Propaganda on the Taxpayer Dollar

Currently, the SBS documentary series The Australian Wars is being aired on the SBS and NITV channels. The director and presenter of the three-part series is Rachel Perkins, the Aboriginal activist who also directed The First Australians. Perkins has quite mastered the art of the political documentary, also known as propaganda, and her works are up there with Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will and Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin.

This series is a part of what we are being told is a process of “truth telling”, and apparently this process is defined as being whatever an Aboriginal activist says to the non-Aboriginal majority of Australians.  This Leftist political campaign to claim exclusive ownership of the “truth”, and therefore the exclusive right to have their ideology taught in the classroom, the university lecture hall and across the media generally, is being done with a lot of taxpayer money using the agencies and platforms that were created by the Australian government, such as the ABC, SBS and NITV. 

We are now witnessing a concerted effort by Aboriginal politico-social activists and their allies on the Left to denigrate and de-legitimise the Commonwealth of Australia and its history, with the ultimate goal being to replace it with a federation of sovereign “First Nation” states. The subject documentary, The Australian Wars, is an effective propaganda tool (or should we say “weapon”?) deployed towards the goal of recognising and returning the sovereignty of the so-called “First Nations”, and hence the dismantling of the Commonwealth of Australia. Unfortunately, most conservative politicians appear to be unaware of this threat from the Left.

It would appear that the Left has been the undisputed winner of that public debate known as the “History Wars”, because there is now no questioning or challenging of the mainstream narrative about the historical relations between European settlement and Aboriginal peoples.

For those who would prefer not to watch The Australian Wars, SBS does provide a 3.36 minute video clip of the introduction of the series, which sets out the basic premise. On the SBS ONDEMAND website, it says of the series:

Rachel Perkins journeys across the country to explore the bloody battles fought on Australian soil and the war that established the Australian nation, seeking to change the narrative of the nation.

The first episode is described as:

The story of Australia’s first wars, calling for the nation to acknowledge the First Peoples who died in these conflicts and for the Australian War Memorial to recognise them.

This series has been supported by Screen Australia, a Federal Government agency that supports Australian screen development, production and promotion. Their website describes The Australian Wars as:

A polemic documentary series that tells the extraordinary story of Australia’s First Wars – and calls for the First Peoples who died in these conflicts to be acknowledged by the nation and officially recognised by the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. First Wars is a documentary series which investigates the frontier conflicts between 1788 and 1928 and their impact, asks Australians who we are, and what we want to become.

But it is Documentary Australia that sets out best the socio-political aspirations and intentions of this new documentary series. I had never heard of Documentary Australia before, and so I informed myself by clicking the “About Us” tab on their website and read:

Our mission and impact

We connect filmmakers, activists, educators and change-makers and empower them to maximise their advocacy and impact goals.

It is our mission to advance awareness and inspire action on important social issues by supporting independent documentary filmmakers and organisations on the front-lines of social change, and amplifying the impact of their works to encourage empathy, activism and social transformation.

Our expertise, guidance and resources help creatives, not-for-profits, educators and change-makers work together to achieve their goals and maximise their social impact through the power of documentary.

We enable impact documentary projects to raise tax-deductible funding and make it possible for passionate philanthropists to collaborate with filmmakers to tell stories that change lives.

Of the subject documentary The Australian Wars, the Documentary Australia website is expansive in describing the objectives, expectations and “impact” of the series:




DIRECTOR   Rachel Perkins

PRODUCER   Darren Dale



The Australian Wars is a 3 x 1-hour documentary series for SBS Television that tells story of Australia’s frontier conflict. Delving into the archival record of Australia, it brings the major battles, military tactics and the historical figures who engaged in this land battle that swept the country over a hundred year period. These are the wars that established the new nation Australia. From the battles in the upper Hawkesbury in 1791 and across the continent to the final stages of pastoral supremacy in the Kimberley.

