Aborigines

The Voice and the End of Traditional Aboriginal Culture

They were here first. They have been here for 60,000 years. We took their land and their law.   — Greg Craven, The Australian, May 28, 2022

In recent commentary on the new Labor government’s commitment to hold a referendum to change the Constitution to create an Aboriginal Voice to Parliament in its current term of office, there is no shortage of bold assertions by prominent Australians. Like Greg Craven, the former vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University writing in The Australian, they are so confident their views are correct that they express them in simple, absolute terms, with no resort to evidence or sources deemed necessary. Yet it is not hard to show that there is a long and sophisticated intellectual tradition within the once respected field of anthropology that demonstrate most of today’s commentators on the subject don’t know what they are talking about.

The anthropological tradition I am talking about, which was based on exhaustive research and sustained personal contact with Aboriginal people at the same time they were making the transition from ancient to modern society, shows the views so confidently asserted by Craven and others like him are bare-faced bluff. We did not take the Aborigines’ land and their law. The great majority of them gave up their previous culture and beliefs willingly. They “came in” to the new white society and its economy. Aborigines in Australia today do not inhabit the world’s oldest living culture. They gave that away long before the activists who now recite this mantra were even born. Let me review here the anthropological literature that recorded this “coming in” when, or soon after, it actually happened.

Traditional or pre-colonial Aboriginal culture came to an end in the south-east of the Australian continent as long ago as the late nineteenth century. By the 1890s traditional tribal law, cere­monies and rituals were no longer preserved in the Aboriginal communities of New South Wales. In 1893, the thirty members of what was then called “the last wild tribe” were found in the south-west corner of the colony near Lake Victoria on the South Aus­tralian border.[1] For his major work The Native Tribes of South-East Australia (1904), anthropologist Alfred W. Howitt recorded the last ves­tiges of traditional culture he learned from old men living on New South Wales mis­sions and Aboriginal welfare stations before 1889. “Since then,” he wrote, “the tribal remnants have now almost lost the knowledge of the beliefs and customs of their fathers.” [2]   The few cultural beliefs and practices remembered by Aboriginal elders had not been passed on to the younger gener­ation, Howitt found.

In New South Wales, a clear majority of people of Aboriginal descent had already integrated with white society. The remaining non-or partly integrated Aborigines inhabited camps and welfare depots. At best, their culture at these locales was a combina­tion of old family loyalties and the patriarchal rule of missionaries who governed them with a daily timetable.[3] At worst, it was a violent, disorderly, binge-drinking, sex­ually abusive, heavy-gambling lifestyle, little different to the abysmal remote communities in central and northern Australia today.[4]

In the south-west of the continent, the situation was much the same. In 1934, the young journalist Paul Hasluck investi­gated living conditions of Aboriginal communities across the southern half of Western Australia. In Shades of Darkness he observed that all but a handful were peopled by those of part descent who had never inhabited a society based on traditional laws, economy or culture. In the course of a lengthy investiga­tion he spoke to almost every Aboriginal adult in the region and a large number of part-Aboriginal youths. He found few of them had any con­nections to traditional Aboriginal culture or ways of thinking. They had never been deprived of the tra­ditional hunter-gatherer economy or social system, because that was all gone long before their time. Most of these people were born within the farmlands of the Great Southern districts and made a living as seasonal and casual employees of white farm­ers. They identified more with white people than as Aborigines, Hasluck wrote.

