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Burnet Institute welcomes ‘Dhoombak Goobgoowana’

  • 28 May 2024

Yesterday, the book Dhoombak Goobgoowana: a history of Indigenous Australia and the University of Melbourne was published in e-book format.    
The book contains passages that reference views and opinions of the late Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (1899-1985), after whom Burnet Institute is named, which he expressed in the late twentieth century. Some of these views are controversial and discriminatory, particularly those relating to eugenics (the theory or practice of improving the genetic characteristics of a population).   
Burnet Institute does not support these views and we appreciate they may be hurtful and upsetting for people to read. 
This book brings attention to a shameful part of Australia’s history and one that must be acknowledged. Truth telling is a fundamental part of healing and justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  
We support the University of Melbourne and the authors of this book in bringing these issues to light and claiming the part the university and its academics have played in the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  
Burnet Institute remains committed to achieving better health outcomes for vulnerable communities in Australia and internationally, including equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.