Indigenous people, race relations and Australian sport

Christopher J Hallinan, Barry Judd

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The Indigenous peoples of Australia have a proud history of participation and the achievement of excellence in Australian sports. Historically, Australian sports have provided a rare and important social context in which Indigenous Australians could engage with and participate in non-Indigenous society. Today, Indigenous Australian people in sports continue to provide important points of reference around which national public dialogue about racial and cultural relations in Australia takes place.
Yet much media coverage surrounding these issues and almost all academic interest concerning Indigenous people and Australian sports is constructed from non-Indigenous perspectives. With a few notable exceptions, the racial and cultural implications of Australian sports as viewed from an Indigenous Australian Studies perspective remains understudied. The media coverage and academic discussion of Indigenous people and Australian sports is largely constructed within the context of Anglo-Australian nationalist discourse, and becomes most emphasised when reporting on aspects of ‘racial and cultural’ explanations of Indigenous sporting excellence and failures associated anomalous behaviour.
This book investigates the many ways that Indigenous Australians have engaged with Australian sports and the racial and cultural readings that have been associated with these engagements. Questions concerning the importance that sports play in constructions of Australian indigeneities and the extent to which these have been maintained as marginal to Australian national identity are the central critical themes of this book.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUK
Number of pages144
ISBN (Print)9781134904568
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


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