In those days [the 1930s] most of the mixed race people [in the south] were living apart from Aborigines and the popular belief among the whites and the common hope of the mixed-race people themselves was that they should live in the white community. As a body, half-caste Aborigines were rejected by the aboriginal people as not being true Aborigines at all. It seemed that they were moving in one direction away from the aboriginal side of their ancestry.[5]

Traditional culture lasted longer in the central and northern reaches of the continent, but little of it survived beyond the Second World War. In the 1950s, the venerated anthropologist W.E.H. (Bill) Stanner found traditional laws and social hierarchy in the Northern Ter­ritory had largely broken down. In the 1930s, when he did his original fieldwork in the Daly River district of the north-west of the Northern Territory, Stanner found physical evidence of the then obsolete High Culture of the Nangiomeri people, including ovoid, circular and linear piles of man-arranged stones, deep excavations and the fragmentary memories of rites last cele­brated before the end of the nineteenth century. This High Culture had per­sisted longer further south in the Victoria River district when, in the 1920s, Stanner’s chief informant, an Aboriginal warrior named Durmugam, attempted to restore it in the Daly River region. In his journey south, Durmugam had learnt the lost secret life of the Nangiomeri which, Stanner recorded, “is fun­damental to the local organization, the conception of descent, the practices of marriage, residence and inheritance”.[6] However, a revival of the culture was beyond him. Through his fieldwork, Stanner found a widespread conviction among Aborigines on the Daly River that their own culture-hero, Angamunggi, the All-Father, a local variant of the almost universal Rainbow Serpent, had deserted them. Moreover, he observed, the material preconditions for revival of the cult were long gone.

Many of the preconditions of the traditional culture were gone — a sufficient population, a self-sustaining economy, a discipline by elders, a confident dependency on nature — and, with the preconditions went much of the culture, including the secret male rites.[7]

Stanner explained the Aboriginal groups were driven by a “sound calculus” they made of the effort required to gain daily food from the whites compared to the difficulty of getting it from their natural surroundings:

The life of a hunting and foraging nomad is very hard even in a good environment. Time and again the hunters fail, and the search for vegetable food can be just as patchy. A few failures in sequence and life in the camps can be very miserable. The small, secondary foodstuffs ― the roots, honey, grubs, ants, and the like, of which far too much has been made in the literature ― are relished tidbits, not staples. The aborigines rarely starve but they go short more often than supposed when the substantial fauna ― kangaroos, wallaby, goannas, birds, fish ― are too elusive.

Then, in a passage once quoted frequently in the anthropological literature (though rarely in history), Stanner wrote:

The blacks have grasped eagerly at any possibility of a regular and dependable food supply for a lesser effort than is involved in nomadic hunting and foraging. There is a sound calculus of cost and gain in preferring a belly regularly if only partly filled for an output of work which can be steadily scaled down. Hence the two most common characteristics of aboriginal adaptation to settlement by Europeans; a persistent and positive effort to make themselves dependent, and a squeeze-play to obtain a constant or increasing supply of food for a dwindling physical effort. I appreciated the good sense of the adaptation only after I had gone hungry from fruitless hunting with a rifle, gun, and spears in one of the best environments in Australia.[8]

Stanner also observed that the young of both sexes were not interested in pre­serving traditional Aboriginal ways. Young men openly derided the secrets of traditional culture and dared to seduce and elope with the young wives of grey-haired Aboriginal elders, esca­pades that would once have cost them their lives. Both they and the women they courted preferred the life offered by the new, white society. Stanner records how powerful a magnet white society was, and how Aborigines vied with one another to join it.

Eventually, for every aborigine who, so to speak, had Europeans thrust upon him, at least one other had sought them out. More would have gone to European centres sooner had it not been that their way was often barred by hostile aborigines. As late as the early 1930s I was able to see for myself the battles between the encroaching myalls and weakening, now-sedentary groups who had monopolized European sources of supply and work. The encroachers used every claim of right they had — kinship, affinity, friendship, namesake-relationship, trade partnership — to get and keep a toehold.[9]

