The Invention Of Terra Nullius: Historical And Legal Fictions On The Foundation Of Australia
Macleay Press, $39.95 hb, 362 pp
If any scholar has written anything worthwhile on Australia’s early colonial history, it is unlikely to be mentioned in this book. In Michael Connor’s depiction, things have become so bad that all the historians, lawyers, anthropologists, sociologists and health experts, and everyone else who has written or spoken publicly about our history over the last thirty years, should be sacked immediately. So too should staff in the departments of education, in the Australian Research Council, and all their national and international academic peer reviewers. Recent PhD graduates should be asked to give back their degrees, as they have not been properly trained. Many historical research assistants should never be given jobs again. The appellations ‘associate professor’ or ‘professor’ should be removed from office doors. Historians of the Australian academy do not deserve them. The first targets should be the most prolific and popular historians. And finally, tenure and terra nullius should be banned.