Reconciliation and Colonial Power: Indigenous Rights in Australia

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How television moved a nation: media, change and Indigenous rights

The world has seen numerous examples of formal truth-telling processes as part of post-conflict reconciliation. Most recently notable, perhaps, is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission implemented post-apartheid in South Africa, where victims of violence and oppression, and their oppressors, publicly told their stories. Could a similar model aid conciliation between black and non-Indigenous people in Australia? Critically, how would it address issues of compensation and redress? Considering so many crimes against Indigenous people in Australia shootings, massacres, poisonings, the theft of Indigenous children and lands, and deaths in custody reverberate generationally, should a truth-telling process be punitive or restorative?

Reconciliation and Colonial Power: Indigenous Rights in Australia - Robert van Krieken,

Might it be both? A few months before he died last year I caught up with Sol Bellear, a leading Indigenous activist who introduced then prime minister Paul Keating when he delivered his seminal Redfern speech in Keating is the only Australian prime minister to acknowledge the full extent of historical violence and prejudice against Indigenous people of this continent. Where the memories — and even some of the victims and those responsible — still actually lived.

History is everything.

It is difficult to see how this could possibly apply to Australian history. The government, further demonstrating an absence of respect and diligence that characterises its approach to Indigenous issues, has not seen fit to formally respond.

Can we handle the truth? Indigenous Australians depend on it

Commemoration — what we choose to remember as a nation as determined by our politicians - involves choices, of course. Labor needs to demonstrate its bona fides here, too. Political words on issues of great note to Indigenous people are cheap.

History has at least demonstrated that. A few months before he died last year I caught up with Sol Bellear, a leading Indigenous activist who introduced then prime minister Paul Keating when he delivered his seminal Redfern speech in Keating is the only Australian prime minister to acknowledge the full extent of historical violence and prejudice against Indigenous people of this continent. Where the memories — and even some of the victims and those responsible — still actually lived.

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History is everything. It is difficult to see how this could possibly apply to Australian history. The government, further demonstrating an absence of respect and diligence that characterises its approach to Indigenous issues, has not seen fit to formally respond. Commemoration — what we choose to remember as a nation as determined by our politicians - involves choices, of course.


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  • Can we handle the truth? Indigenous Australians depend on it | Paul Daley | Global | The Guardian;

Labor needs to demonstrate its bona fides here, too. Political words on issues of great note to Indigenous people are cheap.

History has at least demonstrated that. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Indigenous Australians Postcolonial. Uluru Statement from the Heart Indigenous peoples Australian politics comment.


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