Was there slavery in Australia? Yes. It shouldn’t even be a debate

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Thalia Anthony, University of Technology Sydney and Stephen Gray, Monash University

Prime Minister Scott Morrison asserted in a radio interview that “there was no slavery in Australia”.

This is a common misunderstanding, which often obscures our nation’s history of exploitation of First Nations people and Pacific Islanders.

Mr Morrison followed up with “I’ve always said we’ve got to be honest about our history”. Unfortunately, his statement is at odds with the historical record.

This history was widely and publicly documented, among other sources, in the 2006 Australian Senate report Unfinished Business: Indigenous Stolen Wages.

What is slavery?
Australia was not a “slave state” like the American South. However, slavery is a broader concept. As Article 1 of the United Nations Slavery Convention says:

Slavery is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised.

These powers might include non-payment of wages, physical or sexual abuse, controls over freedom of movement, or selling a person like a piece of property. In the words of slavery historian Orlando Patterson, slavery is a form of “social death”.

Slavery has been illegal in the (former) British Empire since the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade of 1807, and certainly since 1833.

Slavery practices emerged in Australia in the 19th century and in some places endured until the 1950s.

Early coverage of slavery in Australia
As early as the 1860s, anti-slavery campaigners began to invoke “charges of chattel bondage and slavery” to describe north Australian conditions for Aboriginal labour.

In 1891 a “Slave Map of Modern Australia” was printed in the British Anti-Slavery Reporter, a journal that documented slavery around the world and campaigned against it.

Reprinted from English journalist Arthur Vogan’s account of frontier relations in Queensland, it showed large areas where:

… the traffic in Aboriginal labour, both children and adults, had descended into slavery conditions.

Seeds of slavery in Australia
Some 62,000 Melanesian people were brought to Australia and enslaved to work in Queensland’s sugar plantations between 1863 and 1904. First Nations Australians had a more enduring experience of slavery, especially in the cattle industry.

In the pastoral industry, employers exercised a high degree of control over ‘their’ Aboriginal workers, who were bought and sold as chattels, particularly where they ‘went with’ the property upon sale. There were restrictions on their freedom of choice and movement. There was cruel treatment and abuse, control of sexuality, and forced labour.

A stock worker at Meda Station in the Kimberley, Jimmy Bird, recalled:

… whitefellas would pull their gun out and kill any Aborigines who stood up to them. And there was none of this taking your time to pull up your boots either. No fear!

Aboriginal woman Ruby de Satge, who worked on a Queensland station, described the Queensland Protection Act as meaning:

if you are sitting down minding your own business, a station manager can come up to you and say, “I want a couple of blackfellows” … Just like picking up a cat or a dog.

Through their roles under the legislation, police, Aboriginal protectors and pastoral managers were complicit in this force.

Slavery was sanctioned by Australian law
Legislation facilitated the enslavement of Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland. Under the South Australian Aborigines Act 1911, the government empowered police to “inspect workers and their conditions” but not to uphold basic working conditions or enforce payment. The Aboriginals Ordinance 1918 (Cth) allowed the forced recruitment of Indigenous workers in the Northern Territory, and legalised the non-payment of wages.

In Queensland, the licence system was effectively a blank cheque to recruit Aboriginal people into employment without their consent. Amendments to the Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 gave powers to the Protector or police officer to ‘expend’ their wages or invest them in a trust fund – which was never paid out.

Officials were well aware that ‘slavery’ was a public relations problem. The chief protector in the Northern Territory noted in 1927 that pastoral workers:

… are kept in a servitude that is nothing short of slavery.

In the early 1930s, chief protector Dr Cecil Cook pointed out Australia was in breach of its obligations under the League of Nations Slavery Convention.

‘… it certainly exists here in its worst form’
Accusations of slavery continued into the 1930s, including through the British Commonwealth League.

In 1932 the North Australian Workers’ Union (NAWU) characterised Aboriginal workers as “slaves”. Unionist Owen Rowe argued:

If there is no slavery in the British Empire then the NT is not part of the British Empire; for it certainly exists here in its worst form.

In the 1940s, anthropologists Ronald and Catherine Berndt surveyed conditions on cattle stations owned by Lord Vestey, commenting that Aboriginal people:

… owned neither the huts in which they lived nor the land on which these were built, they had no rights of tenure, and in some cases have been sold or transferred with the property.

In 1958, counsel for the well-known Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira argued that the Welfare Ordinance 1953 (Cth) was unconstitutional, because the enacting legislation was:

… a law for the enslavement of part of the population of the Northern Territory.

Profits from slaves
Australia has unfinished business in repaying wages to Aboriginal and South Sea Islander slaves. First Nations slave work allowed big businesses to reap substantial profits, and helped maintain the Australian economy through the Great Depression. Aboriginal people are proud of their work on stations even though the historical narrative is enshrined in silence and denial.

As Bundjalung woman Valerie Linow has said of her experiences of slavery in the 1950s:

What if your wages got stolen? Honestly, wouldn’t you like to have your wages back? Honestly. I think it should be owed to the ones who were slave labour. We got up and worked from dawn to dusk … We lost everything – family, everything. You cannot go stealing our lousy little sixpence. We have got to have money back. You have got to give something back after all this country did to the Aboriginal people. You cannot keep stealing off us.The Conversation

Thalia Anthony, Professor of Law, University of Technology Sydney and Stephen Gray, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Monash University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

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134 Comments

Total Comments: 134
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    In “From Little Things Big Things Grow” Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly wrote “Gurindji were working for nothing but rations”. They couldn’t leave to find another job. THAT’S slavery. Add to that Aboriginal, Chinese and Japanese pearl divers, and the Kanakas. All preceded by the convicts themselves. Scott, you’re either wilfully ignorant, or a poor liar.

