Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

White, nomadic And loopie: Non-Aboriginal travellers and ambivalence

Palmer, D. (2000) White, nomadic And loopie: Non-Aboriginal travellers and ambivalence. In: TASA 2000 Conference: Sociological sites/sights, 6 - 8 December 2000, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA

PDF - Published Version
Download (152kB) | Preview


This paper elaborates on points made by post-colonial writers about ambivalence and how non-Aboriginal people draw on and use Aboriginality. Using evidence from an ethnographic study of loopies (alternatively known as Grey Nomads) the paper will explore how at one and the same time many non-Aboriginal people spurn and yearn for Aboriginality.

The discussion includes an exploration of how loopies reproduce what they consider to be the Aboriginal tendency to go on walkabout; ‘get a bit of colour’; lament their own lack culture; desire timelessness; and be obsessed with reclaiming land. What becomes clear is that many of loopie’s stories about Aborigines are more likely projections of their own unconscious desires. What is more, often these desires are expressed by loopies living out the very kind of life they affix to Aborigines. Given half the chance, loopies, particularly male loopies, are the first to “go walkabout”, “go bush”, and “become a blackfella”.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year