Intimate Violence in the Pastoral Economy: Aboriginal Women’s Labour and Protective Governance
When ‘Jenny Lind’ was abducted at gunpoint in 1898 from the pastoral station where she was employed as a cook, colonial officials entered into a protracted debate about how to achieve her return. Finding no legal avenue through which to prosecute her abductor, the legal solution was to prosecute Jenny herself for absconding from her employment. Her case speaks to a broader set of questions about the vulnerability of Indigenous women in colonial industries, and to the uncertain place they occupied at the intersection of raced and gendered labour relations. This chapter considers these questions by exploring the law’s limited capacity to provide protection to Indigenous women workers, in an era when statutory powers of ‘Aboriginal protection’ were becoming normative across Australia.