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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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Don, I suspect that your figure of 700,000 might be a bit on the low side. Several years ago, I calculated, that according to the figures from Australian censuses, that by the end of this century, most Australians would be able to claim to be Aboriginal according to the current definition. This probably supports most of your arguments.
David
Posted by VK3AUU, Thursday, 12 October 2017 3:15:28 PM
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Yes Don, that's what I did mean and virtually next door! And thanks for correcting my oversight.
Cheers, Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Thursday, 12 October 2017 5:08:41 PM
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A well respected aboriginal elder once said, in reference to the people calling themselves aboriginal; 'to the wannabees who call themselves aborigines, but are not, stop it'! What he was referring to were those who had relatives at any stage back in the past that were black, but in fact were of mixed race. I have always said the only ones allowed to call themselves aboriginals are those who's mother and father were BOTH full blooded Abo's. Everyone else is merely Australian and therefore NOT entitled to any benefits or say in Abo' affairs. So if we review the census once more, based on this new and correct terms of reference, we will see that the number will be less than 300,000.
Posted by ALTRAV, Friday, 13 October 2017 12:13:34 AM
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Quite right ALTRAV. The aboriginal industry is making fools of politicians and do-gooding academics. I agree that the only aborigines are full bloods, and even they have no special status because they certainly were not alive at the time of British settlement, and have suffered no hardship at the hands of us dreadful white people, except of course by the neo-communists who have kept them in living-museum status with white taxpayer's money - truckloads of it.
Posted by ttbn, Friday, 13 October 2017 8:36:40 AM
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I would like to single out just one of many facts that I have had to endure over the years. "The stolen generation". The govt has been vilified and criticised from hear to hell and back again over this decision. Sure I cannot begin to understand what they are going on about, I can only see the results. As I see it these "children" were removed from lifestyles that were in some way not conducive to a safe and healthy life. Now agree or disagree with the decision on the day, it is my opinion that the whole thing is now a political 'beat-up' to do nothing more than extract even more millions out of the govt. Those children had the best care and up-bringing than ALL the other aboriginal children of the day. They are educated, and we see evidence of this everywhere, they are healthy and so on. Now this BS they keep banging on about that they were denied the right to grow and learn their culture and now find themselves estranged from their heritage and past and therefore all those years are now somehow lost to them. Again a money grab. What they speak of is history, this cannot be undone it is the past so it is there for them to catch up on. On the face of it the aboriginals I have seen complaining look a whole lot better off than the rest. So stop whinging and trying to steal more money off us and instead be greatfull and thank us for saving your life and giving you a 'leg up' in showing some concern for your well being because you won't get any sympathy anymore if this is how you thank us.
Posted by ALTRAV, Friday, 13 October 2017 10:34:54 AM
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The full bloods should all be granted Senator status and given a position accordingly in State and Federal Parliament.
That should clear most of the 'horsesh't out of the place
Posted by ilmessaggio, Friday, 13 October 2017 2:40:53 PM
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ALTRAV. You are as close to the truth as I have seen. There are people out there who claim to be stolen, just so they can milk the system. I met a half caste man at the Old Telegraph station who gave me a few insights to how a lot of these kids were taken in by several different church groups and given a good education. He also told me that his cousin, Charles Perkins, was sent by his mother to be educated down south. Charles also claimed that he was stolen, which of course he wasn't. I suspect that many of today's half caste aboriginal leaders are in the same category. It is time they showed some honesty about their white heritage.

David
Posted by VK3AUU, Saturday, 14 October 2017 8:44:17 PM
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Hi David,

You suggest that the figure of 700,000 is too low. But it's amazing how much the population has grown from one Census to the next, with the population increase usually well-outstripping the actual number of births. Obviously, re-identification (or identification) has been a huge factor, because the actual increases in births has been quite small, barely 1 % p.a. since 1971. So I would estimate that about two-thirds of the population increases since 1971 have been through (re-)identification, not natural increase, which the ABS brainlessly rhapsodises over.

I would also agree with Big Nana that populations are moving from remote to less remote to urban areas, not the other way around. Successes, such as they are, tend to be in urban areas - university graduate numbers, for example, currently a total of around 44,000. Urban home ownership would be light years ahead of remote home ownership too. And if Indigenous data is disaggregated, instead of all being lumped together, it would be seen that urban Indigenous people have life expectancies, illness rates, etc. much like those of other Australians, while rates in remote and very remote areas would be phenomenally lower on the good stuff, phenomenally higher on the bad stuff.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Sunday, 15 October 2017 1:29:14 PM
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Reidendification is a problem which could be overcome by refusing aboriginal identification to those who have no aboriginal grand parent. That would stop a lot of the rorting of the system and give a truer picture of the really disadvantaged ones, where we should be concentrating our efforts.

