We Find Australia exemplifies Dann’s claim that tourism marketing professionals have created a distinctive language that glorifies modernity, promotion and consumerism. So too did a Commonwealth Railway’s poster designed by the talented graphic artist, Percy Trompf. This applied the Santa Fe railway aesthetic (Fig 5.5) to Central Australia and replaced ‘Indians’ of North American pueblos with ‘Arunta’ men (Fig 5.6). Trompf likewise contrasted modern, energetic white explorer-travellers with ‘primitive’ ‘native’ men. He assigned a set of formulaic positions and postures to the groups. Colonial figures and their modern conveyance occupied centre stage and were orientated towards the right to symbolise the future. Aboriginal men were relegated to servile positions, diminished in scale and located towards the rear to represent the past.
Reproduced with permission from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company, Texas.
Percy Trompf, 1930, Commonwealth Railways, National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an21530848.
Such were tourism representations of Central Australia when ANTA launched Walkabout in November 1934. During the next quarter century, Holmes used captured images of Jimmy to promote ANTA’s corporate goals. In the process Jimmy became a celebrity and a symbol for Australian colonisation, modernisation and Aboriginality.
Before Holmes catapulted Jimmy into international fame, however, he cast him in a position of national infamy whilst seeking to educate tourists to see the inland from three overlapping perspectives. Drawing upon the language of tourism, I have called these the ‘Imperial’, the ‘pioneer’ and the ‘anthropological’ tourist gazes.
The first way of seeing constructed by Holmes promoted an ‘Imperial’ tourist gaze. This celebrated British discovery and territorial annexation. Holmes mobilised a range of writers to associate the inland with a history of exploration, danger and the mastery of a hostile wasteland, and to identify explorers as heroic trailblazers: the founding fathers of the nation. Through image juxtaposition, writers promoted belief in settler and Indigenous Australian alterity, or difference, and demonised the Aboriginal men encountered by explorers during expeditions.
Holmes used photographs of Jimmy to illustrate a major series on inland exploration by Russell Clark and Frank Clune. This ingeniously reinscribed the Leichhardt, Kennedy, and Burke and Wills ‘tragedies’ of thirst, tortured agony and failure as glorious, intrepid and purposeful successes. Articles never named or individualised Jimmy. Rather, they promoted the idea that he typified all ‘natives’ who had interacted with explorers through time and space. Despite having connections to particular clans and country, Jimmy was said to be the same as any Aboriginal man encountered by explorers between Lake Eyre and Arnhem Land during the previous century.
This series presented the inland as an unknown, uninhabited and untracked wilderness. Authors organised explorer action into a theme of ‘to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield’, and a sequence of clashes against natural obstacles. This included Aboriginal men. Clark used a language of violence, sacrifice and domination to describe explorers hacking their way across the continent, being speared by Aboriginal men and giving way only to death.
Interaction with Aboriginal men and natural terrains was described in adversarial terms. Clark compared jagged mountain peaks to the sharpened teeth of savages and divided Aboriginal people into two categories: ‘semi-civilised’ allies like Kennedy’s faithful guide Jacky Jacky and ‘primitive’ tribal enemies. The latter were presented as either wandering marauders or treacherous cowards. Holmes used images of Jimmy that emphasised his weaponry and watchful, defensive positioning. Captions identified him as either a passive element of the natural environment: ‘The Aboriginal … as … seen by early explorers’ (Fig 5.7), or as an active foe: ‘as primitive today as were the natives who slew Kennedy’ (Fig 5.8).
Walkabout, January 1936. Photo Roy Dunstan.
Walkabout, March 1936.
Images of Jimmy functioned as a foil to add lustre to explorer action. This literary device has been called the construction of ‘cultural distance’ or Indigenous alterity. In tourism literature it worked to simultaneously glorify explorers and deride Aboriginal people. Holmes used photographs of Jimmy to perpetuate a stereotype of the ‘ignoble savage’. In so doing, he presented twentieth century Aboriginal men as brutish elements of malevolent nature, marauding, treacherous foes and aimless roamers in a virginal and available inland. This ‘Imperial’ gaze selectively ignored contemporary knowledge about Aboriginal connections to land. For example, anthropologists Donald Thomson and Norman Tindale were revealing that complex networks of travel routes existed throughout the continent for intertribal ceremonial and trade purposes. They showed that clans were connected to ancestral territories within which they ranged and camped according to customary laws. Ignoring this work suggests that Walkabout may have encouraged their writers to present an understanding that privileged stereotypes rather than Aboriginal ways of mapping and occupying the land.
