Note: This object includes derogatory slurs, references to and depictions of First Nations people. It also includes a white superiority messaging. Such words, images and sentiments are not condoned by Museums Victoria which considers them to be racist. Historical distance and context does not excuse or erase this fact.

'The Australian Aborigine' by anatomist and anthropologist, Andrew Arthur Abbie (1905-1976). It was first published in the journal 'Oceania', December 1951, Vol. XXII. No. 2. This edition is a 1952 reprint by the Australasian Medical Publishing Company Limited. The author moved from England to Australia in the 1920s and in the 1950s wrote his first paper about First Peoples in Australia. During his career he authored over 120 articles. This particular publication states it provides a scientific study of First Peoples' "...origin, ethnological affinities, physical characteristics, antiquity in Australia and relationship to the Tasmanian...".

Physical Description

This publication does not have a cover and is held together at the spine by two metal staples. It has 20 pages front and back, 11 of which are text based on matt paper and four that are picture plates on glossy paper. The remaining six pages are blank.


Statement of Historical Significance:
A.A. Abbie conducted anthropomorphic research in an attempt to construct scientific findings regarding the physical and mental characteristics of First Peoples in Australia. In doing so he supported the now widely challenged idea that scientific knowledge holds greater worth and objectivity than other forms of cultural knowledge and that the use of scientific classification is a valid form of understanding humans. Abbie also used his scientific discourse to argue against popular notions at the time of First Peoples racial inferiority but as an exercise in promoting policies of assimilation.

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