Rabbit-proof defence from film’s creators


It’s a pity that Keith Windschuttle did not continue his research into Molly and Daisy’s removal (“Rabbit-Proof Fence grossly inaccurate: Windschuttle”, 14/12). He might have “discovered” the rest of the correspondence in this case. Yes, Mrs Chellow wrote to A. O. Neville complaining that the girls were “running wild with the whites”. Following this letter, Neville wrote to a Mr Keeling, the superintendent at Jigalong. Keeling replied, saying that “Molly and Daisy were not getting a fair chance as the blacks consider the H/Cs (half-castes) inferior to them.” Nineteen days later, on July 10, 1930, he had had second thoughts. He wrote again to Neville: “They live with their mothers in the blackfellow’s camp and therefore have not been in touch with the whitefellow much. They lean very much towards the black and, on second thoughts, I don’t suppose there would be much gained in removing them.”

Neville was very definitely in the business of “breeding out the black”, as he himself described it. Perhaps Windschuttle did not “discover” Neville’s reply to Mrs Chellow, on December 30, 1930, in which he wrote: “I have to thank you for you letter of the 19th inst. in regard to the girl `Daisy’.

I agree with you that in this case it would be inadvisable to allow `Daisy’ to mate with her tribal husband who is a full-blood, and as legal guardian of this child (Neville was the “legal guardian” of every Aborigine in Western Australia) I desire it to be known that I disapprove of any such proposition and do not wish the matter to be further considered.

There are quite a number of respectable half-caste lads from whom no doubt this girl will in due course select a mate.” Christine Olsen, producer and screenplay writer, Rabbit-Proof Fence Phillip Noyce, producer and director
See: http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/letters/index.php/ theaustralian/comments/rabbit_proof_defence_from_films_creators/