Representations of Children in Australian Political Controversies



Children have figured strongly in Australian political controversies. In twenty-first century Australia, some of the most controversial political debates have centred on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and child asylum seekers at Australia’s borders. The project undertakes an extensive analysis of representative claims made about both groups of children to demonstrate the ways in which political debates are transformed by the appearance of children. By examining representative claims about children and the impact of these claims on political decisions, this project engages with emerging literature on the relationship between democratic theories of representation and the conduct of ‘real politics’ to develop a political account of childhood and explore its implications for policy-making.

Aboriginal children
Image provided by Dr Sana Nakata