Racial Categories: Indigenous Australians and Mormonism, 1850s to Present

Brenton Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In February 2008, then prime minister of Australia Kevin Rudd stood before the nation and apologised to Indigenous Australians, people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, for the so-called “Stolen Generations.” These infamous eugenicist policies of forced removal and institutionalisation, in existence from the early to late twentieth century, aimed to eradicate and later assimilate Australia’s native populations. As a result of these programs, Indigenous families and communities were gravely fractured, and decades of intergenerational trauma has followed, compounded by subsequent government policies. Within this speech, Prime Minister Rudd retold the life story of Lorna “Nanna Nungala” Fejo, a Warumungu woman from the Northern Territory. Lorna Fejo was torn from her family as a toddler, but later in life became an activist, health worker, and respected elder within her community. What was not acknowledged in the prime minister’s address, however, was that Fejo was a long-committed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Baptised in 1973, not long after a significant change in Church doctrine and policy, Fejo’s story represents a new era of LDS engagement with Indigenous Australians in the second half of the twentieth century...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 31
Number of pages31
JournalDialoge: A Journal of Mormon Thought
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Indigenous Australians
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Church doctrine
  • Church policy
  • Genealogies


Dive into the research topics of 'Racial Categories: Indigenous Australians and Mormonism, 1850s to Present'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this