Poor Fellow My Country

13 thoughts on “Poor Fellow My Country”

  1. Yes it’s very sad that it’s happened to aunty Barb i have also have had bad experiences. i am an Elder Traditional Owner and from the Stolen Generation who go into schools, dept. Organisations to do Welcomes and teach culture. It’s unbeliveable the tokenizum and the treatment is still active to the first Australians the aboriginals

    1. Lillian thanks so much for commenting…what happened to Barb is just so hurtful for her that I just could weep and scream with her in frustration…that no-one seems to listen to what you mob have to say is the thing that is unbelievable…I am so sorry…as an Elder you should be automatically respected for your your wisdom and understanding…you are the Original People and as such should be treasured…thankyou again for speaking up here…I hope things will start changing soon…

  2. I made the initial post on FB ranting about the treatment and denial of Aunty Barbara 2am Saturday morning, I was appalled by the treatment and disrespect she was given, however the First Nations People are way misunderstood due to ignorance and treated this way on a daily basis. I feel at times it is intentional and other times it is just plain out ignorance of others who can not be bothered to educate themselves or just can not be bothered to offer or arrange proper education to others of cultural protocol.
    I have been present at several meetings with events co-ordinators who blatantly ignores Elders advice and suggestions as to how an event should be handled or the wishes of how it should be presented being told due to the fact “” THIS IS THE WAY THE COUNCIL SAYS IT SHOULD BE DONE AND IT IS COUNCIL / GOVERNMENT POLICY”” , regardless of the concerns to the First Nations people and communities who get upset and try to express the concern of misrepresentations of culture.
    To me this is flat out repression of proper cultural knowledge wanting to be shared by the people who know it and can teach it best … ( the traditional ceremonial initiated Elders) ….. there are many Elders out there who are treated the same way as Aunty Barbara, If our Elders were given the right to teach cultural education these things would not be a problem, one thing that is a very important cultural protocol is to not disrespect our Elders. We should sit quietly listen and to them not debate them, absorb what is being said and taught by the Elders,

    The problem today is everyone listens with the expectation to respond or debate and not with the intentions to think through without speaking or to learn about what the Elders say, so what is the use of inclusion if these ideas and cultural ways are going to be ignored anyways? ….

    I feel (from my own observations and participation in community discussions with local councils and events with the First Nations People) the stolen generations have been denied proper cultural programs ran by the Elders and are not taught proper protocol until they are exposed through a grass roots level of non – Government Education and this is done through being taught by Elders mostly without a university degree but only armed with traditional knowledge, so the confusion continues on and the traditional ways are lost through repression, exclusion, and Government handling of the events and misinformation from people who are taught that do not have the full knowledge of cultural ways. my question is …..

    (Question???) – “” Why can’t the government have community meetings to sit and learn from the people without debate and be an observer and learn …. and let them run the meetings the way they normally would without all the Government glamour and bells and bows to make it a warm fuzzy feeling? “”

    I am sure there are many out there who feel the same way, let the traditional Elders be the voice and representation of what each community wants that is best for them …. this is true self determination of the people …. to be able to handle their own governance in the communities based on their own and each individual belief systems and laws based on each group and clan as there are many and very diverse clans across this country, and one size can not fit all.

    I think the days of the Gate-keepers and mission managers have over ran their welcome in the first nations communities. The statement above reflects no ones opinions but my own, I do not speak for the people only for myself, and this is just opinion from my point of view and observation of community and cultural repressions continued to this day.

    1. Denise your point of view and observations are very wise and tempered and I am really glad you posted what happened…I also think you really get to the crux of the matter when you say…

      “The problem today is everyone listens with the expectation to respond or debate and not with the intentions to think through without speaking or to learn about what the Elders say, so what is the use of inclusion if these ideas and cultural ways are going to be ignored anyways?” ….

      I know from my own experience that the gate keepers also have this kind of territoriality about the Original People…and so they actually try and actively prevent ordinary folk from getting real knowledge of the sensible, sane and highly sophisticated culture that is yours…

      I also think that white Australia on the whole are lazy red necked gits that don’t bother at all to educate themselves. They are simply boorish and stupid and want easily digestible answers and teams they can pick a side and stick with. The idea of some of the people I have met sitting down with an Elder for two days and not saying a word and learning the most they ever have in their life (which I had the fortunate experience of doing) is just beyond my imagination.

      I really do thank you for writing such a wonderful, thoughtful, insightful and measured comment… with any luck the readers of this blog will take it on board and learn that even if our government representatives have no idea they themselves can learn from Elders and teach their family and friends to be respectful and as gracious as the Original People.

  3. Yet again, the First Peoples are celebrated as An Idea and crushed as individuals. How disrespectful yet unsurprising.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. speaking as a white South African, this is an interesting read, enlightening and well written..

    I guess that, no matter how ‘liberal’ we were, we as whites were universally despised and targeted world wide for being racist and having had the temerity to actually pass a law making apartheid legal.. thank goodness we have now passed into a democracy that, whilst is not without it’s problems, at least the entire nation are recognised as humans.

    It makes me incredibly sad to see a nation that celebrated Cathy Freemans achievements, (only I guess because she made international headlines) can discriminate against, and ignore a photographer based on who she is….

    What probably gets me more upset than just the discrimination (disgraceful in itself) is that the Aussie government and many of it’s citizens were ‘politically correct’ in the universal sense and quite rightly applied political and economic sanctions against SA for our stance.

    As a fellow human and photographer, hang in there Barbara, you have my support, and thanks for sharing Lisa

    1. Awww Andrew I will pass that on to Barb… in all ways she is an extraordinary person…the thing is white fella Australians find it easier to look at people elsewhere than in their own backyard…I put it down to the whole concept of Terra Nullius but having said that white fellas don’t even attempt to educate themselves most of the time…

      I am so glad you read this…thankyou and thankyou for your thoughts….

      1. Hi again Lisa,

        small coincidence, in our local Saturday paper today, one of our more controversial columnists wrote a coloumn “Time to put a cork in Australian hypocrisy”

        He goes on to mention a John Pilger who made a documentary film ‘Utopia’…..

        Made for interesting reading and also reinforces a lot of our opinions on the hypocrisy…

        Have an awesome weekend… oh and while I’m on this page.. are you related to a Terrence Hogben? he is a local photog here in Durban… I just picked up on the similarities in name..


      2. Hi Andrew I would love to see the article…actually John Pilger is someone who I have enormous respect for and I have approached a few agents to see if I can get this story into the mainstream but so far no luck locally…

        Australia is revoltingly hypocritical but you know its time to finally unmask it…

        Believe it or not my sisters name is Terry so its quite funny… as a Hogben yes we probably are related (there is quite a disapora of Hogben’s interestingly one of my Facebook friends is another Lisa Hogben and she is an Aboriginal Canadian!) I have seen Terrence Hogben’s name out there and at some point we would be related as there aren’t many of us world wide…but how we would be related is anyone’s guess…

        Thanks again for reading…


        Lisa Hogben

      3. Hi Lisa
        I shall see if he posted an online version, otherwise I shall scan and send. I believe from the article that the documentary is due for release in Oz on Australia day…

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