|Chapter :||Introduction: Australian Literature as Postcolonial Literature|
native title claims … is that post-colonialism? Cos, if it is, it feels a lot like colonialism to the Indigenous owners” (115).7
Likewise, in his essay “Covered Up with Sand,” Indigenous author Kim Scott expresses doubt that contemporary Australia can be considered a postcolonial society due to a number of factors, including the tiny percentage of Australians who are descendents of the Indigenous peoples, Australia's failure to become an independent republic, the lack of power afforded to Indigenous peoples within Australian society, and the lack of a truly hybrid culture that blends Indigenous and colonial cultures (120–121). Scott's argument reveals an interesting set of definitions for a postcolonial society and points to just one of the many ways the term “postcolonial” can be defined. As Huggan puts it, “[W]hile Australia is postcolonial with respect to its former British colonizers, it remains very much colonial or, perhaps more accurately, neo-colonial in its treatment of its own indigenous peoples” (27; original emphasis). In her essay “I Still Call Australia Home: Indigenous Belonging and Place in a White Postcolonizing Society,” Indigenous scholar Aileen Moreton-Robinson describes Australia as a “postcolonizing society” and notes that she uses the verb “postcolonizing” “to signify the active, the current and the continuing nature of the colonising relationship that positions” Indigenous Australians “as belonging but not belonging” (38). Moreton-Robinson acknowledges the complexity of attempting to define Australia as colonial, postcolonial, neocolonial, or postcolonizing, noting that “[t]here may well be spaces in Australia that could be described as postcolonial but these are not spaces inhabited by Indigenous people” (30).
However, a distinction should be made between Australian society and Australian literature. Just because Australian society is postcolonial (or not), it does not necessarily follow that Australian literature is postcolonial (or not). Thus, while it seems imprudent to declare that Australian literature as a whole is not postcolonial (the scholarship in this volume and many other publications clearly proves otherwise), likewise, it would also be a mistake to claim that allAustralian literature is postcolonial (which is not the same as declaring that Australia is a postcolonial society). However, it seems reasonable to claim that most