Historian Mark McKenna writes about Australia’s romanticised history that talks up the deeds of white settlers and ignores that settlers prospered at the expense of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Ours is a violent frontier history that many non-Aboriginal people deny happened.
There were massacres of Indigenous peoples across Australia, including in the local area.
The last recorded massacre of Aboriginal people occurred in the Northern Territory in 1928.
McKenna points out that people who support reconciliation are also silent about our ‘black’ history when acknowledging country.
He suggests this can be easily resolved by adding a clause such that it reads ‘I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land which was taken from them without consent, treaty or compensation.’
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples talk of the need for truth telling. Taking up McKenna’s recommendation of adding this clause is a step along this path.
Meg Pickup, Ballina