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    History has a lot of unpleasantness, “Australia” was a very Cruel Place and in the early part with “So Called” convicts that would fit the Leading Commentary as well.
    How many Aborigines were in Port Arthur, Norfolk Island and other Prisons for “New Arrivals”.Transported for Life for trying to survive in over crowded England.
    Floggings for for the sake of it, forced labour no pay meagre rations.
    Tell a story but don’t screw with history to suit a article.
    Horrible things happened to others as well other than “PC”

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      Yes, Chris. History is history. We should acknowledge it, but not distort it and not let it govern today’s world. It is in the past. What bothers me is that it is being altered to deny certain facts and exaggerate others, in order to justify reverse racism and demands for unfair benefits for certain sectors of the community. It’s also being used to justify nastiness and blame against innocent people, just because MAYBE their forebears might have been party to wrongs. (In many cases, they were definitely not, but if they happen to be of a certain race, they are blamed anyway!)

      We can’t change the past. We need to acknowledge it and move forward.

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    wasn’t convict labour slave labour?

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      At least convicts were charged with an offense and found guilty in a court of law, however tiny their so-called ‘crime’ was or how huge was their punishment. It was too often simply stealing of food to feed one’s family. The other option was to starve.

      And for many of them, my ancestor’s included, they were emancipated and became landowners in Australia. This land was stolen illegally, because Indigenous Nations never ceded their sovereignty of it. There is no formal Treaty.

      The on-going injustice acted on Aboriginal people is an absolute disgrace. Racism towards them has been ingrained into our government institutions to this day. Laws need to be changed and rights recognised. Let’s start with recognition of our black history, truth telling of all Australian history and recognition in our Constitution that Aboriginal people ARE PEOPLE, not part of the flora and fauna.

      So many of our problems are due to the lie of ‘Terra Nullius’. We cannot continue this lie and think we’re ‘doing something’ by throwing money at it.

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      Hoohoo, a lot of our history is a disgrace. But reverse racism won’t fix it. It will only make things worse. We have made massive strides in compensating and offering reparation to Aboriginals. They now enjoy privileges and benefits that disadvantage whites could never dream of – and these privileges and benefits are extended even to wealthy, privileged people who have only a tiny smidgeon of Aboriginal blood in them.

      There’s a lot more to Australia’s story than is being told. For example, white children were stolen and enslaved – as recently as the mid-1970s. But we are not permitted to talk about that because it ‘reduces sympathy for Aboriginals’. Aboriginals are automatically compensated if they or even their parents or grandparents can claim to have been stolen. Whites, even those personally stolen and horrendously abused, are not.

      Australians sacrificed their lives to keep this country free, and Aboriginals benefited enormously from that sacrifice. Had the Japanese taken over, there is a good chance the entire Aboriginal race would have been annihilated. I love the Japanese people, but they are racist and they were far more so in past decades.

      Aboriginals now have land rights that yield income that whites can only dream about. They have free legal services, huge educational benefits, exclusive access to opportunities in the arts, grants to start businesses, preference for public housing… it goes on and on and on. I think it’s the wrong approach. I think less money and more recognition and genuine equality would be better. But we need to stop the aggression from Aboriginal activists (most of whom are actually white!) and the unreasonable demands.

      I agree racism is an ongoing problem, and it will continue to be while reverse racism treats some races very unfairly, and while nasty accusations and insults are thrown at innocent people merely because some perceive their ancestors may have been among those who perpetrated wrongs.

      I don’t agree with Morrison making the statement he made, but I understand and agree with his motive. We need to acknowledge the good in our past as well as the bad. And we need to stop exaggerating the bad for the sake of political correctness.

      Yes, let’s tell the truth about our history. But let’s tell the REAL truth. Too much is now being distorted for political correctness. And it’s a nonsense to say, centuries after the event, that the land our forebears developed and fought for is not ours because someone, centuries ago, neglected to get a signature on a formal treaty (from people who were illiterate and didn’t know what a treaty was anyway!).

      Of course Aboriginals are people, and they have been recognized and acknowledged as such for several generations. And the vast majority of the REAL Aborigines (as opposed to white activists who MIGHT have a smidgeon of Indigenous blood somewhere) are quite content with the way things are in Australia and disagree with the rants and demands of the activists. There are several Aboriginals in my family and I grew up amongst them, and they are disgusted at the reverse racism and the greed and selfishness we are seeing among people who falsely claim to be speaking for them.

      We can and should do much more for those still living in a disadvantaged state – and there are many. But carrying on about history won’t help them. And neither will reverse racism and harping on about whites taking their land. That will only compound problems by increasing resentment among those who have done no wrong and have worked hard and paid honestly for the land they own. Generations of whites have built this country and fought for it, and it’s THEIR land as well. It’s OUR land. It belongs to ALL Australians.

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      Whatever happened to “forgive & forget?” It’s essential for anyone’s future peace of mind as is acknowledging gratefulness for whatever keeps us alive. Holding onto grudges for many yrs rots our health & happiness, for many 100s of decades it rots us far more so. Just enjoy waking up in the morn, having food/water/roof over head….so very many 10,000s of our so called “white ppl” don’t, & do not have the assistance/benefits of our 1st Nation ppl. Do Jewish ppl, Eastern Europeans+++ still hold grudges against Germans b/c of their also shocking loss of very many millions of most loved ones lives (including children) b/c of Hitler? NO, they don’t. Life throws us all many unfortunate/sad curve-balls over the decades, just pick yourself up/dust yourself off & be grateful to enjoy the company of most loved ones & friends/sunrise/sunset/flowers/pets++++. it’s the only choice.

