The sound of a British officer’s leather-soled boot crunching on Hawkesbury sandstone in January 1788 resonated with change in Indigenous Australian epistemologies forever. The British invasion brought a new form of ‘science’ to the Australian landscape. Western knowledge systems were to be the ‘truth’ without peer. The imposition of the British system resulted in a progressive elimination and near extermination of Indigenous Australian social systems, knowledge, governance, economy and education. Perhaps the most devastating aspect of this conquest was the social construction of race that placed Indigenous Australians in a scientifically inferior space. Indigenous people were seen as sub-human with no societal or scientific systems in place. Indigenous knowledge was reinterpreted through Western ethnocentric scientific discourse based on a language and an audience that was non-Indigenous. This resulted in many misunderstandings of Indigenous knowledge, including its links to power and leadership.
Transgressions: Critical Australian Indigenous Histories p. 177-192