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

This series explores the wrongful occupation of Australia without acknowledgement of Aboriginal property rights. This led to a violent period of conquest that has left a legacy of intergenerational trauma and poverty that is endemic in Indigenous communities today. The denial of these foundational rights has contributed to ongoing denial of Australian history and opposition to treaty making. This series is a major component of truth telling on a national scale that we hope unlocks a wider dialogue about these issues.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

To contribute to a process of truth telling that reaches both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian audiences across multiple generations.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Wider understanding of history of frontier conflict and aspiration for truth telling, treaty making and recognition.
Increase in community memorialisation.
Uptake by educators in educational resources associated with series.
Engagement in the From the Heart campaign
A national and regional monument/s to the Australian Wars
Review of the Australian War Memorial Council’s policy in relation to frontier conflict


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Progressing both a national and regional conversation about frontier conflict.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

The State Archive of QLD is planning a significant exhibition and digitisation of its archive to coincide with broadcast. This could be extended to archives in each jurisdiction. Records of frontier conflict are held in collection institutions across Australia and it is an opportunity to shine a light on these collections.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Look into the histories in their regions. Embrace memorialisation of frontier conflict. Sign up to campaigns related to recognition. Study and extend their knowledge beyond the series within the classroom environment.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Screenrights – measure of annual usage
Broadcast – number of viewings in ratings and online streaming
Commentary – supportive articles & reviews in both conservative and progressive press
Sign ups – to the From the Heart campaign
Memorialisation – increase in community engagement at frontier conflict sites

State and territory truth telling processes underway
Treaty making
Successful referendum for constitutional recognition

The material set out above leaves no doubt as to the political objectives of The Australian Wars, and the medium of television is a powerful tool to further those objectives.  Those of the Albanese Labor government are only too happy to grab their boards and ride the wave of Aboriginal “truth telling” all the way to constitutional recognition, treaty, republic and the Voice. 

What of the Liberal/National opposition?

They appear to be completely unaware of the threat to Australian democracy and the ultimate integrity of the Australian nation state that is behind the so-called “truth telling” agenda of the Aboriginal activists and their Leftist fellow travellers.

Considering the agencies dedicated to promoting documentary series such as The Australian Wars, and the powerful influence of the television medium towards the shaping of public opinion and belief, it does not bode well for the future of the Australian nation, unless the conservative opposition can wake up and bring on a public debate.

43 thoughts on “Propaganda on the Taxpayer Dollar

  • Daffy says:

    I wonder if the truth telling will tell the truth about half starved Aborigines coming into town in the 1800s for food, or how they were happy to get hold of the Britishers’ tools and weapons, food and grog (in moderation, of course). How they were often happy for their children to be educated and housed by them, instead of being systematically abused in the tribe and married off to some horny old man to join his other brides, or bartered as a sex slave to an enemy tribe.

    Any takers?

  • Tony Tea says:

    The phrase “truth telling” is what poker players call a “tell”. It tells you the next thing the teller will tell is a lie.

  • 27hugo27 says:

    “Wars”!? I’m still laughing! They’ve been elevated to “First Nations” and went from being here for 40,000 years to 100,000 years to boost their argument.. And our taxes are funding this mendacity which is no laughing matter. My God, were the settlers serious there’d be not one aboriginal left in Terra Nullius. The benevolence has come back to bite us, something the indigenous never ponder over – if it were the Spanish, Dutch, Belgians or especially the Chinese, genocide a real possibility, not a buzz word.

