Only in reflection of the past is it possible to begin to understand the present. The multitude of smaller happenings are continually conglomerated into singularly titled events, which, in reflection, are percieved as the historical events that have determined present day occurences.

Looking back can infuriate one regarding past injustices that have occurred, and lead to then wondering why? It is inevitable that future generations shall look upon happenings in our society, which we perceive as acceptable and normal, with utter abhorrence and question why things were such a way.

One such instance for our contemporaries is the racial inequality that has existed so predominantly in the past. Can one forget that todays African-Americans were yesterday the slaves of Anglo Saxons settled on that vast land?

Discrimination backed with scientific evidence; Social Darwinism has done society no favours, providing evidence to ‘prove’ the superiority of those with fair skin.

Australia, too, has this stained history. Terra Nullius; it was said to be an empty land, rather than the home of an entire race who already occupied that country; a supposedly less evolved, ‘primitive’ people were said to be present.

1788 – the begginning of the malignation, abuse, degradation and attempted extermination of the various nations of Indigenous Australians who occupied this Terra Nullius; this uninhabited land.

Change comes slowly.

Thank you Kevin Rudd – it certainly was time for this nation to publicly recognise the atrocities committed against the Indigenous Australians.

“We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.” – Rudd: February 13, 2008.

True – the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from their families has resulted in uncomparable pain and destruction; individuals, families, communities and the diverse Indigenous cultures. Yet, these laws and policies were not merely designed on the basis of prejudice. This was a political attempt to annihilate a whole people group.

Of course, there were many overt, physically reaslised massacres, such as upon the Convincing Ground in southwest Victoria, amongst a great variety of other such heinous occurences. However, these laws and policies Rudd harkens back to were imposed to assimilate Indigenous peoples into a Anglo existence; a passive plan of extermination realised in a confrontational disbandment of the Indigenous family unit. This was to progress into a generational change in the appearance of Aborigines through ‘breeding’ with Europeans; a eugenical genocide.

But of course, it would be too much to ‘spell this out’, wouldn’t it Rudd?

Do contemporary Australians truly acknowledge the depth and gravity of what was attempted with the Stolen Generations?

Its easy to say sorry now.

Sorry we took over your land; oppressed you; physically attacked, assaulted and killed you; abducted your children; decided we were better than you; penned you up on reserves like we did with our livestock, and, you know, just tried to genetically dominate you – our bad; but – bit late to pack up and leave now…

The damage is undeniable, uncomprehensible and unjustifiable.

We have to recognise:

 

  • The value and worth of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters to whom we are tied through the common bond of humanity.

 

  • Yes, our wrong and their pain – unchangeable.

 

  • The importance of action – Mum has always told me that ‘sorry is as sorry does’.

 

  • The necessity of fighting negative perceptions of Indigenous people, and anti-Aboriginal sentiment; age-old racism.

 

  • The importance of restoration of culture: language, family, spirituality, customs and so on.

 

  • Their land.

 

 

Some Personal tributes:

 

David Unaipon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Unaipon – Inventor, Anthropologist, Preacher, Activist.

The anthropological work undertaken by David Unaipon in recording ethnographic research about his people was taken by Ramsay Smith and wrongly published in Smith’s name. This is, therefore, my public recognition of Unaipon and his achievements.

 

Nicky Winmar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Nicky Winmar – Footballer for St. Kilda

Acted as is depicted above in response to racist sentiment from Collingwood spectators. A significant moment in AFL history, empowering not only himself but other Indigenous people in their Aboriginal identity.

 

Gough and Vincent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vincent Lingiari – Leader and Activist on behalf of the Gurindji people.

Vincent Lingiari led the Gurindji off Wave Hill station to Dagarugu in protest of wages, and this eventually developed into the demand for the return of Gurindji land. This was granted in an area of 3300 square kilometres; an iconic victory in Indigenous land rights.

 

Paul Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Kelly – Musician/Songwriter

Personally just one of my favorite artists! Paul Kelly documents the Lingiari affair perfectly in ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow.’ 

 Liam Jungarrayi Jurrah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liam Jungarrayi Jurrah – Warlpiri Footballer for Melbourne Demons

Carn the dees. Liam you’re my bro.

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lacking elucidation

June 10, 2009

complaining in that quiet corner

we watch ephemeral sands shifting

no that breeze will not blow

in our direction

 

and nothing is real anymore;

the equivocal dreams will not lift

for that breeze will not blow

in our direction

Dear Capitalism

June 9, 2009

I’m writing to let you know just how concerned I am about the state of the world today.

Just to think of all those years ago when you were a youngster blooming through trade and industrialisation; how things have changed, how things have worsened since then.

Because that was just the beginning, when you threw Birthrite off the throne and installed yourself as master of the school yard.

Overall, its blatant that when you took over Privilege was staying, in fact, that was part of your game plan, and still is I see. You wouldn’t survive without Privilege.

But, you know why I am so concerned?

I’ll tell you – whilst Privilege remains working for the few, it is Poverty who continues to control the masses. After all, those two are inseparable. But you know that;  you strengthened and nurtured Poverty.  Now you know Poverty is no good for anyone, and you even tell everyone that. Yet, underneath, its you who ensures that Poverty remains.  

Theres not a chance of getting rid of Poverty whilst Competition remains. Competition, that selfish individualist, runs side by side with Poverty, making sure that Equality doesn’t get a look in. Equality, who cares for all, has been forgotten and disregarded. Having Competition benefits Privilege and, at the same time, also strengthens Poverty’s hold, a true team player.

Can’t you see that if Equality took the place of Competition that it would diminish Poverty. Sure, I understand that if Poverty goes so does your dearest friend Privilege, but stop being so small minded and understand that it will be best for everyone!

Sorry, but as far as I can see, whilst you remain, dear Capitalism, the world will be home to Misery, and we don’t want that, do we?

Kind Regards,

Me

Torrential

June 9, 2009

spiraling, singing, screaming;

the storm mounts

her chorus in beautiful chaos

rising and falling; I wait

for those heights once

more

ripping through treetops

she flies, unassailable,

untameable,

that unreckonable force

shaking my foundations