Riponian

BBC Article view of OZ

    Recommended Posts

    Hello

     

    My husband stumbled across this article on the BBC website and thought I would share it with you.

     

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1250188.stm

     

    The best bit I like is life expectancy is a lot hight than the UK, it's around 70 for the UK where as oz - 79 years (men), 84 years (women)

     

    I also found this to be quite startling

     

    "Indigenous Australians suffer high rates of unemployment, imprisonment and drug abuse"

     

    What is you guys view of it?

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Hello

     

    My husband stumbled across this article on the BBC website and thought I would share it with you.

     

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1250188.stm

     

    The best bit I like is life expectancy is a lot hight than the UK, it's around 70 for the UK where as oz - 79 years (men), 84 years (women)

     

    I also found this to be quite startling

     

    "Indigenous Australians suffer high rates of unemployment, imprisonment and drug abuse"

     

    What is you guys view of it?

     

    on the life expectancy thing ive noticed a huge difference with my patients. I regualarly visit people in their 90's still living independantly at home!! In fact one guy was still driving to foodland aged 99, was slightly worrying though as he was blind in one eye!!!

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Hello

     

     

    I also found this to be quite startling

     

    "Indigenous Australians suffer high rates of unemployment, imprisonment and drug abuse"

     

    What is you guys view of it?

     

    That statement is quite true. The way the indigenous population has been treated over the years is quite appaling and unbelievable. They didn't get the right to vote everywhere in Australia until the 1960s. I think governments are trying to do the right thing now, but so much damage has been done. Living in Adelaide you are quite isolated from it all, many people probably never come across any indigenous Australians in their everyday lives. Western civilisation hasn't been good for them.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Guest Libby1971

    Until the 1970s Ingigenous Australians were classed as flora and fauna, meaning that if you killed someone, you didn't go to prison as it was not an offence.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    There is another side to this aboriginal debate, which includes a lot of infighting amongst their own people holding government positions, power struggles and the same sort of political rubbish that goes on elsewhere. There is also the side which gets glossed over to do with abuse, violence and total lack of care with the education of their children. It is very easy to get caught up with the cry about their mistreatment, but there are a lot of factors involved. It is not a simple solution. Some of the health problems occur because they are more prone as a race to things like diabetes and renal problems. Some of the things within their culture don't marry well with ours. For example if a child dies in hospital, the person who was last with that child is to blame and when they return home they will be beaten up by the elders to appease the death. This is often why the mothers don't come and it will be someone from within the clan. When the children are very small they get absolutely doted on so if they don't want to take the antibiotics or something else that may hurt them a little then the mothers will stop. Many aboriginals themselves who have been educated state that there is too much reliance on the welfare state where everything is provided and there is no incentive to improve things for themselves. Yes there is a problem, but it is not solely due to their historical treatment.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Guest cazzie

    We went to see the Aboriginal film 'Samson and Delilah' and highly recommend it. You certainly gain an insight into the kind of lives the indigenous people lead. I had to do a presentation on the Kaurna people as part of my uni course and going to the Kaurna Centre on Sturt Road was a great experience. An Aboriginal guide called Steve Goldsmith told me all about the Kaurna history and it really is shocking how they have been treated in the past. I feel very sympathetic towards their plight and it is very difficult to even imagine how they really feel. I honestly don't feel that I can celebrate Australia Day again as it is soured with the history of the 'real' Australians. Until we have walked in their shoes, it's hard to judge, but then again, I have met a few people who have absolutely no sympathy at all and think that it's time they 'got over themselves' and moved on! It's very difficult to conceive of a solution now as so much damage has been done. Steve was still very angry, and said that 'they call it 'reconciliation'' but why would we be conciled in the first place with people who stole our land, our children and our lives?' The Aboriginals see efforts now as 'conciliation.'

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    There is another side to this aboriginal debate, which includes a lot of infighting amongst their own people holding government positions, power struggles and the same sort of political rubbish that goes on elsewhere. There is also the side which gets glossed over to do with abuse, violence and total lack of care with the education of their children. It is very easy to get caught up with the cry about their mistreatment, but there are a lot of factors involved. It is not a simple solution. Some of the health problems occur because they are more prone as a race to things like diabetes and renal problems. Some of the things within their culture don't marry well with ours. For example if a child dies in hospital, the person who was last with that child is to blame and when they return home they will be beaten up by the elders to appease the death. This is often why the mothers don't come and it will be someone from within the clan. When the children are very small they get absolutely doted on so if they don't want to take the antibiotics or something else that may hurt them a little then the mothers will stop. Many aboriginals themselves who have been educated state that there is too much reliance on the welfare state where everything is provided and there is no incentive to improve things for themselves. Yes there is a problem, but it is not solely due to their historical treatment.