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      Exactly right, Loloften.

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    Yes there was blatant slavery as well as covert slavery in the past and there is no point in raising these things now as they were outlawed by governments decades ago. Just the same as blocking movies and TV shows that were acceptable in their time but are offensive to some today. What is it that people want when they complain about what happened in the past? Do they want each of us to return to the land of our ancestors? English back to England, Scots back to Scotland, coloured people back to their original homelands? What will happen to those of mixed race? None of us lives in the past, we live in the here and now and the problems we have are in the here and now and there is no point in scoring political points against politicians by dragging up things over which they had no control and, in this case, happened before the majority of Australians were born.

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      Time passing does not excuse wrong doing!!!

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      “there is no point in raising these things now ”

      What? Not even to point out that Scott Morrison is a wilfully ignorant moron? He made the claim. Pretty sure we have aright to show that he’s wrong.

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      When people say something didn’t happen in the past when it clearly DID, it needs to be called out. Sure we live in the here and now Mr Cope, but when people tell proveable lies, they need to be called out. You can try to move forward, but if you ignore the truth and then lie about it when you are supposed to be the leader of this country, then you are not much better than Donald Trump.

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      Well, Horoscope, you HAVE totally missed the point of truth telling and the need to correct history when we know it’s a BIG FAT LIE, starting with calling the continent ‘Terra Nullius’. That’s right, they said there were no people here and called our original inhabitants animals.

      So let’s start removing public statues that remind and shame people, every time they see them, that Aboriginals are less than people and deserve their shitty treatment. Put these racist statues in the Colonial Museum, with their offensive plaques that state lies like this: “Captain James Cook discovered Australia”. Then they will be preserved for history in their historical context, but won’t continue to confront present-day Australians, black and white, with the lie and offense. Put a truthful plaque in the place where the statue was, and tell when and where Cook landed and that the original statue and plaque can be seen in the Colonial Museum.

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      NO, Hoohoo. We have a right to OUR history too. It should not be destroyed for the sake of appeasing a few activists and being ‘politically correct’. Yes, acknowledge the past -TRUTHFULLY and without exaggeration. But how dare ANYONE suggest we should not be permitted to acknowledge our own history and the people how made Australia what it is today. That will create enormous resentment and anger that will fuel the fires of racism.

      No statue has ever been guilty of declaring that people deserved bad treatment. But what we are seeing today is a lot of nasty and vicious accusations against innocent people because of what some of their ancestors MIGHT have done. Never mind that their ancestors contributed enormously to the wealth and prosperity of this country, and gave their lives for our freedom and security. No. That doesn’t count!

      There are plenty of lies being told – most of them, today, by activists falsely claiming to be Aboriginal and attacking white Australia.

      Yes, a lot of our history is tragic and shameful. But it IS history. So let’s acknowledge it and leave it there, recognizing how far we’ve come since and working together, as one united people, to make Australia a better place for EVERYONE.

      And BTW, anyone who claims a public statue reminds them that Aboriginals are less than people is a lying idiot. A statue is nothing more than a salute to a historical figure whose achievements deserve recognition. We can all acknowledge that those past heroes did some wrong and were misguided in some respects. But they were part of our past – a past that happened and that we cannot change. Nor should we be blamed for it or punished for it.

      Personally, I find the constant harping about Aboriginals owning the land grossly offensive, since I was born here and my forefathers fought and died for this country. Nobody starts public ceremonies with acknowledgment of what my forebears sacrificed for this country. Even ANZAC ceremonies now are dominated with speeches acknowledging Aboriginal rights.

      So some in past centuries made mistakes. GET OVER IT. We have far better things to do with our time and far better things to do with public money than raving on about the past being ‘offensive’ and replacing public statues. And while reverse racism continues, the fires of racism will be fuelled. We would be far better served focusing on finding solutions for ALL disadvantage of ALL Australians.

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      Agree Horace Cope and Youngagain.
      All Lives matter even animals

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      Youngagain, what do you think ‘OUR HISTORY” actually is? There’s only one truth and it should exist for ALL AUSTRALIANS. So you need to understand that white history has a very black beginning. Black history started on this continent thousands of years before any colonial set foot on it. So you can’t say “Captain James Cook discovered Australia”. He didn’t. It is you who needs to get over it. Cook was a fantastic navigator but he did NOT discover Australia.

      You can shove your public money up your arse because you never did much good with it anyway. Blackfellas never asked for it. What they HAVE asked for is a voice and self-determination, without Whitefella values deciding what’s best for Aboriginal communities.

      Read again what I said – I didn’t say anything about destroying your precious colonial statues. I said put them in a museum and out of sight and offense for normal 2020 Australians. Old racists like yourself can go see them all together in their inglorious glory. I used to walk under that Captain Cook statue with its offensive plaque in Randwick when I was a student at UNSW. That plaque tells an ugly lie that lead to the terrible treatment of Blackfellas on this land. It’s not past history – it’s happening today in the form of racial profiling which leads to unfair incarceration rates and deaths in custody. The situation is getting worse, not better, despite Royal Commissions. You are denying reality with your let bygones be bygones. It’s not past history.

      You seem to be in a haze thinking only white soldiers fought in wars to protect Australia. Hello? Blackfellas fought before they were even citizens of any country and when they returned they got nothing, unlike white soldiers. Some of them were ‘allotted’ to white-owned farms. Many were massacred by armed British Law enforcers in the so-called Frontier Wars, without any history book being able to validate it. We can only presume from the skeletons. You need to accept the very ugly truth those fated words “Terra Nullius” caused. Empty of people. Only animals. No Treaty, Sovereignty never ceded.

