The 'Recognition Campaign' and the gaping hole in Australian history education

Recognising the First Nations people in the constitution after 227 years but the education system not even recognising that the First Nations existed and that each nation fought a bloody battle for the land and rights.
Educating for Democracy

A letter by the late Ray Jackson (RIP), President, Indigenous Social Justice Association

Before I made my way to the Aboriginal Summit I posted the Congress Statement from Les Malezer and Kirstie Parker, as the co-chairs of the Congress, to their calling on the Foul Abbott to go to the next meeting of COAG and get the governments of WA and SA to not close down the remote communities that they had nominated for closure in their states.

I believed, and still do, that such an exercise would be doomed to failure and that no such support from that quarter would be given much credence as the Foul Abbott government is as strong on over-turning Land Rights in the NT as the two premiers are. The need, from their often stated point of view, is that our peoples must be moved off their traditional lands into intervention hubs for their own good, of course, but more importantly, as was clearly put just over 12 months ago, "Australia is open for business." and the stolen Aboriginal lands are just chock-full of lovely minerals that the world is desperate for. especially uranium. so no joy there for the congress, in my opinion.

A few years ago however, Les and I were firmly in agreement in one area of government attack and that was the 'Recognise' campaign and the puerile propaganda being shoved down our throats that somehow inclusion in the British Constitution of 1901 would assuage all the concerns we Aborigines had, and still have, since the invasion nigh on 227 years ago, was possible. rubbish, of course.

Below, Les takes to task an address that was given by the "It's OK to be Bigoted" Brandis but singing from the Foul Abbott Hymn Book of a 'land full of nothing' until 'we flora and fauna were saved' by the 'defining moment' of the invasion and the consequent genocide and horror that has been incumbent since.

Les hits some home runs so I will not need to copy what he has said in what I believe is his personal views rather than a Congress view.

I will, however, make a few points on the turgid remarks from the 'Minister for Aboriginal despair'.

If this is an example of the brainwashing of our children, of all races, that Constitution Education Fund Australia (CEFA) is behind then I despair for the multicultural learning that is so badly needed in our schools. Teach civics by all means, educate our children on government and its processes, teach of the Trade Union movement to a level at least of knowing what a Trade Union is and what it does, and by all means teach ethics and religious and atheistic histories and not just that of christianity. Educate to ask questions and to avidly seek information and not just to elicit a racist wasp-ish outlook on life. not just Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture but all cultures. The 40's and 50's are long gone. We need to educate to a world view and not a closeted and mean-spirited one that Christopher Pyne and his ilk want.

The second point I wish to look at concerns the following statement, "In the course of teaching Australian school children about our constitution, you, I know, remind them that it is largely because of that constitution that Australia was born of evolution, not revolution. Not a single drop of blood was shed in its drafting".

If the government in Canberra truly believes this tripe, this blatant insult to our ancestors, then I can now better understand their collective inhumanity to the asylum seekers, but especially the children of those incarcerated in their inhuman and illegal detention camps.

These pitiful politicians have no humanity, no conscience and most certainly no religious morals. Nor did the Nazis in their death camps. Their xenophobia and racial hatred of the 11 million Europeans they killed in an orgy of blood lust and nationalism is cruelly shadowed by your xenophobia and your racial prejudices to keep 'your' Australia white. May the hottest parts of your christian hell be specially reserved for you all.

To absolutely gloat that 'your' British constitution evolved because not a drop of blood was spilt in its making is the talk of sociopaths indeed. From 1778 to 1901 the number of Aboriginal warriors fighting to protect their families and their nations is unknown but we can at least make a conservative estimate of hundreds of thousands, perhaps over a million. Those past academics who believed that there were no more than 300,000 Aborigines in this country in total were merely putting into practice the invaders need to lower the demographics to therefore lower the genocide figures.

The British constitution was soaked with our ancestors blood as its very drafting and existence would have not been possible had your troopers, your so-called 'settlers' and your police forces not driven us to near extinction. And to add salt to our festering wounds, in 1901 we were not even to be included or even counted as human beings. Our warrior ancestors are not even to be recognised for their valiant stand throughout the Frontier Wars. You shame humanity greatly!

The current Constitution is as anathema to us as is your invader's flag or your nationalistic celebrations to our day of mourning! Your anthem mocks us to our very graves.

Soon will be the time of resolution as we gather as one voice and one fist to take back what has always been rightfully ours. Our days of passiveness are at an end as we collectively right the wrongs of the invasion crimes

Recognition equates to assimilation and please take all your 'R' buzzwords and stop bombarding us with your evil intent. There is no justice to be found there. We, all of multicultural Australia, need a modern 21st century constitution to better reflect the Australia of today and included in that for Aborigines is the only 'R' word possible.



Ray Jackson
Indigenous Social Justice Association
Prix de l'Homme de Francais
(French Human Rights Medal 2013)

1303/200 Pitt Street, Waterloo. 2017
61 2 9318 0947 - 0450 651 063

We live and work on the stolen lands of the Gadigal people