Australian Frontier Conflicts:
Bibliographic Sources Listed
by Australian States and Territories

Below are some of the main sources of information about Australian frontier conflicts and related subjects such as genocide and race relations, as they exist in 2020. This bibliography is updated from time to time. Check sources such the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies catalogues and the National Library of Australia’s Trove database at: https://www.trove.nla.gov.au for availability of these and other material on Australian frontier conflicts.

Readers should be aware that ‘the historical record’ is that of the invading colonists and is often blatantly racist. The terminology used and the descriptions of events and of people can be very upsetting. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander versions of events were not recorded in the early days of colonial Australia, when First Peoples were not permitted to give evidence in court. It is only since First Peoples’ oral history and the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander historians on colonial frontier conflict, depicted through art and other media as well as in articles, books, exhibitions, demonstrations and other formats such as online channels, has been published, that the voices of First Peoples about colonial history have begun to be heard.

You can read more about selected and new books on the Books page. You can also find more resources on Australian frontier conflicts under Journal Articles, Videos, and Maps.

Australia (General)

Action for World Development 1999, Aboriginal Heroes of the Resistance: From Pemulwuy to Mabo, Action for World Development, Surry Hills, New South Wales

Articles on Frontier Wars [2014–2019], The Conversation at: https://theconversation.com/au/topics/frontier-wars-10075

Australian War Memorial, Military History Section, Australians at War: Colonial Period, 1788–1901 [ND] at https://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/colonial/, accessed on 24 October 2016. ‘One role of the troops was to guard Australia against external attack, but their main job was to maintain civil order, particularly against convict uprisings, and to suppress the resistance of the Aboriginal population to British settlement.’ Be aware that this chapter of the Australian War Memorial’s online Australians at War series does not explain the frontier wars period in any detail, such as the deliberate colonial military actions against Aboriginal people in  the colonies of New South Wales, Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land), Victoria (when still part of New South Wales) and Western Australia. Nor does the Australian War Memorial’s chapter on the Colonial Period include any mention of the role of colonial police forces in frontier conflicts, or of how, when these forces were set up, they often recruited ex-military men to their ranks.

Banner, Stuart,  Why Terra Nullius? Anthropology and Property Law in Early Australia’, Law and History Review, Volume 23, Issue 1, Spring 2005, pp. 95–131

Barker, Bryce, Massacre, Frontier Conflict and Australian Archaeology’, Australian Archaeology, Number 64, June 2007, pp. 9–14

Barritt-Eyles, Lisa, University of Newcastle, ‘Gargoyles and silence: “Our story” at the Australian War Memorial, 18 March 2015, at: 
https://theconversation.com/gargoyles-and-silence-our-story-at-the-australian-war-memorial-38829

Brodie, Nick 2016, 1787: The Lost Chapters of Australia’s Beginnings, Hardie Grant Books, Richmond, Victoria

Coates, Ian ed. 2020, Endeavour Voyage: the Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians, National Museum of Australia, Canberra

Connor, John 2002, The Australian Frontier Wars 1788–1838, University of New South Wales Press

Daley, Paul, ‘Restless Indigenous Remains’, Meanjin, 8 September 2014 at: 
https://meanjin.com.au/articles/post/restless-indigenous-remains/, accessed on 8 September 2014

Darmangeat, Christophe 2020, Justice and Warfare in Aboriginal Australia, Lexington Books, and imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. Maryland, USA

Elder, Bruce 1998, Blood on the Wattle: Massacres and maltreatment of Aboriginal Australians since 1788, revised edition, reprinted 2000

Ganter, Regina 2009–2018, German Missionaries in Australia–A web-directory of intercultural encounters, Griffith University. Available at: http://missionaries.griffith.edu.au/

Grey, JA 1999,  The Military and the Frontier, 1788–1901in Jeffrey Grey, A Military History of Australia, Cambridge University Press, New York

Grieves, Victoria, ‘Jamaica Australia historical connections and the Black diaspora in the Australian Pacific Region, “Maroons, Indigenous People and Indigeneity Part 2”’, Charles Town Maroon Council, 7th Annual International Maroon Conference, Charles Town, Portland, Jamaica, 2015, pp. 12–13

Hodges, Flavia, ‘Language Planning and Placenaming in Australia’Current Issues in Language Planning, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2007, pp. 383–403

Kerkhove, Ray 2015,  Aboriginal Smoke Signalling and Signalling Hills in Resistance Warfare’, Honest History

Litster, Mirani and Lynley A Wallis, ‘“Looking for the proverbial needle?” The archaeology of Australian frontier massacres’, Archaeology in Oceania, Vol. 46, No. 3, (October 2011), pp. 105–117. Available from ANU Open Access, see https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/20865 for an abstract.

