Tim Mazzarol’s 1978 paper ‘Tradition, Environment and the Indentured Labourer in early Western Australia’1 is one of the earliest specific works that attempted to identify the psyche of the first British colonists at Swan River and the ‘cultural baggage’—those fears, beliefs and backgrounds—they brought with them. About 80 per cent of the adult colonists to the Swan River were described by authorities as belonging to laboring and trade occupations. These might be called the servant or working classes, and are hereafter simply referred to in this paper as the servant class. Mazzarol discussed the interaction of the servant class with the middle-to-upper classes—the colony’s professionals and agriculturalists—in the context of the new cultural environment that formed with the new settlement.


Mazzarol, Tim, British colonists, Western Australia, culture, servant class, working class

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