ANTA was equally strategic in its use of Jimmy’s image to construct a ‘pioneer’ tourist gaze. This associated Central Australia with colonial development, modern civilisation and bewildered ‘primitive natives’. Whilst the 1930s has been identified as a time when Alice Springs still had one foot planted in the ‘bad old days of the frontier’ and another in ‘the beginning of modernity’, Walkabout reflects a government determination to jettison the frontier associations by granting tax exemptions to primary producers and additional lands for leasehold.
Holmes mobilised writers to educate tourists to view modern development as national ‘progress’. Each contributed stories about battles waged and won by inland pioneers to convert a dead wasteland into a productive promised land, and a disorientated ‘Stone-Age’ race into useful workers. Holmes used images of Jimmy to construct this gaze. This included a full-length portrait of Jimmy, which was quickly appropriated and used by other fledgling tourism entrepreneurs.
This portrait was influenced by both an eighteenth century European painterly tradition and a pre-existing set of stereotypical poses of Aboriginal warrior-hunters (see Fig 5.7). Dunstan adopted the language of a sub-genre of portraiture developed to portray Indigenous peoples throughout the New World. Sir Joshua Reynolds’ portrait of Omai has been identified by London’s Royal Academy as its exemplar of this sub-genre because it embodied the idea of the ‘noble savage’, fused classical sculptural and romantic painterly aesthetics, and influenced generations of image-makers. This included William Blake, who was one of the first artists to apply this neo-classical style to the representation of Indigenous Australians (Fig 5.9). This genre also influenced anthropologists including Baldwin Spencer and his partner in science, Frank Gillen. Spencer had undertaken formal drawing classes at the Manchester school of art. He modelled portraits of Aboriginal warrior-hunters on a set of four stereotypical poses that were in circulation among scientific groups from the 1880s. These were popularised in public lantern lectures and publications from the 1890s (Fig 5.10).
Dunstan’s photographs of Jimmy often appeared with obscure captions. One simply stated ‘Aborigines examining a motor-car’ (Fig 5.11). In these instances a range of stimuli influence reader interpretation. These include proximate stories and personal preconceptions. This issue of Walkabout featured an article on the problems and possibilities of developing Central Australia. Its author discussed labour options and called for intelligent economic planning rather than whimsical, outdated optimism. He concluded ‘coolie labour’ was ‘inappropriate’, tribal Aboriginal men were unreliable and modern scientific methods would enable white men to compete for international markets. One interpretation of the combination of image, caption and narrative is that Walkabout sought to present Jimmy as an itinerant, unreliable worker and modernity as a purely Anglo-Australian preserve.
Figure 5.9. (L): ‘A Family of New South Wales’ 1792 by William Blake (1757-1827) after sketch by Governor Phillip Gidley King (1758-1808).
From John Hunter, An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island, London, 1793, etching and engraving (NGV 40), P8-1974, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, (detail).
South Australian Museum Archives. Reproduced in Aboriginal Australia Arts
and Culture Centre
2003: 1, [image reversed].
Walkabout, February 1937.
Stylised poster by Warner 1958, National Archives of Australia, M2459.
The positioning of people from pre-modern societies alongside symbols of modern ‘civilisation’ is a ploy common to tourism image-makers. Their juxtaposition of ‘primitivity’ and ‘modernity’ provides tourists with a measure for ‘western’ progress. Here are three striking examples. Firstly, TAA used a stylised image of Jimmy looking at an aeroplane flying over Uluru to promote it as a tourist site where tourists could see ‘Stone-Age’ men gazing awestruck at modern technology (Fig 5.12). Secondly, a lavish book celebrating South Australia’s centenary drew on ANTA’s image-bank to glorify the achievements of a ‘Great White Nation’. A portrait of Jimmy appeared adjacent to a map of the Australian continent on the title page. It was coloured solid black. This montage of black man and black map symbolised the point from which white colonisation began: a blank slate waiting to be inscribed by an industrious colonising people. Finally, Holmes ran Jimmy’s portrait on the cover of Walkabout to mark the progress made by settler Australians during the first fifty years of federation.