      I’m not against finding solutions for ALL disadvantage of ALL Australians, in fact I write about it on this site regularly. You are just trying to pit people against each other. Do you think we can only choose one group and not the other? Equality means for everyone. You sound like Pauline Hanson with your silly ‘reverse racism’. Get a grip. Stop dividing people and become part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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      No, Hoohoo. YOU are trying to pit one against another. You want to favour some and disfavour others. You want some to lose so others can gain. We should ALL gain together, as one.

      Let me tell you about reverse racism. I have a dear friend (white) who grew up terribly disadvantaged in an orphanage, with no family. He suffered horrid abuse and deprivation for no better reason than that his mother was mentally ill. He grew up and got a job and worked hard, married, and raised children. Life was hard and he got no help from anyone, but he did okay. His son married and bought a modest home with a small granny flat attached for my friend and his wife. His son had two lovely daughters. He was struggling to pay a mortgage, but working and doing okay. Then the government decided to promote ‘racial integration’ and ‘a better deal for the Indigenous’. They bought every second house in his street and gave it to a black family. Two years later, my friend’s son’s house was worth half what he’d paid for it and he was living in hell. The street was littered with broken bottles and smashed up cars. The surrounding houses were wrecked. Parties went on until all hours. His children could not go outside for fear of taunts of ‘stinking whities’ and stones thrown at them. He had to sell up, at a massive loss, and buy elsewhere. He has had no help from anyone, but those blacks didn’t work. They walked around with thousands of dollars in their wallets from mine profits and spend their lives drinking and gambling and partying. You think he doesn’t have some resentment toward blacks? That’s why reverse racism is bad. His is not an isolated case. This is what is dividing people. To be part of the solution, you have to STOP THE DIVISION, and that means STOP favouring one race over another.

      You promote division by calling me racist. I’m not. But you are. You call me racist for wanting a statue representing OUR history to remain where it is – for not considering it insulting. You call me racist for acknowledging sensibly that what Cook saw here was ‘Terra Nullius’ in his eyes, and only a paranoid nutter would suggest that meant he didn’t acknowledge there were people. You call me racist for acknowledging that there was no way any valid treaty could have been created or signed given the level of understanding of the Indigenous. I am NOT racist. Unlike you, I don’t want favours for some and not others, based on race. I don’t want division. You are the racist.

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      So throwing money at those hopeless Blackfellas didn’t help them one bit, did it? All it did was feed their alcoholism and dysfunction, which only started when colonials arrived on their shores. It’s long overdue that governments listen to what Elders want. Leaving it to market forces and then white interventions (because whites think they know best) is disastrous for both black and white. All the money in the world won’t replace their country and culture that was taken or bribed out of them by the mining company, in cahoots with the government.

      Just look at Adani today. Adani bought off a few local Blackfellas by providing ‘jobs’ in exchange for their traditional country, sacred sites, precious water and culture. When the real traditional custodians jacked up they prevented the government from signing off with their deal with Adani because there was a clause saying the traditional custodians had to unanimously agree on the deal. So what did our shitty government do? They changed that law, so that the sell-outs could overtrump the real traditional custodians of that country. Not before they were driven bankrupt by court proceedings, stretched out for that very purpose, as the rich and powerful always do to buy ‘justice’. Now they have to beg Adani to perform traditional ceremonies on their own country. The huge amounts of ground water given to Adani for free is threatening their sacred permanent waterhole.

      Once they’ve been separated from their country they’ll never be able to claim land rights in the future because it’s necessary to have a continual connection with their country. We must learn and listen, not try to shut them up and shout them down, screaming ‘Reverse racism!” They don’t want what Whitefellas want, if only they were asked for their perspective. They trashed those white housing because obviously, that’s not what they value. Those are white values. They DO deserve to be treated differently because they are still suffering today, with the establishment still trying (successfully) to take their country, even while the white law of the land actually dictates that they must cede sovereignty with a formal Treaty. It’s happening TODAY, not in some long lost history recorded by Whitefellas.

      I know your solution to treat everyone equally is genuine, but if Blackfellas were in charge of the country and THEY decided how equality was to be achieved for all the populace, maybe only then would you realise that your solution is determined by your white values, as well-meaning as they may be. Blackfellas want self-determination, not so-called solutions decided and delivered by white institutions.

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      Blackfellas DO decide how equality is to achieved, Hoohoo. That is, a minority of loud-mouthed black activists and selfish elders. They have demanded – and gained – massive financial handouts, land rights, free legal aid, free education, health benefits, free housing, reduced accountability for crime, an endless string of ‘special’ days and weeks acknowledging their past, speeches at the start of every public ceremony, exclusive access to opportunities in the arts, guaranteed employment preference, large grants to start businesses, special welfare benefits, restrictions on whites accessing parts of our own land. On and on and on it goes, and they are NEVER satisfied. Now they want to demolish our statues and deny us our special days. They want to scream accusations and blame. They are entitled to take legal action against anyone whose comments are interpreted as racist, but they claim the right to make the most horrendously offensive and insulting racist remarks about whites publicly. On one radio station we used to listen to, the continual barrage of nasty anti-white comments is enough to make a white man want to leave the country and take everything the white man brought here, built or created with him. It’s vile and disgusting. The continual barrage of insults and lies made me physically sick – but we are not entitled to object! The law does not hold them to account.

