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Dear Aboriginal People – Please Be Patient As We Unlearn & Relearn History

I read Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu last year and was astounded at this reality  provoking account that challenges literally EVERYTHING we were taught and knew about our nation’s First People.

I just watched his TED Talk HERE and found it a timely reminder of the integralness of patience when it comes to generational change..

Dark Emu and Bruce Pascoe’s work flips on it’s head the idea of Aboriginal people as nomads and hunters and gatherers and proves, from the early accounts of white explorers, they were farmers.

And good farmers too….farmers who had thrived in this landscape.

It begs the question – what other incredible untruths are we believing as a collective?

How many other fake narratives are we retelling daily about Aboriginal people?

And importantly – what incredible opportunity are we missing in this process?

As a young girl I craved the spirituality and connection of a touchable and knowable ancestory.

I was enamored in the Maori culture as a 16 year old on a 3 month Rotary Exchange in the north island of NZ where the culture, language and traditions were embedded in the education system and the community. I wished for something like that in my backstory.

But I’m a few generations Australian…with Irish, English and Scottish heritage…and am a long distance from those early cultures.

We are a lost individual if we do not know where we come from.

Perhaps we are even more lost if we know where we come from but we see constant lies told to keep us separate.

Connection is the currency here and patience is our friend, as collectively we hold the space for these truths to be unearthed and then retold and re-imagined into the new Australian cultural narrative – for all of us to be reconnected. 

And while we must all be patient as generations of untruths unravel, which can leave everyone reeling, there is also a sense of urgency to do the work NOW.

Not with judgement and anger that it’s not been done before, but with a persistence and intelligence that means the work will be received and we can all be reconnected.

That’s why I like the work of people like Bruce Pascoe.

It’s patience in play.

He knew what he knew to be true, so he turned to what he knew could not be disputed and communicated it thus.

It’s powerful, history altering, confronting and humbling.

Do not, not challenge things because it’s difficult.

Do not give up because people can’t hear you.

Patiently, diligently and with intent, find a way.


August 20, 2018

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