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NATIONAL ARCHIVES
OF AUSTRALIA BRISBANE

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COMMONWEALTH RECORDS

Located at 16 Corporate Dve, Cannon Hill, the Queensland branch of the National Archives of Australia, contains limited materials relating to the interaction between Indigenous people and Europeans on the western coast of Cape York.

Given that the Commonwealth only began to be actively involved in Aboriginal Affairs after the 1967 referendum, and with the coming to power of the Whitlam Government in 1972, there is not a great deal of relevant material.

The 30 year rule for the release of cabinet documents means that materials relating to the Aurukun- Mornington Island conflict in 1978 are now available.

Another set of materials that is available are those relating to the Alwyn Peter case, in which Mapoon man Alwyn Peter killed his partner Deirdre Gilbert in 1979. A substantial part of his defence was that he was traumatised by his dislocation from Mapoon, and the court considered this in his sentencing.

A reflection on this case 30 years after by Professor Frank Brennan, the Jesuit lawyer who was junior counsel for the defence was published by Eureka Street in 2016:

Eureka street

Note that this archive has quite restricted access times.

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