      The lies being told to justify demands are endless. Figures on black deaths in custody, for example, have proved conclusively that a very small percentage of blacks die in custody compared to whites and black deaths are primarily from natural causes. Virtually none in the past three decades resulted from police or prison warder interference. Also, claims of blacks killed by whites are blatant lies, but blacks are killing blacks. Family violence and sex abuse is rampant in black communities, and it’s NOT the white man to blame. Until blacks take responsibility for their own behaviour and stop playing victim and allocating blame, nothing can change.

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      The more we ignore well-thought-out strategies like the Uluru Statement and ignore the findings of Royal Commissions again and again, the less chance we have of ever making it right.

      Are you surprised Blackfellas are really angry now? When the only ‘solutions’ so far have been useless white institutions wasting money implementing white values that are presumed superior? Wasting money that only makes Whitefellas like yourself (and me) angry? If you treat adults like children with a ‘mummy knows best’ attitude, they’ll never learn how to take responsibility. Now they are ready to be given the reigns because they know the solutions to their own problems, which differ for every different community.

      I bet those Blackfellas ’employed’ by Adani will be driving around in flash 4WD and wasting the opportunity they’ve got for selling out their country and culture.

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      Blackfellas paid by Adani for doing nothing except claiming they own the land will be drinking and partying and destroying their lives and those of their children, and chanting messages of hate against the white man who feeds them.

      Intelligent, mature blackfellas will acknowledge that change happens – sometimes good change and sometimes bad – and get on with making the best life they can for themselves and their families, just like all the white people who have had to live with injustice and torment and poverty and unwelcome social change have HAD to do.

      Injustice is colour blind. Poverty is colour blind. Change happens and it impacts us all. Some change we are powerless to stop, and some change is good for us even if we don’t immediately recognise the good. But bad change happens and we have to live with it. It’s part of life. It’s happened since the beginning of time.

      Stop making it all about race. Grow up and accept that strong, intelligent people adapt and move forward and weak, pathetic, pea-brained selfish people waste their lives ranting about it and demanding compensation. The tragedy in Australia today is that the strong don’t have the guts to tell the weak, selfish, pea-brained to bugger off and shut it. We are destroying society by giving in to the selfish tantrum-throwing toddler-brained whingers instead of telling them to GROW UP.

      Life throws us all curved balls – some more than others. Catch them or dodge them. It’s entirely YOUR choice what you do with what life deals you. And the choice you make defines you. A lot of folk who were born disadvantaged have chosen to be strong, intelligent and proud, adapting to change and focusing on the positives in our society. THEY have done very well for themselves and are leading happy lives. Those who made the opposite choice – no matter what their race – are living with anger and misery, and sorry, but they deserve it.

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      You’re totally ignoring the burden and privilege Blackfellas have to preserve their country and their religion/culture, not just for themselves and their families in a white, greedy way, but for posterity. Genocide didn’t work. They survived, and not by kowtowing and integrating into white society. Why should they?

      You’ve said EXACTLY what I said – “Blackfellas paid by Adani for doing nothing…” (actually, Adani and the government are calling it employment) … but it’s not in exchange for claiming they own land at all! On the contrary! It’s in exchange for giving up their land, their culture, their sacred sites and everything that might keep them strong and off the grog.
      Yes, THEY will probably be the ones drinking and partying and destroying their lives and those of their children,…” with their new-found but empty wealth, because they’ve sold their souls, so they’ll be forever lost unless they start thinking like Whitefellas 100%. But your racism is showing with the rest of your sentence “…and chanting messages of hate against the white man who feeds them.” What chanting? – they’ve thrown that out with their culture when they sold out to Adani. What white man is feeding them? (Adani’s quite brown, I’ll have you know). Why are you so condescending to Blackfellas? It sounds like you want Whitefellas to keep control and if Blackfellas start playing it Whitefella way and getting money Whitefella way, you’re down on them like a ton of bricks. They just can’t win in your eyes unless Blackfellas sit down, shut up and suck it up. Well they’re sick of it! They’ve had a gut full of well-meaning, condescending white control. It’s their turn to talk and our turn to listen.

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      You’re showing a very nasty mindset with your last line saying people “living with anger and misery…they deserve it.”

      Hasn’t it occurred to you that our society demands winners and losers in a certain ratio? It’s a silly joke to imagine everyone could possibly be rich and prosperous. That’s not Capitalism, my friend, that’s fantasy land.

      So you think miserable, dysfunctional poor folks deserve it because they were blind to the opportunities presented to them? That illness, disability or bigotry might not have played a part? Or that alcoholic or druggy parents didn’t affect their chances for opportunities? Or that being born with foetal alcoholic syndrome might not make a difference? Do you think they all deserve the scrapheap, do you?

      Why not at least give everyone a chance to shine? Free early childhood learning (for everyone) would make a huge difference to even out results for disadvantaged people. It’s proven to increase school results and for the rest of their lives. Some kids just never ‘get’ school and are left behind for the rest of their lives.

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      We have all had to deal with change Hoohoo. Many of us have been displaced, deprived of our culture and tradition and thrown into a strange and frightening world. It’s happened to people of ALL races – not just blacks.

      Sure, give EVERYONE a chance to shine. STOP MAKING IT RACE-BASED. Whites now own a lot of Australia. Get over it. It’s fact. History happened. Change is part of life. We can adjust and move on, or be miserable. It’s a choice. And yes, those who choose to be miserable deserve their misery, because it’s all about attitude. Don’t know how to live in white society? CRAP. They ARE white. There are virtually no full-blooded black-fellas left. In fact, very few have more than about 1/4 Indigenous blood.

