2020 Tas The First People
I will let the information boards tell the story as they are the words of white and aborigine people talking together about the dark history with honesty and to a small degree hope. I am going to tell you a little about how aboriginal knowledge is helping modern Australians and about a member of the ‘Stolen Generation’ who provides a perfect human window into the typical experience of an aborigine of my generation, the rocky path he has followed and the light that shines from him through his compassion and talent; Archie Roach.
Ancient Wisdom at work today
During the ongoing bushfire destruction hundreds of homes on the east coast of Australia have been saved because individual homeowners have called upon the wisdom of Aboriginal Fire Keepers to advise them on how to protect their homes and surrounding areas. The ostrich government is being asked to start listening to this wisdom at government level since once areas are laid waste by fire, that is when the developers descend to change the nature of that land forever in the name of commercial gain and monetary profit.
Aborigines have always been terrified of fire so they have learned from their surroundings how to fight fire with fire and they lived in the temperate rainforests of south west Tasmania for 35,000 years at least looking after the land using various methods including fire and taking only what they needed to survive.
Aboriginal groups are known by various collective names; tribes, clans, and a new one to me I learned last week when I was reading Archie Roach’s recently released Autobiography ‘Tell Me Why’; the word he uses is ‘mobs’.
Archie was one of the ‘stolen generation’, separated from his parents and numerous siblings when just a boy, stripped of his sustainable hunting, fishing and ceremony cultural heritage as were many others of his race were. He followed the common route of a disaffected people down the path of self-destruction using alcohol and smokes to soften the landing. But Archie discovered he had musical and literary talents and the love and support of many of his people and is now a much loved global musician, writer and poet. He has a lovely soft voice and his narrative songs are one of the mediums he uses to tell his story and give hope to indigenous people the world over. Rob has downloaded some of his music and the use of the didgeridoo in the background adds atmosphere and gravitas. I recommend them.