Aboriginal War Memorial
Whatever side of the fence you sit on regarding the glorification of war, free speech (until it comes to criticizing ANZACS apparently) and the role of memorialising fallen soldiers who fought for king and country and blah oh my god I can’t even write this shit.
As Australians we’ve been fed the notion of the great ANZACS and their sacrifices from primary school right through to university. Missing from a lot of the whitewashing of this history (yeah I said it) is the fact that thousands of Aboriginal men and women fought and died in not only Australias wars, but wars that are hardly remarked on in the history curriculum of most schools.
These wars were of course, the Frontier wars. Hard fought, bloody, guerrilla warfare that lasted for over a century. But this of course flies in the face of the great myth that this country was settled peacefully. That this country was built on the sheeps back. Not on the backs of my dead ancestors whose bones litter this country in the hundreds of thousands for the simple reason their homes and lands happened to be in the places where apparently sheep had more rights to land than they did.
But I digress, as is my wont, because this is my fucking blog and I don’t care about Oxford commas. As regular readers here (or Twitter followers) know, I occasionally admin for Indigenous X, that pretty awesome rotational curational account that has hosted some of the best Aboriginal minds in the country (yours truly included).
Some of you may or may not know that Indigenous X is also an avenue for Aboriginal projects to get off the ground through fundraising. Since Indigenous X began this service, every project has reached its goal, and in many cases, exceeded it by quite a margin. Which is why I am surprised this fundraiser; to fund the Wirreanda Secondary School War Memorial Project is nowhere near its target of $5000.
This is an excellent way to introduce the fact that yes, Aboriginal people did fight in wars, and bring to light that many had to lie about their nationality, the deep racism they experienced on returning to their home country and how deeply ingrained systemic and institionalised racism was then, and the ripples of that racism that is still very much present and prevalent in modern Australia. Even if this conversation only happens peripherally, because this funding venture is not delving beyond 1788…..
Any avenue that exposes Australias children to the realities of discrimination and its continued presence, even one through something as simple as advocating for a war memorial can only help generations to come in maybe RECOGNISING this countries history is much longer than 230 odd years.