      No, Hoohoo, I don’t think dysfunctional poor folk deserve misery, and I don’t think their children deserve to be on the scrapheap. But white poor folk ARE on the scrapheap. They get NOTHING, except unfair blame and accusation and demands that they sacrifice their history, culture and tradition. I do, however, think that the educated, privileged black activists who spend their days demanding unfairness and perpetrating racial hate against whites DESERVE misery. I do think blacks who refuse to even try to adapt to a changed world deserve misery. I do think blacks who nastily accuse and insult whites deserve misery. I do think blacks who are greedy and selfish and demand excessive favouritism deserve misery. The genuinely disadvantaged blacks? There are not many of them, and they already get massive aid, but I’d love to see them get more of the right kind of help.

      I’m all in favour of free education for all disadvantaged people. ALL. Not blackfellas. Not non-whites. Not non-indigenous. ALL. When ALL are being helped equally, racism will end.

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      Well I can happily agree with your last paragraph but the rest of your posts are usually racist spew that comes straight out of the mouths of those like Alan Jones and Sky ‘News’ opinion pieces.

      I have an analogy: You’re like Eddie Mcguire whingeing about AFL expansion teams getting benefits that his club Collingwood don’t get, but while all the teams must play the Grand Final at the MCG, Collingwood’s home ground, (to their great advantage). The VFL became the AFL for the survival of every club while getting money in from all over Australia to the detriment of NRL basketball, athletics and soccer. Eddie wants the money but he seems to always forget how Victorian teams have an enormous advantage come GF day and also all season because they don’t have to travel long distances often, unlike all the non-Victorian teams. There are also disadvantages come the Draft and signing interstate rookie stars to them. The disadvantages can never be compensated for, but it doesn’t mean the AFL should ignore using measures to level up the gaps.

      Hope you follow AFL.

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      but not Collingwood!

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    there still is slavery, those who care for family 24/7 for years n years n years often into thier own old age, no sick pay /time off , superannuation , and the govt pays them a pittance of 3.50 an hour, they have no rights and no one to fight for them ,

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      Well said, tisme. Too busy ranting about removing statues that are ‘offensive’ and acknowledging selected versions of history to focus on addressing the REAL problems faced by Australians of all races.

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      The world is overpopulated … parents should look after their own children and not be paid by the Taxpayer to breed like cattle

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      Agree Youngagain, so very well said tisme. 24/7 loving family Carers are shockingly neglected & eventually have to live on the meagre OAP (below the poverty line) with no savings, no unaffordable Health Insurance, ever increasing essential services (including Internet access as it’s become an “essential” in past few yrs) etc………………………… Suze, you’re sounding a bit “bitter”- have no doubt that the vast majority of parents would far prefer to “look after their own children” & do not, insultingly “breed like cattle.” If the main full-time bread-earner’s wages were increased by ard 12% annually as are most of our Politicians, perhaps both parents would not need to earn a full-time wage/salary to give their kids their own backyard to play in/afford a home of their own. Don’t know how old u are Suze however if young, we “seniors” were also subsided by so-called Taxpayers” (we’re all Taxpayers, GST on almost all purchases including many foods is a Tax). It wasn’t nearly as much Childcare subsidies et al these days, t’was named “Child Endowment.” We were also lucky enough to have @ least one parent who was retired, fit, well & blissfully happy to mind their grandkids while both parents worked & received annual pay increases similar to the CPI (that hasn’t been happening for our children/their families). Also the retirement age for females used to be 55 way back then, increased to 60…think (not exactly sure) it’s now 65. Superannuation was unheard of ’til we seniors were in our late 30s/early 40s & was only 2%. I’m really fed up with current “Babyboomers” being compared to our kids, “things” weren’t as easy as u appear to believe….homes still increased by 8-10% annuallly as have been for many decades & still are now, it’s never been “easy,” never will be.

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    So slavery occurred and is documented. How about child abuse, incest, vd., that is also documented in the APY lands. We know it is in the now. Also, so there were no historical indigenous wars, no killings, no rapes, no murders?! Just the snake dreaming and the emu dreaming and no homicides …….. ohhhhhhhh that is because there are no records yehhhhh. Now how about reporting all the deaths in custody ….. black/white/brown and so on. What about the corruption ……what about me having to be asked am I of indigenous or Torres Strait decent? Why? Is that discrimination or……. affirmative action!!!!!

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      Dear sir
      What you say is true but the press – ABC and SBS will not report this
      Why don’t Aboriginal women stand up and scream , we want a peaceful life for all

      I am stupid enough to believe all men are born equal and we cannot change history

      In Arabia women are abused but when they are here they say they are not abused

      Why all the lies by women in Australia

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      Wake up, my dear entitled white male. Yes, Peter, you are indeed stupid if you believe all men are born equal. Even women? Most Aboriginal people are born into abject poverty, so do you really believe they are born equal to the Prime Minister’s children?

      And I must add to the first statement “…child abuse, incest, vd., that is also documented in the APY lands. We know it is in the now.” The crimes and social dysfunction mentioned are rife and documented all over Australia right now, not just in Aboriginal communities. As with many disadvantaged groups, crime rates are higher than the average crime rates, but the victims of that crime are trapped in with the criminals, too poor to get out.

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      Now, Hoohoo. YOU WAKE UP. Whites are NOT entitled. Many suffered hideously in the past and still do today. And THEY don’t get any of the special benefits granted to ALL Aborigines – disadvantaged of otherwise – merely on the basis of race.

      Disadvantage, injustice, a shameful past… NONE of that discriminates based on race. ALL peoples around the world can point to wrongs in their history.

