By Gary J Murray
Bendigo is Dja Dja Wurrung Country. Our Late Grandmother Lady Gladys Nicholls (1906-1981) is a Descendant of Emma Curr (c.1859-1886) a Jaara Woman who occupied the Bendigo Creek areas that run from Bendigo to Barnedown.
My father John Stewart Murray (1922-1989) also fought in World War Two from 1940-1946, over three years on active service in Papua-New Guinea, Indonesia and the Japan Occupation Forces. My father fought for inclusion and democracy. It took ten years off his life and he died at aged 68 years a man of Honour. He didn’t drink or smoked.
My other Great Ancestor Meera Bux was also a Muslim and he came to Australia from Ludhiana Punjab India by steamer in 1891 aged 15 years. He was a hawker and married into my clan. In fact, Muslims and Aboriginal people have a long and proud history that goes back before European invasion; they have never oppressed us the way the white man has.
There are sixteen Clans in the Dja Dja Wurrung language group. Our Clans welcome all People to our Country. Our People Speak for Country under our lore.
We are the people of this land, a land that was taken from us by a violent and racist state. And now a new group of white men are trying to tell the People of this land who are and are not welcome. There is no honour in that.
Well I will tell you who is not welcome on Dja Dja Wurrung Country - racists, fascists, thugs, the United Patriots Front and the toadies of racism are not welcome on Dja Dja Wurrung Country.
These un-Australian rednecks claim that they fight for the freedom of the Australian People well our Muslim Brothers and Sisters are Australian People, but where are they in the fight to stop the forced closures? Where are they in the fight against the Northern Territory intervention? If they believe so much in freedom for Australians, why are they not fighting for the many people oppressed by their own state?
We welcome warmly our brothers and sisters and their families from all Nations, creeds and religion across this globe as we have done since colonisation when the Tall Ships came here to our shores with many races on board.
Our Clans are committed to reconciliation and to this end urge all Interested Parties to work with First Nations Peoples towards scoping good Treaties or agreements that respects, recognises and nurtures our cultural and religious values no matter how diverse they are.
Freedom is not built on excluding people who are different to you. Freedom is not built by fascists, by oppression, by hate for people who are different. These racists want to tell you that Muslims are not welcome, they say that Islam is a dangerous idea.
Well, colonial Australia is a dangerous, violent idea. The idea that the Australian government can tell us who is welcome and who is not, and then their front line patriotic thugs try and enforce that is a dangerous idea. Aboriginals were not welcome on their own land, now Muslims are told they are not welcome because they too have a different culture.
The fascists love to invoke the image of the ANZACs, well, unlike any of these spineless jokes my father fought for his people and he’d tell them to get off his land.
We the Traditional Owners of this Country make our stand – Our Clans unwelcome and ban violence, racism and stupidity on our Country. Ditto illegal drugs, violence and crime. It has no place on our Country and is un-Australian. There is no honour in this only dishonour.
I stand with all peace loving Peoples and welcome the Muslim community to Bendigo as we did the Bhuddists who built their Temple here in Bendigo and other religions.
Finally, I want to say to all of you here today what my Dja Dja Wurrung grandfather the elite VFL Fitzroy and State Representative Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls JP;MBE;OBE;KCVO and former Governor of South Australia said in a public speech in the 1960s’
“You can play the white piano notes and get a tune and you can play the black notes and get a tune. But to get harmony you need to play both.”
On that note best of luck for your rally and I hope that those who are not welcome know where the highway is in Dja Dja Wurrung Country?
Gary J. Murray
Arts/Law Student Charles Darwin University
Ballerrt Mooroop Working Group, Glenroy
Hon Secretariat Victorian Traditional Owner Land Justice Group
Victorian Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Centre Working Group
Yung Balug Clans Spokesperson, Boort, Australia - The Home of the Smoked Etched Barks and Scarred Tree Place
Hon Secretariat Wadi Wadi Wemba Wamba Barapa Barapa First Nations Aboriginal Corporation ICN 8091
Hon Secretariat Dhudhuroa Waywurru Nations Aboriginal Corporation ICN 7181
Founding Member Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation
Link to invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/762477407195421/