In one of his ethnographic bulletins submitted to the Queensland State Parliament, W.E.Roth, the Northern Protector of Aborigines in 1901 wrote of the Aborigines around Cape Bedford, North Queensland:
"Old men, in general, receive the best of everything and are treated with respect. Any of the young men will immediately supply his wants. They not only get respect, but command fear and obedience." (Roth 1901:
In the context of this cultural observation, it may seem strange that early in 1992, Hopevale opened its first retirement village. Here, as in other non-Aboriginal communities, the old folks are shut away to see out their days with minimal inconvenience to the rest of the family - of which, once, they would have been acknowledged and treated as the head. This is just one example of how the imposition of European culture, particularly housing and social structure, has impacted on the pre-colonial culture of one group of Aboriginal people in Australia, and how that group has responded...