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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
Looking Forward Looking Blak: Exhibition 142 Addison Rd Marrickville
Mood:  special
Topic: indigenous

NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia in the first full week in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week (see History of NAIDOC), and its acronym has become the name of the week itself.

The week is celebrated not just in the Indigenous community, but also in increasing numbers of government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces.

At the local Marrickville Addison Rd Community Centre a big event was held last Sunday 8th July 2007 with more events all week there with more detail here:  Linda Burney MP launches NAIDOC week action at Addison Gallery 2pm Sunday 8th July 07

Here are images of the launch at ARC:

Postscript #1 11th July 2007

While most Big Media are involved in supporting the underlying positive message behind NAIDOC, politically minded people probably unwisely seek to leverage the event. This was evident in the event above in some speechmaking but we didn't bother to report it because it was a negative energy compared to the greater truth of such a friendly positive cross cultural vibe as proven by the artwork too showing a love of land, love of life, love of humanity.

That is not to say some artworks were not cutting in their politics too. So it's not reality to sanitise/ go all Pollyanna either. These messages of the Indigenous are pretty strong in the Big Media on January 26th Australia Day aka Invasion Day aka Survivial Day. But it is a choice, and here at SAM we make an ethical editorial decision to amplify the "celebration" as per our introduction which is a straight lift from the official NAIDOC website.

Which brings us to today front page poison headline in today's low rent Sydney Daily Telegraph appealing to the white trash One Nation types

referring to this "sorry song" about the stolen generation subject of a federal govt report called Bringing Them Home in a NSW School songbook.

Here is their deliberately provocative, argumentative piece that inevitably leads to angst tension and dissension:

Kids sing Aborigine apology

Kids taught to sing Aborigine apology

CHILDREN as young as eight are being taught to sing sorry to Aborigines in a widely distributed song book, sparking concerns that NSW students are being "politically indoctrinated".


But for all those schools with lots of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal kids it's probably a great song as per this very profound witness of Bob Randall and his very well known song "Brown Skin Baby .... they take him away" which actually happened to the artist at age 7:


Funny isn't it how our kids are supposed to learn about the death and heroism of Gallipoli, but not about the sad history of Australia too. We read the other day of how anti semitism should not be sanitised in another context. Well exactly.

Another ugly editorial performance by the Daily Telegraph. It's not a song of shame. It's a song of historical reality. By the by, the first picture above by Barbara Weir is based on her experience as a child of hiding in the long grass for hours whenever the white welfare officers came to "steal" her from her parents. The price tag is $26,500.

What is quite wicked is the sneaky way the Telegraph headline is slyly equivocal, from one angle addressing a past 'shameful' situation of stolen children, but then leading into a text attacking schools for allegedly politicising children as the 'real' shame. Gallipoli anyone - conscription, abuse of colonials by British idiot generals, warfare to solve international disagreements .....?

Here is the Bob Randall tune - and it takes a heart of ice and stone to deny the emotional power of the song for its tenderness           

YouTube - Bob Randall: "Brown Skin Baby (They Took Me Away)"

Postscript #2 12th July 2007


Cllr Dominic Wy Kanak  Dominic Wy Kanak - Greens
message (w) 93698027
(mob) 0401 006 380
(h) 9130 8460

From: DominicK@waverley
To: "ecology action australia" Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 1:56 PM
Subject: Re: Great Bob Randall Song - Brown Skin Baby on You Tube, refer Daily Telegraph troublemaking today

> Good article Tom , Give it to 'em Brother ....
> THAN..X..
> dominic


Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2007 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: Great Bob Randall Song - Brown Skin Baby on You Tube, refer Daily Telegraph troublemaking today

Hey Cr Dominic. Really encouraging to get your feedback for all those cross cultural reasons. You've stuck it out 8 years there now at Waverley. Moving on in Sept? You must be very determined. Great stuff. One of the best things I ever did was handing over the baton. Even when those ALP cynics went for you via the Telegraph and your litigation efforts.
My feeling is, it's worth pushing George Newhouse federal campaign along too, even though he is tainted with the ALP thuggery.
On reflection my post on the Smelly story was strong for timeliness and combination which is my expertise, but nothing without referencing to such great original Indigenous work. Pretty humbling that artistry and the song by Bob Randall too. I've been lucky to see artwork in the Prado in Madrid, Louvre in Paris, Gaudi garden in Barcellona and one of the Picasso Museums. The best Aboriginal artwork is as grand and inspiring and different again - a real privilege to see. And probably more than Australia deserves. As the old saying goes -a  thing of beauty is a joy forever.
I helped build the roof of the veranda to the ARC art gallery 2 working days over the last two weekends and then it started to rain a bit on the launch day. How excellent. Good turn out too.
There are some hidden ripple effects of that post of mine. I broadcast emailed to state and federal MP's. Only extra right wing Stoner for Nats at state level took up the Smelly thesis of  'school song political correctness' on abc radio. A far better description of Gallipoli war glorification to children (see below) if you ask me. Then the Telegraph failed to crank it's Wednesday front pager run up to the weekend for today's Thursday edition. (will have to check the inside pages and other press)
I rang abc morning show at 6.45 am then 7.15 am, and news radio room at 8.15 am and they all declined to "meet the Telegraph's power" with contrasting material, as I suggested to them because it would just draw attention to the poison (my word). But World Today abc radio show at midday with Eleanor Hall is made of sterner stuff and hosed the Tele story with this:
School bans 'Sorry Song'

A school in NSW has banned students from singing a song with lyrics that calls for an apology to be given to Aboriginal people. A NSW politician is worried that young children are being indoctrinated while at school, but the song's composer doesn't know what all the fuss is about.

The Telegraph web version Wednesday amended to the State Govt via Della Bosca hanging tough and refusing to pull the song off its curriculum.
Presumably all this affected the Telegraph approach today. Wait for Fri and Saturday. But my feeling is that broadcast email of mine, and confrontation of information (meeting what I suspect was the Howard inspired sleaze in the federal marginal seat on the south coast with significant Aboriginal population), helped neutralise the story. My email counter evidence may well have leaked to such as Keating via federal colleagues in his party.
Now Paul Keating is in the radio news today from a speech last night attacking Howard 'glorifying nationalistic Gallipoli which he compares with Kokoda, and being intolerant and constantly suspicious of other cultures' which keating calls being unpatriotic.
The Telegraph has run a near fatal front pager attack on Howard instead today. Maybe because the gambit fed to them via Howard running dogs fell flat, and they have gone the punisher for their editorial exposure.
And nothing exceeds like success: Howard is on the abc radio just now having forgotten his Franklin seat candidate playing into the 'he's past it, under pressure, time for a change' - story of the Opposition. From experience, you forget and stumble when you are under desperate pressure. No doubt you know the feeling too in politics.
Kind regards, Tom

Posted by editor at 10:25 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007 11:24 AM NZT

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