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Black lives matter, by Kate Auty, the Last Word article in the next quarterly issue of The Alternative Law Journal. Auty refers to Chris Owen’s 2016 book on the Western Australian policing of Aboriginal people – Every Mother’s son is guilty, and in particular the cover photograph, taken around 1900, of nearly 100 Aboriginal men and boys neck chained for ‘cattle killing’. The significance of the woodpile in the background is explained. Auty underlines the links between the needs expressed in the Uluru Statement – voice, treaty and truth telling – ‘with both the colonial past and the contemporary anger and grief which sits under the campaign about why black lives matter and why protest is critically important.’

Here is my cartoon to illustrate the article and the cover of the book.


  1. I just finished reading a little more about this. I had no idea this ever happened. Some of the photos were really difficult to look at because of the brutality and dehumanization. Your drawing is a very powerful statement about what happened.

    • Thank you. We gloss over a lot of our history here – ‘that was in the past’. Terrible certainly and the attitudes are still around.

      • Similar to us in the souther part of the U.S. sad to say.

  2. Cheers for this Simon great drawing!

    • Thank you Chris! I hoped to get something of your book into the cartoon – which the review did so well for me. I have the book now and I’m discovering the uneasiness for myself. I did like your straightforward explanation of what the front cover photo shows. Photos are made up of many clues, and the people in them are made from light reflected from those actual people. And then there are the thousands of actual documents you trawled through.
      Thanks again Chris,

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