  • Paul W says:

    There’s something else going on here. For a long time Australian history has been seen as boring, described by such expressions as ‘some men with beards did some stuff’. This of course is not true but it is common.
    Aboriginal Nationalism is also attempting to change that by inserting various big-ticket items that have otherwise been considered lacking.
    The new narrative is more akin to the conquest of Mexico. It goes like this:

    A sophisticated Aboriginal civilization with different nations existed in Australia. They lived in small cities and towns and practiced sustainable food harvesting and gathering. There was a continent wide trade network, and international law governed relations between the nations.
    This was interrupted by the invasion of a people called the Europeans. They either failed to understand the nature of the Aboriginal civilization and so carelessly destroyed it, or else they considered it needed to be destroyed for whatever reason and therefore in many places massacred thousands and thousands and committed genocide. The destruction was so complete that only a few traces of this civilization survived.
    But the Aborigines fought back against the Europeans and the resulting conflict was a giant continental war. A war for control of Australia. The Europeans won, but Aborigines, as they remind us, never formally ceded their territory. As the people responsible were clearly the racist forerunners of the Nazis, it’s our job to undo the damage they did.

    This gives a level of darkness to Australian history that it has never been considered to have, as well as changing the entire narrative structure. It is also a quintessentially multicultural perspective, dominated by it is as ethnic relationships.

  • padraic says:

    Great article exposing the propaganda which is straight out of the “1984” activist guide. What gets to me is the fragile whining about “Inter-generational trauma”. How many generations before it goes? Most migration waves to Australia from the First Fleet onwards contained people who had experienced terrible suffering and yet their descendants have become standard well adjusted citizens of a democratic polity where any citizen can achieve their potential if they want to and prepared to put in the effort.

  • Katzenjammer says:

    Do the victors always write the histories? Aboriginals and Palestinians have grabbed the world by their fake narratives.

  • NarelleG says:

    Just scandalous – I have no words.
    Other than to say – NOT WITH MY MONEY!!

    I equate these ‘documentaries’ akin to burning our flag and Lidia Thorpe’s antics.
    All with the same aim.
    Why isn’t it treasonous?

    • john mac says:

      I’m with you Narelle . Not one thing to apologise for , and they should be thanking their lucky stars the British colonised Australia .What they are doing to Clarkson and Fagan ( the white Journo’s) right now is beyond disgusting .

  • Blair says:

    How ironic that these “wars” were won by a handful of European officers in command of Native Police. The Native Police were from non-local First Nations.

  • lbloveday says:

    The people who could tell the truth are dead (on both “sides”) and there were no videos/films.
    The truth must be ascertained before it can be told, and it cannot be ascertained so long after the fact.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    A photo of Rachel Perkins can be seen at https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/two-of-us-rachel-and-hetti-perkins-20141024-11bfba.html .
    It appears to me that she has significant non-Aboriginal ancestry. Thus without Captain Cook and the settlement at Sydney Cove of 1788, she most definitely would not be here to complain of anything: either post or pre 1788.
    That is the bind that the virtually the whole popualtion identifying as Aboriginal is in, and with no way out. Most of them are not ‘full-bloods.’

    • pmprociv says:

      You’re not wrong, Ian. I knew Chalie Perkins briefly, as a fellow member of the Sydney Uni Labour Club back in ca. 1965, and my remaining impression (perhaps skewed?) of him is that he was a narcissist whose intellectual capacity failed to live up to his ego. He wasn’t a leader, more a capricious prima donna, who just went along with the real movers and shakers, serving happily as their “token” Aborigine on those freedom rides. His big rise to fame came with his appointment by the Hawke govt in 1984 as Secretary of the Dept of Aboriginal Affairs. His ancestry was mainly European, and his wife was of German descent, explaining the girls’ appearance, but it doesn’t pay these days to acknowledge that genetic contribution.
      Merely living in the posh suburbs of Canberra obviously wasn’t enough for his two daughters — I had to laugh on reading: “People think we just swan into the community because we are Charlie’s daughters. They think that because we are Perkins, we get some sort of gold pass. . . . We were fortunate that Dad just had a regular job. He joined the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and he worked there for more than 30 years.” Is this disingenuous, or do they really fail to recognise their privileged position?
      Charlie had a privileged life, helped along by numerous non-indigenous benefactors, starting with his soccer-playing career in the UK; he also benefitted hugely by having access to the most advanced medical care, surviving for decades after receiving a kidney transplant in the 1970s. For his daughter Rachel to now make a living out of exploiting confected victimhood reeks of opportunistic hypocrisy.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    I notice Albanese, quoted in today’s Australian on the subject of truth telling and massacres. This is the new front in the guilt trip offensive designed to shore up support for the Voice.
    On the subject of frontier wars, the most comprehensive database on massacres is the University of Newcastle massacre website. I have elsewhere suggested the numbers of Aborigines killed quoted therein are highly dubious. But even with their numbers, nothing in this ‘resource’ gives the impression of wars of resistance.

