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A legacy of racism with a grief that lingers on

Aboriginal people have walked and toiled the lands of this vast continent for over 65,000 years. They have done so, having inherited the custodianship from their forefathers.

With colonial zeal, England invaded their lands, raped their women and shot their husbands as if a sport. We wanted to remove their culture and force the expulsion of their children. We tried to breed them out. Over time, we took their lands. Then, we treated them like foreigners.

When the white settlers moved into the bush, random shootings of Aboriginals and massacres of groups of men, women and children were common.

The most infamous massacre occurred at Myall Creek station, NSW in 1838.

“The massacre at Myall Creek was the culmination of a series of conflicts between settlers and Aboriginal people in the Liverpool Plains region. The twelve men responsible for the massacre included freed men and assigned convicts that had spent a day unsuccessfully pursuing Aboriginal people. When they came to Myall Creek station they discovered a group of Wirrayaraay who they rounded up and tied together. A few minutes later they were led off and massacred. Two days later the men returned to the scene of the crime to burn their victims’ remains.”

Then, with our inhumane cruelty, we tried to rectify the wrongs with the white man’s ways.

We denied them their citizenship rights; instead, we enslaved them. Hardship has been the lot of our First Nations people since we first oppressed them. We denied them equality and opportunity, believing they were unworthy of it.

Years later, we locked them up and while in custody, they died. It didn’t work, so the indigenous people asked, “Can we have a go?”

“Know your place,” the reply comes back from those with hatred and racism on their tongues. Of conservative bent they were. A cohort of spoilers. Bastards with little tenderness.

They should be honoured for their patience and tolerance while we debate simple requests. A referendum. A few words that acknowledge our existence in the book of rules. The one we call The Constitution and a proposal that we might listen to them amid their despair.

“Why so?”, the white side asks, and you have to wonder at their blindness. Or their hatred. Listen to Peter Dutton (another referendum should he become PM), John Howard (“maintain the rage“), and Tony Abbott (should be “abandoned“). What vile, hate-filled, inaccurate, misleading and undignified messages they project. Scare and more scare. Conflict with hate debate is continuous. Such ignorance in our own backyard.

A choice to accept what is or move forward as a nation and address the gaps for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To those who reason, it is not unreasonable. To do this, they simply ask for a say in matters that affect them. A small request.

The Voice will create practical and lasting change.

To refuse these simple requests would dishonour our First Nations people and declare our racism.

My thought for the day:

The legacy of centuries of racism lingers on. What will the consequences be?

An afterthought:

A party whose behaviour was so deplorable in government should be more considered in opposition. (Referring to the last session of parliament.)



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  1. New England Cocky

    All sadly too true John Lord. The genocidal policies endorsed by the HCA decision by Isaac Isaacs CJ in 1906 set no value on Aboriginal persons and gave them no rights. Indeed, successive feral & state governments. especially Queensland, applied an iron fist and much state revenues defending their ”right” to suppress and disadvantage Aboriginal persons until the 1967 referendum allowed Aboriginal persons to be counted as ”Australian citizens”.
    Indeed, the Joh Bjelke-Petersen & other NOtional$ LIarbral$ Queensland governments attempted to continue the suppression of Aboriginal rights after the Mabo decision in 1990s. Since then, feral & state judicial authorities have dragged their feet for often decades to ”protect” the ”rights” of European invaders over legitimate Aboriginal land claims.
    Funny ….. in the 1820s the English government claimed that all persons in Australia were English citizens and subject to English laws …. except the local colonial powers in Australia excluded Aborigines from those legal protections, preferring to summarily execute Aborigines at the behest of European ”settlers”.
    The NO case against The Voice is strongly supported by Boofhead Duddo, the confirmed racist former Queensland policeman and (mis) leader of his majesty’s Loyal Opposition, led by two traitors against their people for seeming future personal pecuniary interests while given a broad multimedia platform by an American citizen known to support the FRWNJ Trumpery policies.

  2. John Lord

    I couldn’t disagree with your summation NEC. Another thing is that under normal circumstances a leader of the Opposition would sack a spokesperson who disagreed with him as much as Price does.

  3. Terence Mills

    The Liberal party calls itself a broad-church where “the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples” are to the fore. In that context Price seizes her right to freedom of thought and speech and when her leader says he’ll have another referendum she calls it out as a brain-fart.

    But let’s not forget that Jacinta Price is a member of the The Country Liberal Party of the Northern Territory, who are loosely linked to the National Party and even more loosely linked to the Liberal coalition : they don’t really have that much in common.

    Price holds one of the two senate seats in the NT : she could easily be flipped compared with the states where twelve senators tends to give them greater longevity.

  4. ajogrady

    If the Voice vote fails the world will have no doubts that Australia is a pathetic backward looking country stuck in 19th century colonizing attitudes that is inhabited by petty racist bogans, bigoted redneck zealots, cowardly xenophobic ratbags, irrational fear mongering far right boofheads, fascist Christian drongos doing the bidding of predatory
    and parasitic billionaires Gina Rhineheart and Clive Palmer and their cash for comment puppet Jacinta Price plus many multi national mining corporation bullys and bludgers, instigated and directed by the IPA (who has its own Voice to parliament) while the contemptible Murdoch Media and its paranoid echo chamber of lies and distortions are megaphoned to its moronic disciples.
    Advance a fair Australia, vote YES!
    Although the lack of any detail and transperancy of the AUKUS deal by the Albanese Labor government will and has cast a suspicious cloud over the Voice and it objectives is understandable. Getting the Voice over the line rests a lot on the credibility and trust for the Albanese Labor government, much like how it will impact on the next election for Albanese Labor.
    AUKUS is Labor’s Achilles Heel and Albenese’s Albatross of theirs and his making. The Voice will become a victim of Labor’s suspicious lack of transparency around Albanese’s flawed AUKUS deal.