Holmes first published Jimmy’s portrait on Walkabout’s cover in 1936. Tourist interpretation of his uncaptioned picture may have been conditioned by contemporary publications on ‘pioneer conquest’ and ‘the Aboriginal problem’ by Ursula McConnel. She identified herself as a university trained social ‘scientist’ who was using her professional knowledge to advance colonisation by managing the development of Aboriginal capabilities and helping bewildered ‘primitive’ people rise to a higher level of civilisation. Within the context of intense ideological ferment and debate about Australian race relations, McConnel advocated the use of ‘intelligent control’ rather than violent repression, which she stated, had provoked murderous Aboriginal discontent and inhibited colonisation. She presented Aboriginal people as incapable of self-directed change and valuable in chiefly scientific and labour terms.
Photographs of Jimmy were regularly used to promote the interlinked goals of inland development and Aboriginal ‘reconstruction’. These included the Aboriginal program at the newly established Haast Bluff reserve to convert subsistence food gatherers into surplus economy food producers. Local government patrol officer VC Hall described how he had ‘arrested’ ‘the drift’ of disorientated tribespeople between white settlements, missions and cattle stations; and ‘broken’ ‘passive resistance’ campaigns led by ‘tribal’ elders. He presented Aboriginal capitulation as enlightened acceptance and progress in the governance of Aboriginal people. An image of Jimmy was used to illustrate the new category of hunter-producer. It identified him as a ‘fine hunter’ who was ‘still a man’: able to engage with the modern economy and free to go ‘back to nature’ when he wished to do so.
McConnel and Hall had vested interests in ‘reconstruction’. Both presented Jimmy as a symbol — or successful product — of their respective professions. Holmes’ use of the image of Jimmy may be seen as an attempt to quieten humanitarian protest against ‘reconstruction’ and to belie other interpretations. These included authoritarian regimes seeking to break the spirit of Aboriginal people and Aboriginal elders capitulating because they were dependent on settler society for their survival.
A comparison of official articles and commercial advertisements provides another insight into the racial inequities and contradictions of tourism marketing. For example Walkabout and tourism entrepreneurs used images of Jimmy to serve opposite ends. Whilst Walkabout endorsed patrol officers’ attempts to muster Aboriginal people onto reserves and curb their freedom of movement, Ansett Travel Services and Bond’s Motor Service told tourists they could ‘Go Walkabout anywhere’ to see tribespeople in their ‘natural surroundings’. This included restricted areas like the Haast Bluff ration depot.
ANTA, Australian Scene, 1955.
Holmes later used images of Jimmy for contrasting ends in two lavish annual publications. Both reported on Australian social policy. One presented Jimmy as a failure rather than a success of assimilation policies. It used a montage to set Jimmy and his companion disappearing into the distance against Aboriginal children looking forwards within a modern classroom (Fig 5.13). The other conflated Aboriginal depopulation with inadequacy. Aboriginal people lacked, it argued, capacities to adjust to new ‘social and moral codes’. It is possible to identify three categories of Aboriginality in this article: those who belonged to the past (tribespeople with ‘forlorn attitudes’ resigned to ‘extinction’); those who were useful in the present (workers); and those who were being prepared for the future (educated, assimilated children). This montage can be interpreted as an attempt by Holmes to condition tourists to see men like Jimmy as innately incapacitated, static remnants of an archaic culture who accepted their own demise.
