Upper-Intermediate PM1 writing - Australia Day 2020
Last week, Upper Intermediate PM1 had some thorough discussions about Australia Day and Australia’s Indigenous history, culminating in a trip to the Ian Potter NGV to look at indigenous art. Please read some of the excellent writing that came out of these discussions, as well as an outstanding piece from the weekly writing test.
Indigenous History in Australia
The human race has been learning from historical events which should never happen again, such as war and persecution, to maintain peace.
However, some events have had an impact on modern times and are controversial. One of these controversial topics is Australia day, celebrating the British first fleet’s arrival in Sydney in 1788, in that it was almost the beginning of an era as “Australia”. The reason the national day is a subject of controversy is that it is no exaggeration to say that Indigenous people were deprived of their daily life from that day, which is why it is also called “Invasion day”. Prior to colonisation, Indigenous people had over 500 different groups around the continent, but nowadays, they make up 2.4% of the Australian population because colonisation by immigrants became the norm.
I had an opportunity in my class to search about this history and I found what Indigenous people had experienced after domination by others. So, I am going to write about 3 topics which made an impression on me so that my mates can know about it and may be interested in it, even a little. This writing is based on certain sources, yet there is a possibility that some things are uncertain because of no clear record at the time.
Main (what I figured out)
Firstly, there was tragic legislation which is called “Stolen generations”, also known as Stolen children, which was established by the Australian government. In the period between approx. 1905-19671), Indigenous children were forcibly torn away from their families by the policy. Meanwhile, most of them and their families suffered physical/sexual/psychological abuse. These are because the authorities thought these children could be assimilated easily into immigrant communities. There is still controversy whether this cruel event existed or not. I feel that Indigenous people in this era were virtually slaves and could not imagine such immoral actions. Also, I thought that none of the certain sources symbolises how much misery the stolen generations endured.
Secondly, I found that this long term persecution has influenced current Indigenous peoples, even now. Their lives are no longer intentionally in danger, as the government offers a subsidy to support them. However, it is extremely hard for them to recover the typical lifestyle from before. Regarding health, nowadays, they are particularly suffering from chronic diseases and alcoholism. According to the Australian government, there is a gap of 39% in health outcomes between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people). I understand that what they want is not the same quality of life as we have (rather, they want to bring back a lifestyle which had been ordinary before being colonised), but recovering their essential ways of living must be tougher than we can imagine.
Thirdly, I found that Indigenous people’s culture is interesting. Their belief system is called "Dream time", that nature is being created by ancestors; therefore, they interpret that humans are not beyond nature in the world. I think their arts, which are colourful and designed with dots, lines, circles and other simple figures, are inspired by their intrinsic trust in nature. Concerning language, there were 200 different languages throughout the continent, not written, but oral languages. Unfortunately, these languages have reduced in number to around 70. In fact, theirs cultures are also threatened.
I was able to learn deeply how much suffering Indigenous people experienced in the past. Also, I thought that the cruel behaviour against them that was caused by the authorities deserves to be blamed. However, I think what we have to do after looking back on the history is to respect each other so as to be equals, and to talk about the history to people who do not know so as not to forget such mistakes. Australian day is, nowadays, a national holiday which is commonly enjoyed. Also, I think it symbolises that we will never try to hurt people any longer. I hope Australian day will be one of the chances to learn and to think about Indigenous people who still struggle. I would like to greatly thank all who gave me this opportunity with the completion of my writing.
https://australianstogether.org.au/, 25th/Jan/2020 accessed
Is Everyone in Love with Australia?
Everybody is in love with Australia, for the animals, the people, the beautiful pictures. But who really knows the real background story about this amazing and multicultural country?
Well, it is an interesting story, and it started longer ago then we think. Aboriginal people were here 50,000 years before the British came to Australia, so, it’s important to remember who the people are who protect and gave magic to this land.
In 1770, the first British ships arrived in Australia. Supposedly, they came just to look around and make some maps. But it was just 18 years later, when the British came back to stay. On 26th January, 1788. They didn’t create a war, it was really silent, they simply invaded the territory and lands of the Indigenous people.
Since that day, everything started to gradually change. The British brought more people, around 750 convicts and 250 soldiers, and not just that, they brought weapons, tools, and all types of supplies and even worse, they came with different illnesses, culture and ways of seeing life that started to kill Aboriginal people.
Today, people remember the past of the Aboriginal people, but they still celebrate the day when The British stole the land from the first Australians.
January 30, 2020
In class I learnt some Aussie history. How interesting when you start to learn about other cultures especially when they have such a different way of living indigenous people have their own beliefs. Now, I already know about The Dreaming of the Aboriginal people, their view is about the universe’s creation and what is supposed to be human in this world and what is after death, is incredible.
How different the human mind can be about beliefs and creating things. The way how each continent, each country, each culture has been believing according to eras, people, plans, etc. It has an impact when different cultures crash. It must be said in this world we are unique in how we live, think and act. Indigenous people are trying to live because of how society has been evolving, but it seems we want them to change their culture.
What do you think about it? Let me know.
Aboriginal people believe that it is a place where spirits will return to live after death, which their children od family members. That is still alive will perform the ritual show respect.
It is believed that the spirits of ancestors will protect and preserve his tribe not causing dangerous natural disasters or mysterious illnesses Aboriginal people have many tribes.
The male role is to be a hunter and the woman will take care of the children and cook for food.
About 200 years ago, white people settled in Sydney Harbour for the first time, more than 300,000 Aboriginal people live in Australia and over 250 spoken languages. In 1788, English laws became the governing body for Aboriginal people throughout the continent of Australia.
Then in Australia has become the property of the British royal family. Aboriginal people are evicted.
Later, the government announced it was known to abide by the name laws under the acceptance of all parties. For the first time in the history of tourism.
Before I came to Melbourne, I did not know very much about Australian culture.
Even though I started to study English here, I have never tried to study about traditional things. However, I learned about Australia Day and searched about Aboriginal Culture in our class, so I could understand what Australia Day is.
I thought the day is kind of an Independence Day like in the US and all citizens celebrate it happily. But, in fact, Australian Day is to celebrate the first discovery of this island. I did not know that the people who had been living on this island, called “Aborigines”, do not celebrate this day.
I was very surprised, because this day is a national holiday and will have a lot of events in the city.
‘How people’s lives were different 100 years ago’
Jordi Bayot Ginabreda
I don’t know exactly how people’s live were 100 years ago. I’m sure that if we have a look at what we have now around us, even in our pockets, we can find a lot of differences such as huge buildings, public transport, smartphones, smart TV and “smart “everything”, etc. However, the most important changes in people’s lives are related to how we construct our relations with other people, not only with our friends or our families. Nowadays, the world is running as it used to before, in spite of “now” is being faster.
How many people could you knew 100 years ago? And how many things could you know about them? Today, you can know everything about people that you have not even seen in your life. And, if you stop for a moment and think about that, you realize that most of the times you don’t know anything important about them.
During these 100 years, a lot of human rights have changed too. Theoretically, slavery has already disappeared because during those years humans were doing awful things. Because of that, in our society, many things that in those years were allowed, must be forbidden now. Meanwhile, however, those things have just changed their form but are still with us.
Perhaps the world hasn’t changed a lot at the end. Our lives are really similar, but you have to take a deeper look around you.