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Essential Reading

NBN: Native Burning Network

dark thoughtsAs reported in the Adelaide Advertiser on August 6, 1931

A quite remarkable story in The Weekend Australian by Indigenous Affairs editor Stephen Fitzpatrick informs us that Captain Cook did not discover the east coast of Australia, as is commonly believed -- it was Aborigines who discovered him. Apparently the fires Cook observed from the Endeavour's landfall until his departure from the coast were smoke signals relaying his progress from tribe to tribe as he made his way north. Let Chris Ingrey, chief executive of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, explain how it was done:

"From what we understand, the use of fire was a signal up the coast and this was a method of signalling people that something was happening.

Our old people would have witnessed the ship off the coastline, and followed it up the coast to where their cultural boundary ended, and at the start of the next cultural boundary it was that particular tribal group that then would have done the same.”

Readers inclined to scepticism will particularly appreciate the comments thread, which lends little credence to the tale of the original NBN, the Native Burning Network. Unlike the newspaper's indigenous affairs roundsman, commenters remain caustically unconvinced.

And some might even wonder why fires were needed at all, given the 1931 explanation by David Unaipon, whose face graces our $50 bill. That's his revelation in the screen grab atop this post, which can be read in full at Trove via this link or the one below.

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A PM of NEGligible nous

turmbull turbine

Alan Moran, a much smarter and far more honest man than our for-the-moment Prime Minister, writes:

The idiocy of Turnbull’s handling of electricity policy now, once again, looks likely to cost him the leadership of his party.  Faced with termination, he is seeking to extricate himself while pretending to reform the policy that has revealed his incompetence.  His new proposals at modifying the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) are bromides that leave intact his destructive objectives for the electricity supply industry.

Alan's analysis can be read via this link or the one below.

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Bollards of Peace at the MCG

mcg security

At the start of tonight's big game at the MCG in Melbourne, where a supremely competent Richmond meets a resurgent Essendon in a match that will help shape the final eight, each captain will be accompanied to the coin toss by a Muslim teammate. This, we are told, will be the AFL's refutation of Fraser Anning's infamous maiden speech demanding an end to Muslim immigration. But is that enough to celebrate multiculturalism's contribution to the Australia we inhabit today?

Of course not!

To really get the message across, arriving barrackers should be spared the now-standard bag search and body scan (above), a measure deemed necessary lest someone bring a bomb into the stadium. As the AFL endorses only the nicest thoughts about Islam, surely such measures can only serve to detract from the evening's exercise in amity and acceptance.

And before that, as the crowd filters through the donut vans and souvenir stalls on the stadium's outer concourse, those concrete barriers that protect the ground from car and truck attacks might be repainted. The game doesn't begin until 7.30. There is still time to stencil 'Bollard of Peace' on each.

Why celebrate only the contributions of two superb players, who just happen to be Muslim, when there is so much more Islam has brought us?

For more on the conditions of entry to the MCG, follow this link or the one below, paying particular attention to edict number 6.

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