Source: (2000) International Journal of Cultural Studies. 3(3): 389-406.

This article examines a number of discourses that surrounded a Royal Commission set up to investigate the truth about certain Australian Aboriginal ‘sacred-secret’ traditions. The central focus of this study is the relationship between the way in which the commission attempted to overcome the silence of the secret or the lack of clear positive evidence, the question of the authoritativeness and conclusiveness of its findings and the way in which the sacred-secret has been dealt with in such contexts. Taking such concerns as a starting point, the article poses a range of broad philosophical problems concerning the relationship between the idea of the ‘secret’, the problematic of representation as identified in recent postcolonial theory, and makes some suggestions about what the Hindmarsh case might offer towards an understanding of nation, reconciliation and justice between cultures. Author's abstract.