Messenger The Conversation is running a series of explainers on key moments in Australian political history, looking at what happened, its impact then, and its relevance to politics today. While the sentiment has bipartisan support today, for more than half a century after Federation Australia boasted not of multiculturalism, but of its monoculture.
The more cold-blooded decided that the most humane way of dealing with a galaxy of peoples who would never be able to adapt to the "whitefella" regime was to eliminate them as quickly as possible, so they shot and poisoned them. Others believed that they owed it to their God to rescue the benighted savage, strip him of his pagan culture, clothe his nakedness, and teach him the value of work.
Leaving the original inhabitants alone was never an option; learning from them was beyond any notion of what was right and proper. As far as the pink people were concerned, black Australians were primitive peoples, survivors from the stone age in a land that time forgot.
Any hopes that this attitude might have changed were dashed two weeks ago, when Prime Minister John Howard announced a new crusade. Following a report calling for action on child abuse in Aboriginal communities, he announced a six-month ban on alcohol and pornography within the homelands, compulsory medical checks for indigenous children and restrictions on welfare payments.
As commander-in-chief of an army of police, the Australian Defence Force and hordes of doctors and nurses, he will storm the 70 or so autonomous Aboriginal settlements in the Northern Territory.
He can do this because the Northern Territory, having failed in a recent, rather half-hearted bid for statehood, is directly administered by the Australian government. For Aboriginal people, Howard's edict is just another sudden and draconian shift in the law as it relates to them; just another pillar in a lifetime of being shoved from pillar to post.
It is hard not to view this as yet another attack on native title by the white establishment. No sooner had Aboriginal peoples achieved, after a tremendous expenditure of time, effort, expertise and money, freehold title to bits and pieces of country under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, than there was an attempt to redefine freehold as it applied to Aboriginal areas, so that they could be reclaimed if there should be a need - for minerals, fossil fuels, foreign bases, tracking stations, whatever.
New laws in and sealed this flagrant violation. Now, having had such resounding success in rescuing Iraq from tyranny, fanaticism and madness, Howard claims to be riding to the rescue of Aboriginal children in distress. The prime minister of Australia should know, however, that most of the areas under Aboriginal control in the Northern Territory are already dry.
The elders would have greater success in keeping them that way if Howard and his Myrmidons would do the job they have been elected to do. Rather than wresting nominal control of Aboriginal homelands to himself and so undermining the authority of the elders still further, Howard could bring the full force of the law to bear on the white bootleggers who bring grog into dry Aboriginal communities by night and sell it at exorbitant prices.
Even in apparently successful communities such as Utopia, homeland of the great painter Emily Kngwarreye, the bootleggers turn up almost every night.
I was staying there in when drunken hoodlums smashed up the health centre in the small hours. The next day the senior law women sent the offenders into the bush to live off the land for six months, as punishment. My car had been searched when I arrived to make sure that I had brought no alcohol with me; but next morning all the men I saw were either staggering drunk or lying unconscious in the scrub.
Though the bootleggers drive unmistakable four-wheel-drive trucks with giant balloon tyres that carry them over the roadless expanse, leaving a mile-long dust plume easily visible from the sky, the federal authorities remain curiously unable to intercept the traffic, even though the government is missing out on significant revenue.
Anyone who really cared about what alcohol was doing to Aboriginal communities would surely have done something to curb the illicit trade. Perhaps they would also have done something about the fact that, in Alice Springs, as in most other frontier towns, there are dozens of liquor outlets and hardly any shops selling fresh foodstuffs, which, if you can find them, are crushingly expensive.
If your feet are bare, you are not allowed in the Alice Springs food mall at all. The name of the game, as usual, is bad faith. Everything Howard does is calculated to win him votes. The suffering of Aboriginal women and children at the hands of their deranged menfolk has been going on all Howard's life.
For most of that time whitefellas made a joke of it. At this late hour, on the eve of a general election, he is suddenly taking it seriously. It is of no consequence that what he is doing is illegal.Australia Day and the Enduring Power of White Supremacy to enacting white supremacy in law: excluding Aboriginal people from voting in the new nation, restricting immigration and forcibly.
White privilege means you don't have to worry about being monitored in a store just because the hue of your skin is a bit darker than most. Provocative documentary from John Pilger about the treatment of Australia's aboriginal people.
There's much that's truly shocking in John Pilger's ironically-titled documentary about the plight of Australia's aboriginal or 'First People' population. There's the shamefully abusive treatment while in police custody of one young man that lead to .
White Face is intended as an exploration of the experience of being a fair-skinned Aboriginal person in contemporary Australia. Carly . home: titles: indigenous documentary Indigenous documentary. 85 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year This episode examines the coming of the telegraph pole and white settlement to Central Australia. First Australians – Episode 5, An exposé on the homeless Aboriginal people of Darwin, known as 'long-grassers’. The White Australia policy was not a single government directive but a series of acts with a common goal: to achieve and maintain a white, British national character.
Australian Prime Minister Alfred Deakin campaigned vehemently for the White Australia policy and made it a key issue in his Election speech he proclaimed that the policy was not only for the preservation of the 'complexion' of Australia but it was for the establishment of 'social justice'.
Aborigines in white Australia: a documentary history of the attitudes affecting official policy and the Australian Aborigine, Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card.
Newsletter for the Aboriginal people of Victoria & Southern N.S.W;. Special Treatment is a documentary produced by Margaret Anne Smith which represents the struggle of the modern Aboriginal people in Australia.
Aboriginal people are constructed as a dominated and misunderstood people.