In central Australia, the missionary and anthropologist Ted Strehlow acknowledged the same. He did the anthropological fieldwork for his classic study Songs of Central Australia between 1932 and 1960, by which time knowledge of the old ceremonial languages was already extinct in several of the areas where he collected myths and songs.[10] Young men were abandoning tradi­tional society in order to break down the marriage monopoly held by old men. Rather than being subject to “enslavement” by white pastoralists, as some Labor politicians claimed in the 1890s and 1900s, young Aboriginal men sought work with them freely. Strehlow observed that they acted in the hope of gaining the girls of their personal choice — and the protection of their white masters against the wrath of their outraged elders — in return for faithful service in the white man’s employment. In the intro­duction to his book, Myths and Songs of the Western Aranda, Strehlow wrote:

But after about 1910 both growing depopulation and the rising tide of disbelief among the young generation towards the traditions of their forefathers portended the eventual doom of the old native religion. The end came sooner than had been expected. The Spanish influenza epidemic of 1919–20 wiped out the bulk of the ageing, chronically undernourished population in the Southern and Central Aranda areas, and made serious inroads elsewhere. After 1920, full-scale ceremonial festivals were rarely held either in these parts, or among the Eastern Aranda who had suffered almost as cruelly. Mission influences had caused the complete cessation of ceremonial performances in the Western Aranda district by about the time of the First World War. The last blow was struck by the completion of the railway line from Oodnadatta to Alice Springs in 1929. This brought the majority of the surviving younger non-missionised Aranda folk to Alice Springs and the various rail sidings south of the railhead. Aranda religion and tradition decayed and disintegrated completely in the atmosphere of utter and cynical disillusionment which followed.[11]

By 1932, some of the old, initiated men of the Arrernte people confided in Strehlow that they were selling their sacred objects to the whites and giving up their old customs.[12] None of them had sons or grandsons responsible enough to be trusted with the secrets of their sacred objects, chants and ceremonies. Believing their secrets would die with them, they confided their knowledge to this white anthropologist and missionary, but for him they would be “ceremonially dead”.[13] In May 1932 at Barrow Creek in the Northern Territory, Strehlow recorded in his diary:

Tom came back from the camp and told me how the men everywhere wanted to sell their tjurunga to the whites, and to settle down like white men: the only reason for their walkabout was their duty to protect the sacred caves. Now they would sell not newly manufactured tjurunga but the really old treasures made by the erilknibata, so that they could change their old ways of living. [14]

Anthropologists who followed Strehlow and Stanner argued that, rather than today’s academic model of invasion and resistance, race relations were more a matter of settlement and accommodation. In 1972 Annette Hamilton gave a similar account of events in central Aus­tralia in the 1930s and 1940s.[15] Hamilton was an academic leftist who pub­lished in the Melbourne Marxist journal Arena. This was an unlikely source for a dissenting opinion about the direction his­tory was then taking. But Hamilton’s interpretation of why the Aboriginal people of the Everard Ranges district in the north of South Australia had decided to abandon the bush in favour of the pastoral stations in the late 1930s was completely adverse to today’s historical model of invasion/resistance. She said that Abo­riginal culture itself had compelled them to come in:

There was nothing external to force their movements; here, as in many other places at other earlier times, they came as individuals of their own free will. It seems clear that the values and norms of their own society forced them to do it.[16]

The clans of the Everard Ranges were permitted in the 1940s to camp at the homestead of one pastoral station where, in exchange for labour, they were issued meat, flour, sugar and tea. Hamilton explained the cultural imperative behind their actions:

The twin principles which kept [traditional] Aboriginal society functioning were the need to find food and the desire to limit effort in doing so — vital elements in a hunting and gathering economy. Put in ecological terms, it was a question of maintaining an energy input/output balance favourable to human survival. When the news came that the whites had abundant, if strange, food, more than they could possibly eat, this was like news of Eden — or the super water-hole, in Aboriginal terms. Hence, just as they had always moved to the sources of food — the ripening figs, the run of witchitties — so they moved to the whites, not in order to take part in white society, not in order to experience social change, but in order to eat the food.[17]

Instead of patriotically defending their territory and ancient way of life, the Aborigines had accommodated their behaviour and society to the white arrivals. Indeed, many had been posi­tively seduced by the ability of the colonists not only to provide a permanent supply of food, but also the irresistible stimulants of tea and tobacco.