    • lbloveday says:

      Joe Hilderbrand in The Daily Telegraph opines “Australia has its first cleanskin PM in a very long time”.
      Abbott was PM just 7 years 12 days ago.
      Hilderbrand adds “Albanese has ditched the ‘Each-way Albo’ tag”.
      Not in my world,
      Then “his personal approval rating is stratospheric”.
      Compared to Dutton it may be high, but “stratospheric”? I’ve not seen a poll of Approve/Disapprove Albanese’ performance which is the true measure of personal approval.

    • john mac says:

      Peter , if we had wanted to , not one aborigine would be alive today . It is testament (and ironic) to our benevolence that we now are going to pay big time for introducing civilisation to them .


    The tax funded SBS is blatantly pushing apartheid to divide Australians on racist grounds. Where is the honourable benefit in that?

    • john mac says:

      Listen to ABC classical for aboriginal propaganda . stealthy , surreptitious and self- righteous – all the presenters citing “kuarna country”or “garrigal country” as if it were always so !

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    There were no ‘First Nations’ in Australia, just warring bands of aboriginal hunter-gathers. Life was harder off the coastal and riverine areas due to a greater shortage of food inland, especially in times of drought. These cultures had no ability to fight ‘wars’ with technologically superior settlers and often were happy to exchange bare subsistance for dependence on European foods.
    If real ‘wars’ were fought, by the way, which they definitely were not, this would mean Australia was invaded not settled, and this could bring down the High Court decision awarding Native Title. It does not apply to territories conquered by warfare. Personally, I wish Mabo could be challenged in this way, or some other, for it was a decision of an activist High Court taking its lead from Melanesian forms of land ownership in the Torries Straits, with a very inappropriate transferring that system to mainland Australia. The Voice will be even worse.
    My slight hope is that the Voice is the last grasp of the aboriginal elite entitlement industry and that it is defeated. Sadly, I think too many forces are lined up to introduce this serious boondoggle into our Constitution and that we can all rue that day. It won’t advance aborigines one iota and will be costly and entail endless funding and legal actions. People with one sixteenth aboriginal blood and no genuine knowledge of aboriginal traditional ways, let alone living these, will be on a huge gravy train with The Voice – once again. I voted YES in 1967 while doing an honours degree in Anthropology.
    YES re The Voice these days will destroy all of that good intent. This time I will Vote NO. The best outcome would be that the Voice never makes it to a Referendum, that it fades in its own irrelevance.

    • RobyH says:

      Yes in 1967 was for “Aboriginals”. That being full or half descent as defined across nearly all Australia.

      The unintended consequence of constitutional change was that the Aboriginal definition grotesquely expanded and continues to …

      It is time to be scared. Australia is under attack and this shows it … paid for and endorsed by Victorian taxpayers.


      Guaranteed seats based on race, race institutions and even black economic independence paid by white people. How did it get to this.

      Everyone is Australian. One People, One flag. One Voice. One Destiny.

    • john mac says:

      Yes Elisabeth . To call them “Wars” is to elevate them in stature . In reality , the settlers could have wiped out the lot of them , genocide finally given its due . It has now come back to bite us big time – witness the end of Clarkson’s and Fagan’s stellar careers for proxy – parenting indigenous players , with more coaches to fall no doubt . I fear the yes vote will prevail considering the reaction to covert 19 – compliance , capitulation of low information subjects on full display with a scolding media in a feeding frenzy of self=righteousness ready to sacrifice anyone on the altar of PC.

