Violent etymologies

By Heather Burke A map is a frail thing, although the politics that underlie its construction and naming practices are not. In 2017 Queensland removed several racist place names from the map, prompting debate over whether memorials to Robert Towns and John Mackay—the namesakes of both Townsville and Mackay—should tell their history more fully, given […]

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“I am, Sir, &c., Tom Coward”

By Heather Burke Thomas (Tom) Coward was described as many things throughout his life: a ‘thoroughly good explorer’, an ‘experienced bushman’, ‘remarkable and interesting’, tyrannical, irascible, belligerent and domineering. He is one of the better documented NMP officers, chiefly because in his later years he seems to have told his life story to anyone who […]

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“All Mere Youths” When Taken Away: Recruiting Aboriginal Boys and Men to the NMP Part III

By Lynley Wallis and Heather Burke We have previously written about the processes of recruiting Aboriginal men to the NMP (Recruiting Part 1 and Willing Volunteers?). However, we didn’t have room there to consider another element of the trooper experience: the interpersonal relationships that existed, both amongst the troopers, and between them and the officers […]

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