David
Posted by VK3AUU, Monday, 16 October 2017 10:59:28 AM
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VK3AUU, to further your point. It has been my opinion that the figure of 700,000 is waaaaaaaay over the top. Could someone come up with a closer estimate based on my theory that ONLY children from pure blood aboriginal (both) parents be classified as aboriginal. I realise this means we have a diminishing abo' population, unless the children of pure bloods reproduce. I realise it is almost impossible to check as those who stand to lose will fight to keep their aboriginal status. Most can be eliminated by simple visual assessment.
Posted by ALTRAV, Monday, 16 October 2017 11:14:12 AM
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Dear ALTRAV,

As always I find judging a rule like yours about requiring both parents to be full blooded is pretty ease, apply it to another situation and see how it flies.

Jewishness is allocated via the maternal side of the ledger and brings with it certain privileges, for instance the right, bestowed by the government of Israel, to go and settle on occupied territory, a place which is not their land to give.

Why is this okay for the Jewish people to only have a Jewish mother, but our indigenous folk being allowed to call themselves aboriginal unless both their parents are full blood?
Posted by SteeleRedux, Monday, 16 October 2017 12:58:16 PM
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I think have both parents as full bloods is too restrictive. However, we need to draw a line in the sand somewhere and I believe that having one grandparent would suffice.

Steel, your Jewish example is a complex one. It is a tradition that goes way back, and as you may not be aware, we must always give way to Jewish tradition. lol. It has only become an aboriginal problem sine the arrival of the first fleet.

David
Posted by VK3AUU, Monday, 16 October 2017 5:07:23 PM
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SteeleRedux, in the case of the jews, to be honest, their take on so many things is so, well, jewish. The example you give may be a religious based one. I am cautious about discussing anything jewish, they are a cult that does not invite non jews into their fold. As for their tagging of women and offspring and the like, I could not care less. In the true definition of someones nationality is as follows;
If your parents are both Aussie and you are born here, you are an Aussie.
If one of your parents is born here and you are born here, you are an Aussie.
If both your parents are born in another country (both from the same country) and you are born here, guess what you are whatever your parents country of birth is.
Just because you are born here means you can have an Australian passport. But you can also have dual passports.
So if an aboriginal is mothered and fathered by parents whose blood line has not been broken since forever, then they are rightfully aboriginals. The rest are wannabees and therefore Australian!
Posted by ALTRAV, Monday, 16 October 2017 9:01:20 PM
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David, Alt Rav,

So people are like puppets, you can document them and categorise them and move them around your hypothetical chess-board as you please ? I must say I've heard some pretty dumb ideas but .....

At leas5t in the 'south', Aboriginal people have grown up 'knowing' what they're NOT - they've 'known' all their lives that they're NOT whitefellas. So your fanciful attempts to effectively demand that all Indigenous people register themselves and line up against some sort of colour chart, or undergo DNA tests, will - quite understandably - provoke a very common response: i.e. "Shove it up your hairy arse."

Racism never dies, does it ?

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Tuesday, 17 October 2017 9:56:51 AM
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Loudmouth, what the hell are you talking about? Either you're responding to the wrong comments or your waaaaaaaay off target. My comments are about 'correctly' identifying people using a blood line/geographical formula. I have no interest in racism nor do I believe in it. Christ man I'm not Aussie by my own definition so take back your racist slur or I will get on your case. Now that I've cleared that up, I will continue. I have no idea what your post is about I did not infer that we 'line people up against a wall' or whatever. As for 'shoving' something 'up my arse', not sure what that is about but I imagine you might or you would not make reference to it. Just to clarify, as I have said previously, these comments are simply extensions of what a well known aboriginal elder said some time ago on radio. He stated that all these 'wannabees', stop calling themselves aboriginal. He explained that the ones he was talking about were of 'mixed' parents and not aboriginal parents. HE said this NOT ME! I happen to agree with him, oh and BTW this formula applies to ALL humans in ALL countries. I don't know what your background is but get over yourself. My comments are that of an elder so go and tell him to, as you so eloquently put it,'shove it up his arse'. I dare you.
Posted by ALTRAV, Tuesday, 17 October 2017 11:30:39 AM
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Mmmmm....this must be the intellectual part of the conversation so I guess that lets me out
Posted by ilmessaggio, Tuesday, 17 October 2017 7:59:06 PM
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HAHA, tell me about it. I felt the tone drop but I am not quick enough to catch it these days. Well I hope someone picks it up again and runs with it. I would like to hear some mature debate/reasoning on the matter.
Posted by ALTRAV, Tuesday, 17 October 2017 8:10:40 PM
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