About the Project

The Uluru Statement of the Heart calls for a process of ‘truth-telling about our history’ and sets out a sequence of three steps for national reform.

The first two steps (voice and treaty) speak to the need to reset the political relationship between Indigenous people and the rest of the nation in order to move forward together. The third step is to reckon with past histories of injustice and colonial violence. There’s been much public debate about how this process of reconciling with the past might be modelled as a partnership between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia, and how it might help generate changed relations in the present.

While this project aimed to explore documentary accounts of frontier conflict, the project team recognised that although historical records can reveal quite a lot about the patterns of frontier conflict, they cannot reveal everything. Instead, they are marked with gaps and silences, most significantly the silence of Aboriginal experiences. 

Accounts of conflict have been carried forward in other ways, passed down inter-generationally among Aboriginal and settler-descended communities. Bringing oral histories and memories into dialogue with the documentary archive was one of the key purposes of this project. The Story Map it has generated is not intended to be final or comprehensive, but to provide a template for an ongoing process of sharing local accounts of contact and conflict, place by place.

If you have stories that you would like to share, please contact the project team.