The dominant Aboriginal culture that remains today, and the only version that any constitutional amendment could possibly hope to preserve, is the post-colonial culture that emerged after Federation. This is a series of attitudes and assumptions, much of it hostile to white Australia, that emerged first in the 1930s, but primarily in the 1960s, the latter under the influence of the American civil rights movement and the anti-imperialist theories of the New Left. Its authentic Abo­riginal content is marginal, even in the remote north. Stanner described the remnants as a “Low Culture” — “some secular cer­emonies, magical practices, mundane institutions, and rules-of-thumb for a prosaic life” — in contrast to the rigour and profun­dity of traditional society’s High Culture.[18]

If today’s Aboriginal culture is not the authentic derivative of the culture that was here before the First Fleet arrived, and if, as Stanner says, it is merely a low culture, then this has dire implica­tions for the constitutional recognition of Aborigines as the traditional owners of the Australian continent. This is because “the lost secret life” of the High Culture whose passing Stanner found so tragic, was, as he said: “fundamental to the local organization, the conception of descent, the practices of marriage, residence and inheritance”. In short, Aboriginal notions of ownership and inheritance of country and water sites are tied inextri­cably to the traditional High Culture.

If the latter no longer exists, it would be improper for Australia to amend its Constitution to “acknowledge the continuing relationship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with their traditional lands and waters” or to “respect the continuing cultures, languages and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”, as the original panel of academic and political advisors on this question recommended to the Commonwealth government. We would be acknowl­edging an inauthentic, artificial entity, and professing a respect that was inherently insincere.

 

[1] Aborigines Protection Board, Report, 1893, p 3

[2] A.W. Howitt, The Native Tribes of South-East Australia, (1904), facsimile edition, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1996, p xiii

[3] Bain Attwood, The Making of the Aborigines, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1989, pp 7–25

[4] Survey of temperance habits, Aborigines Protection Board, Report, 1890, in Report to Legislative Council, in Votes and Proceedings, Legisla­tive Assembly of New South Wales, 1890, pp 3–15

[5] Paul Hasluck, Shades of Darkness: Aboriginal Affairs 1925–1965, Mel­bourne University Press, Melbourne, 1988, p 69

[6] W.E.H. Stanner, ‘Durmugam: A Nangiomeri’, in Joseph B. Casa­grande (ed.), In the Company of Men: Twenty Portraits by Anthropologists, Harper, New York, 1960, reprinted in Robert Manne (ed.) The Dreaming and Other Essays, Black Inc, Melbourne, 2009, p 33

[7] Stanner, ‘Durmugam: A Nangiomeri’, p 34

[8] Stanner, ‘Durmugam: A Nangiomeri’, p 70

[9] W. E. H. Stanner, ‘Continuity and Change among the Aborigines’, Presidential Address, Anthropology, Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, Report of the Thirty Third Congress, Adelaide, August 1958, p 101

[10] T.G.H. Strehlow, Songs of Central Australia, Angus and Robertson, Syd­ney, 1971, p xiv

[11] This extract from the introduction to Myths and Songs of the Western Aranda, published in German but reproduced in English by Strehlow in Songs of Cen­tral Australia, p xxxv

[12] Barry Hill, Broken Song: T.G.H. Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession, Vin­tage Books, Sydney, 2002, p 158

[13] Hill, Broken Song, pp 604, 713

[14] T.G.H. Strehlow, diary, 28 May 1932, quoted by Barry Hill, Broken Song: T.G.H. Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession, Vintage Books, Sydney, 2002, p 159

[15] Annette Hamilton, ‘Blacks and Whites: The Relationships of Change’, Arena, 30, 1972, pp 36–7, 40–1

[16] Hamilton, ‘Blacks and Whites’, p 41

[17] Hamilton, ‘Blacks and Whites’, p 41

[18] Stanner, ‘Durmugam: A Nangiomeri’, pp 33–4

24 comments
  • NFriar

    I commend you Keith.
    A well presented paper indeed.
    Thank you.

