I think guys you are all missing my point. …

Comment on Make Oz Day a celebration of the future, not the past by Jan Martin.

I think guys you are all missing my point.
Federation even nationhood are all foreign European constructs and none of them recognised that the First Australians were already here with a highly complex culture spanning 66+ thousand years.
Songlines criss-crossed this country more complex than present day road maps.
It is Europeans who persist in imposing their values on them without recognising the enormity of what they have got.
Theirs is the secret of longevity, of living as one, part of the land, while so called civilisations have crumbed and died.
Australia Day will never be a true Australia Day until what the First Australians have got to offer is appreciated and recognised … sigh!
That is why I think Australia needs a new Australia Day that is inclusive of them and the beautiful country we call home … sigh!

Jan Martin Also Commented

Make Oz Day a celebration of the future, not the past
I agree with you Hal and I agree with Bob Taylor too.
The idea of Wattle Day, September 1, the first day of spring, as a suitable alternative Australia Day has been around a while.
It could be made the first Monday in September and it would occur in the school term.
Something schools and students could really get into. A harmonious day celebrating our national colours of green and gold.
The spring blossoming of hope for the future, new life, love, belonging and responsibility to this beautiful country we call home.
There could still be Australia Day honours recognising the contributions of people to our country and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new Australians into the fold … and while we are at it, I would change our national anthem to The Seekers’ song celebrating the diversity of stories of where we have come from: “I am, you are, we are Australian”.
It would still celebrate the past the present and the future, just without all the negative flag waving First Fleet enactment bullshit.
I think its time to drop it. I don’t think what happened as a result of colonisation to the Indigenous peoples of Australia or to the natural environment are things we as Australians should be proud of. My tuppence worth, hey 🙂


Recent Comments by Jan Martin

Killerbots, guided by Pine Gap, same as any other weapon?
Thanks Kieran. It seems to me it would be better to be directing money and technology into projects promoting peace and harmony … sigh!


Thinking about Dreaming
Thank you Dick Kimber for this very interesting food for thought.

In early February this year the National Library of Australia ran a weekend web-seminar series on Indigenous Languages to celebrate 2019 United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages. I found the seminar series quite riveting and had a weekend pig out on it 🙂

Most notable to me as a person whose interest (and past Uni study) has been in Wildlife ecology, was in the summing up panel discussion (session 9) “Do Indigenous languages matter”. Prof Nicholas Evans talked about the profound change in the way of thinking learning Indigenous languages evokes. The limitations of European languages such as English, bound by rules of grammar, spelling, and form replaced by another dimension of relational place and space, knowledge of Nature and navigation (science), art, and the links, connections and relationships between people, Nature, place and space. In short the belonging of everything in a holistic relationship. Everything linked and connected. Everything with a role and a place in time and space. He described learning an Indigenous language as an awakening where the learner starts to see links, connections, relationships they had not seen before. This is ecology!

From the website “Common Ground” “The Dreaming’ is considered a vastly inadequate translation of Jukurrpa, a concept which is foreign to English-speakers due to its complexity and non-finite nature.”

“In his 1956 essay ‘The Dreaming’, the Australian anthropologist W.E.H. Stanner says:
“A concept so impalpable and subtle naturally suffers badly by translation into our dry and abstract language.”
“One cannot ‘fix’ The Dreaming in time: it was, and is, everywhen.”

Now I would like to relate this to Alice Springs … last year I took a little time out from my absolute delight with the annual Beanie Festival to visit the courtyard with the sacred old corkwood tree around which the Araluen Arts Centre is built. In the courtyard is a sculpture by Pamela Lofts 2001. The sculpture is an arrangement of eight sandstone rocks with words engraved on them. The words and arrangement is based on a poem “The Cloths of Heaven” by WB Yeats …

“Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

The significance to me of this sculpture is in the year of its creation 2001, the year of welcoming the stolen generations back home to where they truly belong, its location in the courtyard with the very old sacred corkwood tree, and in its message of reconciliation, an appreciation and recognition of the importance of dreams in both English language and the Indigenous languages of the stolen generations … sigh!

“Pamela Lofts
1949 – 2012
Tread softly 2001
TREAD … softly … because … YOU … tread … on … my[YOUR/our] … dreams ” (the engravings read from front to back)

These are my thinkings, Dick Kimber, as a person with a passion for ecology who has mindfully gone out seeking Wedge-tailed Eagles as and where I’ve found them around Alice Springs District roads the last seven plus years. Who has never been anything but respectful of them, in awe of their open magnificence actually, and has cared enough about them to see first to their safety around roads. This is my dream I’ve been living here in Alice Springs, the person I am, and my rewards have been in getting to see these magnificent creatures as few people are privileged to see them.

Not dreamed without recognition and appreciation of the huge privileges involved. Wedge-tailed Eagles have been integral in our CA landscapes and skies continuously since before Time Immemorial. They were here looking down from the sky on the arrival of the First Australians maybe 66+ thousand years ago. Totems and symbol of hope and freedom to many and a tangible link between past, present and hopefully our future. Australia’s top Raptor, whose domain is the deepest blue of the sky … sigh!

Maybe it is wishful dreaming, but it is us luring them into danger with carrion left on or around roads … sigh! I can’t see a future without them looking down on us from our landscapes and skies … it’s not thinkable … and we need to keep taking care of their safety around roads … my tuppence worth … sigh!

Thank you for your ponderings about dreaming Dick … very interesting. Thank you!


Make September 8 Australia Day, anthem in Pitjantjatjara
Back in the conversation … tee hee!
Before I start though I think you should know I am a daughter of one of those bureaucrats in Canberra in Department of Territories / Interior. My father was in Housing.
While I was a child my father would fly off to the Northern Territory and return with fresh Barramundy brought home for us in the aeroplane fridge.
He would cook it, and it was delicious, a wonderful feast!
He told us of the huge respect he had for the young Patrol Officer, Ted Egan, who knew how to talk to Aboriginal people and was a very fair man.
How can you provide housing to meet the needs of people you aren’t able to converse with?
I think there were some bureaucrats in Canberra back then, certainly my father, recognised he didn’t know how to.
Not all were ill-intentioned, hey!
Now back to Mathew Flinders. It is very exciting his grave was found in the London underground recently.
I agree by all means to bring his remains back to Australia and celebrate the foundation of Australia with an existing diversity of peoples, languages and cultures on the September 9.
Sadly, his companion Bungaree disappeared into unanimity.
However, I think a fair Australia should recognise the huge diversity of Indigenous languages and cultures pre-colonization
2019 is the year of Indigenous languages and there are seminar sessions going on in The National Library of Australia today … they are on to session 3.
Session 4 starts at 3.30pm. It is very interesting. The sessions are available on National Library of Australia Facebook page.
What is wrong with having a single national anthem sung in the language/culture you identify yourself in? An anthem that celebrates the diversity of Australians without degrading any of them.


Make September 8 Australia Day, anthem in Pitjantjatjara
I think it is a great piece of sarcasm. I enjoyed the read and the laugh, Ted.


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