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On Red Earth Walking: The Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, Western Australia 1946–1949


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  • On Red Earth Walking: The Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, Western Australia 1946–1949 
    Title: On Red Earth Walking: The Pilbara Aboriginal Strike, Western Australia 1946–1949
    Author: SCRIMGEOUR ANNE
    Format: PAPERBACK
    Publication date: 01/02/2020
    Imprint: NEW SOUTH WALES UNI PRESS
    Price: $39.95
    Publishing status: Active


    In 1946 Aboriginal people walked off pastoral stations in Western
    Australia’s Pilbara region, withdrawing their labour from the
    economically-important wool industry to demand improvements in wages and
    conditions. Their strike lasted three years. On Red Earth Walking is
    the first comprehensive account of this significant, unique, and understudied
    episode of Australian history.



    Using extensive and previously unsourced archival evidence, Anne
    Scrimgeour interrogates earlier historical accounts of the strike, delving
    beneath the strike’s mythology to uncover the rich complexity of its history. The
    use of Aboriginal oral history places Aboriginal actors at the centre of these
    events, foregrounding their agency and their experiences. Scrimgeour provides a
    lucid examination of the system of colonial control that existed in the Pilbara
    prior to the strike, and a fascinating and detailed account of how these
    mechanisms were gradually broken down by three years of striker activism. Amid
    Cold-war fears of communist subversion in the north, the prominence of
    communists among southern supporters and the involvement of a non-Aboriginal
    activist, Don McLeod, complicated settler responses to the strike. This history
    raises provocative ideas around racial tensions in a pastoral settler economy,
    and examines political concerns that influenced settler responses to the
    strike, to create a nuanced and engaging account of this pivotal event in
    Australian Indigenous and labour histories.







    ISBN: 9781925835687
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