colonialism

Celebrating January 26 is a state-sanctioned exercise that rubs salt into the wounds of Indigenous Australia. It proclaims, “You lost, we won. Know your place.”

But the desire for an honest conversation about modern Australia's origins in the violent and ongoing dispossession of Indigenous people is not going away.

Across the country Invasion Day marches were both bigger than ever, and took place in many more places. More local governments have dropped their January 26 activities and finally the ABC allowed Triple J to shift its Hottest 100.

A community campaign has successfully pushed for the Melbourne electorate of Batman to be renamed Cooper after Yorta Yorta political activist and Aboriginal community leader William Cooper.

The electorate had been named after Melbourne founder John Batman, who was involved in massacres of Aboriginal people in Tasmania before he “bought” land around Port Phillip Bay from the Wurundjeri people.

Chris Owen has produced an exhaustive history of colonial Western Australia pastoralists and the police who served their interests in the Kimberley region. It shows that, at best, they considered Aboriginal people as convenient slave labour and at worst pests who were to be exterminated.

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