...Eddie was one of the first to come here...
'I was first aware of Eddie through his association with the trade union movement. And he had been in Townsville a few years then, and we'd been here about 18 months.
'And it was then very much more typically a Queensland country town. The Aboriginal community had just, to some extent, been moving into the town, but also the first of the Islanders were coming into Townsville.
'And Eddie was one of the first to come here and over the next ten years I had a lot to do with him.
'The white community was very much still tied to the past. People quite genuinely believed that race was an important category, that Aborigines in particular you could never do anything with them.
'The Islanders in a way were better off because universally people thought they were "more intelligent." People would say "Oh, I can't stand the Abos, but the TIs are all right." There was a certain amount of paternalistic affection for the "TIs" as they were called.'
Keywords: Mabo, Edward Koiki, Queensland, racism, Reynolds, Henry (Prof.), Townsville, trade unions, 1957-
Interviewed by Trevor Graham, Townsville, 1996.
Author: Graham, Trevor
© Film Australia
Source: Reynolds, Henry