Rethinking hero status in colonial Western Australia
Taylor & Francis
Efthimiou, O., Allison, S.T., & Franco, Z.E.
There is reluctance in the Western Australian community to admit and discuss the atrocities committed by the colony’s settler heroes. Settler heroes such as Captain Stirling (founder of Western Australia) and their ‘triumph over adversity’ could not have come about without the dispossession and exploitation of Australia’s first peoples. This is reflected in Australia’s national identity, where Indigenous peoples are viewed as ‘Other’ because they do not fit an ideal version of Australia created by the colonizers. This paper argues that to broaden the reach of reconciliation we need to in fact rewrite the hero status of settlers who committed atrocities.