     

     

    Spot on, i agree with you totally, well said.

     

    Simon:notworthy:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    There is another side to this aboriginal debate, which includes a lot of infighting amongst their own people holding government positions, power struggles and the same sort of political rubbish that goes on elsewhere. There is also the side which gets glossed over to do with abuse, violence and total lack of care with the education of their children. It is very easy to get caught up with the cry about their mistreatment, but there are a lot of factors involved. It is not a simple solution. Some of the health problems occur because they are more prone as a race to things like diabetes and renal problems. Some of the things within their culture don't marry well with ours. For example if a child dies in hospital, the person who was last with that child is to blame and when they return home they will be beaten up by the elders to appease the death. This is often why the mothers don't come and it will be someone from within the clan. When the children are very small they get absolutely doted on so if they don't want to take the antibiotics or something else that may hurt them a little then the mothers will stop. Many aboriginals themselves who have been educated state that there is too much reliance on the welfare state where everything is provided and there is no incentive to improve things for themselves. Yes there is a problem, but it is not solely due to their historical treatment.

    Yes, but White Man, specifically colonial white man, is the reason for it all. I don't agree with blaming present-day Australia for all that, because it was perpetrated so long ago, but it would be wrong to forget why the problems exist. Of course, colonial England didn't mete out the nasty stuff just to the Aboriginals. According to Pete McCarthy, travel writer, and Peter Carey, whose book "The True Story of Ned Kelly" I read recently, the authorities were pretty nasty to the convict settlers, poor people and almost anybody else who wasn't one of them. As for the divisions left around the globe by the colonialists which still cause conflict today - well, George W Bush comes across as intelligent and enlightened by comparison!

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    True.... the problems caused in Northern Ireland can be said to be of the same ilk ....spent many a night in a pub listening to the ills of the British. In Africa there existed before the British came , fighting and tribal factions, often brutal. In Europe there were witch hunts far worse than in England. Germany had its genocidal cleansing and the US treated their Native Americans with similar disdain, as did the French in North Africa and in Canada. Australia's Aborigines have to accept history and work out what they want for their people. Many live on their traditional lands, controlling access to them but also want all the benefits of Western society without having to work hard for them as everyone else has to. Those little boxes on forms that ask you if you are an aboriginal and torres strait islander mean that if you tick it someone is employed to make sure you will get all the benefits available. In the 70s and 80s many concessions were made to allow indiginous entry into tertiary education, extra help etc. Some were successful and became teachers, lawyers doctors, but a lot did not receive the support from their communities and dropped out. To say that Australia day is not quite the celebration that it is is insulting to all those who have come here from elsewhere grafted their pants off to make this country prosper. Without them Aborigines would still be living as hunters and gatherers as their culture changed little in the thousands of years they lived here before white settlement, where those who couldn't keep up were left behind, one twin would be left under a bush as two were too hard to care for on the move. I am certainly not denegrating their culture OR denying what happened was harmful to those involved. From a historical point of view it has happened to just about every culture on Earth.....even the French got taken over by the Romans, the French invaded the English, taking what they wanted and when I was a kid it was 2nd nature to bag the French 1000 years on from 1066. It has happened but the solution is not to be found in bagging present day Australians or Aborigines or to state how shocking it was that they were treated in this way, when the thought of the time was present in India , Africa etc by all Colonialists and even their own, as in English children placed in care in the uk being told their parents were dead and then sent out here to work as low paid labourers on the farms. The study of history is to discover why things happened , what was involved and what could be done as a prevention now or what has changed.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Rachiegarlo, you have done an excellent job of putting into words what I was thinking. I went on a Cultural Awareness course and constantly found myself questioning in my mind for the very reasons you have stated above. The aboriginal - or indigenous as I think we are supposed to call it - culture is so very, very different to anything I have ever heard of before, with so many secrets, secret women's business, secret men's business, puberty rites etc, the children not being brought up by their actual mother but by an aunt, the men not speaking to the women, the big thing that all europeans should feel constant guilt for acts carried out by our ancestors. I really don't think it's a culture that anyone outside of it can understand in any full way I certainly didn't and don't - the child abuse case that was in the papers not so long ago made terrifying reading. I must admit I think it's a bit over the top too how at every event there has to be something about "we recognise this is Kaurna lands etc etc" - I don't remember any apologies to Boadacea's (or is it Boudicca's now?) people in the UK for all the inhumanities practiced on her tribe and similar in the past by subsequent conquering nations! It is shocking (to us) that the life expectancy of aboriginal people is so much lower than that of "new Australians", but on the other hand, is this not another case of the "white settlers" trying to force their standards and expectations, not to mention medicins and beliefs on the indigenous races? And will they be thanked for it?

