A Preponderance of Aboriginal Blood
Judy Watson (Artist); Michele Helmrich; Noreen Grahame (Text by); Michael Phillips (Designed by); Anne Kirker (Editor)
This new publication introduces Judy Watson's 2005 limited edition artist book a preponderance of aboriginal blood to a wider readership. Judy Watson heard Loris Williams' lecture 'CASTE-ING THE VOTE: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voting rights in Queensland' at The University of Queensland in 2005. In her lecture Williams, from the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy, spoke of the classifications of Aboriginal people used to determine their right to vote. The Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 (Qld) - long title "An Act to make Provision for the Better Protection and Care of the Aboriginal and Half-caste Inhabitants of the Colony, and to make more Effectual Provision for Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Opium". The Act categorised 'Persons deemed to be aboriginals' in Section 4 as: (a) An aboriginal inhabitant of Queensland; or (b) A half-caste who, at the commencement of this Act, is living with an aboriginal as wife, husband, or child; or (c) A half-caste who, otherwise than as wife, husband, or child, habitually lives or associates with aboriginals;shall be deemed to be an aboriginal within the meaning of this Act.The phrase a preponderance of aboriginal blood appears in one of these documents, and provided Watson with the title for her artist book. The Acting Assistant Director of Native Affairs used the term in his letter dated 9 December 1949 replying to Mrs H. Tyson, who had sought the right to enrol to vote for herself and her husband. He stated, "The State Electoral Act provides that persons having a preponderance of aboriginal blood are not eligible to vote, and the fact that such persons hold Exemption Certificates does not alter the matter in any way."
Publication Date: 25-Dec-2019
Publisher: Grahame Galleries & Editions