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The Forum > Article Comments > Aboriginal pride > Comments

Aboriginal pride : Comments

By Andrew Gunn, published 13/7/2007

Many politicians are too intellectually and morally bankrupt to even admit the blindingly obvious - no community willingly gives away its land and homes.

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G'day Andrew,
Good letter and from someone in your position, well needed in the current light of politics. Because I agree with most all of what you have written I have little to say besides Good Show!

Only a point I firmly believe in. " indigenous australians " must get their land back first, as in soverignty to be recognised as the owners of this land, we all know it but are not saying it. Then they will have the esteem that you say society needs for better health management. The other point is, they can next sue or demand massive compensation for the two hundred years of unpaid rent that we as a white capitalist society are well heeled to pay up. Then all will be ok in the traditional borders that indigenous people are born to live within, as they will have the income to make health as important as it is in our white society.
I cannot imagine how it must feel for an aboriginal person to have to constantly face the thought " my land has been stolen, my people killed by every means and 'they'(invaders) are still here today, I have to live with them"

I think that would drive me crazy to be the new terrorist? martyr?
' ALCHOHOLIC'?
what about you?
Cheers great letter Neil
Posted by neilium, Friday, 13 July 2007 9:49:22 AM
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About 200 years ago, Australia was invaded by the English, but this is nothing exceptional. Nearly every country in the world has been invaded by someone else.

The borders between countries have changed continuously throughout history, and the even the names of countries have varied considerably over time. Many languages including English are made up of a conglomeration of words from several other languages, depending on who invaded who, and at what time in history.

If we owe the aborigines compensation for an invasion, then every country who ever invaded England should owe the English compensation. And every country who ever invaded that country should owe it compensation. The situation would become totally ridiculous.

In all the talk of aboriginal health, it is rarely said if the general health and life expectancy is better now than before the ďinvasionĒ. It is also rarely said what the aboriginal population has to do to improve their own health.
Posted by HRS, Friday, 13 July 2007 10:29:58 AM
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The Chief issue with past and present Government is the idea of needing to be responsible for those 'hapless natives who are too happy to sit on a hot rock all day chewing beetles or going walkabout for weeks on end.' Treating the Aborigines as such and completely managing their lives has lead to such a dependency mindset with in the Aboriginal community. Putting Indigenous people on the dole and providing housing and education and health care, etc, etc, isn't good for their collective consciousness of self no matter how much it may have been salve for the white invasion quilt trippers, and those angry Aborigines who wanted to make the white man pay. All peoples need to acquire the things they need for living and growing through their own effort. Such work feeds the mind, the heart, the soul, and the body. And allows for that man or woman to stand proud as a contributor to their society. This work, this pride of self, has been denied the Aboriginal by successive government management. One can not manage a people. Period.
It's time the Aborigines took their lives back and began to function as independent, self-actualising human beings capable of standing on their own two feet and feeding themselves. They have to own up to their own actions and behaviors and start their own healing process. And they really need honest caring leadership from with in their own communities.
The government may give the Aboriginals the tools and budgets and availability to services as they do any other community but, then must step back and adopt a hands off approach letting the aborigines learn to live and be a responsible contributor to the greater Australian community with out exception.
Posted by aqvarivs, Friday, 13 July 2007 11:48:25 AM
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I believe that Iím entitled to speak authoritatively about the torment of living under the abusive yolk of depression; having carried the misdirected burden of responsibility for a parentís (and in the case of indigenous Australia, a nationís) self-perpetuating suffering and associated state of denial. It is not so much that there is something terribly wrong, but that its cause is irrationally blamed upon the victims of its own misdirected outrage. Notwithstanding successive declarations of love and sacrifice or government concern and responsibility, the relationship between post-colonial Australia and the descendents of the original occupants of the land is defined more objectively by contrary actions; the reluctant duty of a begrudging step-nation that favours its immigrant progeny as unequivocally as they are racially distinct. But more than mere favouritism, the tragedy of the delusion is that its host is beyond reproach; self-righteousness it defends pathologically.

Such is evident with the national reassurance that the destruction of Aboriginal culture was as unintentional as it was inevitable; the mere consequence of cultural collision - between the most technologically advanced society in the world with that of the Stone Age.

How conveniently the usurpation is set aside: The very foundations of the British Crownís international law grounds for establishing sovereignty over Australia required the land to be unoccupied and yet, the 1992 Mabo High Court ruling rejected the argument that the indigenous people of Australia had no possessory interests in their traditional lands.

In the face of such flagrant contradiction, what can be said of a society whose sovereignty was an act of state that its own judicature could not review, nor could any party, other than the state itself, invoke the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice?

It is symptomatic of a state of national depression that this contradiction is not only permitted to endure, but that it is also invariably back-lashed onto the living reproach of indigenous Australians, whose cultures are not only not destroyed, indeed their very perseverance chafes at the sovereign sensitivities of colonial impropriety
Posted by Neil Hewett, Saturday, 14 July 2007 8:35:58 AM
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Neil Hewett,

I have aboriginal relatives but I do not think one of them even owns a tent, and I have never heard of one of them camping in the bush for even one night. You can test this yourself. Go to the nearest national park and see how many aborigines are camped in the national park where they can be close to the natural bush. Iím inclined to think that most modern day aborigines have minimal interest in the bush.

The previous culture of the aborigine was that of hunter and gatherer with no permanent or semi-permanent buildings or villages being constructed. There were similar cultures elsewhere, but I donít think any such cultures exist anymore. The life is too hard, the infant mortality rates are too high (often 50%), and the life expectancy is too short.

I donít know of any present day aborigine that wants to be sent to live in the open and to get food by hunting and gathering, but that was their previous culture.

So it is not a situation of the white man taking away the culture of the aborigine, but the aborigine has rejected their previous culture
Posted by HRS, Saturday, 14 July 2007 9:54:57 AM
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"Unfortunately, rationality is not a strong point of our nation's current leaders. The chances of significantly improving Aboriginal health are remote when many politicians are, in my opinion, too intellectually and morally bankrupt to even admit the blindingly obvious - no community willingly gives away its land and homes."

Spot on Andrew. Tragically, the invasion and theft of aboriginal land rolls on, with the HoWARd administration set to clear the way for access by giant, foreign mining corporations to uranium and other 'strategic' mineral deposits within the Northern Territory ... which will also most probably become the dumping ground for toxic nuclear waste (given the NIMBY 'policy' by all State Labor 'leaders'), and one of a number of 'testing grounds' in our beleaguered country for the use of 'depleted' uranium weapons of mass destruction - the precedent being the atomic 'testing ground' at Maralinga in South Australia.

Given the treachery, ignorance and greed of many of our 'executive' public servants and corporate types (the pollies can't control the system all on their own!), many 'middle class' white Australians may soon awake one day to discover their land, homes and 'jobs' taken away from them ... this time without a shot having been fired!
Posted by Sowat, Saturday, 14 July 2007 8:50:57 PM
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