Images beamed around the world last week of unruly and provocative protests by indigenous Australians projected a portrait of an angry and disenfranchised group.
The protesters thumped on the windows of a restaurant where Prime Minister Julia Gillard had been attending a ceremony, prompting security officers to rush her out of the building. They also burned the Australian flag in front of Parliament.
Those actions have provoked alarm and introspection in Australia about the relationship of the indigenous population with society as a whole. And they have stirred controversy at a delicate time: the country is considering the possibility of changing the wording of its Constitution to give better recognition to indigenous Australians.
The protests also gave a misleading impression of the complex role Aborigines play in Australian society.