‘There is no truth whatever as regards any Aboriginal being flogged by the Police’

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Cattle-graziers, miners, missionaries and police brought immense changes to the lives of Aboriginal people in remote parts of North Queensland. Of these groups, police held the greatest power, often removing people to distant missions and reserves as ‘punishment’ for actions that allowed continued survival ‘on country’. In 1933, journalists wrote about removals in the Coen district, drawing the attention of senior police and public servants. When fire destroyed a police building at Coen soon afterwards all three police officers stationed there were quickly transferred. Archival files reveal the full story of this episode.


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