Reflections: 40 years on from the 1967 Referendum – Page 73
Perpetual grief by Brian Butler
In recognition of the pain, grief and trauma inflicted on the Aboriginal Nations of Australia by the onset of colonisation by the British and all who followed. The mass destruction of the Aboriginal race by the colonisers who killed our people in order to occupy Aborigine’s country: the continent of Australia. Thousands of cases of inhumane acts and practices annihilated our nations and slaughtered our people. Examples of this were the Elliston massacre, the Coniston Station massacre and poisoning of waterholes on the Dreaming tracks and major tribal ceremonial sacred sites across the Australian landscape from one end to the other.
In my opinion the 1967 Referendum did not ease the pain for our people. For instance the parliaments of Australia did not amend their constitutions in any way that gave total recognition to the Aboriginal race.
Most things done for Aboriginal people were just tokenistic and nothing was done by the greater society to outlaw racism. I have ingrained in me zero tolerance towards colonisation of any race of peoples from any part of the world. I deplore assimilation that kills off the race of peoples by dictatorial countries the way the British crushed the Aboriginal nations of Australia.
I have zero tolerance towards the abolition of bilingual education in our schools that worked on our children in the assimilation policy of Australia.
I have indelible memory scars about the horrid rapes endured by my grandmother by the police troopers from Arltunga east of Alice Springs. Nanna Liza was at great pains to tell of her abuse when she was a girl. Nanna was forced to kill her newborn baby by smothering and then burying her in the creek bed at Wipe out, a place not far from Arltunga; this name she muttered on her deathbed.
Then followed the stealing of the children and the screaming separations of babies from mothers. Equally as horrid was when the miners from Arltunga enticed the Aboriginal men to go down in the mines only to have a stick of dynamite thrown down behind them. After the men were killed, the miners would then rape the women and girls left behind in the camps.
Do I think the Referendum eased the pain?
The world may ask …