1. Identification of the issues/ideas
In this step, 4 key issues that were raised by the event I have found on Australian Museum will be identified.
To find information about Aboriginal and Torres Islander, I have attended exhibition at Australian Museum which located near Hyde park in City. At the First Australians galleries, there was exhibition called ‘Bayala Nura: Yarning Country’ which celebrates the myriad cultures of Indigenous Australia. At the gallery, there was not just collection of aboriginal arts such as shields or spears, but also information about culture, history and issues about Aboriginal and Torres Islander.
Followings are the 4 key issues that I have found during the exhibition:
From the lecture slides, I was familiar with the stolen generations and the racism, however I was not aware of issues about Maralinga bomb tests and land rights.
Until this assessment, I was not clearly understanding about issues between British colonists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, but after this experience, it was very helpful for understanding Australian history and culture.
2. Description of the issues/ideas
In this step, in-depth description about issues (Racism, the Stolen Generations, the marling bomb tests, Land right) will be described.
The term racism can be defined as any attitude or behavior that assumes someone is inferior because of their skin color or race. Although there was many acts and movement against racism in Australia, but it is fact that racism still exists on Australia.
According to the survey by Jens Korff (2017), 97 percentage of Aboriginal people said they experience racism “often’ and 26 percentage of Australians with anti-Indigenous concerns.
The issue ‘racism’ is not just a single issue but also can cause additional issues such as, trauma, Unhealthy activities, not using public services and so on.
2.2 The Stolen Generations
The Stolen Generation were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Children who were forced to remove from their families due to the Australian Federal and State government agencies, church missions under government policies at 19th and early 20th century.
The stolen children and babies were raised on missions or by step parents, which forced to cut off from their aboriginality. These children often received little or no education and physically, emotionally and sexually abused.
It is hard to calculate all children were stolen, but it is estimated that more than six thousand children were stolen in New South Wales alone.
2.3 The Maralinga bomb tests
In 1956 to 1957, seven nuclear weapons test were conducted at Maralinga by the British government. Because of this, many Aboriginal people were forced to moved from Ooldea to Yalata for tests at Maralinga.
During the nuclear weapon tests, lots of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander were dead or suffered from nuclear pollution. The government kept tried to clean nuclear waste, but according to nuclear physicist Peter Johnston, there are still kilograms of plutonium are still buried in shallow or unlined pits, and very large amounts of nuclear wastes were spilt resulting from the lack of decent management of the project. Because of this, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people lost their home and culture.
2.4 Land Rights
The Australian government has long refused to give land rights to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Land rights is not just about the land, but also includes autonomy. To Aboriginal people be independent, and not relying on government’s support. Giving access, ownership and control of land can be one of the way for long term development and planning which can increase Aboriginal people’s economic, health and social status.
3 Explanation of the issues/ideas
Explanations and reasons about the issues that described in last step will be discussed during this section.
All four issues that mentioned last section shares the reason of issues with colonization. After captain James Cook declared the southeastern part of Australia as a territory of British Empire, colonization was started. The population of aboriginal Australians has significantly decreased by disease from British migrants, ethnic cleaning, and massacre. For better control of Aboriginals, more strong acts and laws were conducted by the government such as the Stolen Generations.
The four issues that mentioned earlier (Racism, The Stolen Generations, The Maralinga bomb tests, Land rights), are just small example of effect of Colonization.
The stolen generations, The Maralinga bomb tests and land rights can be categorized as part of colonization plan by the government, and Racism is caused by societal perspective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
4 Interpretation of the issues
Before the research for this report, I didn’t have much knowledge about these issues. In global history class in my class just mentioned about there was native Australian called Aboriginal and they have their own cultures.
In my country, South Korea, was also colonized by Japan in the early 20th century. Just like British Empire did to Aboriginals, Japanese Empire also committed an act of brutality. During the research, I can empathize the sorrows of Aboriginals, and leaned tragedies happened.
In my opinion, it is hard to solve all the issues. But it is required to consistent and sincere effort from the government to reduce problems.
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