Unfinished business

Last Sunday 9 August was International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. There has been progress here in Australia, but also backward steps, one of the most significant happening under Malcolm Turnbull’s watch — the failure to endorse the Uluru Statement from the heart.

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On YouTube I posted the following extremely articulate 2018 TED talk by Dean Parkin. “An experienced independent management consultant, Dean has worked across the public, corporate, not-for-profit and political sectors. He has advised a range of clients on strategy, engagement and co-design, including the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Palladium, Coles, the Referendum Council and Jawun. In addition to extensive experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, he has commercial experience both in Australia and the UK. Dean is from the Quandamooka peoples from Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) in Queensland. He was involved in the negotiations leading to a Native Title determination in 2011 and continues to work with his community on this journey. Dean has a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and Journalism) from the University of Queensland.”

I also posted — and with this and following videos I advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island visitors that they contain images and voices of people who have passed on — a long and authentic video of Aboriginal music, pointing out that while you can now find in YouTube wonderful music from Ancient Syria going back 3,000 years, this music may have been heard tens of millennia ago! Our First Peoples go back, we now know, at least 60,000 years.

Coming right up to the present, I posted the latest song from Midnight Oil, only just released.

Welcome to Gadigal land
Welcome to Gadigal country
Welcome to Gadigal land
Welcome to Gadigal land
Do you know our story?
Welcome to Gadigal land

Don’t you bring your poison
Don’t you bring your grog
Don’t you bring your smallpox
Sure to kill our mob
Don’t you bring your justice
Don’t you bring your gaols
Don’t you bring your armies
Troopers on our trails

So welcome to Gadigal land
Welcome to Gadigal country
Welcome to Gadigal land
Welcome to Gadigal land
Have you heard our history?
Welcome to Gadigal land

We don’t need your convicts
We don’t need your thieves
We don’t need your squatters
Or your emancipees
Don’t you dam our rivers
Don’t you fell our trees
Don’t you carve our wilderness
Don’t you net our seas

In the land where time stands still
In the land that’s in a spell
Every day since the day you came is a day of rage
It’s a day of rage

Welcome to Gadigal land
Wenyo wenyo wenyo!
Welcome to Gadigal land
Wenyo wenyo wenyo!

Mudjaru ngaya wunyang
(take pity on my bad pronunciation)
Ngandu bayabawai….ngara
(they told us they were sorry…listen)
Ngarawa darayawai, darimi
(but I think they’ve made a mistake, because for a long time)
Garamawaimi baya mudjin, wa?
(they stole my speech and family, see?)
Birrongaingun ngarawan
(our stars are now further away).
Always will be Gadigal land

It’s unfolding you’re unloading
Your high and mighty prison ships

We can live without your muskets
We can live without your guns
We can live without your strychnine
We can live without your rum
We can live without your gallows
We can do without your chains
We can do without the massacres
The sorrow and the pain

So welcome to Gadigal land
Wenyo wenyo wenyo!
Welcome to Wiradjuri land
Welcome to Yorta Yorta land
Welcome to Arrernte land
Welcome to Mirning land
Welcome to Gurindji land
All of the lands


The Gadigal people of the Eora Nation are the original custodians of Sydney.

Finally, I posted many items from that great band Yothu Yindi, including (obviously) “Treaty” — but here is another great one.

How sad it was to read on ABC News today of the endorsed Liberal candidate for an electorate in the upcoming ACT Election (Canberra) the following instance of misapplied piety: “The government’s adoption of animistic religious practices is to be condemned.”  He was referring to ceremonies like this.