‘True Love is made of mindfulness.’ - Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Communicating. Taking some time this morning to appreciate the artwork of @johannatagada @poeticpastel while sipping on my morning matcha, sitting in gratitude @tiosk_uk
32 minutes ago
For most of my life I’ve celebrated Australia Day, but this Friday, 26 January 2018 I’ve decided not to. Until recently I didn’t know much about Australia’s Indigenous history. At school we watched Rabbit-Proof Fence and that’s about as much as I remember. I don’t remember learning about their loss of culture, language, community, spirituality and tradition. I don’t remember getting taught about the thousands of people who were murdered, the women who were raped and the tens of thousands of children who were forcibly removed from their families. It’s estimated that between one in three and one in ten Indigenous children were taken from their families and communities from approximately 1910 until 1970 due to government policies of assimilation. Although there are many reports of it occurring long before and after this date.
I can’t help but wonder why we aren’t taught this at school? Why isn’t this information common knowledge? It wasn’t until recently that I learnt for many Indigenous people Australia Day is a day of mourning and pain; a reminder of all they have lost.
Learning this put so much into perspective.
I’m proud to be Australian and I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities that come with living in this beautiful country. But I can no longer celebrate a day that divides our people. Can you imagine if Australia was invaded tomorrow and your family and friends were murdered, raped, relocated or sent away to “be in service”? Can you imagine your children getting removed from your care and being forced to live with strangers who tell them to reject their heritage and adopt a new culture? THEN, can you imagine the invaders celebrating the day of this invasion years later? I’m not perfect and don’t pretend to know it all. I’m still learning and doing my best to educate myself. But I know enough to know that for me, celebrating our country on this day doesn’t feel right. I'm not normally one to share my opinions on “controversial” topics such as this. I’m generally a fence-sitter and like to avoid conflict at all costs. But once you learn something like this, it’s very hard to unlearn it. Continued in comments. Art via @lukejohnmatthewarnold