  • March

    Thanks Keith,
    The great lie of the low culture continues to grow and spread like a virus as the BS “ceremonies” now extend to airline travel, Christian worship, supposed scientific organisations and even the sceptics. Coming soon perhaps the morning “welcome” to agree to when you turn on your smartphone each day, followed by the three minutes of hate of the enlightenment.
    Sadly I don’t think we have reached the bottom yet.

  • NFriar

    @March
    NO WAY!!!!
    ‘Coming soon perhaps the morning “welcome” to agree to when you turn on your smartphone each day.’

  • STD

    I would like to plagiarise, and highly commend you myself,Keith.
    Keith if I may, I would like to seek an indulgence and put one across the stern of what can only described as , craven lunacy.
    I mean really. The left holding the moral high ground as to traditional laws, beliefs and values – so long as those archaic and antiquated ideas allow the left’s progressive juggernaut to progressively slither in the objective direction of Marx’, Lenin’s ,Stalin’s and the like minded cohort of indentured philosophical decrepitude.
    That comment by Professor Craven that precedes your introduction is the very reason that the universities should be given curtailed access to indoctrinate the vulnerable.
    The really smart kid’s- the one’s who think outside the squares in order to seek inner growth as people- these are the people who should be merited with University placement.
    In reality the totality of the left’s doctrinal gambit is about as enthralling as boredom can get.
    To conclude, the fact of the matter is, the Aboriginal peoples en masse broke their cultural and lawful connection with the land in order and in consequence to satisfy the notion of “the survival of the fittest”, as proffered by one Charles Darwin. Which incidentally has absolutely nothing and bares no relation whatsoever to left wing grievances , except of course that motivational individualism and consumerism has been too successful for their liking(survival).
    This was a very interesting article and not just because, but also because of the balanced referencing.

  • Katzenjammer

    How can these articles on Quadrant get wider distribution closer to the time of the referendum? Is any group or organisation figuring a strategy to place them where they will be found by accident by those who don’t subscribe to outlets like this one.

  • john.singer

    Durmugam was Stanner’s most relied on source of information on the customs of the tribes which inhabited the Daly River area of the Northern Territory. It is ironic that he was “grown up” by his late mother’s brother a Nangiomeri man who never initiated him into the customs and secrets of the tribe. He had to learn what he knew of them from another tribe.

    Stanner in turn was the most relied on source of knowledge for HC “Nugget” Coombs in the “Culture Wars” so eloquently captured by the late Geoffrey Partington in his book “Hasluck versus Coombs”.

    There was no High Culture left on the Daly River in the 1930’s just as there is none in Wadeye (formerly Port Keats) today. Wadeye is about a long 100 kms south-west of the Daly.

    It is a shame the essay “Durmugami A Nangiomeri” is not mandatory reading at least in Universities.

  • Alistair

    With all due respect I consider the distinction between Low culture and High culture to be a wrong move. In our own “culture” there is High culture of the opera and theatre set and the Low culture of the outer suburbs. However I believe that the daily lived culture in the outer suburbs is a true reflection of our deep “culture” as a whole, of which High culture is just one part. I’m talking about the underlying moral basis of Western Civilization Rule of law equality before the law, a “fair go” … You can even take Christianity out – but the Low culture still preserves some of its essence long after the fact. In my dealings with remote area Aborigines the High culture may have gone, but the High culture still informs the Low culture and controls all aspects of life. Kinship obligations, sorcery, attitudes to women and children Kurdaitcha men …. – And in the remote areas everyone understands traditional land ownership patterns and they still hang on in spite of the efforts of the land councils to override them. They all know who owns what, and they know if they don’t respect it there’s trouble. Now if you want to talk about the Berndts’ “Neo-culture” of Sydney’s western suburbs … that’s a different matter.
    But in the remote areas, the referendum will fail on the remnants of Low culture.

