MDFF 16 December 2017

Musical Dispatch from the Front- Listen!- December 2017


Many a Dispatch has alluded to the failure of mainstream Australia to listen to Indigenous Australia.

From a 2014 Dispatch: “…I saw David Suchet’s retrospective on his 25 years of portraying Agatha Christie’s Poirot. David Suchet kept switching from himself to his Poirot persona. At one point he quotes Poirot in his Belgian/French accent: “I hear what you say, I listen to what you mean”

If only the multitude who have descended upon remote Aboriginal Australia to impose Stronger Futures and to Close the Gap would follow Poirot’s example. They come and organise endless meetings at which they push their agendas. If only they didn’t just hear what is being said, but listened to what is meant…”

Thus UNSW lecturer Caroline Wake’s review in The Conversation headed “Barbara and the Camp Dogs turns pub theatre into an impassioned call to listen to Indigenous Australians”, was right up my alley. It runs to 23rd December at the Belvoir St. Theatre.

Ursula Yovich stars as Barbara….
Ursula Yovich “Dance me to the end of love”…

I think I’ve mentioned once before that I don’t consider quoting myself as plagiarism, so here is a comment I submitted to the Article in the Conversation….

“What a timely piece- This morning, paraphrasing Yothu Yindi, ‘I saw it on the Television’  …Yothu Yindi- Treaty…

There was Malcolm Turnbull, jubilant about the passage into law of Same Sex Marriage. Not surprising, being the politician he is, he took a fair bit of the credit. He even asserted that Australia was the land of the “Fair Go”. Senator Brandis was also jubilant.

This article mentions Malcolm Turnbull’s betrayal in relation to his rejection of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The “Fair Go” he invoked on today’s occasion, was not at all evident in that rejection. It wouldn’t be so bad, if his rationale for rejecting the Uluru statement wasn’t based on a blatant lie- the statement cobbled together at great expense by a broad section of Indigenous Australia never asked for a third tier of Government. They simply asked for a Voice. A voice with constitutional protection so it couldn’t be silenced at the whim of Government (such as happened to ATSIC under John Howard)

The attack on Indigenous Australia is multi-pronged and under the radar.

At the end of October Senator Brandis wrote to the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service. CAALAS was advised that North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency Ltd. will be the funded provider in the southern region of the Northern Territory. As of next year (2018) there will be “fly in fly out” lawyers attending to the legal needs of Central Australian Aborigines.

“… I acknowledge CAALAS’ long history in providing legal assistance services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Central Australia…” wrote Senator Brandis when delivering his death knell to CAALAS, A bit pedantic on my part, but I wasn’t aware there was such as “The Torres Strait Islander people of Central Australia”

The fight for rights worldwide is punctuated by iconic music, theatre and writing. Barbara and the Camp Dogs combines all three!

Long after the details of Native Title and John Howard’s treacherous 10-point plan are lost into the mists of communal amnesia, Yothu Yindi’s “Treaty” and Midnight Oil’s “beds are burning” will continue to resonate.  Midnight Oil- Beds are Burning…

Music is one of the most powerful weapons available to those silenced. That is why such as the Taliban ban (no pun intended) music and dancing.

As that song from the U.S. anti-segregation movement said ‘We shall Overcome someday” Joan Baez – We shall Overcome

All they were asked for was, a Voice with Constitutional protection, all they’re giving is nothing.

But they can’t stop the music…..

A couple of pertinent songs by Patrick Davies

And then (dare I mention it) there is that song from my parent’s generation… The Internationale…

Anyway, cheer up you mob…. Here’s some up lifting music….

Rumaal – Maati Baani ft. Bhutta Khan…

Who cares if we can’t understand a word!