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The Legacy of Suicide: the Impact of Suicide on Families

  • Mary Fraser

Abstract

In 1855 the poet and balladeer Banjo Patterson penned a song which was destined to become the unofficial national anthem of Australia. ‘Waltzing Matilda’ underlines many elements in the colonial society of that day. Class-conflict, the oligarchy of the landowners and the justice system and the ethos of rugged individualism are all themes in this song about a swagman caught stealing a sheep by a waterhole. It is also a song which glorifies suicide because the swagman chooses death by drowning rather than surrendering himself to the troopers. ‘Waltzing Matilda’ highlights the fact that suicide rates in nineteenth-century Australia were higher than in England (Welborn 1982: 17). Ever since then suicide has been a significant way of dying for Australians.

Keywords

Suicide Rate Child Survivor Suicide Victim Community Mental Health Service Modern Industrial Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Fraser

There are no affiliations available

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