Fighting grounds: Weipa 1898-1998

Long before the first European mariners sighted the western coast of Cape York, Aboriginal people migrated from Asia to populate the coast where the modern township of Weipa now stands. They were a sea people, drawing much of their sustenance from the molluscs and other seafood along the shoreline.

2018 is the 120th anniversary of the establishment of Weipa.

Does the Torres Straits Pilot  enlighten our frontier history?

The Torres Strait region has long been part of the Australian frontier. Its long serving newspaper, the weekly Torres Straits Pilot, published on Thursday Island from 1887 to 1942, was not only an advocate for the area’s principal industry, pearl-shelling and beche de mer fishing, but strongly opposed to the implementation of the 1897 Protection of Aboriginals Act.

This paper examines some of the attitudes revealed by the extant copies of the newspaper 1897-1914 as the north Queensland frontier closed and the era of protection began.

The Evans-Kernot Affair. Lots of finger pointing.

The revelation that Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was having an affair with his media advisor, Vikki Campion, led to lots of finger pointing. In all directions.

Sixteen years ago similar revelations about then Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, and the leader of the Australian Democrats, Cheryl Kernot, raised similar questions.  At that time a group of University of Queensland journalism academics published a colloquium in Australian Studies in Journalism on the issues raised.