Sillitoe's tartan in Northern Australia
: a view of black and white policing in the Northern Territory 1884 to 1935

  • William Richard Wilson

    Student thesis: Other thesis - CDU


    Today, most senior police officers are awareof the insidious effects racism can have within police forces. Today too, Aboriginal people are encouraged to join police forces and impartially and fairly enforce the law. It was not always so.
    During the early years of European settlementin the Northern Territory violence often occurred. A Native Police Force operated within the Northern Territory with ruthless efficiency. Its operations were almost always violent.
    White police were not immune to usinghave violence and some junior police officerspreviously been castigated for their brutality towards Aboriginal people.
    Often, however, white society demanded policeact violently towards Aboriginal people. The demeanour I and attitudes of senior police officers and bureaucrats towards Aboriginal people also affected the way policeI in the field behaved. Most of these influentialEuropeans have previously escaped rebuke for their actions.
    This thesis examines the racial conflictbetween police and Aborigines during the period 1884 to 1935. It also examines the attitudes of senior police and other government officials together with the views of the broader white community on racial conflict. TheI two elements are examined concurrently.
    The thesis argues that the influence of thewhite community in the Northern Territory, and the influence of senior police and administrators, were significant factors in incidents of police brutality. The thesis also demonstrates how effective the NativePolice were in the suppression of other Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory between 1884 and 1900.

    Date of Award1996
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDavid Carment (Supervisor)

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