Brings together a collection of resources related to the author’s 2011 book, Frontier History Revisited: Colonial Queensland and the History War. There are extracts from the book, as well as reviews of it, plus a link to the 2014 paper by the author and Raymond Evans, upon which Paul Daley has written.
Frontier History Revisited: Colonial Queensland and the “History War”’ is an excellent book, a very important contribution to the literature on the invasion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia. In the process the author destroys the ideologically distorted vendetta advanced by Keith Windschuttle and his supporters in the so called History War. To date, Windschuttle has not made any response that I am aware of.
In this book, Ørsted-Jensen is able to estimate that 1490 Europeans and their associates were killed in frontier warfare in nineteenth century Queensland and well over 30 000 Aboriginal people. Since publication in 2011, Ørsted-Jensen and Ray Evans have estimated very conservatively that well over 65 000 Aboriginal men, women and children were killed in frontier warfare in what is now Queensland. I suspect that this could mean many more than 100 000 in the whole of Australia.
It is clear that more Australians were killed in the struggle for the land in Queensland alone than were killed in World War 1 which resulted in the greatest loss of life of Australian armed forces in recorded history. We rightly venerate our Diggers’ courageous sacrifice. Yet most Australians are unaware of the loss of life resulting from the British invasion of Australia and most who are aware of it shrug it off: that’s just history – the tough luck Charlie response. This book is a clear challenge for Australians to confront this history appropriately at all levels of our education and in the media. Otherwise we will continue to live a tragic lie. (Review by Noel Loos)
The Evans-Ørsted-Jensen paper
suggests that there is a way to arrive at a proximate, dependable estimate of the number of Aboriginal frontier casualties at the hands of colonial Queensland’s Native Police Force. By using data that provides accurate information on the number and duration of “police” camps, the frequency of patrols, the surviving records of clashes and dispersals of Aborigines, as well as some reported body counts, it is possible to arrive at a defensible mathematical estimate of the quotient of state sponsored frontier killings across a half century span. Furthermore, this makes it possible to suggest a better estimate of the total Aboriginal death toll.