      Most Aboriginal people are NOT born into abject poverty. That’s crap. There are plenty who are very privileged. Twice, in my life, an Aboriginal has gone to great lengths to do something to help my family because they recognized that THEY were privileged in a way that was totally unfair and that I was suffering discrimination because of being white.

      When we stop ALL discrimination based on race and start dealing with people based on their current circumstances and needs, we might end racism. Ranting about history won’t fix it – ESPECIALLY when the rants are racist and history is distorted or exaggerated for the purpose of political correctness (which is happening now).

      Many Aboriginals, today, still need extensive help. There are too many pockets of abject poverty. But plenty of whites are also born into abject poverty also. Stop the racism by acknowledging all equally and focusing on improving Australia for ALL Australians.

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      I agree there are many poor white people trapped in poverty. But they aren’t relegated to the scrap heap simply because of the colour of their skin.

      I have worked with and know many Aboriginals who are successful in white society, mainly because they were educated in white institutions. But did it occur to you that they might also be considered successful because they know their country, their bush tucker, their language and their law, without the need for much money at all? They are successful because they have survived, despite the racist treatment and attempted genocide by whites.

      You say “Ranting about history won’t fix it…” Well denying the truth about our history certainly won’t fix it. By denying the truth It’s you who is distorting and de-emphasising history for your own political purposes. Why don’t you want to address the past? Truth-telling is what Blackfellas are demanding and your continuing to shove it under the rug is only making it worse for our whole country. Truth-telling is the only way we can heal and move forward, not this continual “get over it” barb. That’s what entitled people say.

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      So it’s worse to be relegated to the scrap heap because of race than because of poverty? It’s okay to discriminate against innocent children born into terrible hardship if they happen to be white? THAT’S RACISM AT ITS WORST!

      I’m not denying anything. We all recognize Aboriginal history. It is taught in our schools. We know what happened. But the blame game is harmful, and the exclusive privileges granted to some and not others is divisive. Denying truths of white history is divisive. Demanding whites sacrifice their culture and withdraw from acknowledging their heroes is divisive.

      Blacks are NOT demanding truth-telling. They are demanding unfair favouritism and driving hatred with accusations and blame. And it’s only a loud minority and a lot of misguided whites supporting that minority. The vast majority just want to get on with living the good life they acknowledge they have thanks to whites settling Australia.

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      “But did it occur to you that they might also be considered successful because they know their country, their bush tucker, their language and their law, without the need for much money at all?”

      Of course, Hoohoo. So might the Jews have done perfectly well in Germany if allowed to stay rather than being forced to flee to America and change their lives. So might the Chinese if not forced to flee Communism with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. So might the children of our soldiers who died fighting for our freedom if their fathers had lived. So might the American Indians if America wasn’t invaded. So might the Negroes if not captured and taken to America. People all over the world are displaced and deprived of their history and culture for all kinds of reasons. Lives have to change – often painfully. And most of us have to just get over it and get on with adjusting. But when it comes to blacks, they want more and more and more ‘recognition’ and sympathy and favours. And the more they get, the more they want. There is no end to the demands and they get more and more unreasonable. The blame game gets nastier.

      Their history IS recognized. Every ceremony, small or large, begins with a speech recognizing their history. They have more special days (and even weeks) to recognize their history than we can count, and still they want to cancel the few that mean something to us – like Australia Day. And the sad part is that it’s a noisy minority, supported by blind gullible fools who mistakenly think privilege is a result of being white, making all the unreasonable demands. The majority of Aboriginals don’t even support the nonsense. But still it goes on.

      Now we have rioting in the streets claiming black deaths in custody and protesting a death in another land. Never mind the FACTS of these matters. Ignore the fact that black deaths in custody are mostly from illness or old age. Ignore why they are in custody. Ignore the fact that hurt happens when people resist arrest (and colour has nothing to do with it). Ignore the American’s criminal history. Ignore that he was dying of heart disease and drug overdose and two coroner reports say the pressure on his neck was not enough to kill him. Ignore the fact that he raised his head, but that part of the video was conveniently cut out. Just rant and destroy and risk public health and scream racist chants. And lie to the world to laud a criminal as though he was a hero.

      We have far fewer deaths in custody than we might have if racism wasn’t rampant and keeping blacks out of jail. The black who broke into my store five times and robbed me was never punished – because he was Aboriginal and ‘disadvantaged’. I guess I wasn’t disadvantaged by having two months’ income stolen and having to pay another two months’ income as an insurance excess to get my shop repaired? No. That doesn’t matter in this racist country!

      Nobody is shoving the past under a rug. NOBODY CAN, with all the screaming and protesting that goes on. What we want to do – both whites and most Aboriginals – is just get on with building our country TOGETHER, without the division and the unfairness. Look forward. We all acknowledge the past happened. It was cruel to a lot of us, and race did not determine disadvantage or hardship. So let’s stop the discrimination, accept that the past happened and nobody today can change it – nor is the current generation responsible for it. Agree that it happened and it hurt a lot of people in different ways, and not necessarily because of the colour of their skin (though sometimes that was a factor). Agree that it’s sad and that those who still hurt – whatever the cause and whatever their race – should all be EQUALLY entitled to help – not favoured or denied because of their race. And let’s get on with being ONE NATION and ONE PEOPLE.

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      Aboriginal people have been relegated to the scrap heap because of race AND because of poverty. It’s not a competition for who has been treated the worse, mate. But if can make it better by acknowledging the truth, why don’t we? Keep your money in your pocket – just open your ears.

