The Truth Will Set You Free

April 12, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I read loads of stories from all different outlets reporting that …

… a New South Wales University had made significant changes to some of our countries historic terms.

They are claiming that Australia was invaded instead of colonised.

I speak as a non-indigenous woman, and I believe that this university was without a doubt correct, the invasion was as calculated as it was barbaric. Obviously nobody is interested in a history lesson from a high school drop out ‘blogger’ but….. Just in case anybody has forgotten…

The indigenous people of Australia were identified by the early settlers as “sub-human” in a bizarre attempt to justify the term “colonisation” because nobody wants a term like “invasion” in their history.

Only these changes are of course disputed by a bunch of really ‘important’ men who wear suits and have incredibly impressive titles like “historians” and “ministers”.

Our government prefers the term “colonisation”, it sounds so much nicer doesn’t it? Like white folk stumbled across a country, stuck a flag on it, saw some indigenous folk, shook hands and they all drank tea while the indigenous people agreed that the country’s best interests lie with “colonisation”.

Cute story Australia.

That story was made up to give us a sense of pride for our lands. Bravo.

Nobody wants to hear the truth, a truth of massacre, a truth of slaughter, a truth of resistance and a truth of invasion. Somehow this behaviour was acceptable and condoned by the settlers.

But this is not taught in history books..

What a kick in the teeth to one of the world’s oldest living populations, what an unjust way to serve the spiritual warriors who traditionally owned our lands. To deny them of their history.

The thing is that we can’t change the brutal past, nothing we say or do will change the fact that indigenous women, children and men were killed, locked up, an entire generation of children were stolen from their families.

We can however change our future, we can recognise the crimes of the past – without recognition how can we ask the indigenous people to ever heal? To ever forgive? You can’t expect forgiveness without offering at the very least, recognition. You just can’t.

The indigenous people deserve this and so much more, they deserve formal recognition that their anger, pain and sadness is valid, recognised and to know we are so sorry that it happened.

And the worst part about our little fairy tale of colonisation? The one intended to bring us pride? Is that it does the exact opposite, it brings us shame. Because we can change the present and we can change the future, but we are not. And that brings our country shame.

We live in a sacred country, I want to celebrate that, I want my children to feel proud to be Australian, I believe in a loving relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians and I believe that the truth about our history will get us there.

I was lucky, my uncle was a lecturer in Aboriginal Education for teaching students, he and my aunty took me to indigenous communities from a young age and taught me the truth.

So if the schools won’t, I will teach my children the truth and I am calling on any Queen who agrees to join me,

I won’t let anybody feed my children bullshit about a peaceful colonisation that never happened.

A tough story to tell, but a story of truth none the less and I am giving my children unconditional permission to politely correct anyone who teaches them that our country was colonised, because it wasn’t.

It was invaded.

Australia has a dark history but it could have a bright future.

Change the term.

Teach the truth.

Queens will change the world.

Con

Constance Hall

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Constance Hall

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