What an incredible time to be teaching! As a primary school student I learnt about a 'peaceful' colonisation of Australia. Now it is a bittersweet experience to be teaching a much more truthful version of the events that transpired between 1770 and 2021.
Our journey has taken us from a somewhat incomprehensible understanding of more than 60,000 years of life and culture belonging to the First Nations People, to the Doctrine of Discovery that empowered terra nullius and an invasion, through policies of 'protection', assimilation, social activism, self-determination and recognition.
We have looked at these times through the lenses of relationships and land. We attempted to look at both sides of the story.
Artist Ziggy Ramo asks us as Australians:
Gather 'round, people, and I'll tell you a story
Two hundred years of history that's falsified
British invaders that we remember as heroes
Are you ready to tell the other side?
Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody spelt it out for us when they said:
But this is the story of something much more
How power and privilege cannot move a people
Who know where they stand and stand in the law.
And both sing: From little things big things grow.
The children have especially enjoyed learning the story about the Wave Hill Station walk-off. A tale that not too many Australians know well enough. Please feel free to look into it a bit deeper.