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True Lies: Aboriginal Rights and the Myth of ‘Benevolent Intentions’

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Napier Building (Lecture Theatre 102)

The University of Adelaide

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5000

Australia

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The Department of History and University Collections at the University of Adelaide present a fascinating lecture by Assoc. Professor Robert Foster as part of Foundational Fictions in South Australian History, a provocative series of free public lectures that challenge established myths and narratives about South Australia’s past.


True Lies: Aboriginal Rights and the Myth of ‘Benevolent Intentions’

South Australia has had a reputation as being more ‘enlightened’ in its attitude toward Aboriginal people than other Australian states. The origin of these claims can, in part, be traced to the colony’s foundational documents; the Letters Patent, which acknowledged prior Aboriginal title to the land, and Hindmarsh’s Proclamation, which undertook to place Aboriginal people under the protection of British law. In this lecture I will argue that these claims of foundational benevolence are largely a myth, but that over time the myth itself grew to provide moral legitimacy for genuine reform.


The Foundational Fictions in South Australian History lecture series spans Wednesday nights at the University of Adelaide from 4 October until 1 November 2017. Other speakers include Stuart Macintyre, Lucy Treloar, Jane Lydon, and Humphrey McQueen.

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Napier Building (Lecture Theatre 102)

The University of Adelaide

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5000

Australia

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