    • pmprociv says:

      Fully agree, Elizabeth, except with: “My slight hope is that the Voice is the last grasp of the aboriginal elite entitlement industry and that it is defeated.” (you might have meant “gasp”, but either will do!)
      The industry is so well established now, that in no way will it ever shut down, or shut up — too many snouts in the trough. A successful No vote will simply be confirmation of Australia as a racist, genocidal nation, demanding UN intervention.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    errata, apologies: hunter-gatherers, Torres Straits

  • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

    Where did these people get their information about these so-called wars for aboriginals didn’t have a written language, tape recorders, or movie cameras, and nor did the people who were supposed to have slaughtered them. Did the producer and the director get their material from sources written by Europeans and if so those written sources can be examined to see if they are authentic or not. Trouble is that many people who control the sources whereby records can be tested for authenticity or not are lefties, and of course we realists know all about the bias of the ABC and SBS. The pity of it all is that there are many very decent aboriginal people out there who must feel ashamed about all this for a “yes” vote will tear our country apart just as apartheid destroyed South Africa for that’s what a “yes” vote will do here.

  • Brian Boru says:

    “The Australian Wars” is about a continent that had the resources to sustain a now proven 25 million people being held by a mere 300 thousand.
    It was the subject of (sometimes bloody and regrettable) conflict because the 300K original inhabitants were unable to share and did not comprehend the forces ranged against them.
    We are now in a newer version of the War where a racist class of people sharing some ancestry from the original inhabitants are endeavouring to claim benefits from the 25 million. Ironically, the 25 million do not comprehend the forces ranged against them.
    In time to come, there will be others telling about a continent with only 25 million trying to hold it when it could sustain 200 million.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      Don’t worry on that score, Your Majesty Boru. If the Chinese ever took over Australia, they would be about as sympathetic to the Aboriginal cause as they have so far been to those of the Uighurs and the Tibetans: keep shooting ’em till they shut up.

  • DougD says:

    In the Māori Wars of the 1840s and 1860s confederations of thousands of Māori fought and sometimes defeated armies of thousands of British regular troops and artillery. Victoria Crosses and campaign medals were awarded.. Where during “the Australian Wars” were there any comparable encounters? And will there be a memorial to the Aboriginal troopers of the Queensland Native Police killed in clashes with tribal Aborigines.?

  • DougD says:

    “Unfortunately, most conservative politicians appear to be unaware of this threat from the Left.” That shouldn’t be surprising. Apart from Matt Canavan and Andrew Hastie, I can’t think of any conservative politicians.

  • geoff_brown1 says:

    If the “Frontier Wars” were as large and bloody as this series would appear to claim, where’s all the forensic evidence? The most notorious case was Forrest River, where it was alleged that “Maybe two, maybe three hundred people were shot and burned, by a police party..” All the evidence ever found were several bones, which no – one could identify as human, some shell casings from a rifle that wasn’t police issue, and two or three campfire sites, big enough to “boil the billy.’

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      The classic Ted Egan song ‘The Drover’s Boy’ pretty well answers all such questions.
      The overwhelming bulk of people identifying as “Aboriginal’ today carry non-Aboriginal (mainly European) genes. This can only be because young Aboriginal men were displaced en masse from the Aboriginal breeding population and replaced by young white men. As Egan put it:
      “And he told of the massacre in the west
      Barest details – guess the rest
      Shoot the bucks, grab a gin
      Cut her hair, break her in
      And call her a boy – the drover’s boy…”
      The ‘bucks’ did not go quietly or gently into their good night. But go they did.


