In her second lecture, Professor Langton examines the confluence of historical, political and social factors which have created entrenched barriers against the economic advancement of Aboriginal people in Australia.
Tagged with “aboriginal” (7)
The Life and Times of Solidod, the last remaining member of her village of Mescalero Apache who lived on the edge of Death Valley.
The vast majority of Australia’s Indigenous languages – some 250 are estimated to have existed at the time British colonisation – are no longer in use.
Now, the Australian government is being pushed to revalue Indigenous languages in a call for the payment of compensation for language loss, to be put towards increased funding for language revitalisation, with the claim that the loss of language is more detrimental than the loss of land.
Ghil’ad Zuckermann, Professor of Linguistics and Endangered Languages, The University of Adelaide, South Australia.
Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann’s website (http://www.zuckermann.org/)
Article ‘Stop, Revive, Survive’, written by Ghil’ad Zuckermann & Michael Walsh, 2011; published in the ‘Australian Journal of Linguistics’ (31: 111-127) (http://www.zuckermann.org/pdf/Revival_Linguistics.pdf)
The Mobile Language Team website (http://www.mobilelanguageteam.com.au/)
An outline of Indigenous Languages Support by the Australian federal government (http://arts.gov.au/sites/default/files/indigenous/ils/ils-factsheet.pdf)
Compromise and Confrontation: Senator Neville Bonner - Hindsight - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The 1970s were a turbulent period in Australian politics and a high-point in the struggle for Indigenous rights and justice. Huge political energy pulsed through the Aboriginal movement following the success of the 1967 Referendum. But the first Indigenous person to sit in Federal Parliament didn’t come from the radical urban Aboriginal activist movement. He came from Queensland.
Neville Bonner rose up through the ranks of the Queensland Liberal Party around the time Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen began his epic reign as premier. Bonner became Liberal senator for Queensland in 1971 and held on to his seat until 1983.
As a conservative politician in radical times, Neville Bonner’s position was not a comfortable one. Complex tensions played out in his political career. He had to juggle often conflicting loyalties against a dynamic political backdrop as Queensland and the Commonwealth came to blows over Aboriginal affairs. Then there was the hostility he copped from other politicised Indigenous people who accused him of being an Uncle Tom.
But in the end Neville Bonner surprised both his conservative sponsors and his radical detractors.
Though Bonner was a proud Jagera man with strong ancestral connections to the area southwest of Brisbane, the context for this portrait of Neville Bonner is the Australian political landscape rather than Bonner’s Indigenous cultural context.
Listeners are advised that the program contains the voices of Indigenous people who have died.
The Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting - Hindsight - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Oral history has been part and parcel of the democratisation of history since the Second World War. Through interviews with historians from many different countries, and archival material from seminal oral history projects, we chart the international oral history movement, paying special attention to the role of oral history in Aboriginal historiography, and in post-Apartheid South Africa.
Historians have always relied on oral history. Think of Homer and Thucydides and their reliance on eyewitness accounts and oral tradition. It was only in the 19th century when history as a discipline became professionalised, and historians started to think of their discipline as a ‘science’, that a total reliance on documentary sources developed.
From the 1950s onwards, historians became interested again in personal testimony. In the US it was an archival project, an effort to get the reminiscences of ‘movers and shakers’ on the record, great men who were too busy to write their autobiographies. But in the UK and Europe, historians with a socialist ethos like Paul Thompson were keen to get the experiences of ordinary people on the record, in order to write ‘history from below’. This impulse emerged from the inclusive social movements of the 1960s.
In the decades since, oral history has been a democratising force in historical work, and a crucial means of achieving cultural and political recognition for marginalised groups. In countries with recent histories of trauma and political instability, oral history has urgent applications in restorative justice processes and national reconciliation. In ‘The Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting’, we explore some of these.
Contributors include Inga Clendinnen, Paul Thompson, Peter Read, Heather Goodall, Sean Field and Bonnie Smith. Archival oral history material featured in the program relates to apartheid South Africa, the Stolen Generations in Australia, Aboriginal cattle drovers in the Northern Territory, British nuclear tests in South Australia, and working people in Edwardian England.
Today - we go on a journey from Cummeragunga, the former Aboriginal mission station on the banks of the Murray River, to the Forest of Martyrs outside Jerusalem. In late 1938, the Aboriginal rights activist William Cooper delivered a letter of protest to the German consulate in Melbourne as synagogues burned across Germany in the aftermath of the infamous Night of Broken Glass, or Kristallnacht.
This program was first broadcast on 5 December 2009.
David Unaipon smiles out at us from the fifty dollar note, immortalised on our currency for his fierce intelligence and achievements. Who was David Unaipon, and why do we still know so little about him?
David Unaipon was born on the Murray River in Ngarrindjeri country in 1872, and brought up in his own culture. His lifetime spanned the first phase of colonial contact between his people and the Europeans. In fact he died only months before the 1967 referendum that would have afforded him citizenship.
Unaipon was a scientist, orator and singer, and the first published Aboriginal author. He was the most famous Aborigine of his time, nicknamed ‘Australia’s Leonardo da Vinci’ for his inventions: his improvements to the hand-held shearing comb are still in use today. At the turn of the century he spoke of aerodynamics, he foresaw the helicopter, and outlined the uses of polarised light to a rapt, if bemused, European audience. Unaipon spent his life trying to harness the secret of perpetual motion.
In an era where frontier conflict was still commonplace, and his own achievements were minimised by the scientific obsession with Social Darwinism, Unaipon’s intelligence, as well as his eccentricity, set him apart from black and white alike. He was very well educated in both cultures, and travelled between both with only his wits as a guide.
On the shore of a strange land is an extract from one of Unaipon’s most powerful poems, and can be heard in this program.
This program was first broadcast in 2008. It is being replayed to mark NAIDOC week 2010.