The Unexplained Wealth Act & Paul Paraka
Recent Notes 33: Most PNG logging is illegal

Recent Notes 33: Terrible cost of colonialism


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.”


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. Access Acton Now's report here 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 tomorrow, Friday 3 October. The display features objects from the museum's 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.



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Philip Fitzpatrick

I'm afraid you're right Lindsay. Laura Tingle used the following quote in an article on the ABC website today.

"We are a much-unloved people," leading Yes campaigner Noel Pearson said when he delivered the first of his Boyer Lectures 12 months ago.

"We are perhaps the ethnic group Australians feel least connected to. We are not popular and we are not personally known to many Australians. Few have met us and a small minority count us as friends."

Despite this, he said, "Australians hold and express strong views about us, the great proportion of which is negative and unfriendly. It has ever been thus. Worse in the past but still true today."

If success at the referendum was predicated on popularity as a people, he said, "then it is doubtful we will succeed".

"It does not and will not take much to mobilise antipathy against Aboriginal people and to conjure the worst imaginings about us and the recognition we seek. For those who wish to oppose our recognition, it will be like shooting fish in a barrel. An inane thing to do — but easy. A heartless thing to do — but easy."

Lindsay F Bond

Well, whether the referendum result be Yes or No, too little will change much or soon. The situation of the 1980s prevails.

Bernard Corden

Even mountains don't last too long with Mr Peabody et al:

Bernard Corden

From 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - An Indian History of the American West' by Dee Brown:

“Nothing lives long, only the earth and mountains.

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.

“To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature - the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy grades, the water, the soil, the air itself.

“The white people were as thick and numerous and aimless as grasshoppers, moving always in a hurry but never seeming to get to whatever place it was they were going to.

“I heard him call to the people not to be afraid, that the soldiers would not hurt them; then the troops opened fire from two sides of the camp.

“A short time later, near Gallina Springs, Graydon’s scouting party came upon the Mescaleros again. What happened there is not clear, because no Mescalero survived the incident.”

Lindsay F Bond

Sadly, it must be told, 'fairly uninterested' is where too many Australians are and will continue to be. Long has it been known.

Take for example the words of former MP Ken Wyatt:

Sadly also, that is said after reading of a 'model' in place in Western Australia, that was for "establishment of the WA Aboriginal Advisory Council (WAAAC) in 1972 to report to the government "on matters relating to the interests and well-being of persons of Aboriginal descent"">">

Worst case example for humanity is that today are both the focus and the events being reported from Israel and Gaza. Devastation that is less speedy and vast is further on in the news grab, sadly with less bite of any note.

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