Litster, Mirani, The Potential Contribution of Archaeology to Australian Frontier Studies, A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Archaeology (Honours), Department of Archaeology, School of Humanities, Flinders University, 16 June 2006. 

Litster, Mirani and Lynley A Wallis, Looking for the proverbial needle?” The archaeology of Australian frontier massacres’, Archaeology in Oceania, Vol. 46, No. 3, (October 2011), pp. 105–117. Available from ANU Open Access, see https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/20865 for an abstract.

Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Original Documents on Aborigines and Law, 1797–1840–website that includes transcriptions and digital images of handwritten and printed material by government officials, judges and missionaries. Available at: https://www.law.mq.edu.au/research/colonial_case_law/nsw/other_features/correspondence/

Manera, Brad, Review of John Connor, The Australian frontier wars 1788–1838, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2002, Journal of the Australian War Memorial [ND] at: https://www.awm.gov.au/journal/j38/connorreview.asp, accessed on 24 August 2016

McKenna, Mark,  Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future’, Quarterly Essay, Issue 69, 2018

McQueen, Humphrey, ‘The real battle for Australia: pioneering writing on the Frontier Wars (Parts I-III)’, Honest History, 2 September 2014 at: https://honesthistory.net.au/wp/mcqueen-humphrey-pioneering-writing-on-frontier-wars/

Monticone, Judith 1999, Healing the Land, Vol.1, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Pascoe, Bruce 2007, Convincing Ground: Learning to fall in love with your country, Aboriginal Studies Press, reprinted 2012

Reynolds, Henry 1977 [?],  Aboriginal-European Contact History: problems and issues’, paper delivered at the 47th ANZAAS Congress, Hobart, 1976

Reynolds, Henry 1981, The Other Side of the Frontier: An interpretation of the Aboriginal response to the invasion and settlement of Australia, History Department, James Cook University, Townsville

Reynolds, Henry 1984, The breaking of the great Australian silence: Aborigines in Australian historiography 1955–1983’, Trevor Reese Memorial Lecture, University of London, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Australian Studies Centre, 30 January 1984

Reynolds, Henry 1987, Frontier: Aborigines, settlers and land, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, Sydney, New South Wales

Reynolds, Henry comp. 1989, Dispossession: Black Australians and white invaders, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, Sydney, New South Wales

Reynolds, Henry 1990, With the White People: The crucial role of Aborigines in the exploration and development of Australia, Penguin, Ringwood, Victoria

Reynolds, Henry 1992, The Law of the Land, 2nd Edition, Penguin Books, Ringwood, Victoria

Reynolds, Henry 1998, This Whispering in Our Hearts, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, Sydney, New South Wales

Reynolds, Henry 1999, Why Weren’t We Told?: a personal search for the truth about our history, Viking, Penguin Books, Ringwood, Victoria

Reynolds, Henry 2000, Black Pioneers, (Revision of With the White People, 1990), Penguin, Ringwood, Victoria

Reynolds, Henry 2001, An Indelible Stain?: the question of genocide in Australia’s history, Viking, Penguin Books, Ringwood, Victoria

Reynolds, Henry 2013, The Forgotten War, NewSouth Publishing, University of New South Wales

Reynolds, Henry 2018, This Whispering in Our Hearts Revisited, NewSouth Publishing, University of New South Wales

Reynolds, Henry, ‘Australia was founded on a hypocrisy that haunts us to this day’, The Conversation, 27 August 2018 at: https://theconversation.com/henry-reynolds-australia-was-founded-on-a-hypocrisy-that-haunts-us-to-this-day-101679

Reynolds, Henry, ‘Frontier Conflict and the War Memorial’, Meanjin, Autumn 2019 at: https://meanjin.com.au/essays/frontier-conflict-and-the-war-memorial/

Reynolds, Henry 2021, Truth-Telling: History, sovereignty and the Uluru Statement, New South Books

Stanley, Peter, University of New South Wales, ‘On Anzac Day, we remember the Great War but forget our first war’, The Conversation, 25 April 2014 athttps://theconversation.com/on-anzac-day-we-remember-the-great-war-but-forget-our-first-war-23246

Tatz, Colin, Genocide in Australia, Research Discussion Paper, No. 8, 1999, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra at: https://aiatsis.gov.au/publication/35772

Tedeschi, Mark 2017, Speech on War Crimes and Genocide, Myall Creek Massacre Memorial Ceremony, Myall Creek Memorial Site, Sunday 11 June. Full text of speech available at: https://myallcreek.org/2017/04/01/2017-speaker-mark-tedeschi/

 

Compiled by Jane Morrison 2012–2021. Updated 8-14 November 2021

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