IN October 1890, Archibald Meston, a handsome, slightly scapegrace pillar of the Queensland establishment, felt the time had come for a brisk assessment of the state’s dark and conveniently ill-remembered past. At that point in his hectic career Meston was still in his 30s and had already been by turns a wordsmith, a parliamentarian, an explorer, a newspaper editor and a bankrupt: now he was on the verge of a new chapter in his life, as protector of the Aborigines. It was a title replete with ironic undertones.

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PDF: Mapping the massacres of Queensland Aboriginal society