I’ve long been concerned with the pressures faced by Indigenous communities – while not Indigenous myself, I count Indigenous people among my extended family members and friends. I greatly sympathise with the horrifying history and its continuing ramifications faced by the people groups forced into slavery, genocide, and countless other cruelties beyond imagining. I believe that we as a nation must work to repair the damage caused by our ancestors, to seek reconciliation not just in word but in deed. I also had the privilege of taking a few semesters of Australian Indigenous Studies at university – I highly recommend it as a course of study for Arts students who want to challenge their assumptions about the history of Australia (which started long before 1788!). It was at times disturbing, confronting and challenging, but worth every tear shed over the merciless murders and violence committed over the men, women and children slaughtered by our forebears. There are those who say there were no wars fought on Australian soil – but they forget the Indigenous peoples who resisted the invasion and often paid with their lives.
This is an important social action group speaking out against the forced closure of Australian Aboriginal communities that’s been set up recently (March 2015) – jump over to their Facebook page to find out more. It would be great to add to the many international voices jumping on board to support this worthy cause.