Pinjarra 1970: Shame and the Country Town

Robyn Ferrell


Pinjarra in 1970 lay on an extraordinary cusp. It lagged along a fault line between one order and another; or rather, it squatted at a precipice, over which its cherished values had already been dashed to pieces. In 1967, Aboriginal people were at last, by national referendum, declared citizens of Australia. In 1969, Alcoa began to prepare the site in the hills behind Pinjarra for the open-cut mining of the largest bauxite deposit so far discovered in the world. The past met the future, and they didn’t recognise each other.


Pinjarra; exclusion; Indigenous; mining; referendum

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