    Diane

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Guest cazzie

    Just for the record, my intention is not to condemn anyone else in celebrating Australia Day, I was only stating how I feel about it. To me, it is a bittersweet celebration, but if anyone (everyone?) else feels differently, then I totally respect that.

    It's a great subject for debate though (thanks Riponian!)and just one that I happen to feel quite strongly about. I know that history has shown similar happenings as one country decides to take over another, but we are here and the thread is about Australia. What really amazes me is that the 'stolen generation' were still being taken from their parents in the 1970s!! So history had not taught us that much up until then - in my view. Of course in their arrogance, the English thought they were doing the right thing in trying to socialise and educate the children, but blimey, I wonder if any of the decision makers and children takers were parents themselves?

    Rachiegarlo, I applaud your breadth of historical knowledge and respect your viewpoint too, but I just happen to feel differently. Of course, I have only been here five minutes (10 months now!) and possibly won't settle here for ever, so what do I know? As for 'allowing' the Aboriginals to enter tertiary education - who are we to 'allow' them to do anything when it is their land in the first place? I know that is has happened and that it cannot be undone (what a shame) and that some solution needs to be worked out. Throwing benefits and money at them clearly isn't working, so some other workable outcome needs to be looked at.

    As for everyone who has moved to Australia and grafted hard, fair point, but I'm sure the Aboriginals would much rather they hadn't bothered and that they were still hunters and gatherers, left to their own devices. Additionally, the cultural issues such as child abuse and bashing the adult who last cared for the child who dies are absolutely vile, I guess more research is needed into why this happens and education to try and stop it from happening. But, shockingly, child abuse happens everywhere - every week there is a new and horrific case in the English newspapers; civilisation does not seem to wipe it out unfortunately.

    Let's hope future generations of Australians (whatever their origins) and Aboriginals can get together and come up with a solution that works for them all.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Not putting your views down either, just presenting a few different sides and viewpoints. My reference to allowing aborigines to enter universities is not the giving permission it was the bending of entrance scores etc in recognition of their lack of formal education. Just as help was finally given to others who hadn't necessarily got the academic score either through disability or cicumstance. I don't necessarily think that hunter gatherer societies would wish to remain so when they see what the rest of the world has become, the world keeps evolving and moving forward and it is still a survival of the fittest whatever the fittest for that particular time is. This is why I feel that Aborigines still need to educate their children for today's world whilst retaining their own culture if they wish to have an equal footing in the world and not just Australia. Other cultures have done this successfully. The past is gone and every generation feels the new one is missing out on what they had. Around the world cultures and minority languages are dying out, they always have...think Easter Island and the Incas or Siem Riep in Cambodia. Of course today we are all supposed to be more enlightened and not allow this to happen, but those who constantly look backwards find it difficult to move forwards. Everyone is entitled to their own view and as long as this doesn't turn into a slanging match I think it is an interesting debate.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    True.... the problems caused in Northern Ireland can be said to be of the same ilk ....spent many a night in a pub listening to the ills of the British. In Africa there existed before the British came , fighting and tribal factions, often brutal. In Europe there were witch hunts far worse than in England. Germany had its genocidal cleansing and the US treated their Native Americans with similar disdain, as did the French in North Africa and in Canada. Australia's Aborigines have to accept history and work out what they want for their people. Many live on their traditional lands, controlling access to them but also want all the benefits of Western society without having to work hard for them as everyone else has to. Those little boxes on forms that ask you if you are an aboriginal and torres strait islander mean that if you tick it someone is employed to make sure you will get all the benefits available. In the 70s and 80s many concessions were made to allow indiginous entry into tertiary education, extra help etc. Some were successful and became teachers, lawyers doctors, but a lot did not receive the support from their communities and dropped out. To say that Australia day is not quite the celebration that it is is insulting to all those who have come here from elsewhere grafted their pants off to make this country prosper. Without them Aborigines would still be living as hunters and gatherers as their culture changed little in the thousands of years they lived here before white settlement, where those who couldn't keep up were left behind, one twin would be left under a bush as two were too hard to care for on the move. I am certainly not denegrating their culture OR denying what happened was harmful to those involved. From a historical point of view it has happened to just about every culture on Earth.....even the French got taken over by the Romans, the French invaded the English, taking what they wanted and when I was a kid it was 2nd nature to bag the French 1000 years on from 1066. It has happened but the solution is not to be found in bagging present day Australians or Aborigines or to state how shocking it was that they were treated in this way, when the thought of the time was present in India , Africa etc by all Colonialists and even their own, as in English children placed in care in the uk being told their parents were dead and then sent out here to work as low paid labourers on the farms. The study of history is to discover why things happened , what was involved and what could be done as a prevention now or what has changed.

