Indigenous Sovereignty and the Being of the Occupier

Manifesto for a White Australian Philosophy of Origins

  • Fiona Nicoll
    University of Queensland


The significance of this publication can be appreciated with reference to two recent moments in Australian public life. The first is Australian Attorney-General George Brandis’ signalling a shift in foreign policy by stating that “no Australian government of either political persuasion ‘acknowledges or accepts’ the use of the word occupied in relation to Palestine” (Australian Associated Press 2014). This semantic reorientation was endorsed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who described the longstanding conflict between Palestine and Israel as pertaining to ‘disputed’ territories, rather than as a matter of ‘occupation’ (Hurst 2014). The second moment was during Q&A, a live panel show screened by the national broadcaster, when a senior Indigenous leader from Utopia, Rosalie Kunoth Monks (2014), criticised not only the failures, but also the flawed premise of the federal government’s ‘intervention’ into remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. After explaining the importance of her language and her resistance to historical and current attempts to assimilate Indigenous people to better serve the nation’s cultural and economic ‘development’, she said very slowly and clearly to camera: “I am not the problem.”

Published: 2014-06-01
Pages:1 to 6
Section: Book Reviews
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How to Cite
Nicoll, F. (2014). Indigenous Sovereignty and the Being of the Occupier: Manifesto for a White Australian Philosophy of Origins. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 7(2), 1-6.