Song of colo­nial­ism

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

‘ BONJOUR’ was the greet­ing that I was taught at high school in the 1960s San­dra Ch­es­ney even though I’m not of French an­ces­try ( TB, Aug. 9).

Many of my gen­er­a­tion way back then were to­tally aware of the black and white seg­re­ga­tion that ex­isted par­tic­u­larly in the south­ern states.

The sani­tised ver­sion of the per­ceived ‘ white set­tle­ment’ his­tory was scholas­ti­cally en­forced and made com­pul­sory reading.

We sim­ply didn’t ques­tion any racial dis­par­i­ties in those days as our fu­ture was psy­cho­log­i­cally ma­nip­u­lated and sternly dic­tated to us by white au­thor­i­ties. You wrote about ‘ past free­dom’. ‘ Un­bri­dled free­dom’ en­com­passed the whole of abo­rig­i­nal Aus­tralia until the un­ex­pected English in­va­sion oblit­er­ated the an­ces­tral free­dom of the then ‘ first Aus­tralians’.

You men­tioned the movie They’re a Weird Mob.

Clas­sic Aus­tralian movie Mar­buk and Jedda which fea­tured abo­rig­i­nal ac­tors Robert Tu­dawali and Ngarla Kunoth was di­rected by ac­claimed pro­ducer Charles Chau­vel in the 1950s.

This movie ac­cu­rately de­picted the an­ces­tral cus­toms of tra­di­tional Abo­rig­ines in an era when they were still con­sid­ered as be­ing a part of the ‘ flora and fauna’ species and were not even recog­nised as Aus­tralian cit­i­zens.

The na­tional an­them Ad­vance Aus­tralia Fair is noth­ing more than a hyp­o­crit­i­cal wrapup of over­pow­er­ing colo­nial­ism set in song.

There is not a stanza that ac­knowl­edges the first Aus­tralians yet they have in­hab­ited Oz since time im­memo­rial.

So when will we de­scen­dants of the first Aus­tralians be in­cluded in this ‘ na­tional’ an­them, San­dra?

Ac­com­plished and in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised North- ern Ter­ri­tory abo­rig­i­nal band Yothu Yindi sang with great pride their strong de­sire for a ‘ treaty’ way back in the 1990s.

Guess what San­dra Ch­es­ney ... we are still wait­ing!

The first Aus­tralians have never re­lin­quished their sovereignty sta­tus nei­ther have we vol­un­tary ceded own­er­ship of our an­ces­tral lands.

We may be a mi­nor­ity pop­u­la­tion th­ese days ... how­ever our time­less cul­tural con­nec­tion to our an­ces­tral country sim­ply can­not be dis­puted.

Are you aware San­dra Ch­es­ney that abo­rig­i­nal Aus­tralia is the only Com­mon- wealth country that doesn’t have a ‘ treaty’ with the orig­i­nal in­dige­nous peo­ple?

Our abo­rig­i­nal pride shows no signs of di­min­ish­ing even though we’re not recog­nised in the con­sti­tu­tion.

Your con­clud­ing com­ment leaves me be­wil­dered, San­dra Ch­es­ney.

The first Aus­tralians also ‘ stood up for abo­rig­i­nal Aus­tralia’ dur­ing the colonial in­va­sion but no one took heed of our sovereignty rights.

Like­wise San­dra, do not take the Abo­rig­ines out of Aus­tralia ei­ther. CORALIE CASSADY,


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