  • arichards

    Late last century I visited a national park in western NSW that had extensive aboriginal rock carvings. The white NPWS ranger gave visitors a detailed history of traditional aboriginal life in the area, and the meaning of the artwork. Later discussion with him as to the source of his information identified that it came from early explorers, pastoralists, and some anthropologists. No information was obtained from the local aboriginals, who had completely forgotten any memory of their history. Also in the group was a young aboriginal apprentice ranger who was learning his history from the white ranger so that he could give local history talks to visitors in he future!

  • Blair

    ” “…respect the continuing cultures, languages and heritage of … Torres Strait Islander peoples”,
    What continuing cultures and heritage?
    “Coming of the Light – Torres Strait Islands
    The Coming of the Light is a holiday celebrated by Torres Strait Islanders on 1 July each year. It recognises the adoption of Christianity through island communities during the late nineteenth century.
    he London Missionary Society set out to convert people of the Southwest Pacific to Christianity from the 1840s. In July 1871, the Reverend Samuel MacFarlane, a member of the Society anchored at Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait. He was accompanied by South Sea Islander evangelists and teachers.
    In defiance of tribal law Dabad, a Warrior Clan Elder on Erub welcomed the London Missionary Society clergy and teachers.
    The acceptance of missionaries and Christianity into Torres Strait led to profound changes that affected every aspect of life from that time onwards. ”
    Queensland Museum

  • wdr

    The voice of reason, as always, but operating against a sea of lies and ignorance!

  • Daffy

    In today’s climate of nature worship and the illusory ‘noble savage’, it is easy to overlook how damn hard it was/is for hunter-gatherers to sustain life.
    Tribal aboriginies must have led lives of grinding poverty, of deprivation and near starvation most of the time.
    The comparative wealth of the British settlers must have astonished them with a seemingly endless supply of food, and once farming was established, it was food right at hand, not hiding somewhere in the bush…maybe.
    But today, we disparage all this, just like the Latteleft disparage modern industry…but will miss it when it is gone and we return ourselves to the grinding domestic chores of the late 19th century. Fun when you are young, maybe, but less so when you are arthritic, weary and despondent.

  • cbattle1

    Katzenjammer: How about a nocturnal poster campaign?

  • Katzenjammer

    cbattle1: A website with links to all these relevant Quadrant and other well documented online papers. Give it a short memorable name, such as “www.indiginotes.info”, that can be printed by anyone on car bumpers and on “Referendum: No Way Mate” posters.

  • NFriar

    @Katzenjammer – YES PLEASE!

  • Tricone

    I’ve always said that the most destructive thing that can happen to a hunter-gatherer, foraging, whatever you wish to call it, culture is the appearance of an easy and reliable supply of food and shelter in their midst.
    .

    No “noble savage” culture has ever survived intact from that, and a good thing too.
    .
    It happened at some point in all farmer/settler history. We would not wish it otherwise for ourselves – why do we so wish to condemn others to such hardship and poverty, except out of blindness, ignorance or just plain malice?

  • lolpg

    Well written Keith how do we get this onto main stream media,so as to stem the tide of false and make believe information

  • rossstanbrook

    Thankyou Keith. Another illuminating crystal of history from your best pen. Keep on man, while we can still relish your words!

  • Claude James

    Yes, the Aboriginal Industry is designed to keep Aborigines -of whatever degree of Aboriginality- in states of non-flourishing.

  • gilmay97

    Daffy – 13th June 2022, if your arthritic: Farmers worked this out to cure their stock of arthritis two hundred years ago; take 3 x 3 mg of Boron three time a day for 2 months then 2 x 3 mg of Boron for 12 monts then 2 daily, every second day take a magnesium and a zinc tablet. This old bull was cripled with it and now completley free and very active.

