Boundary Street

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Image: A living frontier? A symbol of traditional owners keeps watch! Credit: David Jackmanson (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

By Damian West (First published April 2013)

Only a short five minute saunter from where I now sit is a street by the name of Boundary. Boundary Street, West End.

Brisbane, in fact, is replete with Boundary streets and Boundary roads. These streets, named during the early days of Brisbane’s European settlement, carved out literal boundaries, stonewalling places – White Places – where local Indigenous peoples were permitted only at select times. If at all. And in this time, erstwhile Immigration Officials, otherwise known as troopers, patrolled on horses and carried whips and pistols, checking their subjects carried the correct passports, referred to, in those times, as white skin.

Now, decades on, these street names engender the collective skeletal remains of a violently enforced apartheid embalmed in the amnesic historical amber of free-floating words.

Sadly, time makes people forget the origins of things. Why these street names remain, I do not know.

 

 

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