprehension in the Government, for the blacks, however large their number, have never yet ventured to attack a party consisting of even three armed men. 
Arthur repeated these sentiments several times. Nothing here resembles the grudging respect of an old soldier. None of the historians who support the guerilla warfare thesis have ever shown Arthur was mistaken. The Aborigines never developed any of the forms of organisation, command, strategy, intelligence or weapons supply that have been associated with genuine guerilla warfare in other countries over the past 200 years. Even though the historians of Tasmania use the term, none of them has ever discussed its meaning in any detail to demonstrate what they are trying to prove. They have never advanced any criteria by which an action could be judged as guerilla warfare. Any kind of black hostility from 1824 onwards -- even if it was nothing more than robbery with violence, as most assaults on whites were -- is automatically labelled this way, with no critical analysis ever thought necessary.
The strategy of guerilla warfare was adopted by European nationalists in the early nineteenth century. In the 1950s and 1960s it was taken up by a number of anti-colonial groups in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. The orthodox historians of Tasmania want us to believe that the Aborigines intuitively anticipated all this by spontaneously adopting a form of combat that was not a part of their pre-colonial cultural repertoire and whose methods and objectives they had never read about or heard explained. This is not historical analysis; it is the imposition onto Aboriginal history of an anachronistic and incongruous piece of ideology.
It is also accompanied by a great deal of fabricated and invented evidence about the scale of the violence. I will publish a long catalogue of these misrepresentations in the book I am currently preparing on this subject. Here, I will discuss a few of them. In November 1828, after 26 Tasmanian colonists had been murdered by Aborigines, Arthur declared martial law and appointed 'roving parties' to capture any Aborigines they could and to drive the rest from the settled districts. According to Ryan, they wreaked carnage throughout the colony. She writes:
Between November 1828 and November 1830 the roving parties captured about twenty Aborigines and killed about sixty. The settlers also began to exploit their knowledge of the Aborigines' seasonal patterns of movement. When a band of the Oyster Bay tribe visited Moulting Lagoon in January 1829, they found the settlers waiting for them. Ten were shot dead and three taken prisoner. When a band of Big River people reached the Eastern Marshes in March en route to the east coast, Gilbert Robertson's party was waiting and killed five and captured another. 
Ryan backs her claim that 60 Aborigines were killed by the roving parties with a footnote that contains three references. The first is a letter from Arthur to the colonial secretary on 27 May 1829. Arthur did write a letter on this date and it was about the roving parties. It is in the archive location Ryan indicates: volume 1/317, file 7578, of the Colonial Secretary's Office papers, on pages 15-18. Its subject matter, however, is the number of men that should comprise Gilbert Robertson's parties, whether they should all be due for a ticket-of-leave as a result of their service, and about the rations that should be provided for them. It does not mention any Aborigines being killed, let alone 60. Her other two references are commentaries by N J B Plomley in Friendly Mission, his edition of the journals of the 'conciliator' of the Tasmanian Aborigines, George Augustus Robinson. One of these does discuss the reports of the roving parties, but has this to say: 'How many natives were killed in all these operations is hardly mentioned'. The other commentary does not mention any Aborigines killed by the roving parties but at one stage it does say that John Batman's party captured 11 natives in September 1829.  In short, none of Ryan's footnotes support her assertion about the killing of 60 Aborigines.
Apart from Ryan, no other historian who has investigated the primary sources has ever claimed the roving parties killed 60, or anything like this number. The truth is that the roving parties were widely regarded at the time as ineffectual, either in capturing Aborigines or in removing them from the scene. The report of the Aborigines Committee of 1830 declared them 'worse than useless'.  My own assessment is that the roving party of John Batman killed two Aborigines and captured 13, while Robertson's party captured six but killed none. This was the sum total of their haul.
Ryan's claim that Robertson's party killed five Aborigines at the Eastern Marshes in March is another piece of invention. The diaries of the parties Robertson commanded from November 1828 until February 1830 are held by the Archives Office of Tasmania.  Nowhere do they mention any killings at Eastern Marshes or, indeed, anywhere else. The only Aborigine they came across was one old, unarmed man and his dog living on their own in the bush near George's River in the north east of the island. For all of 1829 and 1830, he was their sole captive. I should point out that the roving parties had no reason to conceal their actions and every reason to publicise them. In the prevailing atmosphere of consternation among the settlers about Aboriginal atrocities, stories about white retaliations would have made the men of the roving parties popular heroes. If any of the roving party leaders had success stories to report they would have done so.
