Badtjala artist and academic, Fiona Foley, is calling for the name of Griffith University to be changed. The university, located in Queensland was named after Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, Australia’s first high court justice and an author of the Australian Constitution. Sir Samuel Griffith was an attorney-general or Queensland premier during part of the time that widespread killings of First Nations people, maltreatment of Pacific Islanders brought to labour in Queensland’s canefields, and Chinese workers, occurred in the late nineteenth century.
The proposed name change has implications for other places and an academic journal named for Sir Samuel Griffith. A suburb in the nation’s capital, Canberra and a federal electorate in Brisbane carry the name “Griffith” as does the academic journal Griffith Review.
Read more in Joe Hinchcliffe’s story ‘”Enabler” of massacres: the push to re-examine the legacy of founding father Samual Griffiths,’ The Guardian, 5 June 2022:
For a short biography of Sir Samuel Walter Griffith (1845–1920) see: RB Joyce’s entry on him in the Australian Dictionary of Biography: https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/griffith-sir-samuel-walker-445