      But if you really believe “… We all recognize Aboriginal history. It is taught in our schools.” then you really DON’T know what happened AT ALL. The truth ISN’T taught in schools. I was taught that Captain Cook discovered Australia. He did nothing of the sort unless you’re a British Imperialist from the 18th century. I’m not. Are you?

      Your comments about deaths in custody are disgusting lies. One young woman died relatively recently because she was presumed drunk (racial profiling) when she actually had a life-threatening head injury. She was locked up for being drunk and given no medical treatment. Her needs were ignored because she was black.

      Blacks are NOT demanding truth-telling, you say? Open your deaf, old white ears! Haven’t you heard about the Uluru Statement?
      Your next comment is just pure putrid “The vast majority just want to get on with living the good life they acknowledge they have thanks to whites settling Australia.” Oh thank you, big white chief bwana. You have saved us from ourselves. Whatever would we have done without your generous white colonialism? It just shows how at your core, you believe white is better than black. You’re a racist.

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      Aboriginals are NOT relegated to the scrap heap because of race or poverty, Hoohoo. They are given MASSIVE help in a million forms that whites cannot even dream of. If they are on the scrap heap, it’s by choice – because of refusal to stop being victims and take responsibility for their own conduct. They have all the opportunity and assistance in the world.

      Yes, the comments about deaths in custody are disgusting lies, because most Aboriginal deaths in custody are from natural causes and virtually none are a result of police or prison warder interference. Nobody’s needs are ignored because they are black. That’s BS from racists who want to put everything down to race. It’s a convenient excuse for failure and bad behaviour.

      I am NOT a racist. You are, Hoohoo. I believe ALL people are the same and should have the exact same rights and entitlements. Only racists want to pretend that whites get a better deal and jump up and down demanding that blacks be favoured. I do NOT believe whites are better than blacks. I believe people should be judged solely on their own behaviour and their willingness to take personal responsibility. Yes, the whites have been generous to blacks. Very generous. We did not save them from themselves, though. We gave them way too much and let them be whinging, demanding, grossly over-indulged victims who blame whites for everything and cannot take responsibility. For that, we owe them a profound apology. But they owe us a lot, and their accusations and blame and constant demands for more and more special benefits are disgusting, vile, unfounded, and RACIST IN THE EXTREME.

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    Yeh..he got this one very wrong, but OK where to now?
    I can say the same about my ancestors and if not the Brits then it would have been the Dutch or Portuguese ….same outcome same oppressive circumstances.
    The way things are going to our north it will probably happen again.
    “ The world was burning since the world was turning”

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    It exists today and is aided and abetted by the immigration indenture labor laws. These people are used in the farms and vegetable gardens where they work horrendous hours and have little freedom. Islanders are employed without protection of awards, crammed into houses and fed poorly. They have deducted from their wages the exorbitant rent, food, cost of furniture, travel costs etc whether they are working or not. Sometimes they are left with $150 from a fornight’s hard work.
    The Chinese free trade agreement allows Chinese workers to be flown in and out and forced to work without direct recompense on similar conditions without reference to awards.
    Australia is a disgrace and a pariah in the world community.

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    Slavery comes in many forms. Cruel blatant painful treatment, Roman gladiators boy that makes it sound impressive doesn’t it!! How about non recorded wars between tribes and the mis treatment of the survivors BUT no records of the outcome ???!!! JUST look at what IS happening in West Papua Australia and the treatment of the indigenous people by the Indonesians. Read it, watch it BUT nor media recording of it hey! I do no condone the past, I do not forgive the past but what of the history before Europeans? They all lived in harmony, yeh right. The English as bad as they were produced an outcome better than the chinese, the French, the Indonesians did and do now. Look at any person/country/industry/company/ and do you not criticize a part a segment of their history as not being right by todays standard? For crying out loud ….

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      Yes, there almost certainly were disputes, but you could have done some research and not just guessed and speculated about it.

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      Yes Winston I guessed that the West Papuans are being swamped by Indonesians and fighting a guerilla war right now 2020, Yes I suppose I guessed that the Australian Indigenous people do not have a severe problem with their community management and assimilating with OUR Federal governement and their own communities that are overun by mis management. Yes I suppose I guessed that the chinese have built massive re education centres for their OWN citizens … Uyrghurs, and guess that the Indigeneous incarcaration is based on those in jail who broke the laws of the Australian comminities in which they live and share the ‘benefits. Yes I did guess I suppose I did yeh ….right 🙂 …duh

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      You’re rambling.

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      Your’e right Winston I was. Dammit, I thought everyone on this site were rambling so I thought I had better. So much whingeing while they type on their chinese made keyboard using chinese owned power retailers and chinese built cables and infrastructure. Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room. Oops more rambling. What country did not grow without taking over someone, yes I am guessing maybe the eskimos, how did our indigenous get here without going through another tribe’s territory without aggression and killing?! But no records so it didn’t happen. I am no researcher unlike many other notable contributors just fed up with BLM and the selective use of history and micro criticisms. So Winston Churchill is deemed to be a bad boy, yet saved Europe and in doing so probably us and what would Hitler and I think was it Tojo in Japan. What would they have done with our indigenous persons if they had won and Winston Churchill not used his same colonial brain and initiative?! What if …. oops rambling. Why can’t peop just focus on where this country is going now and in the next 10 years, it isn’t looking pretty. Yes I know more rambling but 🙂

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    Dear Mr Morrison – please sack your entire staff of spin doctors and press secretaries – they really aren’t doing their jobs, are they? Obviously they didn’t attend the very expensive empathy training that we paid for. You have not burnished your reputation by stating that there was no slavery in Australia. There was. End of story.

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