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Richard Harding

Richard Harding was Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology, Foundation Director of the UWA Crime Research Centre and the inaugural Inspector of Custodial Services for Western Australia.

Richard Hardin reviews 'Paupers, Poor Relief and Poor Houses in Western Australia, 1829–1910' by Penelope Hetherington

May 2010, no. 321 01 May 2010
The first attempt to settle Western Australia, in 1827, failed. This book brings home that the second attempt, in 1829, was also very fragile and could well have failed. By 1850 there were still only 5900 non-Aboriginal people in the colony. By any measure, this was well short of the critical mass of population needed to sustain development in such a remote and vast outpost. The expectations of t ... (read more)

Richard Harding reviews 'Under The Influence: A history of alcohol in Australia' by Ross Fitzgerald and Trevor L. Jordan and 'My Name Is Ross: An alcoholic’s journey' by Ross Fitzgerald

June 2010, issue no. 322 01 June 2010
In Under the Influence, Ross Fitzgerald and Trevor L. Jordan look at Australian history and contemporary life through the lens of alcohol use in the community. ‘How a community or nation handles alcohol may be a strong indicator of its collective character’, they suggest. While seeking evidence for this, they throw up some fascinating material. There was briefly a possibility that New South W ... (read more)

Richard Harding reviews 'Ciara's Gift: Grief Edged with Gold' by Una Glennon and 'Murderer No More: Andrew Mallard and the epic fight that proved his innocence' by Colleen Egan

July–August 2010, no. 323 01 July 2010
In 1996–97, three young women were abducted from the nightclub area of Claremont in Perth, and murdered. One of them was a young lawyer, Ciara Glennon. Her mother, Una Glennon, has written a memoir of her passage from despair, anger and grief to a mature and rounded understanding of the complexity of the human condition. Her book is a wise and beautiful one – written sparingly, without unneces ... (read more)

Richard Harding reviews 'The Unforgiving Rope' by Simon Adams

March 2010, no. 319 24 August 2022
Simon Adams’s thesis is that capital punishment was crucial in how the West was won: ‘The gallows were a potent symbol of an unforgiving social order that was determined to stamp its moral authority over one-third of the Australian continent.’ But hanging was discriminatory; it ‘was never applied fairly or impartially in Western Australia’. Adams points to the fact that ‘there were 17 ... (read more)