Robert Towns Statue in Townsville
By Jade •
On June 22, 2020 the statue of Townsville’s founder and namesake Robert Towns was vandalised by the smearing of red paint on his hands to symbolise blood. The vandalisation formed part of a wider movement in Australia to confront the nation’s colonial past. Robert Towns and Townsville as a city have been seeped in historical notoriety for their involvement in ‘Blackbirding’ referring to the kidnapping of Pacific Islander labourers to work in Queensland’s agricultural industries. This case study explores the controversy surrounding representations of Australia’s colonial roots and explores the tensions this often overlooked history of Blackbirding continues to have in the present day.