Weaving magical baskets and sharing Aboriginal knowledge
A small group of Aboriginal women from a remote Arnhem land community have made the big trek to Broome, to show other women the ancient skill of weaving.
Using natural fibres and dyes collected from the bush, the women create incredible colours and baskets - which are as much works of art as they are practical items.
The women, including award winning artist Robyn Djunginy, Julie Malibirr and her daughter Sylvie Manytjururrpuy, came from the community of Ramingining, 550 kilometres east of Darwin, to Broome for a week of hands on workshops.
Their dilly bags, containers, baskets, floor mats and rope are expertly made, showing the skill that has been passed on from generation to generation.
A new generation of Broome women were able to learn from them during NAIDOC week, and passers by were able to admire the pieces on display inside the art gallery where they were working.
Sylvie explains that collecting the plants, bulbs and leaves required for different weaving methods, at the correct time of year, is an enjoyable process that takes women back out to country.
It can take hours to prepare them to use however, especially the spiky pandanus.
She translated as her mother Julie explained that a particular bulb would give her one colour, while gum from a tree another colour.
Workshop participants Julie and Jenni both loved the experience, although claimed their baskets were looking a little bit wobbly compared to the Ramingining women's creations.
They both said how much they liked the opportunity to learn from Aboriginal women a skill as useful and beautiful as basket weaving.
About traditional games
Traditional Aboriginal games were almost lost after colonisation. Today extensive consultation with Aboriginal elders is necessary to re-establish the traditional Aboriginal games and their rules. They are now creatively adapted—for safety reasons—by using tennis balls instead of spears and soft pool noodles instead of waddies (Aboriginal heavy-wood war club)  .
Traditional Aboriginal games are inclusive games and not competitive. For example, if a player gets 'out' in some games they can immediately rejoin the game once leaving the field  .
Fight for Liberty and Freedom – John Maynard
In 1924, the first ‘politically organised and united all-Aboriginal activist group was the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA)’, led by Frederick Maynard. This was the first time in colonised history that Aboriginal people made their voices heard to the public, from street rallies to newspaper coverage and letters and petitions to the government. Since then, the AAPA has continued to support their original rights from the Aboriginal right to land and the acquisition of citizenship rights to their cultural identity. John Maynard’s Fight for Liberty and Freedom makes a huge contribution to understanding the country’s social and political history from an Aboriginal perspective.
School students left ignorant of Indigenous massacres, history teachers say
Australian history teachers want to cover the history of massacres against Indigenous people during the colonial era but are squeezed for time in an already overcrowded curriculum, educators say.
On Monday, Guardian Australia launched a special report entitled The Killing Times, which details a record of state-sanctioned slaughter including mass shootings, poisonings and families driven off cliffs.
A Macquarie University senior research fellow, Kevin Lowe, said the topic was “scantily” covered in New South Wales and Queensland schools.
“It’s an issue that goes directly to the heart of the inability of the nation to come to terms with a history which they aren’t willing to own,” he told the Guardian.
“You talk to students and say, ‘When was the last massacre in Australia?’ and they are gobsmacked to realise there were massacres in Australia right through the 1920s. People say, ‘Nah, nah, nah, that can’t be true.’”
Lowe, a Gubbi Gubbi man from south-east Queensland, is a former history teacher and curriculum evaluator in NSW and Queensland. “There is the capacity for teachers to teach this stuff,” he said. “What’s missing is the narrative that goes with it.”
The History Teachers Association of Victoria executive officer, Deb Hull, said when it came to coverage of the frontier wars in classrooms, the problem wasn’t the curriculum but limited time.
“History is being squeezed out,” Hull said. “A lot of schools will say, ‘We’re all about Stem’ [Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics].’ Then everybody looks surprised when people don’t know the history of their nation.”
She said it would be possible for the massacres to be mentioned in passing but it depended on individual schools as to how they were covered.
“Teachers really want to teach this well, there’s a real desire to be part of this truth-telling,” she said. “The resistance is not coming from history teachers.”
The former prime minister John Howard railed against students being taught a “black armband view of history”, but Hull said that was inaccurate.
History teachers were rather trying to teach young people to look through a historical lens, examine evidence, weigh up its significance and consider different perspectives.
“You go into it [asking] ‘What can we know and how can we know it?’” she said. “It’s not to make them feel bad or not to make them feel good.
“One of the great dangers is when you want history teachers to teach values. That’s an utterly inappropriate thing for a history teacher to do.”
A Deakin University genocide studies scholar, Donna-Lee Frieze, said in the past 12 years she had observed a lack of prior knowledge among her students at tertiary level.
“The majority of students who come into my unit on the genocide or the Holocaust have complained they have not been taught about the Indigenous massacres or the stolen generations, in particular, during their school years,” Frieze said.
Canada is the star example of a country covering its history of genocide against its indigenous people well, Frieze said.