  5. New England Cocky

    @ Terence Mills ….. it is worth reading the Barwick CJ HCA judgment on whether the territories, both ACT and NT, have the constitutional right to have Parliamentary representation. According to the Constitution only states have representation, so Price is an unconstitutional appointment, regardless of Barwicks ‘dubious conclusions.

  6. Caz

    Price’s ratbag statements about how colonisation has benefited FNP should be broadcast far and wide. Having shot herself in the foot, this now becomes her Achilles heel. The government won’t say it but I will” Australia is a racist country” and it seems a lot of migrants have forgotten the racism they faced on arrival. I faced it myself, not because I had Indigenous forebears, but simply because I looked different to the mainly English stock surrounding me. It has a lasting impact especially if it is compounded by social disadvantage or family break-up. One never completely recovers.
    I will be marching for Yes tomorrow.
    I will continue to argue in favour of the Yes campaign. I have my doubts that we will win and we are all to blame. Dutton and the Coalition for putting political ambition before the country, Albanese for not putting in enough effort and spending too much time out of the country, Linda Burney for refusing to engage and just repeating the same mantra “we are focussed on winning” whenever a direct question was put, the cowardly Coalition and the public in general who fall for the fear campaigns from that evil manipulator Murdoch. And the good people who for years could see the inequality, hear the vitriolic rhetoric and stayed silent. There is a small chance we will be able to celebrate but most likely we will be hanging our heads in shame.

  7. Terence Mills


    It comes down to section 122 doesn’t it .

    In many respects the senators for the Territories are ‘Clayton’s’ senators as they have only three year terms in line with the House of Reps rather that the normal six years for state senators.


    I have been disappointed that Linda Burney has pointedly avoided answering questions during QT not what I would expect at this critical juncture of the referendum debate.

  8. Caz

    Malarndirri McCarthy is a much better advocate than Linda Burney. I understand Burney has not been well but this is much too important to leave to chance. By the way Noel Pearson was outstanding on Insiders last week.

  9. New England Cocky

    @ Terence Mills: Uhm ….. actually there is no provision ion the Australian Constitution for the HCA CJ to make decisions contrary to the Constitution, as happened in this matter.

  10. Terence Mills


    It still, in my opinion, comes back to the power granted to the Parliament by section 122.

    “Section 122 provides- The Parliament may make laws for the government of any territory surrendered by any State to and accepted by the Commonwealth, or of any Territory placed by the King under the authority of and accepted by the Commonwealth, or otherwise acquired by the Commonwealth, and may allow the the representation of such territory in either House of the Parliament to the extent and on the terms which it thinks fit.

    My emphasis.

  11. Teiresias

    Caz, you criticise Linda Burney for the way she answers Coalition questions. The questions them selves are often not accepted by the Speaker because they are inappropriate. and must be rephrased.

    One only has to look at the NO statements in the Referendum Booklet to see how hopeless they are. For example, #1 states “This voice is legally risky.” “This would be the biggest change to our democracy in Australia’s history.” And it goes on to say what that change is: “Enshrining a Voice'” And asks how the High Court will interpret such a constitutional change. This is poor thinking, way beyond what is being asked for in the Referendum. #4 says “It won’t help Indigenous Australians.'” Well what is the Voice trying to do? #5 says “No issue is beyond its scope.”

    Linda Burney says it is about matters important to Indigenous people, and she reads from The Voice to Parliament Handbook p.68. “A Voice to Parliament can also achieve positive outcomes in education, health, justice and housing, to name a few examples, without waiting what may be decades for for a treaty settlement.”

    Clearly the Coalition does not listen? Chris Kenny (The Australian, 5/8/2023) wrote: “…the Coalition is undermined by its own commitment to legislate a voice …under Morrison they compiled a 275-page report, based on extensive national consultation about what its legislative voice would look like (I was in that process). They know more than the pretend.”

    Silly political games, Caz? The Coalition is attacking Albanese with the plan to use its own Voice rather than have Labor be the government to bring on the Voice. The “leftovers” will be in Opposition for a good while yet, I hope. Yes yes yes.

  12. Clakka

    To all. Here, hear!

  13. Terence Mills


    Some of the questions put to Burney are just straightforward. For instance, she has said that the Voice delegates will be gender balanced (not all blokes) and will be age balanced (a mixture of young and old) and will be elected by their communities.

    It is not unreasonable to ask how that will work : if she doesn’t know then just say so.

    I had some of the same questions in my own mind.

  14. New England Cocky

    @ Terence Mills: Hmmm ….. I shall have to cogitate about that interpretation ….. and go back to the original HCA judgment. Thank you.
    Regardless, it is a ”better” solution to the once proposed states of Northern Territory also ACT with the consequential rights to feral Treasury funding for ”catching up” economic development of a mostly empty land area , that is occasionally proposed by self-serving political hacks.

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