  • gilmay97

    Australia Day date change won’t end Aboriginal abuse of themselves or others.
    I keep hearing that Aboriginal people want to change the date of Australia Day. Well, what about the Aboriginal people who do not want to change the date? Do we not count because our opinions differ? And why aren’t these people who protest about changing the date as concerned about the Aboriginal people affected by domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse? Why aren’t the marches for murdered Aboriginal women as big as the marches on Australia Day?
    Yes, let’s learn about our history, but how is changing the date going to do a thing for the Aboriginal women dying at the hands of Aboriginal men, the Aboriginal children who miss out on school, and the Aboriginal children who are living in dysfunctional circumstances? I can bet you London to a brick they are not concerned with a date change. It is the Aboriginal middle class who are concerned about date changes and those pushing the agenda come from privilege in comparison to the Aboriginal people who are the country’s most marginalised. But let’s all make a huge deal out of this, an even bigger deal out of this than actually saving the lives of Aboriginal people who are living among us now.
    I’m pretty sure if we are pressured enough to change the date then there will be something else for the Aboriginal middle-class activists and guilt-ridden whitefellas to be offended about. After all, has saying “sorry” stopped domestic violence and dysfunction? Has saying “sorry” saved an Aboriginal life? I know it did absolutely nothing for me, but most token symbolism does very little for me because in my opinion only hard work, responsibility and real ¬action can make real change.
    The future is far more important to me than our past. Our ¬future is where we should be focused so that the most marginalised Aboriginal people of this country, whose first language is usually not English, who do not have access to media, whose lives are affected at alarming rates of family violence, can have the same opportunities as those who claim to feel pain because a country celebrates how lucky we are on a date that marks the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove.
    People want to call it a day of mourning. Well, we Aboriginal people have become professional mourners. We are constantly in a state of mourning it seems. So why do we want to stay in such a state? What do we have to benefit from being in a constant state of mourning? Mourning does not give us freedom: it imprisons us, and I have had enough. I bury my family far too regularly and that is all the mourning I can handle.
    I want everyone in this country to have opportunity. I want to pull my people out of the crippling state of mourning, and I don’t want anyone to feel guilty or bad for feeling joy and celebrating a country we love. The future is ours to make the best of and this will be done only if we do it together.
    Jacinta Nampijinpa Price an Alice Springs councillor.
    This was her Australia Day Facebook post January 28, 2017.

    Indigenous leader Warren Mundine.
    Speaking on his rejection of the discriminatory proposal to give aboriginals a greater say in parliament than the rest of Australia’s citizens by changing the Constitution via referendum.
    Whereas such stupid proposal are an absolute massive discrimination against all the other people of Australia when Aboriginals are only about 3.3 % of the population, why is it touted to give them preference over the other 96.7% of the population — who are the fools behind this proposal?
    Warren said: They already have 10 members of parliament that claim aboriginality, We have more representation in parliament than we’ve ever had before — and they are saying, ‘But we need an aboriginal voice in parliament’, he told Sky News host Andrew Bolt.
    Make sure you identify those who support this proposed nonsense, they may not be too good at analysis, reality, or fair representation in parliament.
    Under the false claim that would somehow resolve problems within the aboriginal population, Warren points out that “Over the last 50 years the Australian government has likely plunged over a trillion dollars into addressing Indigenous disadvantage but was having no effect”.
    “This (stupid) idea that you need to set up a huge bureaucracy that’s going to cost millions and millions of dollars to operate and is going to solve all these problems is just a fantasy world”. “We have got to deal with the reality”.
    “They said the ‘Truth Commission’, is going to look at laws that affect Aboriginal people. Well name me a law that does not affect aboriginal people. It’s every law, it’s taxation, it’s traffic, road rules, it’s education; it’s health, it’s the budget”.