Sophie Rudolph, from the University of Melbourne’s graduate school of education, said it would be possible to complete 12 years of education without hearing about the massacres.
It was important to consider who was teaching the content in classrooms, she said, and how they were teaching it.
“Is it non-Indigenous people [doing the teaching] and what kind of ethical dilemmas does that raise in terms of whether that content is treated respectfully and in a way that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities would be happy with?”
The struggle continues
Today, about three percent of Australia’s population has Aboriginal heritage. Aboriginal Australians still struggle to retain their ancient culture and fight for recognition—and restitution—from the Australian government. The state of Victoria is currently working toward a first-of-its-kind treaty with its Aboriginal population that would recognize Aboriginal Australians’ sovereignty and include compensation. However, Australia itself has never made such a treaty, making it the only country in the British Commonwealth not to have ratified a treaty with its First Nations peoples.
When was slavery abolished in Australia?
Under pressure from the British anti-slavery movement, the newly formed Australian government banned slavery in 1901 and ordered islanders to be repatriated. But some ship captains decided to save the money, or the hassle, of the long trip, took their human cargoes well offshore and dumped them on islands or threw them overboard. 
And the end of slavery in Australia did not mean the end of discrimination against the islanders who remained. Unions banned them from working on European farms, the only work they were trained for, and the colour of their skin condemned them to the same racism that Aboriginal people experience.
Aboriginal history has been handed down in ways of stories, dances, myths and legends. The dreaming is history. A history of how the world, which was featureless, was transformed into mountains, hills, valleys and waterways. The dreaming tells about how the stars were formed and how the sun came to be.
In the metropolitan area of Sydney there are thousands of Aboriginal sites, over 1000 just in the AHO partner Council areas. These sites are under threat every day from development, vandalism and natural erosion. The sites cannot be replaced and once they are destroyed, they are gone forever. The sites that are located in Lane Cove, North Sydney, Willoughby, Ku-ring-gai, Strathfield and Northern Beaches Council areas are still in reasonable condition and hold an important part in our history. The Aboriginal people, who once occupied this area, left important evidence of their past and way of life before colonisation. All Aboriginal sites are significant to Aboriginal people because they are evidence of the past Aboriginal occupation of Australia and are valued as a link with their traditional culture. An emphasis is placed on the scientific investigation into stone technology for a great deal of insight is obtained by studying the manufacture techniques and animals associated with them that tells us about daily traditional life. Clues to what these sites were used for can also be surmised by talking with Elders from other parts of Australia where traditional knowledge has not been lost to the same degree.
Their ABC fails the objectivity test on Aboriginal history
According to its Code of Practice, the ABC “ has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is accurate according to the recognised standards of objective journalism”. The Code also states the ABC has an “obligation to apply its impartiality standard as objectively as possible”.
Impartiality is defined as ensuring: “a balance that follows the weight of evidence fair treatment open-mindedness and opportunities over time for principal relevant perspectives on matters of contention to be expressed”.
While the ABC has a long history of ignoring its code in its campaign to enforce cultural-left ideology and groupthink, proven by multiple episodes of Q&A and Insiders , a recent episode of The Drum provides an even more striking example.
Aired on Monday, May 31, the program reports on how Australian history, in particular Aboriginal culture, history and spirituality, is dealt with in the recently released revised Australian national curriculum.
The compare, Julia Baird, immediately sets the tone by stating it’s a “common refrain” that “we were never taught indigenous history at school”. As evidence, Baird refers to the 2014 review of the Australian national curriculum and its recommendation there should be “a greater focus on Western civilisation and so-called Judeo-Christianity”.
Baird then announces the “pendulum may have swung back” with educators now pushing for a curriculum focusing on “First Nations’ perspectives of the European arrival” one where colonisation is described as an “invasion”.
The potted summary of the national curriculum’s development that follows includes excerpts from interviews with Christopher Pyne, the then commonwealth education minister and me as co-chair of the 2014 review. Both excerpts are used to reinforce the view the existing curriculum unduly emphasises Western civilisation and Judeo-Christianity.
Once again the claim is made the revised history curriculum “has changed focus again, this time with renewed attention on First Nations’ perspectives”. To reinforce the belief the new history curriculum, unlike the old, will finally give due recognition to Aboriginal studies a classroom is shown with students studying Lake Mungo and the discovery of the Mungo woman.
Ignored is that the existing curriculum already includes reference to the Mungo woman. The existing years 7-10 curriculum also asks students to investigate : the need to conserve indigenous heritage the impact of European settlement ( including massacres and the impact of disease ) the stolen generations Aboriginal freedom rides reconciliation and Mabo plus the 1938 day of mourning.
Also ignored by The Drum is that one of the three cross-curricula priorities informing the existing Foundation to Year 10 curriculum is listed as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture. The study is mandatory on the basis “ all students (are) to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures ”.
In addition to ignoring the reality the current curriculum, even after the 2014 review , places a heavy emphasis on Aboriginal culture and history those interviewed by The Drum appear to have been chosen to ensure they all sing from the same songbook.