This official ‘pioneer’ tourist gaze did not receive universal support from tourism image-makers. Both nature-writer Charles Barrett and tourism entrepreneur AG (Bert) Bond used images of Jimmy to challenge the ideas fostered in Walkabout. They romanticised Aboriginal primitivism and identified ‘tribal’ Aborigines as an integral part of wild nature rather than a culture positioned at the bottom-most rung of human civilisation. Barrett drew on Spencer and Gillen to promote the inland as ‘another world’ where nature remained ‘unspoilt’ by progress. He identified this world as ‘Larapinta Land’, associated it with ‘cultural purity’ and divided Aboriginal people into two groups: ‘authentic’ ‘Stone-Age’ Aborigines and partially ‘civilised’ ‘natives’ who were ‘spoilt’ because they wore clothing and looked ‘grotesque’. Barrett denigrated the corroborees Aboriginal people staged for tourists and contrasted them with the sacred ceremonies formerly witnessed by Spencer and Gillen, classifying the former as ‘entertainment’ and the latter as ‘authentic’ cultural rituals or the ‘real thing’. The emergence of this alternative viewpoint suggested a ‘naturalist’ tourist gaze was gaining momentum in opposition to the developmentalism fostered by the ‘pioneer’ tourist gaze.
Both Barrett and Bond encouraged tourists to visit the Haast Bluff reserve to see ‘ancient’ Aborigines in their natural hunting grounds and take photographs whilst they were there. They sought to educate tourists to see reserves as tourist sites where they could study warrior-hunters moving ‘quietly through the scrub’ carrying spears, boomerangs and shields, practising ‘Stone-Age’ customs and performing ‘weird corroborees’ in ‘ochre, pipeclay and … feathers’. A full-page advertisement for Walkabout magazine appeared adjacent to Barrett’s article. It featured an uncaptioned full-length portrait of Jimmy. This juxtaposition of image and romantic narrative of Aboriginal primitivism, can be interpreted as an attempt by Barrett to associate Jimmy with the idea of the pristine ‘noble savage’ and to encourage tourists to travel to ‘Larapinta Land’ to see Aboriginal people living harmoniously within nature far beyond the reach of modern conditions.
McConnel’s publications reflected a philosophical shift in the governance of Aboriginal people and a controversial development in anthropological practice. She represented the viewpoint held by ‘functional’ anthropologists. They believed ‘uncivilised’ Aboriginal people should be absorbed into Anglo-Australian society, whereas their more ‘traditional’ counterparts argued that ‘primitive’ Aborigines were a ‘wonder of the world’ and should be preserved in reserves for scientific research.
Both standpoints were accommodated in the resolutions of the 1937 Aboriginal Welfare Conference. They were predominantly based on a new set of assumptions that Aboriginal people could be ‘elevated’ to ‘white standards’, the Aboriginal ‘race’ could be ‘absorbed’ into the dominant white population, and Aboriginality should be expunged. Whilst the conference proceedings assigned to three categories of Aboriginal people the ‘destiny’ of ‘elevation’ within white society, it prescribed ‘Uncivilised Full-Bloods’ should be preserved for ‘sentimental reasons’ and ‘scientific study’. This exception reinforced a similar recommendation made by Baldwin Spencer a generation earlier. Holmes reinvigorated Spencer’s ideas to promote an ‘anthropological’ tourist gaze.
Spencer’s biographer, John Mulvaney, has stated that his viewpoint as a biologist and anthropologist was shaped by his ‘crude evolutionary bias’ and staunchly traditionalist anthropologist interests. This combination of scientific theory and professional preference led to extraordinary contradictions. For example, social Darwinism shaped Spencer’s identification of Aborigines as a monolithic ‘Stone-Age’ race determined by a set of static social structures and beliefs. He attributed Aboriginal cultural change to external pressure rather than internal dynamism, and believed this incapacity to adapt would result in Aboriginal extinction. His professional interest, however, led to his valorisation of ‘pristine’ Aboriginality and his dismissal of voluntary Aboriginal adoption of new influences as racial ‘degeneration’. Spencer held the doctrines of progress and utilitarianism to be a totally European preserve.