    Warren Mundine AO
    This Truth Commission appears totally based on an Un-Truth of deception and mis-information — it is a gross discrimination against all other people in that it does not allow them to be included. So much for Truth in the Commission, which needs to be investigated by the Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination Commission for its apparent biased discriminatory base.
    As Warren Mundine wisely says, “What’s happening in some parts of Australia now is we have got generational welfare with two, three, four generations who haven’t had a job: this is where you see the drugs and alcohol and mental health issues are in those areas”.
    “Now we’ve got to get people back to work. That’s how it has helped their lives”.
    He went on to point out the preferential treatment of aboriginal Australians (over other Australians) has impeded their effort to move on.
    “If you’re looking at other people to fix your life, then you’ve got problems because no one can fix your life except you. If you fall on hard times, then we’ll help you. But the idea is that you get to work, you don’t live on welfare for the rest of your life’.

    Clearly, we need to sort out genuine aboriginals in need and give assistance — from those claiming aboriginality that are not in need and just rorting the system. There needs very stringent controls and DNA testing to prove aboriginality — not just being accepted. We are what we are born, we cannot change genetics because you align with a particular race — just because your like Italian cars and live next to an Italian, drink Italian wine and eat spaghetti does not make you Italian. The pathetically stupid and simplistically juvenile system of being accepted by aboriginals deeming you legally aboriginal and entitled to government funding for you and your family for life costing taxpayers millions every month, must stop.
    But what government or politician has enough integrity, intelligence, and principle to stop this rorting of taxpayer’s money?
    The preferential treatment and free government taxpayer’s money paid to people claiming aboriginality without them having to get out of bed in the morning and go to work is the incentive and encouragement to stay ON the system of free money and NOT get a job and go to work.
    ‘WHEN’ this is removed there will no longer be that financial incentive for the thousands of people claiming aboriginality — and the wasted millions rorting the taxpayers will end — the unintended consequence could see a drop in numbers of people claiming aboriginal status.
    Figures would eventually show a reduced number of aboriginals as there would no longer be free money, and benefits in being aboriginal — and the social engineers, do-gooders, soul savers, and generally a-bit-stupid people in the community will go into panic as there will be a reduced number of aboriginals — with likely pseudo claims of neglected deaths, and other untrue horrible accusations they will concoct as reasons for the declining numbers — everything except reality.
    In school we were all taught ‘responsibility, accountability and answerability’ were the key ingredient factors of your life and employment — simplified — Get up — Dress up — and — Show up for work. No one owes you anything, earn your wages, you position in the community and your respect.
    The old adage oft quoted “Life was not meant to be easy — but it can be beautiful – My dear”. Still applies today as it did when our grandparents were young.

  • Peter Marriott

    Thanks Keith. In my view and reading, your series of books ‘The Fabrication Of Aboriginal History’ represent the gold standard today on all this, as does your book ‘The Break-up Of Australia’. I use the information in them to support my disagreements in conversations regularly, on all the changes being pushed from the left. I know It isn’t possible for any of us as individuals, going about our normal daily lives, to suddenly drop everything, go out into the streets, form demonstrations attacking everyone and anything that disagrees with us, as the left do, or borrow millions and start taking everyone to court ; but it is important to voice disagreement, backed up with at least some relevant information when talking in general conversation….wherever and when ever the subject comes up. The Government people and their advisors also get into general conversations and if enough people are disagreeing in them the message can sift back I think.

  • STD

    Gilmay97 ,
    Australia needs people of common sense, quality people such as yourself. You are spot on the money, the right attitude counts for a lot-attitude is what makes us and sets us apart as Australians. Indentured and entrenched welfare destroys the character of people and their quality of life.

  • Rebekah Meredith

    Thank you, Gilmay97.
    Entrenched government dependence destroys the lives of all who are enslaved by it, of whatever race. The first welfare family I knew well were not Aboriginal at all, but the destructive nature of their welfare attitude affected literally every area of their lives–even their willingness to put effort into living for the Lord. Truly, it is a cancer.

  • Farnswort

    A really important piece. Thank you, Keith.

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