(First published 3 March 2013)
Γεια σας φίλοι μου
Προσοχή Έλληνες δώρα που φέρουν (Beware Greeks bearing gifts…..)
“ I will look at any additional evidence to confirm the opinion to which I have already come”
Is this a quote from Minister Macklin before her Department embarked on the so called ‘consultation process’ prior to the launch of the Stolen Futures legislation?
No, it isn’t, but it encapsulates the farcical events that took place.
I refer you to ‘NT Consultation Report 2011 By Quotations’ (from Concerned Australians):
I need not elaborate further, suffice it to say that the Government (in cahoots with the Opposition) hardly looked at ‘any additional evidence’ (including the numerous submissions to the Parliamentary Enquiry) and if so only ‘to confirm the opinion to which they had already come’.
The quote is of a British politician- Lord Molson (1903-1991) found in a book by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson: ‘Mistakes were Made (but not by me)’
Another quote from this book:
“If in hindsight, we also discover that mistakes may have been made… I am deeply sorry”
Was this Kevin Rudd ?
No, this was Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, referring to the bishops who failed to deal with child molesters among the Catholic clergy.
Within living memory the most powerful nation on earth launched a savage attack on Iraq on the basis of alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction which proved as based on facts as the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
Over half a decade ago a savage attack on Aboriginal rights and self-determination was launched on the basis of alleged widespread dysfunction and the sexual abuse of children by organized paedophile rings on Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.
These allegations proved as based on fact as the politically opportunistic ‘Children Overboard’ and the Gulf of Tonkin incidents.
Currently in Australia the front pages of newspapers report on two major ‘scandals’: doping and match fixing in sport, and the sexual abuse of children (this time not confined to Aboriginal children in the NT).
These allegations are nonspecific and claimed to be widespread. As for Aboriginal men in 2007, the vast majority of honest, honourable and moral sports men and women, clerics, youth workers and social workers have all been tarred with the same brush. A cloud of suspicion and stigmatisation hangs over them. The ‘presumption of innocence’, one of the main pillars of the Western Justice System, is out the window and is being held to ransom by the Fourth Estate, their actions justified by a self serving interpretation of ‘Freedom of Speech’.
‘Freedom of Speech’ is also invoked by the supporters of Geert Wilders. The only thing Geert and myself have in common is our country of birth. So I asked a (1957) school friend (we found each other on the internet) what he thought of his countryman Geert, and thus I learnt a few more words in my mother tongue “een walgelijke provocatieve fluim” which Googletranslate tells me is “ a disgusting provocativephlegm “ in English. My friend is also glad to hear that Mr. Wilders isn’t all that welcome in Australia, and this gives me reason to feel proud as an Australian.
No such cause for pride in Australia’s treatment of its First Peoples.
‘Freedom of Speech’ is subject to interpretation, as is ‘Level Playing Field’, one’s ‘level’ is another’s ‘steep slope’. My friends Cockburn and Poole have started a blog pcbycp.com that I can recommend. A picture is worth 1,000 words, this is their ‘Level Playing Field’:
Do you recall my mention of a book ‘Bendable Learnings’? Recently Yuendumu School closed for two days (they call them ‘pupil free days’) for all teaching staff to go to Alice Springs to attend a workshop on ‘Visible Learnings’. Make of that what you will.
So what has all this to do with the Trojan Horse? It has occurred to me that the Intervention was a classic Trojan Horse (more like a pack of horses). Inside the ‘protect the women and children’ horse there was a vanguard of soldiers and others that then opened the gates for an army of civil servants, outside contractors and others to subjugate the Trojans inside the community (Wikipedia: “The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war.”)
Someone sent me a copy of a ‘Ministerial Statement’ by Alison Anderson (the NT’s newly appointed Minister for Aboriginal Advancement in the NT). Her Trojan Horse are the Homelands and Outstations. As an Aboriginal person herself she speaks with passion about the importance of land to Aborigines: “Our spiritual connection to the land is unique, and today I seek to explain and celebrate it…”
Three pages of this that left me emotionally touched and impressed with her wisdom… What a wonderful horse!
Wish I could sit and dream a while and spend some time in my Homeland…
However then, with the best of intentions and the advancement of her people at heart, Alison goes on to push the assimilationist agenda hidden inside the horse. From the sublime to the ridiculous:
“Private ownership of housing is good because it encourages people to take out mortgages. Warren Mundine has spoken of this, of the great benefit of a mortgage once you start to think about it. Having a mortgage means you can build a better house for yourself and your children . It means you have to get up in the morning and have a shower and go to work, to earn the money to pay the mortgage. That means you set a good example for your children, who get up to go to school.”
Livin’ and a workin’ on the land….
The possibility of taking out a mortgage on a house on an outstation is far removed from reality.
It is the impossible dream…
Alison’s mention of the shower, reminded me that:
almost four decades ago several Warlpiri school teachers used to get up in the morning and front at our Education Department house to have a shower before going to work. This was at a time when half the school staff was Warlpiri.
Today I think there are only two qualified Warlpiri teachers left at Yuendumu School. The Education Department doesn’t make housing available to locally recruited staff. How different things might be today if only they’d taken out mortgages!
Have been to three funerals in the last fortnight. People I cared for.
One of the services was almost entirely in the Luritja language.
This is one of the songs they sang (I can’t find a Luritja version)
Hundreds of people travelled hundreds of Kilometres to attend. Many in unregistrable vehicles with more passengers than seatbelts, risking large fines they would not be able to pay.
At the Alice Springs cemetery they sang this (again in Luritja)
It was once again driven home to me that remote Aborigines’ most precious ‘possessions’ are Land, Language, Law and Family.
To give all that up for a mortgage, for someone else’s impossible dream, is too high a price to pay.