The British have an empire.
But what does it mean to have an imperial power?
And, more importantly, what do you do with that power when you don’t have an emperor?
That is the question that has dominated debate in Australia for decades.
Today, an inquiry into the legacy of British rule is underway and one of its key findings is that the empire’s legacy of violence and discrimination has far-reaching implications.
The inquiry, commissioned by the former Victorian premier, Peter Beattie, is examining the legacy and impact of British colonial rule in the Victorian Empire from the 19th century to the present.
In this episode of The Australian Story, host Kate Harrison looks at how the British Empire has shaped our current relationship with Indigenous Australians.
The ABC’s Kate Harrison is a journalist and host of The National Aboriginal Show, a radio and TV program covering the history of Australia.
Her first book was published in 2015.
She is currently a professor of journalism at the University of Melbourne.
Listen to the podcast Here are a few key findings of the inquiry.
The British empire has been an important force for the spread of the ideology of white supremacy in Victorian society.
While Victorian society at the time was deeply divided about the question of whether slavery should continue in the British empire, it also embraced a view that white people were the natural rulers of Australia and had a moral responsibility to preserve their “natural” status in Australia.
The legacy of white racism and white supremacy has profoundly impacted Aboriginal people’s lives and communities, even today.
While the Australian Government has acknowledged that the Australian government has a role to play in addressing racism, Aboriginal people have long believed that the current government and the Victorian government had a responsibility to end white racism.
In 2017, the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services Association (VALSA) released a report on the legacy, impact and impact on Aboriginal communities and people of colour in Victoria.
The Commonwealth is responsible for providing assistance to Indigenous Australians to help them become self-sufficient in their communities and be able to thrive.
In the 1970s, Australia had a number of policies to assist Indigenous people to be self-reliant in their own communities.
But the policies did not address the systemic problems that Indigenous people faced in their lives.
In particular, many Indigenous people, including women, children and people with disabilities, had little support to help their families survive on their own.
Aboriginal people also faced a high rate of poverty.
In response to this, in the 1990s, the Commonwealth introduced the Commonwealth Social Services Package, which provided welfare assistance to people who had been on welfare for more than 12 months and provided them with job training and financial assistance.
This was followed by the Welfare to Work program, which was introduced in 2003.
In Victorian society, it was believed that Victorian society was homogenous.
While there was a significant amount of ethnic diversity, the majority of people who lived in Victorian homes and businesses were white.
This is a significant change from the colonial period.
In addition, while there was no government-imposed segregation of the English-speaking community, the British had an extensive system of ethnic segregation in which white people had the majority in society.
The policies that were introduced in the 1970’s to help Indigenous Australians became part of the fabric of Victorian society and, consequently, continued to influence and reinforce white supremacy and racism in Victorian communities for decades to come.
Aboriginal Australians have a high level of poverty and unemployment.
Aboriginal communities in Victoria are among the most disadvantaged in Australia, with more than 20% of the population living on less than $20 a day.
There was a lot of violence in Victorian Victorian society that continued well into the 20th century.
According to the Victorian Government’s latest figures, in 2017, there were more than 8,500 incidents of homicide against Indigenous people in Victoria, the highest rate in the world.
More than one in five Indigenous Australians aged under 25 had been the victim of a homicide.
Victorian government policies were racist towards Indigenous Australians, with the government imposing a number a restrictions on the rights of Indigenous Australians that were racist in the 20s and 30s.
Indigenous Australians in Victoria experienced systemic discrimination, including: laws that limited the rights and freedoms of Aboriginal people, such as the Aborigines and Europeans Act 1885; restrictions on housing, employment, education, health, access to social welfare, education and the media; the creation of “welfare camps” and the creation and enforcement of racist laws; the imposition of laws that targeted Aboriginal people in the workplace, including the Victorian Anti-Bribery Act 1894 and the Racial Discrimination Act 1900; and laws that restricted Indigenous Australians’ freedom of movement.
These policies and practices were not confined to the Commonwealth or the states, but extended to other areas of life as well.
For example, the Victoria Police Commissioner in the late 1970s refused to prosecute or prosecute