50 years of Indigenous engagement at Monash

Dr Colin Tatz

Dr Colin Tatz with Dr Eve Fesl (former Director of the Aboriginal Research Centre).

As the 50th anniversary of Indigenous programs at Monash, 2014 was a time to look back at half a century of progress at the University and in the wider Australian community.

In 1964, Aboriginal people had only recently gained the right to vote but were still three years away from being counted as people in the census. The same year, the Centre for Research into Aboriginal Affairs was established at Monash University by Dr Colin Tatz.

It was fitting then that in late 2014 Dr Tatz was welcomed to Monash to present on the past 50 years of Aboriginal affairs. His presentation was titled ‘Aborigines in Quarantine, Yet Again’ and discussed the survival of Indigenous people through periods of segregation, assimilation and now reconciliation.

Dr Tatz talked about restrictions placed on Aboriginal people via many different methods. He examined payment for Aboriginal workers and stolen wages. He also spoke about suicide, saying it was unheard of among Aboriginal people in 1960 but they now have the highest suicide rate in the world.

The presentation was recorded by the Yulendj Indigenous Engagement Unit and is available to view online.