deep history

photo credit: Deb Oliver

Was the transition to agriculture the “worst mistake in human history”?

by Robbo Bennetts
18 June 2021

The “Agricultural Revolution” — that is the transition of much of humanity from a foraging economy to an agricultural economy — is sometimes described as the greatest revolution in human history. So what did it mean, in real-life terms, for those who made the transition?


colonial history

map maker

The doctrine of discovery

What was in the minds of the British when they claimed first the eastern half and then the rest of Australia? Why did they think they could assume sovereignty over a vast tract of land that was already occupied? This essay provides a detailed, evidence-based answer that challenges conventional thinking.

The Black Resistance

The Black Resistance, chapter 3: “Tasmania” (1977)

by Robbo Bennetts
first published as a chapter in Fergus Robinson and Barry York (eds), The Black Resistance, Widescope, Melbourne, 1977

"The Black Resistance is a powerful contribution to the movement for a new Australian history - a history centred on the first Australians. It presents massive evidence of a splendid tradition of heroic resistance by the Aboriginal people and establishes that violent struggle against foreign invasion was an on-going and continent wide response."
From the blurb on the back cover of Black Resistance.

blood on poa 2020

Blood on the poa

Worksheet from Footprints workbook about frontier conflict in north-eastern Victoria in the 1830s.

blood on the spinifex

Blood on the spinifex

Worksheet from Footprints workbook about frontier conflict in the East Kimberley in the early twentieth century.




the protest movement

waterdale Rd protests

Photogallery: The second Waterdale Road demonstration, 16 September 1970

Images from the second of three Waterdale Road demonstrations against the Vietnam War in October 1970.

proudly untraditional

Photogallery: proudly untraditional

La Trobe University shamelessly uses images of students protesting against the university's role in supporting the Vietnam War to promote itself as somehow "untraditional".

Barry York

Audio tapes by Barry York

Respected historian and author of Student Revolt (amongst many other titles) interviews key participants in the Waterdale Road demonstrations.

Standing on the tail of the dragon

Standing on the tail of the dragon

Fifty years ago Robbo Bennetts travelled to China during the tail of the Cultural Revolution. Here are his perceptions back then.
(Cultural Revolution, Bon Hull, Peace Hotel, Grand Lama, Rewi Alley)


Smile. You are on ASIO camera

from Robbo Bennetts' ASIO file


The Iraq war

Michael Leunig responds to a rough sketch sent to him by Robbo Bennetts.


labour history

Westgate Bridge

The fall and rise of the Westgate Bridge

by Robbo Bennetts
first published in October 2020 in

One disaster was one too many.