This article examines the history of four islands used for incarceration in Australia: the ‘secondary punishment’ of convicts on Norfolk Island; the management and quarantine of indigenous people on Palm Island; the quarantine of all new migrants and visitors on Bruny Island; and the incarceration of enemy aliens on Rottnest Island. Incarceration has been used throughout Australia’s history as a method of social and political control, targeting categories of people perceived to pose a threat to the racial composition, social cohesion, or national security of the Australian community. By providing a space both separate and invisible to the community, Australia’s carceral islands served as a solution to a recurring problem for a young nation apprehensive about the composition, durability and security of its community. The human consequences of incarceration could be devastating.
Field of Research
160699 Political Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified
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