The incident Ryan mentions at Moulting Lagoon in January 1829, where she says settlers in the district killed ten Aborigines and took three prisoners, is yet more fiction. She cites three newspaper reports and a letter to the Governor from James Simpson as her sources for this and related events in the same paragraph.  But when you check the sources you find none of them mention any conflict with Aborigines at Moulting Lagoon, let alone any killings there. There were some newspaper reports of other incidents on the east coast at the same time, but nothing at Moulting Lagoon. In short, none of Ryan's references confirm the claims she makes in her text. She has invented these incidents.
Let me move away from Tasmania to discuss the work of Raymond Evans, whose 1999 book Fighting Words provides another example of what now passes for academic scholarship in Aboriginal history. Fighting Words recounts the now forgotten Battle of Patonga. On the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney, Evans writes, 'the indigenous inhabitants, the Dhurag, had once waged there a war of no quarter lasting more than two decades as they were slowly obliterated. Silent Patonga hid its secrets well'. 
The source Evans relied upon for this story was journalist John Pilger's 1986 book Heroes. Pilger, who used to holiday at Patonga as a child, had taken the story from David Denholm's 1979 history, The Colonial Australians. Denholm himself also relied on secondary sources. Evans's account is therefore four times removed from the original evidence, and it shows. For a start, despite the reverence both express for Aboriginal people, neither Evans nor Pilger took the trouble to get their name right. They were the Dharug, not the Dhurag. Secondly, David Denholm was describing a conflict in the 1790s on the Hawkesbury River near Windsor. None of this happened anywhere near Patonga, which is near the mouth of the Hawkesbury in territory of the Guringai tribe, not the Dharug people.  A war there in the 1790s was unlikely since the first whites did not settle at Patonga until 130 years later.
In short, Evans does not have a clue what he is talking about. Patonga is a holiday village with a few dozen houses, a caravan park and a beach surrounded by a national park. It never had any settlers in the colonial period to provoke a war with the Aborigines. It was not subdivided until the 1920s and housing has never extended more than one hundred metres inland from the beach. In short, what Evans claims as a two-decade long 'war of no quarter' is yet another piece of invention.
Since I originally made this point in July 2001, Evans has complained that I have distorted his views by taking them out of context. He was only using Pilger's story about the war at Patonga, he says, to introduce a chapter about different events in Queensland. This is true. Patonga was not the main point of his chapter. But this kind of reply only compounds the offence. Evans has taken seriously an event that never happened and then casually dropped it into his narrative, as if a historian could take the word of the journalist Pilger without any further investigation warranted. Then, when challenged, Evans fails to acknowledge his mistake or to withdraw it. Instead, he attacks the person who has pointed out his folly, accusing him of methodological malpractice. He still refuses to admit the truth that there was never violent conflict between blacks and whites at Patonga of any kind. 
Unfortunately, the fictions and fabrications of our academic historians are more than matched by those created by the Aborigines themselves. Because Aborigines in the colonial period were illiterate and kept no written records, we are urged today to accept the oral history of their descendants as an authentic account of what happened in the past. My view is that Aboriginal oral history, when uncorroborated by original documents, is completely unreliable, just like the oral history of white people. Let me illustrate this with an account of the infamous Mistake Creek Massacre in the Kimberley district.
There are at least four versions of Aboriginal oral history about this incident that have made their way into either print or television, and all of them are different. The former Governor-General, Sir William Deane, used his last days in office to apologise to the Kija people for this incident and for all those that Aborigines had suffered at the hands of white settlers. Deane said:
What is clear is there was a considerable killing of Aboriginal women and children
It's essential that we hear, listen to and acknowledge the facts of what happened in the past, the facts of terrible events such as what happened here at Mistake Creek in the 1930s, which is in my lifetime. 
However, what actually is clear is that by relying upon Aboriginal oral history, Deane got the facts of the case completely wrong. According to the Western Australian police records, the incident took place in 1915, not the 1930s. It was not a massacre of Aborigines by white settlers at all, but a killing of Aborigines by Aborigines in a dispute over a woman who had left one Aboriginal man to live with another. The jilted lover and an accomplice rode into the Aboriginal camp of his rival and shot eight of the people there.
Aboriginal oral history later implicated the white overseer of the station concerned, a man named Mick Rhatigan. This is the same oral history that Deane relied upon to say the event took place in the 1930s. However, it would have been difficult for Mick Rhatigan to have been one of the killers at this time. According to both his family and the headstone on his grave at Wyndham, he died in 1920, ten years before the date the Aborigines claim the event occurred. 
