Australian Aborigines Océane Blondeau

The Article

I chose an article from the Daily Mail. It's a British newspaper published since 1896. This article was published on 28 January of this year and it talks about the aborigines and how they were treated.

The history of Aborigines

The aborigines arrived in Australia about 40,000 years ago, making Australia one of the last continents colonized by human. These are the first human to have occupied the Australian soil. Despite the very harsh living conditions, they spread over the entire Australian continent. But these conditions, climatic in particular, have also prevented them from developing.

When the Europeans arrived in Australia at the end of the eighteenth century, the aborigines had an enormous technological backwardness.

During the colonization, the English ousted them without difficulty. They took their lands, their territories, and settled themselves without worrying about their well-being, not hesitating to kill them when they showed signs of rebellion.

Later, the Australians decided to withdraw children from their families to bring them western and integrate them into society. This is called the stolen generation.

Aboriginal culture

The aborigines have a multi-millennial culture very strong and very present. The Australians are very proud of it today.

According to the beliefs of the Aborigines, rocks, hills, lakes bear the imprint left by the creative spirits. The history of each creative ancestor is part of a geographical itinerary that can cross others. Their many legends come into being at the time of the dream, in which the rainbow serpent and other fabulous creatures gave birth to the world.

The aboriginal tradition is based on a spirituality linked to the land, the landscape, the fauna and the flora referring to the dawn of the creation of the world.

This culture is transmitted through the paintings, very pretty and very prized in Australia and in the rest of the world, but also by the dances, the songs, the music...

Their traditional instrument is didgeridoo (read our file on didgeridoo), used in traditional ceremonies.

They are also well known for their boomerangs, the piece of wood used for hunting, and the art of throwing is very difficult. They used it to kill kangaroos or emus, and threw it in such a way that if it missed its target, it would return to the hand of its pitcher.

Progressive recognition

Until the late 1960s, Aborigines were virtually excluded from white society. Militant movements, however, were heard, notably on a farm at Wave Hill in 1966.

Their demand is echoed throughout the country. In a positive way: in 1967, a referendum granted citizenship to all Aborigines and guaranteed a minimum wage.

Another milestone of the 1972 aboriginal resistance was activists riding in front of the federal parliament in Canberra, a tent as an embassy to assert ownership of traditional lands. An Aboriginal flag is designed.

Four years later, the signing of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act is a highlight. It guarantees the right to land for certain aboriginal groups in the Northern Territory. The territories are partially returned to the ancestors of the traditional owners, who return to live there in communities. It was not until 1992 that the Australian High Court annulled the principle of a terra nullius: for the first time, it granted land titles to the Aborigines.

However, this marked improvement in the status of Aborigines did not eliminate their alarming living conditions or the racism of some Australian whites.

Aboriginal people today

Today, aborigines are still not fully integrated into Australian society. They can be classified into three categories:

¥ Those who have integrated into society and are now living in the West

¥ Those who are in reserves lost in the outback and still live somewhat as formerly; They are increasingly scarce

¥ Those who live near the cities, but do not work, live on the street, and often suffer from alcohol problems.

The condition of the aborigines and the means to help them are still very complex and sensitive in Australia today.

That is why we can ask whether it is normal for the aborigines to be excluded from society by white Australians ?

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