Book Launch – “The Secret War: A True History of Queensland’s Native Police”

by Jonathan Richards

 “The Secret War” will be launched by Henry Reynolds at the Avid Reader bookshop, Boundary St. West End (Bris) on Wednesday 19th March 2008 at 6.00 pm.

 From the publisher, University of Queensland Press….……

  Henry Reynolds describes Jonathan Richards’ controversial book, The Secret War: A True History of Queensland’s Native Police, as ‘a major contribution to Queensland and Australian historiography, and to the history of relations between colonists and indigenous people on a global scale’.

The health, housing and employment crisis facing Indigenous people today are a direct result of our white settlement history.

How did Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, from all over Queensland, end up being violently forced to leave their homelands and live in these communities?

Why were Indigenous people so terrified of the police, they allowed themselves to be herded into ‘prisons without walls’?

The release of The Secret War is timely given the new Labor Government’s official apology to the Aboriginal people.

The Secret War tells the story of organised racial violence and lawful mass murder on the Queensland frontier.

For many Indigenous people, white colonisation arrived with the armed men of the Native Police: a brutal force that operated on the 19th-century frontier, killing large numbers of Indigenous men, women and children.

Historian Jonathan Richards has spent ten years researching this contentious subject, picking his way through secrecy, misinformation and supposed ‘lost files’ to uncover and publish the truth.

In this first full-length comprehensive study of the Native Police in Queensland, he argues that they were a key part of a ‘divide and rule’ colonising tactic and that the force’s actions were given the implicit approval of the government and public servants, and that their killings were covered up.

The Queensland government, which so far has avoided blame due to an absence of direct orders to kill Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, stands responsible for the force’s deployment, techniques and ultimately for its genocidal activities.

The Secret War is an authoritative and groundbreaking contribution to our country’s white settlement history.


Filed under Aboriginal, australia, history, reconciliation, society, war

9 responses to “Book Launch – “The Secret War: A True History of Queensland’s Native Police”

  1. John Greenfield

    John Tracey

    Re your outrageous claim on Luvvie Prodeo

    “When joseph Banks and King George the third declared this land to be Terra Nullius.”

    You are a liar. No more and no less. WHY do you race-baiters continue with this hateful divisive rubbish?

  2. Hello John.

    I was wondering when you would show up on P.Oz. I was beginning to ask myself why you troll all the other sites and not mine. But now I am content.

    I am happy to respond to the Terra Nullius comment on the forum that it was originally posted.

    I would ask however, that if you seek a response, you provide a challenge with some substance that I can indeed respond to. I find your one-liner commentary to be somewhat intellectually restrictive.

  3. John Greenfield

    John T

    My more substantial comments get censored on LP. But I will check your response. I will respond here to ensure it gets posted. Oh, and please drop the “troll” shtick. We all know that “troll” is a word used by left-wingers to keep non hive-midests out of the hive.

  4. John Greenfield

    I have just checked. And no you have not responded. There is no evidence there for your claim.

  5. I see no question from you on that thread. I await substance.

    If you would like to give a substantial response to any of the posts on this site you will not be censored. However, please forgive me, your pathetic attempts at provocation across the internet seem to be more self indulgent than any attempt at real communication so I will persist to call you a troll.

    From what I have read of your cyber-graffitti you yourself are indeed of a hive mind, your kneejerkism is as predictable and typical of all the other right wing trolls who lack the substance to challenge the left wing hive mind and stand at it periphery obsessively pulling faces at it. Your apparent claim to an open mind is unconvincing.

    Future inane bullshit (such as your comments so far) will be ignored or removed depending on my mood at the time.

    Serious feedback, requests for clarification or proposition of alternative viewpoints are most welcome.

    So this ends the courtesy conversation, welcome to my site.

  6. John Greenfield

    message deleted for lack of substance

  7. John Greenfield


    Fair enough on the last comment.

    But there seems to be a new direction in our “debate.” I am impressed by the more “nuanced” – god I hate that word – position on Noel Pearson you are advocating over on Luvvie Plodders. Personally, I find the whole “white gatekeeper” presumption LP assumes to be a little sad. Not “offensive” – god I hate that word – or “disturbing” – god I hate that word. Just “sad.” Left-wing people once were our society’s intellectual leaders. This LP kind of puffery does nobodody any favours.

    I was discussing “The Intervention” with some pale-face mates recently and they asked what I thought. I said, “in a way it is a bit off for me to say anything. I don’t live there, don’t know anybody who does. The best I can do I suppose is offer support to people who ARE involved and listen to their perspectives that are broadcast.”

    It is difficult not to conclude that MB, Kim, “tigtog” and the gang hate Noel Pearson because he is er, like, you know, black! As if only bourgeois pale-faces – who can reduce all black people to cartoons in mid 20th century continental European neo-marxist commentators – have solutions and opinions worthy of broadcast.

    Also do you notice the bourgeois pale-faces never mention others like Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Warren Mundine, Marcia Langton, and all those aboriginal people who have appeared on shows like Insight?

  8. Hi John,

    Yes the folks at Larvatus Prodeo do seem locked into a peer generated opinion not dissimilar to schoolyard trends. An open, curious mind is a rare thing in these times.

    Marcia Langton has been much more outspoken in her support for the Cape York trial and such things as welfare quarantining than Pearson has and I look forward to hearing the feminist critique of her on L.P.

    I have been a revolutionary socialist for most of my adult life but today I am very dissapointed in the intellectual slackness and closed mindedness of those who call themselves “left” – the radicals and moderates alike.

    I am afraid I cannot see any attraction to your own right wing opinions that I have read. I believe the right is just as intellectually castrated as the left is. Commentators such as yourself seem to define yourself by your opposition to your opponents, just as many leftists do, rather than by a positive constructive vision and direction. Left and right politics alike seems to be about egoic point scoring.

    I have become more open to free market ideas of late, not in an embrace of capitalism but because of the basic failure of bureacratic welfare to tackle structural causes and manifestations of disadvantage. The welfare state is essentially dysfunctional, black and white alike, and (in the tradition of Marxism?) it is only through direct engagement in economic forces that will bring about change – which is why I am most curious to see how the Cape York stuff unfolds.

    the L.P. post John refers to is here –

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