Aborigines

Indigenous Australians and the Monarchy’s Promise

At the 1998 Constitutional Convention, despite the scores of eminent Australians in attendance, far and away the most notable speech was by Neville Bonner. Bonner had risen from inauspicious beginnings—literally born under a tree in northern New South Wales—to become a federal senator for Queensland. He was a very proud Aboriginal man but, in a manner that confronts assumptions, was conservative in his politics, disposition and philosophy. This put him in lonely company, especially given the activism of the 1960s and 1970s—the era of Bonner’s political awakening and ascent. By the 1998 Convention he had been out of representative politics…

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