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Friday essay: William Ricketts Sanctuary is a racist anachronism but can it foster empathy?

In September 2003, an article in The Age reported the miserable conditions a group of Central Australian Aboriginal artists were enduring while housed in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges on the…

  • Mitchell Rolls
  • The Conversation

Cold, hungry, ill and isolated, the artists were producing paintings for one of Melbourne’s Aboriginal art galleries.

Feny 1aIt is unknown whether these artists were aware of fellow Central Australian Aborigines frozen in time in a nearby sanctuary.

The William Ricketts Sanctuary, or as the eccentric “Bill” Ricketts would have preferred it to be called, “The Forest of Love”, is a curious and somewhat disturbing anachronism that remains a…

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