Remembering and Forgetting First Nations in Australia: Unsettling the Silence on the Founding and Building of a New Nation

  • Freya Higgins-DesbiollesEmail author
  • Rob Hales
  • Sydney Sparrow


Settler colonial societies such as Australia revere their monuments. In such ‘young’ countries, monuments to conquerors, settlers and soldiers place the settler populations’ indelible stamp on the landscape. However, these monuments are as much about forgetting as about remembering. Despite this, Indigenous Australians are asserting their place, insisting that they never ceded sovereignty and refusing erasure. Recent events sparked conversations in Australia about such practices. Debates considered whether colonial monuments should come down or additional monuments narrating Indigenous Australian stories should be erected. This is an un-settled space ripe for exploration and analysis. These social, cultural and political contestations are examined. ‘Remembering and forgetting in Australia’ reflects on the dissonant heritages of Australia, the place and the ways that these heritages might be better reconciled.


Indigenous Australians Memorial Monuments Postcolonial Australia 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Freya Higgins-Desbiolles
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rob Hales
    • 2
  • Sydney Sparrow
    • 3
  1. 1.School of ManagementUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Education, Arts and Social SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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