Spencer’s ideas had a powerful impact on tourism image-makers. His public lectures were celebrated Melbourne entertainments and his Arunta: A study of a Stone Age People was recommended reading for travelling men of science during the heyday of scientific field research. These ideas however did not go unchallenged. Professor JW Gregory argued that these ‘old’ ideas ‘must be abandoned’ and identified Aborigines as a race in flux and a ‘specialised adaptation’ to challenging desert conditions. Gregory’s respect for a pre-modern society’s capacity to sustain itself in a harsh environment, however, held no appeal for Holmes. He sought to educate tourists to appreciate the government’s ideal of modern science remaking Central Australia into a wealth-producing region suitable for Anglo-Australian colonisation and civilisation. He mobilised Spencer’s ideas to produce an ‘anthropological’ tourist gaze that presented desert Aborigines as Australia’s equivalent to European ‘Stone-Age’ cavemen. Whilst he occasionally slipped into contradiction, Holmes predominantly used images of Jimmy to present a viewpoint contrary to romantic naturalism and primitivism.
Walkabout articles identified Aborigines as the ‘lowest’ and earliest form of mankind that was closer to brutes than human beings. Articles by Philip Crosbie Morrison and William Charnley included echoes of maritime explorer William Dampier and anthropologists Spencer and Gillen. They drew links between desert Aborigines and European ‘Stone-Age’ men of 200,000 years ago, and itemised their incapacities from a modern Eurocentric perspective. Both claimed ‘Stone-Age’ Aborigines did not work metals like Europeans, nor wear clothes, build homes, worship, display inventiveness or cultivate the soil. Crosbie Morrison also disparaged Aboriginal cultural practices — including initiation rites to manhood like scarification and teeth knocking — as savage, blood-curdling self-mutilations. Holmes used three uncaptioned photographs of Jimmy to illustrate these articles. In so doing, he implied Jimmy was a living remnant of a barbaric ‘Stone-Age’ race that lacked any capacity to adapt to modern conditions.
Holmes also drew on Spencer’s evolutionary thinking to create a sense of urgency and stimulate tourist demand. He stressed that isolated, ‘full-blooded’ Aborigines were in limited supply and urged tourists to travel to see them before they disappeared. This was not, however, a new practice. The Santa Fe railway had made similar claims to entice tourists to the American west to view Native Americans. Further, both the American railway and Holmes shared a common problem. Whilst their publications romanticised development, both had vested interests in the preservation of ‘primitive’ peoples and their traditions because they were valuable tourism ‘products’. This was one of the many contradictions of Holmes’ position. Another was the imperative to simultaneously promote the official ideal of assimilation and meet tourists’ preferences for ‘primitive’ culture. Holmes wove his way through these complexities by mobilising Spencer’s claim that Australian Aborigines were the world’s last surviving remnants of a Stone-Age race to promote tribal Aboriginality as a distinctively Australian tourist attraction with a limited product lifecycle. This ‘anthropological’ tourist gaze encouraged tourists to divide Aboriginal people into two polarised groups: ‘authentic’ Aborigines who were ‘full-blooded’, ‘primitive’, ‘tribal’ men like Jimmy; and their ‘inauthentic’ counterparts who were so-called ‘detribalised’, ‘mixed-blooded’ and ‘semi-civilised’ ‘degenerates’.
All of these travel writers used images of Jimmy over an extended period to glorify British exploration, colonial development and Aboriginal ‘reconstruction’, as well as to either romanticise or disparage Indigenous men. As a general rule they promoted belief in Aboriginal alterity. This solidified social barriers by dividing settlers and Aborigines into two imaginary polarised worlds: modernity and primitivity. Three overlapping tourist gazes used images of him to typecast or symbolise ‘tribal’ Aboriginal men as being either murderous adversaries of explorers; unreliable and incapable workers who were of no value to a pioneering nation; majestic vanishing hunters who were part of wild nature; or barbaric remnants of an archaic culture who posed a problem to a modern civilised nation. All of these characterisations were part of a pre-existing set of images of Indigenous people that had circulated throughout European colonies from the eighteenth century and within all levels of Australian society from the earliest days of colonisation. Whilst travel writers did not create them, it is clear they evoked and reinvigorated a range of colonial discourses and stereotypes to promote tourism to the inland.
 See Dann 1996.
 Butler 1993: 19.
 See Urry 1990.
 Clark also published under the pen name of Gilbert Anstruther.