  • Hornet says:

    I was really looking forward to this program. Here was I thinking we might have had, right on the doorstep, our very own Gettysburg, El Alamein, Stalingrad, Borodino, Passchendaele, Rorke’s Drift, Alamo, Crimea etc. What a disappointment to find unsubstantiated claims and assertions about conflicts that had to be relatively small-scale, going by the population of the time. Some of the events probably happened, to a greater or lesser extent, but… it isn’t the factual content of the program per se, which is not much more than what we already know. It’s the extrapolation that the occurrence of these events apparently means that the nation needs to take a particular political direction, and we are morally defective unless and until this occurs.

    But trashing reality, because it doesn’t conform with (white academic) theory, well, what could possiblee go rong. It would serve indigenous activists well to note the irony that some of the concepts they deploy in their political projects come straight from European philosophies, particularly Marxism. That looks a bit like… colonialism!

  • RobyH says:

    And Elizabeth Bare is right. Mabo was about land rights or more relevantly cultural rights in the Torres Straits. They were agriculturists and they had family ownership and tenure. This shouldn’t have meant anything under English law but high court gave it credence.

    Aboriginals had no such land tenure equivalent to the TSI. Completely nomadic. It could never ever be recognised as rights under English law.

    Keating government passed the native title act. It needs to be repealed as the great fallacy of the continent.

    Or if not … it is their private land. You can live there. You are a seperate state within Australia. You made the choice. No one can come into your lands. BUT as has been the case for 50,0000 years no one can come out … No money. No alcohol. No ciggies. No house, cars, phones, electricity. Sanitation …..You didn’t need it for 50,000 years. Etc etc. that is native title. Australians call it out.

  • Warwick Lewis says:

    The war is here and now.
    It is a war against truth against history and against Australia as we know it.
    Who will lead us in these dark times.
    No battle can be won without decisive intelligent leadership.

  • loweprof says:

    This reminds me of a comment by Stan Grant in his book Australia Day (page 78):

    “I think of those people I have met who discover a long-lost Aboriginal ancestor and construct an entirely new identity for themselves”.

    • pmprociv says:

      I don’t think you even need to discover such an ancestor — all you need do is “feel” indigenous, as I’m sure so many of those census form-fillers have done, to grow the indigenous population so much in recent years. In fact, some people even ticked that box as a joke, or in protest.

  • Lo says:

    It is coming from other directions as well. The Hawthorn report, leaked to the ABC. The Wars. The coroner’s inquest (?) in the Northern Territory.
    It could be a coincidence of course.

  • john.singer says:

    The meaning of the word “Truth” was appropriated some time ago. and the term “First Peoples” had become , to use a Public Servant’s phrase “a contested space”.
    Now this program further appropriates “Australia’s First Wars” initially by terming minor skirmishes as wars and then by claiming them to be firsts.
    Using the same criteria, Australia’s First (recorded) War was in 1606 when Willem Janszoon of the Duyfken tried to land on what we call Cape York and the Second (recorded) War (skirmish) was in 1770 when Lt James Cook tried to land in Botany Bay. In both cases the locals attacked the visitors.

  • Jessie says:

    I imagine Professor Marcia Langton clearly does understand when she states @ 3,14 of the SBS video clip “We need to understand why the war was never declared ………when clearly there were wars, wars plural, many wars…”

    For it was Prof Marcia that assisted in condemning generations upon generations of educated, ‘free’ girls and later women, to the servitude and horror with the re-establishment of tribal ‘wife No 3 or 4’. As they tried to escpe they were brutally abducted, assaulted, raped, stabbed, murdered. ML effectively silenced the voices, and the lives, of generations upon generations of remote Aboriginal girls and women across Australia. Ongoing now for >40 years. That is some feat of advancement by 1 Professor. And her cohort.
    cf No more empty rhetoric, please
    Michael Duffy
    May 20, 2006

    *and in the 70s, as ML is aware, the remote young women were wearing mini dresses and short skirts as they worked in schools, stores, and so on. Following the re-tribalisation needed for the narrative that fashion and freedom didn’t last for long .

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