'Imagine': A First Australians Guided Reflection

We believe every person has a right to participate in the decisions that affect their own lives. Too often many First Australians are denied this right. We encourage you to watch our short reflection to consider why it’s so critical people have a voice in decisions that affect them.

Banner image and video courtesy of Mumbulla Creative.

Take Action

"In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard... We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future."

Show your support for First Australians, by adding your name to 1 Voice Uluru's petition in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Arm yourself with facts

Before colonisation many First Australian Nations constructed permanent houses and villages, with dwellings in many places large enough for 30 or 40 people. Some First Australian villages or towns supported populations of hundreds and even thousands of people, and these were often surrounded by well-worn tracks and large food gardens and grain fields
For tens of thousands of years First Australians used effective and fine-tuned farming techniques to keep their country healthy, open, productive and beautiful. Many early Europeans described the landscape as like a ‘gentlemen’s estate’. In many places the First Australians cultivated large areas of land over generations to support fields of local grains, staple crops and useful materials - some fields that were miles wide.
In many places across Australia the First Australians developed large infrastructure projects including dams, wells and large scale fishing and aquaculture systems - some spanning kilometres. For example the extensive network of fish traps at Brewarrina, NSW, are 65,000 years old according to Traditional Owners.
The Frontier Wars refer to the violent conflicts, guerrilla wars and massacres that occurred across the Australian continent as a result of European actions to take possession of Aboriginal land and occupy it. In 2017 the University of Newcastle began digitally mapping conflicts, compiling a list of more than 150 massacres across the East Coast.

No Australian Government has ever recognised or apologised for the Frontier Wars and this history is rarely taught in schools. The individuals and private companies involved in these murders very rarely faced legal penalties and many are still commemorated as national heroes and pioneers.

If some of these facts are new to you, imagine how many others don't know this. Imagine how this affects our country.

Imagine how much richer our country would be if the voices of First Australians were heard.

Assimilation refers to the laws created by Australian Governments to systematically kidnap Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and place them in boarding institutions or with non-Indigenous families. These laws and policies continued unabated across Australia from the earliest European occupation until the 1970s. However, even today Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are being removed from their families at higher rates than ever before.
In Australian Law the Racial Discrimination Act provides the highest level of protection against racial discrimination. However, since its adoption in 1975 the RDA has been suspended twice to implement laws that had enormous effects on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples without their consent. Unlike the U.K., Canada, The U.S.A., Aotearoa New Zealand and many other countries, Australia does not protect the human rights of all citizens with laws that are embedded in our Constitution. Without protection by the Constitution many of our basic freedoms could legally be taken away by federal, state and territory parliaments
Australia is the only Commonwealth country where treaties have never been negotiated between representatives of the National Government and the First peoples. For example in the United States of America, Canada and New Zealand, treaties have been negotiated with First Nations since the time of European occupation.

Thank you for arming yourself with facts. If we can all listen and learn, our country will be much richer.

Please consider sharing this reflection page with your friends on social media and build even more awareness and support of First Australians.

Dancing Mimis image

Joint Statement on Subsidiarity

"Self-determination, pride and self-respect are the banks of the river through which the waters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life flows." - NATSICC (2016)

Uluru Statement, photo courtesy Thomas Mayor

Uluru Statement from the Heart

"When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish." - Uluru Statement from the Heart (2017)

Want To Know More?

Here are a few links and suggested TV shows and books we recommend you check out if you want to know more about First Australians history:

TV

  • The Dreaming - SBS Animated series
  • Dust Echoes - ABC TV and Djilpin Arts series
  • First Australians - SBS Documentary
  • First Footprints - SBS Documentary

Online

Books

  • Dark Emu - Bruce Pascoe
  • Why Weren't We Told - Henry Reynolds
  • The Other Side of the Frontier - Henry Reynolds
  • Blood on the Wattle - Bruce Elder
  • Forgotten Rebels: Black Australians who Fought Back - David Lowe
  • One Blood - John Harris
  • Invasion to Embassy - Heather Goodall