One of those interviewed, an Aboriginal academic involved in writing the new history curriculum Mark Rose, not unexpectedly, argues a decade ago “Aboriginal perspectives were really invisible and mute in the curriculum”. Rose also argues the curriculum must embrace “competing world views”.
A situation where students learn about “the richness of the country that they live in ” and are able “ to view it from a number of perspectives”. Ignored is that the new curriculum, by refusing to acknowledge the significance of Western civilisation and Judeo-Christianity, achieves the opposite.
A second person interviewed by The Drum , another Aboriginal spokesman and Wellness Advisor from the NSW Department of Education, Kylie Captain also embraces the new curriculum’s emphasis on indigenous culture and history by arguing “Aboriginal education is everyone’s business” and “everybody’s history”.
Captain, in line with the current mantra employed by blacktivists to suggest up until now what students have been taught about Aboriginal history is untrue, also argues she loves “the notion of truth-telling” and that prioritising indigenous studies is all “about truth-telling”.
Former Liberal politician Pru Goward is the third person interviewed and once again viewers are presented with a bleak view of how Aboriginal history has been perceived . Goward states “ the history of how we (Europeans) have treated Aboriginal people has been so shocking that for a long time nobody was really prepared to discuss it”.
As previously mentioned, under its Code of Practice the ABC is obliged to ensure all its programs provide “a balance that follows the weight of evidence fair treatment open-mindedness and opportunities over time for principal relevant perspectives on matters of contention to be expressed”. Clearly The Drum ’s coverage of the new Australian history curriculum fails on all accounts.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University. His new anthology, Cancel Culture and the Left’s Long March, is available on his website.
Aboriginal sport timeline
This is a fairly incomplete timeline - drop me a line if you know events I can add!
Discover more moments of Aboriginal sport in the Aboriginal history timeline.
Video: Young Aboriginal Footballers in Sydney in 1964
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The first Australian Cricket Team to tour England leaves Australia for England the team is all Aboriginal. Some of the team find it difficult to adapt to the climate and have to return home. One team member dies.
An an all-Aboriginal cricket team of men from lands of western Victoria embarks on a tour of England, backed by private financiers.
George Green plays 16 games for the Easts (until 1911) and 92 games for the Norths (1912–16, 1918–22). It was never clear whether his heritage was Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or South Sea Islander, but he is recognised as the first Indigenous player in rugby league. He was a hooker.
First Aboriginal person to play First Grade Rugby League was George Green playing for Eastern Suburbs.
Aboriginal players such as Paul Tranquille and Paddy Crough play first grade rugby league in the 1920s.
Glen Crouch is the first Aboriginal footballer to tour overseas, playing 11 games for Queensland in a New Zealand tour.
Aboriginal athlete Lynch Cooper is named World Professional Sprint Champion after winning the 1928 Stawell Gift and the 1929 World Sprint.
The Tweed Heads All Blacks and the Redfern All Blacks are both in operation as early as 1930.
Arthur 'Stoker' Currie is the first Aboriginal player to make the Country side which beats City. He plays bare-footed for Tweed Heads All Blacks. His grandson, Tony, plays for Australia.
Dick and Lyn Johnson play in the position of fullback against each other in the City–Country game.
Bill Onus, organising in Redfern, co-founds the Redfern All Blacks Rugby League team which would become a community and political organisation throughout the 50s and 60s.
Despite their enormous talents, an Aboriginal player wasn't selected in the Australian team until 1960. His name is Lionel Morgan. Morgan plays two tests against the French and later that year in the World Cup squad. He also plays with Aboriginal player (and eventual Test cap) George Ambrum at Wynnum Manly.
Eric Simms plays eight World Cup games and 206 games for Souths and in 1965 scores 265 points in a season, breaking a long-standing record.
A war cry used by all Kangaroo teams up to and in 1967 is almost certainly based on an Aboriginal chant emanating from Stradbroke Island, just south from Brisbane.
Lionel Rose beats bantamweight ‘Fighting’ Harada in Tokyo to become the first Aboriginal world boxing champion. He goes on to receive the Australian of the Year award the same year. ⇒ Famous Aboriginal people
The federal government establishes the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation to help finance sports activities.
In the 1970s, the Moree Boomerangs re-emerge after 30 years of abstinence from the rugby league. They can trace their playing days back to the 1940s. The team has included the likes of Phil Duke, Paul Roberts, Ewan McGrady, Dennis Kinchela and Mark Wright.
Evonne Cawley, an Aboriginal tennis player, receives the Australian of the Year award. ⇒ Famous Aboriginal people
Aboriginal player Evonne Goolagong wins Wimbledon Women’s Singles title.
The first Aboriginal side tours New Zealand.
Rugby League is the first sport in Australia to appoint an Aboriginal player as its national captain: Arthur Beetson when the Kangaroos play France.