Doctorate student, English Dept, University of Sydney.
49 Seconds to reconciliation? A do-it yourself guide to
running in Anti-colonial spikes
Something was in the air [the republic referendum, the official
close of the formal reconciliation process, the tent embassy
at Victoria Park, walks across bridges for reconciliation, the
Nike advertising campaign] when a 400 metre women's Olympic race
became an icon of the nation imagining itself reconciled. You
could see it clearly as flags entwined, union Jack replaced by
Aboriginal flag on the Australian flag, and the wave of media
belief that challenges of prejudice, history, apologies could
all be overcome through the unifying force of sport. What does
the response to "Cathy's" race say about Australia's
image of itself and how it appears to the rest of the world?
This paper is a guided tour of the newspaper and women's magazine
coverage of Cathy's Olympic campaign, race and what happened
to her afterwards, with anti-colonial spikes provided by luminaries
such as bell hooks, and marcia langton.
June Perkins, doctoral topic is Rituals and Texts of identity
formation and resistance of indigenous women. She is based at
the University of Sydney and is a Bahai, writer and dedicated
parent, of Mekeo (Papua New Guinean) and Australian background.
She has also worked in community arts and as a community development
officer and tutor.
30 min paper