 Clark 1936a.
 Clark 1936b.
 Clune 1938.
 Clark 1936a: 12.
 Clark 1936b: 21.
 Edwards 1992: 9.
 Thomson 1934; Tindale 1937; Jones 1995.
 Kimber in Hill 2002: 284.
 Johnson 2003: 35.
 Dunstan 1936a.
 This included bus operators AA Withers of Pioneer Tours and Len Tuit of Tuit’s Overland Tours, as well as aerial operator Trans Australia Airlines. See Pioneer Tourist Bureau 1938 and Pioneer Tours 1948; Tuit’s Overland Tours 1949; TAA 1958.
 The Tahitian prince, Omai, returned to England with Lieutenant James Cook. The portrait by Reynolds is in a private collection, see image at <http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/ reynolds/roomguide8.shtm>.
 The prominent English poet, William Blake, was an engraver and book illustrator, trained at the Royal Academy.
 Mulvaney and Calaby 1985.
 Personal communication, Dick Kimber, Alice Springs, 22 March 2004.
 Mulvaney and Calaby 1985: 181; Vanderwal 1982; Spencer and Gillen 1899; Spencer and Gillen 1912; Spencer and Gillen 1927.
 Anonymous 1937.
 Haines 1937.
 For an influential literary work that inspired some of this optimism see Brady 1918.
 Identification of photograph, personal communication, John Mulvaney, Canberra, 16 March 2004 and Philip Jones, South Australian Museum, Adelaide, 2 April 2004.
 Tennent and Hay 1945.
 ANTA 1950.
 Dunstan 1936b.
 Ursula McConnel was then employed by the new Anthropological Research Fund of the Australian National Research Council.
 McConnel 1936a, 1936b, 1936c.
 Hall 1948.
 Ansett Travel Services 1949; Bond Motor Service 1946.
 ANTA 1955: 58-9.
 ANTA 1956: 51.
 Charles Barrett authored the Sun [newspaper] Travel Books and was a natural history journalist for The Herald [Melbourne].
 Barrett 1939: 3.
 Bond Motor Service 1946; Barrett 1939:3.
 These categories included children of ‘Mixed Bloods’, ‘Detribalised Full Bloods’, and ‘Semi-Civilised Full-Bloods’ living in tribal areas (excluding pastoral workers) who would receive ‘benevolent supervision on reserves’ whilst being elevated to white standards (Commonwealth of Australia 1939).
 See Commonwealth of Australia 1939.
 In his then capacity of special advisor to the Commonwealth government for Northern Territory Aboriginal policy, Spencer prescribed two destinies for Aboriginal people: town workers/‘cultural degenerates’, landless charity cases/‘Wandering Outcasts’, and pastoral/‘Useful Workers’ would be ‘phased out’ when ‘white settlers took up the land’; and ‘Vanishing Wild Natives’ would be segregated and preserved on reserves. Underlying Spencer’s recommendation was the assumption that Aborigines would always be rejected by white society. Whilst he did not explain the expression ‘phased out’, it has evolutionary overtones of racial extinction. See Spencer 1913.
 Mulvaney and Calaby 1985: x, 206.
 Mulvaney and Calaby 1985: 212.
 See recommended reading in British Association for the Advancement of Science 1929.
 Gregory 1909: 202-8.
 See Charnley 1947; Crosbie Morrison 1940.
 Nature-writer Crosbie Morrison was a recipient of the Baldwin Spencer prize for practical zoology.
 Charnley became a professional writer of popular frontier adventure stories after sustaining an injury at work at the Kalgoorlie goldmines. See Charnley 1930-1934.
 Charnley 1947: 30.
 Charnley 1947: 30; Crosbie Morrison 1940: 52.
 Crosbie Morrison 1940: 52.
 Compare Charnley 1947: 30 and Crosbie Morrison 1940: 51 with Spencer and Gillen 1912: 6-7.
 Crosbie Morrison 1940: 52.
 Holmes 1932: 122, 125 and 131-2.
 Dilworth 1996: 51-65.
 Holmes 1950.
 Ellingson 2001.
 Woolmington 1973: 4-59.