The often overlooked history of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is undeniably important. You might not be familiar with the second group mentioned. Well, the Torres Strait Islanders are a differing group than the Aboriginal people, these separate terms were made because just plainly saying Aboriginal is characterizing masses of totally different cultures and tribes and simultaneously putting it into one category, not only simplifying history but erasing some. But legally, the respective name of Australian Aboriginals is to include Torres Strait Islander, but we (and many others) can refer to the population as Aborigines. The discussion of the first settlers of Australia is greatly needed because we have yet to reach social equality, as a world and a continent.
Social equality, being the status that all people in a population have the same rights, simply isn’t prevalent in the community of Aborigines, with the struggles and pain that the people have gone through and withstood. Australia’s Aborigines have faced immense historical prosecution. Ever since colonization in 1788, by the British, it was said that there were around 300,000 Aborigines and 300 different languages spoken. But with the British came new diseases, racist practices, and harsh killings to seize land. And these effects are still incredibly important because only about 3 percent of Australia’s current population is of Aborigines and only about 75 languages remain. Something did happen, and the way that history books overlook it is beyond ridiculous. And only decades ago, the government implemented racists agendas towards the indigenous population reinforcing that it was for their ‘own good’. I even have a quote here from then prime minister Hughes saying, “the greatest thing we have achieved” (from Sydney 1997) relating to the “White Australia Act”. This act, was implemented by the new Federal Government of the time, which left very tight laws on immigrants coming into Australia, and making it very hard for Aborigines to get and maintain a job, only negatively reinforcing inequality between the white government and the Aborigines.
This government policy has obviously failed. And it also is impeaching on article 7 and 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which discusses the freedom to earn employment without regards to race, religion, sexual orientation and more. This policy was made to help ‘civilise’ the Aborigines but only ended up hurting an entire population. Also, another fault of the Australian Government is what many refer to as the Stolen Generation. The Stolen Generation is the generation of Aboriginal children between 1910 and the 1970s who were forcefully taken away from their families in their native land and stripped of all their cultural ideals. They were brainwashed by ‘native institutions’ set to normalize them to western ideals, to assimilate them. The government is entirely to blame because all white males were deciding what was best to do for an entire population, that they knew nothing about and didn’t try to learn about. The repercussions of the ongoing racism and discrimination in Australia only gets worse, and this is just the beginning.