JOHN SCOTT ON 26 JANUARY 2014

Thank you John Scott for expressing what I believe many of us are thinking today,

John ScottImage
18 minutes ago
For Australia’s indigenous people today, 26th January, marks the onset of a catastrophic process of dispossession the consequences of which still lie very heavily on Aboriginal people and more broadly on Australian society generally; for them and for many non-indigenous Australians it is proper to mark this day as Invasion Day. I also like to remember it as Fatal Shore Day. I think it is right to remember the convict human cargo of the First Fleet, transported in reeking holds to what, in 1788, might as well have been Mars for all the hope they ever had of seeing English (or Irish) shores again. It is quite true that in time some of them, and some of their descendants, played a role in the near-destruction of Aboriginal society; but it is equally true that they were also victims of a brutal penal regime; and that they resisted it and ultimately outlasted it. I have no wish to contribute to the self-congratulatory myth of Aussie larrikinism in what is in many ways a grossly conformist society, but it is not far-fetched to find in the pockets of Australian scepticism toward authority, religion etc that certainly do exist some cultural traces of those who came here in chains.

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