Abstract: Colonisation is a key feature of modernity. The imperatives of modernity are space-conquering economic growth and its attendant processes of statist order building. Indigenous peoples, with their place-based, sustainable, state-free social order, have been chronic obstacles to modernisation to be overcome by whatever means - typically by violence concealed behind liberal legalities. The legal fiction that Australia was terra nullius (land of no one) justified the territorial acquisition of this continent and expropriation of Australia’s Indigenous people, denied their personhood, culture and governance systems, and legitimated their exclusion from most benefits of modernisation. The violence of this exclusion has been masked by law and ideologically managed by official and institutional denial. This article focuses on explaining the centrality of exclusion to modernity, and the consequences of exclusion still manifest in the placelessness of Australia’s Indigenous citizens and their de facto designation as non-citizens.