Review of Judith Raftery, not part of the Public: Non-indigenous Policies and the Health of Indigenous South Australians, 1836-1973

McGregor, Russell (2009) Review of Judith Raftery, not part of the Public: Non-indigenous Policies and the Health of Indigenous South Australians, 1836-1973. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 44 (1). pp. 109-111.

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Abstract

The current appalling state of Aboriginal health, Judith Raftery declares in her opening chapter, ‘is a product of colonisation’ (p.10). Her book is an elaboration of this proposition, focussing on South Australia. In meticulous detail she traces how the various governmental policies and practices of this colony, later state, that excluded Aboriginal people from ‘the public’ thereby excluded them from the enjoyment of good health. The ‘public’, a word to which she has frequent recourse, is a somewhat awkward term but there are few adequate alternatives in the English language. It designates here a body of people aware of themselves as a community held together by shared values and beliefs, mutual rights and responsibilities, and a commitment to each others’ well‑being – that is, an ‘imagined community’, and at a different level of political analysis the word ‘nation’ would be a close synonym. ‘Nation’, however, has been reserved for the Australian community as a whole, and to refer to one of its constituent parts Raftery has had to resort to the less resonant term, ‘the public’.

Item ID: 10377
Item Type: Article (Book Review)
Keywords: Aborigines; politics and governance; Aboriginal health
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ISSN: 0157-6321
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2010 01:40
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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