     

     

     

     

    Again, well said! And thoughtfully put across!

     

    Simon:notworthy:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Not putting your views down either, just presenting a few different sides and viewpoints. My reference to allowing aborigines to enter universities is not the giving permission it was the bending of entrance scores etc in recognition of their lack of formal education. Just as help was finally given to others who hadn't necessarily got the academic score either through disability or cicumstance. I don't necessarily think that hunter gatherer societies would wish to remain so when they see what the rest of the world has become, the world keeps evolving and moving forward and it is still a survival of the fittest whatever the fittest for that particular time is. This is why I feel that Aborigines still need to educate their children for today's world whilst retaining their own culture if they wish to have an equal footing in the world and not just Australia. Other cultures have done this successfully. The past is gone and every generation feels the new one is missing out on what they had. Around the world cultures and minority languages are dying out, they always have...think Easter Island and the Incas or Siem Riep in Cambodia. Of course today we are all supposed to be more enlightened and not allow this to happen, but those who constantly look backwards find it difficult to move forwards. Everyone is entitled to their own view and as long as this doesn't turn into a slanging match I think it is an interesting debate.

    I don't think it's valid to use the "every generation" argument in this case. We're not talking about generational change, we're talking about forcing modernity upon the people of an ancient society and then taking away their children in an attempt to instill our values and culture into them. It didn't work. Apart from their inability to adjust to our Western ways, there is an older generation of people who had their children taken away from them, a generation of children without roots because they were stolen, and now their children who, not surprisingly, like them, suffer from a wide range of social problems.

    The damage has been done, and mainstream Australia has to keep trying in order to find a solution, whatever that is. If that means tax dollars from relatively wealthy mainstream Australia, then so be it. If that means a few less 32" plasma TVs, a few less 4x4s and souped-up V8s, a few less luxury holidays and shoppiong trips to Melbourne, then we have to wear it. If we are going to accept Australia's hospitality and live here (and in many cases become Australian citizens), then we should accept responsibility for trying to solve the problems of indigenous people. We may ultimately fail, but we have to try.

    I agree that the debate is interesting, and is by its very nature emotional. Hope we don't put people off coming to Australia. Most countries have their problems, and Australia is truly a great place to live, otherwise I for one wouldn't be here!

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Wasn't it mainstream Australia trying to find a solution to the problem part of what caused the problem ithe first place? Not that I in any way condone the whole stolen generation thing, but I can see that perhaps the intentions at the time were to "solve" the problem of indigenous children not having access to such a "good" standard of living, education, healthcare etc, that led those in power at the time to think "well, hey, let's take these kids and give them the same chances our kids have" - however well-intentioned, it was obviously a terrible solution.

     

    I think throwing money at the problem misses the point that money is not a driving force in their culture, nor ever has been, and even seeing to solve the problem from the viewpoint of our culture causes ongoing problems in terms of engendering dependency on western values ('the more I have, the better off I am').

     

    I don't know what the solution is, but I don't think anyone outside of the indigenous population should even try to find one - we need to empower the people to solve their problems from within - that's if they even consider them to be problems in the first place! Make the opportunities available, by all means, but should you really try to lead a horse to water if he doesn't really want a drink?

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now