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The Forum > Article Comments > The future for Australia’s Aboriginal people > Comments

The future for Australia’s Aboriginal people : Comments

By Don Aitkin, published 12/10/2017

My trip to the Kimberley has rekindled my interest in looking at what might be the case in 2067 with respect to our Aboriginal people.

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I cannot agree with much of the philosophy in this article. I have spent the last 50 years in the Kimberley and NT, living with aboriginal people in both remote communities and rural towns, plus of course, Darwin.
Firstly, the issue of jobs in the remote communities, and yes, it is up to the people who live there to create an environment that will encourage forms of small business or even just sustainable living, like the villages in south east Asia. It's not up to the rest of Australia to provide jobs for people on their own land. White people are expected to create a living from large tracts of land they own or hold lease to, no one has ever suggested the tax payers provide them with employment.
As for expecting remote people to move from their traditional lands, into towns where there are far more opportunities, well, they are already doing that in droves. And they are not just travelling to nearby towns. Many are quite comfortable with long visits to cities, and some are even travelling overseas. Certainly they wish to have tribal land always under their control and to have the ability and right to always visit or even live there for long periods of time, but to suggest they are not comfortable living anywhere else is wrong.
The truth is, many more would live in towns for long periods if housing was available to them. Many would prefer to live in neighbouring towns and have regular visits to tribal land for fishing and hunting purposes. Technology has brought the world to these remote areas in the past few years and as the old saying goes " how you going to keep them down on the farm, after they've seen gay Paree"
Posted by Big Nana, Thursday, 12 October 2017 11:04:49 AM
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This is a judgemental piece. Aboriginals are tribal by nature. You are NOT part of the tribe, and never ever will be; whereas, you suggest integration will work. It's a fallacy.

Next, private land V Aboriginal land. Walk around in “their” land and feel how safe you are not. While you exercise your freedom of movement (sic), don't expect help from the established law keepers (police).

Why are Aboriginal missions out of bounds for whites, with many confronting signs advertising their privacy, with warnings against entry?
Police cannot operate inside these precincts without escorts!

This is not a sign of integration!

The Aboriginal dogs breakfast “industry”, is forever painting itself into a corner of separation and lack of transparency. It is a huge burden on the taxpayer with little to no obvious advantages to Aboriginal health and welfare outcomes. It is tax theft at its worst!

If Aboriginals themselves, wish for integration into the established (multicultural) community, they show very little inclination to do so. In fact, multicultural Australia nowhere expects integration from foreign cultures. Cultural ghettos are the norm for Australia.

The question then is one of who should fund a ghetto mentality, and why?
Posted by diver dan, Thursday, 12 October 2017 11:34:34 AM
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Generally speaking, I can agree with most of this, Don.

Remote communities and smoking are vexed issues!

As are, sit down money or work for the dole schemes.

Remote regions are almost tailor made for recycling projects, E waste? Or trucked/shipped, waste tyres that can be processed into diesel, baled recovered steel and lampblack? Which could add to returned freight?

And work for a living wage projects! That can continue unabated if it does or doesn't rain or if the tourists do or don't come or stay away in droves, after word of mouth has promulgated a history of nepotism and or, stinging tourists most shamefully.

Pivotal, is a locally available source of cheap, always available, energy!

And could easily be a smell free, civil project that turns the communities sewerage into bladder stored methane gas?

Which can then be scrubbed so it can be safely used in, on demand, solid state, ceramic fuel cells, with endless free hot water a bonus!

The waste products are reusable, sanitized, nutrient loaded water and equally sanitized, carbon rich, soil improver, both of which could underpin, local underglass or shadehouse, intensive agriculture?

Naturally there would need to be a reliable natural water source, spring fed creek or dam, or a high flow potable bore!

Ceramic fuel cells would ensure a sizable energy surplus, which could be syphoned off and used as CNG. To run local vehicles/school buses/ ambulances and the like?

And or, fire a local brickworks or pottery kiln?

The latter able to incorporate Aboriginal art for the insatiable tourist trade? The former, locally sourced material for thermally comfortable housing?

It's good that you've been able to discover parallels in the world's oldest spirituality and Christian philosophy.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Thursday, 12 October 2017 11:52:09 AM
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A mere 700,000 people with aboriginal heritage (they are no more actual 'aboriginals' than I am), and activists want the Australian Constitution changed for them! What an absurd idea. Whatever happened to democracy and majority rule? Pandering to minorities has become the norm in Australia under the Left or liberal-democratic system we are now subjected to. Giving privileges to certain groups and taking them away from others is the name of the game. Homosexuals, women, Muslims and ethnic groups, all the while trumpeting about 'equality'. There is no equality in this political engineering and intrusion from above. Squashing the individual and creating privileged groups garners more votes – unless the majority catch on and transfer their votes elsewhere. But, how likely is that among the brow-beaten citizenry of Australia and the West in general.

As for what these malcontents want to be called, how about Australian? There shouldn't be different sorts of Australians and, after 200 plus years, there should be no talk of 'aboriginals', 'indigenous people' (the indigenous people are all dead) or any sort of hyphenated Australians.
Posted by ttbn, Thursday, 12 October 2017 12:15:17 PM
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Lots of iron ore leaves the Kimberley in long trains, some of which could be dedicated to baled recovered steel and industrial grade lampblack heading for the same market?

And could return carrying E waste from wherever and similarly, waste tyres? There's much more recoverable precious metals in a ton of E waste than any mine ore!

And just Australia's waste tyres, currently going to landfill, could instead be turned into thousands of barrels of ready to use, diesel fuel!

China makes complete, tyres and or plastic to oil, single machines made to order and shipped as ready to use, reprocessing plants!

And W.A., was smart enough to reserve some of its gas for local domestic use! Some of which could be shipped to the Kimberley as CNG? If required to underpin or power local industry?

Big Nana: Just need a few folk willing to try something new and able to think outside the the box! To usher in change we can all believe in!
Doesn't take much time, natural human empathy or thought? To know what's wrong and what can never ever be changed?

Unless you're referring to hidebound, superior attitudes/closed mind, with regard to the latter?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Thursday, 12 October 2017 12:28:31 PM
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Alan B., there are no railway lines in the Kimberley, and no iron ore trains. You may be thinking of the Pilbara systems.
Posted by Don Aitkin, Thursday, 12 October 2017 2:46:44 PM
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