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Article
The good white nation once more made good? apology for atrocities to the Stolen Generations
Southern Cross University Law Review
  • Shelley Bielefeld, Southern Cross University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2009
Peer Reviewed
Peer-Reviewed
Abstract

This article explores the issue of apology to the Stolen Generations by the federal government in light of the mythology of Australia as the 'good white nation'. Drawing upon elements of critical legal theory and critical whiteness studies I argue that the mythology of the good white nation, which has always been central to Australia's national identity, remains ingrained in the recent federal government apology. I contend that the perception of Australia as the good white nation continues in the apology - despite the acknowledgement of some of the grave injustices suffered by Indigenous Australians at the hands of colonial forces. It does this by suggesting that whatever the nation once was in terms of regularly engaging in colonial atrocities - the 'stain' on the national soul has now been removed through the apology - thus the nation has been made good once more, 'unstained' as it were by its troublesome colonial history.

Disciplines
Citation Information

Bielefeld, S 2009, 'The good white nation once more made good? apology for atrocities to the Stolen Generations', Southern Cross University Law Review, vol. 13, pp. 87-107.