Module 3: AWABA database

The University of Newcastle, Australia maintains an online database of artifacts and documents relating to Aboriginal culture from the Newcastle-Lake Macquarie region.  The database categorizes the materials under the headings of culture, history, images, people, and places.  Unfortunately, much of the database’s contents were researched, written, and codified by non-Indigenous researchers and originate from the late 19th and 20th-centuries when research was practiced along the lines criticized by Smith.  The reproductions of paints, for instance, depicts Aborigines scantily clothed in sometimes primitive stances (feet apart, arms in the air) surrounded by a peaceful and placid—a romantic—view of nature.


The University of Newcastle.  A database of historical materials relating to the Aborigines of the Newcastle-Lake Macquarie Region.  Retrieved from


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