Aboriginal people in Queensland: a brief human rights history

Introduction

A modern public art sculpture installation that is a memorial to Aboriginal peoples massacred during colonial settlement and expansion of Queensland.This resource gives an outline of historical and more recent events that have had an impact on Aboriginal peoples in Queensland.

It is provided to:

  • acknowledge the history, and that certain events took place;
  • recognise the impacts of historical events still felt today by Aboriginal peoples;
  • recognise that these impacts have resulted in discrimination and breaches of the human rights of Aboriginal peoples; and
  • give insight into Aboriginal peoples' relationships with non-Indigenous Queenslanders, government agencies and their representatives.

Witnessing to Silence

The Witnessing to Silence sculpture by Badtjala artist, Fiona Foley, is an installation that consists of stainless steel columns embedded with ash in laminated glass, bronze lotus lilies, and granite pavers etched with place names.

The work is a memorial to Aboriginal people massacred in Queensland during colonial settlement and expansion. The panels of ash represent the way in which the bodies of the massacred people were disposed of — by burning and discarding — in waterways (the lotus lilies). 

The pavers which form part of the installation are etched with the names of ninety-four Queensland towns and places that are sites where massacres of Aboriginal people are known to have taken place.

Download Aboriginal people in Queensland: a brief human rights history in print-friendly format (PDF File, 2.1 MB) , or access each chapter separately using the Contents list.

Back to top

Contents list: Aboriginal people in Queensland

Appendixes

Back to top