Friday, 26 January 2018

Respect

Present day politics aside I think we have lurked in the shadows as a nation for long enough. We will never be all that we can be until we embrace who we are, our history and our future.
Without reliving the sordid details of the slaughter that came with colonisation. It is abundantly clear reading transcripts of conversations between those British gentries, they were adamant that aboriginals were regarded as a sub-species. How wrong they were. They were considered to be in the way of any plans. It was this skewed view that led to the slaughter of many indigenous people around the Eastern & Southern Coast of Australia. Survivors appear to have been driven inland to regions that were less desirable to Settlers.                                                     
As a white Australian, I read about these abuses & atrocities with great sadness. I don't feel responsible yet I do feel ashamed. Ashamed that anyone with my blood could do such things and find it in any way justifiable. We are different now yet not so different that many indigenous Australians still live in remote areas. While today they do not live in fear of being slaughtered they do not have the same rights that most of us take for granted. Kids growing up in poverty. Families being used as guinea pigs for welfare trials. Life expectancies that are a decade shy of white Australians living, under the same sky.
I cannot speak for all Australians but I can speak for myself. I am sorry. Sorry for what was lost. The lives the opportunities the gifts that this culture has. I do not take the blame for the actions of others but I do want to go that extra yard in addressing those wrongs. These remedies are not in any way absolution. They are an olive branch for want of a better description.
I want Australia to be strong & proud not of who they were of who they are and who they can be. I want indigenous Aussies to drive this with us. Create something that we can all be proud of. I know through a friend on Twitter I have never met just how much heritage means. A man by the name of Paul Dutton who recently saw a photo of his old man for the first time. A photo of my old man is something I would have taken for granted. Paul's reaction was really poignant to me.
I want us to be the Republic of Australia. I want us to live in harmony with the indigenous culture. I want them to be connected with us, not a separate entity. They are the oldest living culture in the world. What a wonderful tourism opportunity. What a wonderful thing to learn about in our schools. Taking a step back to move forward is a good thing as a nation. We must not leave people behind.