I felt a sense of disappointment after learning that Peter Dutton didn’t become Prime Minster this week.
Don’t get me wrong, i’m not about to list a bunch of master strokes that Peter Dutton would have implemented to turn around the governments horrendous record towards Indigenous people in Australia. What I mean is someone as controversial as Peter Dutton would have helped strengthen and boost grass-roots resistance movements.
Not long after Tony Abbott became Prime Minister, we saw Abbott dig himself a deeper and deeper hole with his outspoken and outdated opinions. We saw Abbott’s “lifestyle choices” comments spark nationwide protests. Abbott also claimed to be a self appointed minister for Indigenous affairs and was much more engaged with selected Indigenous leaders than Turnbull ever was. Since that time, three years have passed with the position of Prime Minister changing twice. But the policies remain… as the smooth talking Turnbull was able to create an image for many (including some Indigenous people) that the government had good intentions as was seen with his quick but eventually shallow response, during and after the Royal Commission into NT youth detenion. This shallow but well polished image is unlikely to change under the new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.
That is why I was hopeful the unpolished (potato), Peter Dutton as PM would have brought a renewed focus towards Indigenous issues. You could be sure if Dutton was PM right now, we would be writing about upcoming protests right across Australia. But that isn’t the case even though the same government attitudes and policies persist.
It seems the majority of our people are happy to keep on keeping on when politicians appear to either keep their mouths shut or manage to put a positive spin on things. We can’t blame them though. Many of us are surrounded by colonial forces everywhere we go, constantly trying to convince us that we must accept the way things are simply because that’s just the way it is. But what many people don’t realise is just how much power we have. It was us after all (through protests) who highlighted to the government just how destructive Tony Abbott was to Australia and the Liberal Party. We were the biggest driving force behind his downfall.
That power still remains whenever we come together in large numbers.
To all the people (especially mob), thinking major changes are never going to happen or won’t happen in this lifetime, my message is to stay strong. You never know how close we are to seeing change because the change we are fighting for will come suddenly (just like an earthquake). Our people have been pushing for over two centuries, reminding the collective consciousness of all people in Australia that this land is stolen. It was taken illegally on the back of some of the worst crimes against humanity the world has ever seen. Our ancestors fight and the present day fight, has, and will continue to build pressure for change in Australia.
This is a battle where the truth decides the winner, so that means the colonial forces can’t win. They can only prolong the battle which is what they’ve been doing really well with their agenda of assimilation and ethnic cleansing. That is why we need to keep pushing; momentum is already strong and thousands of people in Australia are beginning to understand and accept our demands. Sooner or later the pressure from colonial Australia will collapse.
I’m guessing the next time we will be hitting the streets in huge numbers will be on January 26, 2019. Hopefully i’m wrong… and perhaps if this message gets around enough, there will be more action happening sooner. If you find you’re already falling back into that comfort zone, then please remind yourself of the current state of Australia’s embarrassing leadership. It has been repeating now for almost a decade and these are the same people who are claiming to know what’s best for us and denying our right to self determination for their own greed.
For many of us though, we think of our ancestors. Those who fought for our country, those who were massacred and poisoned. To this day, their story has been denied from being heard. To give up our fight is to give up on their memory.
Welcome to Country is an independent Indigenous news/media website. We publish news and views that are often ignored by mainstream media in Australia. To help support our work, please consider making a donation here.