The Shark, Remora and Aboriginal History
This paper has two clearly divided sections – the first will explore the concept of colonial history as a metaphor- likened to a cruising shark. The domain of this powerful shark is the oceans of history – its practice, understanding, delivery and ownership. The second part of the paper will examine two aspects of Keith Windschuttle’s book The Fabrication of Aboriginal history with which I take issue namely the massacre at Risdon Cove in 1804 and secondly, Windschuttle’s denigrating and uninformed appraisal of the relationship between Aboriginal men and women. I will state upfront that it is Windschuttle's blinding faith in the objectivity of the empirical record that is his Achilles heel. He does not recognise or consider that the archival record can be biased or recorded by those with a vested interest. This sort of naïve historical understanding is seriously flawed.