The duality of agency and the Australian settler-state in the twenty first century: the Palm Island riot of 2004 and the aftermath

Page, Alexander, and Petray, Theresa (2012) The duality of agency and the Australian settler-state in the twenty first century: the Palm Island riot of 2004 and the aftermath. In: Proceedings of The Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association. pp. 1-8. From: 2012 Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association, 26–29 November 2012, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.

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Abstract

The relationship between Indigenous Australians and the Settler-State continues to be that of a stark power inequity. Despite a continued push by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for self-determination there continues to be very little recognition of Indigenous perspectives, authority, or political autonomy by the structures of the Australian state. We analyse the Palm Island Riot of 2004 and its immediate aftermath through the interactions of individual agency and the state. Following the 2004 death in custody on Palm Island, North Queensland, community members challenged state response through a community meeting followed by a protest-turned-riot. We argue that the Palm Island Riot of 2004 was a calculated expression of agency − albeit one of anger and frustration − in reaction to the perceived subversion of justice by the Queensland Government and Police Service. Both the Government and the Police Service, as representatives of the Australian Settler-State, responded to this vivid display of calculated resistance with the overt violence and coercion that is routinely associated with the Settler-State in relation to Indigenous peoples. This response can be understood as the continuation of its attempted dominance over both the residents of Palm Island and the broader Indigenous Australian population in the twenty first century.

Item ID: 24041
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-646-58783-7
Keywords: Indigenous, agency, settler-state, Australia, riot, police
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2013 00:43
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169902 Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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