Another version of this same oral history was provided on ABC Television's 7.30 Report. A woman named Peggy Patrick said her mother and father and brothers and sisters had all been massacred in this incident.  The program's presenter, Kerry O'Brien, said she was 70 years of age. This means she was born in 1930 or 1931. But the killings took place in 1915, which means she was born fifteen years after the death of her parents, which must be a world record for a posthumous birth.
By relying on Aboriginal oral history, and by failing to do the most elementary research into this matter, Deane made a fool of himself in what was supposed to be the final, grand reconciliatory gesture of his term of office. I would suggest that anyone else who relies upon uncorroborated oral history of Aborigines -- or indeed the oral history of anyone else -- is likely to embarrass themselves in exactly the same way. Stories passed down orally over three or four generations are more likely than not to get some of their facts wrong, whatever the ethnic background of the story tellers. Once the facts have gone awry, so will the interpretations.
By pretending to Aborigines that their oral histories have some kind of historical authenticity, academic historians do them no favours. It is in nobody's interest, and certainly not those of Aboriginal people, for completely false stories like the one about Mistake Creek to continue to be taken seriously, generating an unwarranted bitterness on one side and a sanctimonious sense of blame allocation on the other.
I am well aware that there is often a postmodernist spin put on oral history and ethnic legends. This claims that traditional notions of history have been undermined by recent epistemological critiques, and that all cultures are authentic in their own terms, and that all legends are therefore true for their believers. The advocates of this view often apply it to such worthy cultures as those of ethnic and indigenous minorities, as well as other fashionable political interest groups. They rarely recognise that the same argument confers authenticity on the claims of cultures of which they might not approve, such as those of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Islamic jihadists and other species of political depravity. This rejection of traditional empirical history leads to cultural relativism in which the legends, myths and prejudices of any culture become legitimate. It is a philosophy of anything goes.
If you abandon the principles of empirical history - that evidence is independent of the observer and that truth is discovered rather than invented - you create cultural cocoons where everyone's views are legitimate. This means, however, that all these cultural groupings can do is talk past one another. No debate can ever be resolved. You are left with nothing more formidable than calling your opponents political names. Some postmodern theorists might welcome this but outside the university this position is seen for what it is -- the end of rational historical debate.
In September 2001, in a general critique of the museum's approach to social history, I also criticised its 'Frontier Conflict' display. I made three main points:
· The museum made a false claim that Aborigines caught spearing cattle in Western Australia in the 1890s had been executed. No one was ever executed for such a minor offence.
· Its claim that 'numerous' men, women and children were killed by a police patrol at Forrest River in the Kimberley in 1926 omitted to mention that claims about these killings had been seriously challenged by two independent sources.
· The centrepiece of the whole section, a photographic display of the so-called Bells Falls Gorge Massacre near Bathurst in the 1820s, gave credibility to a mythological event for which there was no contemporary evidence. Although it is now claimed as part of ancient Aboriginal tradition, Aboriginal activists only learnt of it from an article about local legends written by a white amateur historian in 1962. 
Each of these claims should have been easy for the display's curator to verify. There is a complete record available about all the executions in Western Australia, which the curator should have consulted. The study, by Brian Purdue, covers executions of both whites and blacks since the first in 1840 to the last in 1964. In this time, 154 people were executed: 136 for murder, nine for wounding with intent to murder, six for rape, two for robbery accompanied by serious assault, and one for carnal knowledge of a seven-year-old girl. None were for cattle spearing. 
While a magistrate at a royal commission in 1926 did find that 11 Aborigines may have been killed by a police patrol near Forrest River, when the two accused police came before a committal hearing for murder, the latter found there was no prima facie case that even a single person had been killed there. In his 1999 book, Massacre Myth, the Perth journalist Rod Moran re-examined the evidence presented at both hearings and, largely on forensic grounds, concluded the magistrate at the royal commission got it wrong while the magistrate at the committal hearing got it right. In an example like this, where there are two clear sides to the case, the museum is being deceptive in presenting only the conclusions from one of those sides. Significantly, for its December 2001 conference on Frontier Conflict, the museum did not invite anyone to present a paper about Forrest River so that these issues could be raised.
In 1995, David Roberts published the results of his research into the Bells Falls Gorge Massacre, which legends in the Bathurst district of New South Wales say took place in the 1820s. He found there was no contemporary documentary evidence for it. Roberts nonetheless argued that, because there were other recorded conflicts in the region around that time and because legends about the Bells Falls Gorge event could still be found among the local white community, this should be taken as evidence that something like a massacre did take place, at least somewhere in the district at the time. He has more recently written:
They [local residents] maintain a solemn understanding that Aborigines were once rounded up at the local landmark and were forced to jump to their deaths under fire. (Countless rural communities across Australia will recognise the story in different forms.) 
