Recent Notes 33: Terrible cost of colonialism
After day of shame, we must stand by yet

Recent Notes 33: Most PNG logging is illegal


Civic action group, Act Now, has launched a timber legality risk assessment for Papua New Guinea. The report finds that almost all logging occurring in PNG’s natural forest areas is illegal. The assessment is based on a comprehensive review of all the available literature, including official government inquiries, court cases, international organisations such as the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the International Tropical Timber Association and civil society groups.


Art lovers will be thrilled to learn that the new Wansolmoana - One Salt Ocean Pasifika Gallery at the Australian Museum in Sydney is hosting a weekend of special activities from Friday 13 October. The display features objects from the museums Pacific cultural collection accompanied by contemporary artwork and newly acquired pieces

Curated by the museum’s Pasifika staff, this new permanent exhibition celebrates the complex, varied and dynamic cultures and languages of today's Pasifika peoples. Over the weekend of 14-15 October there will be a series of storytelling performances including Master Steven John sharing knowledge of the Suru, a cultural practice almost lost to time that has been revived by the Rotuman community.

Other events include Sisi’uno Helu bringing to life the ancient Tongan goddess Hikule’o through music, poetry and movement, Simione Sevudredre sharing the story of the Iri hand fan which features as a part of the Turaga display in Wansolmoana. Visitors can join two Tongan cultural workshops including crafting a sei (headpiece) and learning the traditional Tongan art form of mosikaka weaving.


Eminent Australian journalist Rick Morton has uncovered that focus groups conducted late last year revealed ‘a shocking hurdle’ blocking the path of the Yes vote in the national referendum to be concluded next week. Almost one- third of all focus group participants believed Australia’s Indigenous people had been treated fairly since the English first occupied their lands at the end of the 18th Century

Professor Henry Reynolds wrote on the Pearls & Irritations website: “David Marr’s major work, Killing for Country: a family story, in 450 pages investigates the roles played by his ancestors in the conquest of north Australia in the second half of the 19th Century. Marr explains the provenance of the book in a brief introductory note.

“In 2019 an ‘ancient uncle ’asked him to find out what he could about his great grand- mother Maud. It wasn’t long before he was looking at a photograph of her father in the uniform of the Queensland Native Police. He was both appalled and curious. That afternoon he discovered Sub-Inspector Reginald Uhr, ‘a professional killer of Aborigines’ and his brother D’arcy who was also ‘in the massacre business.’

“The family truth telling which followed reminds us once again of the terrible cost of the colonisation of Australia at a moment when so many of our country men and women continue to believe that our First Nations were treated fairly as they were being dispossessed of their traditional homelands.”


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Lindsay F Bond

The coastline surrounding continental Australia has features with names such as point, bight, shoal, reef, channel and sound, thus to avoid calamity at sea.

Similarly knowing where to approach and how to get safely to shore are essential for economy and even survival.

But real pain is that of living in an emergency situation and knowing it needs definition, comprehension and action across a whole population.

"One of the nation's most esteemed emergency physicians, Stephen Gourley, is backing the Voice to Parliament, saying it is a vital step towards meaningful reconciliation and improving the health outcomes of Indigenous Australians."

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