Posted by carolom on June 23, 2007
A report into child sexual abuse in Aboriginal Communities has resulted in the Australian Government introducing enforced alcohol bans and medical examinations for all children under 6 in the Northern Territory communities.
Responses are polarised….in the eyes of some, these Aborignal-only laws will only add to the racism and separatism that started the cycle of anger and despair that has lead to many of the issues of abuse and violence in the first place. Others are asking what laws and enforced medical procedures will be put on the white miners who make up some of the numbers of the perpetrators of abuse….
The following is a letter to our state newspaper that I wrote on a day when the news of the bans were released across the country….with headlines that further places Aboriginal Australians in the pathologised, ‘troubled /wounded’ place of the collective Australian psyche, once again ignoring the depth and knowledge of traditional Aborginal culture in its pre-invasion state.
Some leaders are in agreeance with the decision as you can see here and others are concerned for the well being of families who will have to comply with the enforced medical examinations as you can read about here…..
Letter to the Adelaide Advertiser 22nd June 2007
There is a saying that goes, “What is impressed upon a person will be
expressed by the person”.
For thousands of years Aboriginal society was a strong culture
defined by co-operation not competition, sustainable land management
and spiritual and cultural practices that enriched and enhanced
community life. Mental well being, a sense of meaning and purpose,
mutual obligation and belonging defined cultural identity.
A comparatively short time ago land theft, internment into opressive
camps, punishment for speaking ones own language, legalised child
removal, alcohol in exchange for compliance, sexual abuse, work
without wages, lack of legal status until 1967, maginalisation and
poverty was impressed upon the heart and soul of a once strong and
As a nation we are in the very early days of recovery from the impact
of abducting children from loving family arms and the consequences of
a materialistic, competitive culture inflicting its values and fraught
land management practices upon the traditional land owners.To enforce more laws, rules and restrictions in an attempt to protect
the children is a long way from the deep healing, development of
meaningful relationships between Aborignal and non-Aborginal people
and the strengthening of the heart and soul needed for Aboriginal
Australia to recover from the violence and multiple traumas
What we are seeing now is simply the mirrored- expression of what has
been impressed in very recent times and as Einstein wisely
counselled….”The significant problems we face cannot be solved at
the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”.
We need to think from the heart and link hands as a nation over the
coming years to recover the strength, dignity and courage that
defined Aboriginal society for so long… until us white fellas came
stomping across the country, trampling peoples lives and seeding the
current crisis across Aboriginal society today.
Let’s at least hear you say “Sorry” John Howard before you begin
issuing more of the autocratic rules and dominant culture control
that started the problem in the first place.
Posted in Aboriginal, Australia, Childhood, Community, Elders, Fear, Relationships | 2 Comments »
Posted by carolom on June 22, 2007
I have just returned from four days away on the magnificent remote west-coast line of South Australia where we held an art~creativity camp for a group of wonderful women….
Women who really know how to cook camp food like no other!
Here is the resident damper-baker extraordinnaire baking the 2 huge loaves that fed over 30 people….this would have to be one of the yummiest Mandalas ever made!
If you have never had camp fire-baked fresh bread with butter and home made soup, you have definitely missed out on the magical experience of eating home baked bread moulded by hands that create something uniquely delicious from wheat and water….
The out door oven had its photo taken so that when the women get back to their community, the men can make a damper oven for them too!…..
Next camp we decided we would have ‘pamper sessions’ in the program, using bush medicines and massage….that will make us Pamper Damper Campers!…..;-)
Posted in Aboriginal, Community, Creativity, Sisterhood, Stories, Warrior Women | 4 Comments »
Posted by carolom on June 9, 2007
Sal and I filmed the launch of the Afghan Camaleers exhibition last night.
Two of the speakers were Eric Sultan and Mona Wilson (nee Akbar)
Eric and Mona are direct descendants of Afghan~Aborginal ancestry a rich and at times very political merging of two cultures that were equally at home in the desert country.
I was delighted to catch up with Mona again.
Although we don’t share a cultural background we are both born on February 28th…I was born on her 30th Birthday and there is definitely something Fishy about our connection which goes back many years and with lots of fond memories……….
A brief synopsis of Mona’s story can be read by clicking here______
..and you can read more about the exhibition by clicking here_______
Eric Sultan pointed out that not all of the Camaleers were Afghan and there was a much broader representation of faiths and cultures than is generally recognised when discussing the Camaleers and their impact on the outback of Australia.
From the Museum homepage:
Australia’s Muslim Cameleers
Pioneers of the Inland 1860s to 1930s
Muslim Explorers and Pioneers of Central Australia’s Inland will reveal the remarkable contribution which Australia’s first Muslim community made to the exploration and settlement of Australia’s arid interior.
The stories of Muslim explorers and pioneers provide an intriguing counterbalance to dominant white explorer legends of Central Australia.
Muslims have been part of Australian society since the Burke and Wills expedition (1860) and have contributed significantly to Australia’s economic and cultural development.
Muslim cameleers assisted all major expeditions into Australia’s uncharted interior during the late 19th century.
These Muslim pioneers provided the lifeblood for many inland settlements, isolated stations and mines, and forged communication routes through remote Australia.
The exhibition tells this compelling story and investigates its continuing resonance with descendants from Australia’s Muslim communities.
Posted in Aboriginal, Afghan, Community, Journeys, Lifes Stories, Stories | 2 Comments »
Posted by carolom on June 5, 2007
We ran a group for young men at risk today. The art activity was based on the theme:
“A Warriors mind is like a Spear.
I created a Mandala with the Spear as the central theme for the boys to colour in during the program and one of the Youthworkers said that when the Men in his family travelled to the city, people did not want to employ them because they were Aboriginal.They met with racism and opression in 1960’s Australia and once their sense of purpose and worth began to be affected, drinking and the pub replaced work and respsonsibiity.
“Their spear became short and blunt and it wasn’t a strong weapon anymore”
What a powerful metaphor for what happens to a mind that becomes infected by the attitudes and stereotypings of others.
I will attach an image of the Mandala when one is coloured in – (the image below is from a separate source).
Next week we are going to look at “Mental Poise and Mental Poisons”…if these young Warriors walking-wrong-track embrace the concept about the power of the Mind at the age they are at, then they can reclaim who they were always meant to be…….after all “Reclaim” is just the word Miracle in anagrom disguise…
And the Boomerang reminds us that we get back what we put out…what goes round comes round….
Click here to see the source of above Image
Posted in Aboriginal, Change, Imagination, Mind Power, Spirituality, Transformation | Leave a Comment »