The Truth about Traditional Owners
Sometimes the truth can be uncomfortable. The uncomfortable truth is most Australians do not have an in-depth idea of the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Collectively, we also fail to recognise the overt and covert discrimination which is faced by the Indigenous population.
A general knowledge quiz was conducted to the group at Our Local Indigenous Culture Program Day. Two-thirds of the questions were related to white Australia and mainstream overseas whilst one-third of the questions related to Indigenous Australians (and more specifically the Gunditjmara and Djab Wurrrung areas). Quite predictably, if not shamefully, our knowledge of the Indigenous history, food, music and people is lacking.
An important observation which was raised at our Program Day, is the lack of education in our schools. I was only in school ten years ago and I was never taught anything about the Traditional Owners of these lands. I understand that Aboriginal history is being embedded into the curriculum but there is still more to do.
The history of the Traditional Owners needs to be told. Accepting the atrocities of the past can hopefully mean a more united and equal future. As citizens of this region and this country we all have a responsibility to listen and learn from the Traditional Owners of this Land. With a more profound understanding of the Indigenous history, hopefully we can strive for true and fair reconciliation. A great place to start is Deadly Questions – You ask. Aboriginal Victorians Answer.
On behalf of the group, I give a heartfelt thank you to our speakers, Kylie Moroney (2021 LGSC Program Participant) and Emily Falla (2020 LGSC Alumni) Manager Aboriginal Programs, South West Healthcare.
Jamie Pepper, 2021 Program Participant