Romance and Reconciliation : The secret life of indigenous sexuality on Australian television drama

King, Andrew S. (2009) Romance and Reconciliation : The secret life of indigenous sexuality on Australian television drama. Journal of Australian Studies, 33(1), pp. 37-50.

View at publisher


This article examines the representation of Indigenous sexuality on Australian television drama since the 1970s, suggesting the political importance of such representations. In 1976 Justine Saunders became the first regular Indigenous character on an Australian television drama series, as the hairdresser Rhonda Jackson in Number 96. She was presented as sexually attractive, but this was expressed through a rape scene after a party. Twenty five years later, Deborah Mailman starred in The Secret Life of Us, as Kelly, who is also presented as sexually attractive. But her character can be seen in many romantic relationships. The article explores changing representations that moved us from Number 96 to The Secret Life of Us, via The Flying Doctors and Heartland. It suggests that in representations of intimate and loving relationships on screen it has only recently become possible to see hopeful models for interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
2 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,169 since deposited on 07 Mar 2010
99 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 31197
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Aboriginal, Romance, Interracial, Television, Soap Opera
DOI: 10.1080/14443050802672528
ISSN: 1444-3058
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Film and Television (190204)
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Routledge
Deposited On: 07 Mar 2010 23:45
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:23

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page