The problem with this argument is precisely the fact that countless rural communities do, indeed, tell similar stories about spectacular local landmarks. In fact, landmarks like this, especially those with very high waterfalls, seem to almost irresistibly conjure up myths that have an uncanny similarity wherever they are found.
There is a comparable tale still told in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, where legend has it that the place called Govett's Leap was named after a bushranger named Govett who was pursued under gunfire from troopers to the edge of the waterfall there. Rather than be shot or captured, he spurred his horse over the precipice to his doom. When I was a child, my parents told me this piece of oral history in all seriousness. The local Chamber of Commerce has since erected on the main road a statue of Govett on his horse to capitalise on the location as a tourist attraction.
However, this particular legend has no connection with historic events of any kind. The real Govett was not a bushranger but the government surveyor who named the site, and 'leap' is an old Scottish term for a cataract or waterfall.
How many times do we need to learn the same lesson? Old legends and oral history, unless they are corroborated by original documents, are worthless as historical evidence, whether told by blacks or whites. Historians who go down this road leave the search for truth behind.
Let me finish with some recommendations to the National Museum's Council about the construction of the building itself. I would advise the board to reconstruct that part of the building that provides the lightning bolt symbol. This would remove the current connection between the fate of the Aborigines and the fate of the Jews of Europe. The Aborigines did not suffer a Holocaust. To compare the policies towards Aborigines of Governor Arthur Phillip or Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur, or any of their successors, with those of Adolf Hitler towards the Jews, is not only conceptually odious but wildly anachronistic.
There were no gas chambers in Australia or anything remotely equivalent. The colonial authorities wanted to civilise and modernise the Aborigines, not exterminate them. Their intentions were not to foster violence towards the Aborigines but to prevent it. They responded to violence by the Aborigines towards white settlers cautiously and reluctantly, and their overriding concern was to prevent retaliatory violence by settlers and convicts from getting out of hand. None of this is remotely comparable to what happened in Europe during the Second World War.
For the Australian government to construct a permanent, national structure that advertises such a grotesque historical misinterpretation is an insult to the nation and to all its members, white and black. It is a monument to nothing more than the politically motivated allegations of one particular school of historiography whose former dominance of the field is now visibly eroding.
1. Phillip Knightley, Australia: A Biography of a Nation, Jonathan Cape, London, 2000, p. 107.
2. Alan Frost, Arthur Phillip 1783-1814: His Voyaging, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1987, pp 144-5, 183-4, 187, 260-1, 309 n 18; John Ritchie, Lachlan Macquarie: A Biography, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1986, pp 109-10, 132, 152; Brian H. Fletcher, Ralph Darling: A Governor Maligned, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1984, pp 183-90; A. G. L. Shaw, Sir George Arthur, Bart 1784-1854, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1980, pp 123-34; Hazel King, Richard Bourke, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1971, p 187; R. Therry, Reminiscences of Thirty Years' Residence in New South Wales and Victoria, (1863), Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1974, pp 271-300
3. In the 1850s, in the New England district 'the demand for labour led to the aborigines being very widely employed as shepherds, stockmen, horse breakers, and reapers at wages up to 20 pounds a year': R. B. Walker, Old New England, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1966, p 172. From 1843 to 1851, Horatio Wills employed Aborigines as station hands and harvesters at his Ararat property, Lexington: T. S. Wills Cooke, The Currency Lad: A Biography of Horatio Spencer Howe Wills 1811-1861, T. S. Wills Cooke, Melbourne, 1997, pp 42-54. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Durack family's Kimberley cattle properties were dependent upon Aboriginal labour: Mary Durack, Sons in the Saddle, Constable, London, 1983, pp50, 84, 137, 192-3. See also: Andrew Markus, 'Talka Longa Mouth: Aborigines and the Labour Movement 1890-1970', in Ann Curthoys and Andrew Markus (eds.), Who Are Our Enemies? Racism and the Working Class in Australia, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1978; Ann Curthoys and Clive Moore, 'Working With the White People: An Historiographical Essay on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Labour', in Ann McGrath and Kay Saunders (eds.) Aboriginal Workers, Labour History, 69, November 1995
4. See, my 'The Myths of Frontier Massacres in Australian History, Parts I, II and III', Quadrant, vol. 44, nos 10-12, 2000, pp. 8-21, 17-24 & 6-20.
