About Being Mununga (Whitefulla): making covert group racism visible

Document Type

Journal Article


John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Education and Arts


Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications




This article was originally published as: Kessaris, T. N. (2006). About being Mununga (Whitefulla): Making covert group racism visible. Journal of community & applied social psychology, 16(5), 347-362. Original available here


The main focus of this paper is to expose what goes on between Mununga (White people) in Australia that contributes to the maintenance of racism in hidden and often unconscious ways. Mununga racism in Australia commonly occurs as normal, shared, social activity amongst ordinary, decent, Mununga folk, and it is covert and linked to colonial beliefs and practices. In this context, Mununga are co-opted by their own society to oppress others, particularly Blekbala (Indigenous people). However, some challenge that custom and strive to step outside their prevailing social practices. The processes of being co-opted into and challenging colonial practices are explored through the counter-narratives of Mununga allies who are engaged in the work of anti-racism and decolonization. Using an outsider Blekbala perspective with the help of Mununga insider perspectives, I put forward a description and critique of these covert, social practices under the themes of ‘Making, unmaking and remaking the Mununga self’, ‘Deep shared understandings’, ‘Violence, silence and benevolence’, ‘Unconstrained Mununga talk’ and ‘Turning things around’. This is a Black story of White on White.




Link to publisher version (DOI)