Preamble

In the current preamble of Australia (made in 9th July 1900) there is no indication within that document of Indigenous Australians whatsoever. The preamble is supposed to portray our great nation and as a nation, the people consist of both indigenous and non indigenous Australians. It is pointless to avoid recognising those who first inhabited this great land or equally in significance those who settled on the land and made Australia as it is today. For it is in those reasons the proposal of a new preamble for the Constitution to include indigenous people is essential, to reform our nation’s great land known as Australia. It is only right to include Indigenous Australians in the preamble for several reasons; they first inhabited the land with their own unique culture, they survived through the European’s in addition Australian’s wrongs, and increased the identity of Australia. The question that we all ask in the first place is, ‘Why aren’t they included in the preamble for the Australian Constitution despite being such an importance to our great nation?’

40 000 years ago existed one of the oldest cultures in the world, but in fact it is the oldest surviving culture in today’s society. The heart of the Indigenous Australian culture is usually acknowledged as the “Dreaming” or “Dreamtime”. Indigenous Australians have unbelievable strong spiritual connections and relationships to their ancestors as well with their land. One of the Indigenous Australians core values is simply that they do not hold ownership to the land but the land holds ownership to them. In 1968 a book published named ‘After the Dreaming’ expresses exactly how incredible their relationship really is;

 “……there are no English words good enough to give a sense of the links between an Aboriginal group and Homeland. Our word ‘home’, warm and suggestive though it may be, does not match the Aboriginal word that may mean ‘camp, ‘hearth’, ‘country’, ‘everlasting homes’, ‘totem place’, ‘life source’ and ‘spirit centre’, and much else all in one. Our word ‘land’ is too sparse and meagre. The Aboriginal would speak earth and use the word richly symbolic way to mean his ‘shoulder’ or ‘his side’” Many of this culture has been lost through the years but still survives day by day through the heart and soul of the Aboriginals through their practices and traditions of dance, storytelling, music and in addition sport. It is amazing in just exactly how their culture still exists to this very day in the event of they endured one of the most fierce and detrimental colonisations made by the British that ever took place. Just briefly the British, killed many Aboriginals during the process, they forcefully took the land after changing their mind on living side by side and introduced many diseases such as small pox that wiped out part of the population. Therefore Aboriginals must be included within the preamble because they first inhabited this land, preserved their culture despite the fact it was almost destroyed by the British, in which Australians are descendents of.

In 1838, a dark historic event known as the “Myall creek massacre” took place. 28 Indigenous Australians were aimlessly killed. 11 individual European stockman, squatters and colonists were thought to be held responsible of the killiings by the means of shooting and burning their remains. Despite previous years of Aboriginals demanding equal rights and freedoms largely due to the antislavery movement was ignored by these European murderers. 7 were known to be found guilty and their sentence was death by hanging. Aboriginal Protection Rights were passed by the British Government in result of what had happened which prevented violence towards the Aborigines, although in turn this led to Aborigines being isolated from the society and remarkably discrimination against them was now legal. There were many other killings in previous years, and colonists before were normally not convicted to any crimes or punishments. The Aborigines have experienced injustice and seeing their fellow mates getting killed by the Europeans, and therefore must be included within the Preamble.

Their Culture has also been lost largely because the next generation was literally stolen by the Government. This generation is acknowledged as the Stolen Generation. 1910 to approximately 1970 about 100,000 children (average age was 5) i.e. 30% of the kids of families were removed mainly because the Europeans had a belief that the Aboriginals were an ‘inferior race’ and should be westernised. They were forced to adapt to the European society, in addition put aside and deny their culture. They were prohibited of speaking their language or practising their traditions, the Europeans denied any contact with their family and in result the children believed that they were orphans. As Australians is it not that we strongly believe in the act of sincerity, kindness and a community in which all are treated equally. In reality this never was the case because the stolen generations, in result were targeted for sexual harassment, given few educational opportunities because they had no expectations of making it within the real world. Paul Buttigieg, An Aboriginal poet who expresses his history through poetry wrote this regarding the stolen generations;

Someone
Turns out the last light
A Blackout
And
A dormitory full of black kids sigh

Unknowing

Waiting for parents to return
A shallow promise from government guardians
If you sleep

A white education waits
If you wake
And
Forgive

The theft of your black soul
And
The destruction of your family”

Therefore, Indigenous Australians have lived in a community in which they had few rights to express their opinions and defend themselves. After all they experienced, the destructions of families, the least they deserve is to be in the preamble.

Indigenous Australians, have represented Australia, whether it is through sport, art or through the media, and have had an impact on the recognition of Australia. Cathy Freeman is a gold medallist in track and field in the Olympics. She represented Australia in winning her gold medals during the 1990’s but also Indigenous Australians in waving an Aboriginal cross Australian flag. This was remarkably prohibited in the 1994 Olympics, and it caused tension as well disputes. Regardless of that experience she had remained faithful to her culture and did the same in the 2000 Olympics. Another significant aboriginal is a deceased painter ‘Albert Namatjira’ and simply had the title as the GREATEST aboriginal painter. His well known artworks such as the “Red Bluff” received outstanding awards but in particular a medal from the queen formerly known as the ‘Queens Coronation Medal’ (1953). Therefore Aboriginals must be included in the preamble because they play an incredible role in the noticing and reputation of Australia.

In Conclusion, Indigenous Australians must be included within the preamble because they are the basis, the foundation in which makes up this great nation in which we call Australia. After all they had experienced the stolen generations, the colonisation, the deterioration of their miraculous culture; the least they deserve is to be united with Australians in the Preamble. To Australia.

Site references

 http://www.mail-archive.com/public-list@neither.org/msg01212.html (for ideas on how to write an alternate preamble)http://www.nwjc.org.au/awcn/preamble.htm (For a quick look on Australia’s preamble+ other countries)http://www.acer.edu.au/isa/writingsamples.html (examples of expositions)http://www.eniar.org/stolengenerations.html (Information regarding the stolen generation)http://paolospoems.com/poem-category/aboriginal-poems/ ( for all the poetry included in the preamble)Experience World History by K.J Mason, published by Mcgraw-Hill Companies 2004 (for assisting in definitions regarding the dreamtime and also information regarding the culture of Indigenous Australians)en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathy_Freeman (Information on Cathy Freeman) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Namatjira (Information on Albert Namatjira)

http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761588381/myall_creek_massacre.html (Information on the Myall Creek Massacre)

©Group 3 9.1/9.2 2008

 

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