5. See, for example, Robert Manne, 'When Historical Truths Come in Dreams', Sydney Morning Herald, 18 September 2000; Bain Attwood, 'Attack on Reynolds Scholarship Lacks Bite', Australian, 20 September 2000; and Raymond Evans, Anna Haebich, Mary Ann Jebb and Bill Thorpe, 'Attack on Historian Well Timed for Global Media', Australian, 15 September 2000. All of these authors went into print on the basis of press reports of a conference paper of mine and before any of the articles in my series for Quadrant had actually been published.
6. Lyndall Ryan, The Aboriginal Tasmanians, revised edition, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1996, p. 255; Henry Reynolds, An Indelible Stain?: The Question of Genocide in Australia's History, Viking, Ringwood, 2001, chapters 4 & 5.
7. Bruce Montgomery, 'Historian Defends His Best Guess', Australian, 12 September 2000.
8. Reynolds, 'The Perils of Political Reinterpretation', Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 2000.
9. Windschuttle, 'The Myths of Massacres', Parts I and III, passim; Rod Moran, Massacre Myth, Access Press, Bassendean, 1999.
10. Bruce Montgomery, 'The First Patriots', Australian, 3 April 1995; Reynolds, 'A War to Remember', Australian, 1-2 April 1995.
11. Reynolds, Fate of a Free People, Penguin, Ringwood, 1995, p. 66.
12. A G L Shaw, Sir George Arthur, Bart, 1784-1854, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1980, pp. 5-16.
13. Reynolds cites this passage (Fate of a Free People, p. 223, endnote 59) from Arthur to Murray, 12 September 1829, Historical Records of Australia, series I, vol. XIV, p. 446. This is the wrong volume; it is in vol. XV, same page.
14. Reynolds, 'The Black War: A New Look at an Old Story', Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Papers and Proceedings, vol. 31, no. 4, 1984, p. 2; Reynolds, Fate of a Free People, p. 66.
15. Reynolds, Fate of a Free People, p. 36.
16. Arthur to Murray, 4 November 1828, British Parliamentary Papers, Colonies, Australia, vol. 4, p. 181.
17. Ryan, Aboriginal Tasmanians, p. 102.
18. N J B Plomley, Friendly Mission: The Tasmanian Journals and Papers of George Augustus Robinson, 1829-1834, Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Hobart, 1966, pp. 30 & 472-4.
19. Report of the Aborigines Committee 1830, British Parliamentary Papers, Colonies, Australia, vol. 4, p. 217.
20. Journal of the proceedings of a party employed under the direction of Gilbert Robertson, 1 January 1829-13 March 1829, pp. 114-31, Journal of a party under the immediate orders of Gilbert Robertson, 2 February 1829-27 February 1829, pp. 132-44; Memorandum for a journal of the proceedings of a party under my charge in pursuit of the Aborigines, 27 February 1829-13 February 1830, , pp. 79-92, CSO 1/331/7578.
21. Ryan, Aboriginal Tasmanians, pp. 104, 113
22. Raymond Evans, Fighting Words: Writing About Race, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1999, p. 111.
23. Jocelyn Powell and Lorraine Banks (eds), Hawkesbury River History: Governor Phillip, Exploration and Early Settlement, Dharug and Lower Hawkesbury Historical Society, Wiseman's Ferry, 1990.
24. Windschuttle, 'When History Falls Victim to Politics', Age, 14 July 2001; Evans, 'Open Letter to Keith Windschuttle', National Museum of Australia, December 2001.
25. David Burke, Dreaming of the Resurrection: A Reconciliation Story, Sisters of St Joseph, Mary MacKillop Foundation, North Sydney, 1998, pp. 33-5; William Deane, 'A Few Instances of Reconciliation', address to Southern Queensland Theology Library, Toowoomba, 5 November 1999; Charlene Carrington, 'Mistake Creek Massacre', heritage statement on 1999 painting; 'A Look at Sir William Deane's Term as Governor-General', 7.30 Report, ABC Television, 11 June 2001, transcript.
26. Report of Constable Flinders and statements of witnesses, 4 June 1915, Western Australian Police, Colonial Secretary's Department, CO 1854/15; Moran, 'Mistaken Identity', West Australian, 17 November 2001.
27. 7.30 Report, 11 June 2001.
28. Windschuttle, 'How Not to Run a Museum', Quadrant, vol. 45, no. 9, 2001, pp. 11-19.
29. Brian Purdue, Legal Executions in Western Australia, Foundation Press, Victoria Park, 1993.
30. David Roberts, 'Bells Falls Massacre and Bathurst's History of Violence: Local Tradition and Australian Historiography', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 26, no. 105, 1995, pp. 615-33; Roberts, 'Site Unproved: "War" Certain', Australian, 18 March 2001.