Australian Expreiences

Indigenous Experience

The experiences of Indigenous Australians are incredibly different to non-Indigenous Australians. This issue is very real in Australia as a whole. I choose to focus on the Indigenous Australian's experiences because it is something that I believe needs to be improved by the rest of Australia and it needs to be done soon but it needs to be told before anybody can take action. I want to learn more about it to be able to raise awareness in others; to try and take action against the negative experience. The Indigenous Australian's negative experiences often happen without care or without notice from non-Indigenous Australian's. The Indigenous experience is something that has been mainly negative since colonisation in 1788. Even today some Indigenous experiences are negative because of that past.

Your Way - Our Way - The Truth by Zelda Quakawoot, Mackay, Queensland

Your way

Tradition is replaced by authority
Respect is replaced by greed
What is happening to this nation,
Is the planting of an evil seed.

Culture is replaced by religion
This dominates the law
The heritage of this country
Is slipping out the door

Community is replaced by profit
Social issues stocks are down
It is easier to make up more rules
Since our voices are silent sounds

Security is replaced by wars
A nation so young to the slaughter
The old white leaders send to battle
The innocent sons and daughters

Custom is replaced by policy
So big and powerfully round
No equal rights for this nation
The quality of life goes down

History is shaped by education
Understanding is replaced by books
Technology replaces timelessness
They forgot about the land that was took

Our Way

Oppression can rise to the challenges
And determination is the key
Already exists a tradition
This inspired an historical need

To overcome all oppression
And continue to fight each day
A need to continue tradition
In respect of the cultural way

To stand proud and strong for history
Our Elders continually guide
Respect for the heritage of the first nation
'Cos it will continue to strive

For in a lifetime is purpose
Our customs passed on and on
Not based on material values
Just ensuring you know why it's wrong

The nation who replaced our traditions
Will always be fighting for more
Their children will be the first
To fight their parents' war

The colonials who replaced our tradition
Will always be fighting for more
qAnd if you don't see it their way
They kick down your bloody door

And the truth

The nation who replaced respect
For the land and the culture they saw
They are the nation who raped the fabric
Of the first nation's custom and lore

This poem gives an insight into the Indigenous Australian experience. The poet has written it in a way it presents facts and things that we know that happen but don't think about; but it also displays the poets opinion's and emotion about the topic.

The Indigenous perspective is very well represented by this poem. This perspective of an Indigenous Australian is that of an original connection to the land but disconnection to society. It expresses the differences of the Indigenous ways and the non-Indigenous ways. It also shows the opinion and the emotion of the poet and the way they feel about the changes. It challenges the stereotypes and the ideas of the 'Australian Identity'. It challenges the welcoming and accepting identity that Australia is 'known for'. The way that the Indigenous people of Australia are treated by the non-indigenous population reflects a rejecting and uncompassionate country. This perspective is vastly different to the experience and perspective that I would have of the Australian life. I would not have this experience as I am not of Indigenous descent. The Indigenous people are not treated the same as white Australian's due to differences between the two. The Indigenous experience is one with stereotypes already upon them, people often don't give them a chance which makes life hard. It is an experience of a blurred vision of what culture they have to live by. Our experience of culture is different and the way we are looked at is different. They are often seen and judged negatively while I may or may not be.

Reading poems and learning about this experience and perspective opens your eyes to the injustices that they face daily that you otherwise would not heard about. It has the effect to want you to be more compassionate and try to do all you can. It allows you to see how stereotypes can scar a races reputation and therefore impact on their life. It also brings to light the prejudice that people base their understanding and how unfair that is. It shows how one bias opinion can do so much damage and how the people who want to be known as accepting and welcoming are in fact not so. It makes you think about why these things might happen. Media? Ignorance? Upbringing? Caution? It could be easy for an idea to be created. In today's world people are heavily influenced by the media and if they hear that somebody is dangerous, they do all they can to avoid them because of the world we live in. People are not always educated on a culture or on an idea that others may hold, without being educated, understanding is hard to come by. Taking time to learn about experiences like this, with an open mind will allow understanding and acceptance. The Indigenous had a rich culture that may help us in our lives today. Their understanding of medical properties of plants and of sustaining the environment could be helpful to some major issue that we have today. Seeing the impact on the Indigenous people can help people become more compassionate and help to change the negative experience to a positive one.