Aboriginal Spirituality: Interview with an Australian Aboriginal senior man


Michael Williams gives an insight into the depth and richness of Aboriginal spirituality, estimated by some researchers to span 125,000 years. Aboriginal spirituality is based on an ancient cultural belief that life is a vast web of inter-connected relationships. Everything has meaning and purpose and everything is connected – the land, the people, the ancestors and the animals. The past is viewed as being inextricably linked to the present and throughout time the over riding spiritual value has been respect for Aboriginal cultural law.

What do you consider to be the most important aspects of Aboriginal spirituality?
Following your Law.  Don’t break Law.  Respecting all things, animate and inanimate in the entire natural world.

How do Aboriginal perceptions of spirituality differ from western interpretations?
A profound connectedness to land.  Living on your land is essential to maintaining the strongest possible links with land and ensuring proper practice of Aboriginal spiritual life.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about Aboriginal spirituality?
People try to make sense of it from their own perspective [spiritual] and do not often open themselves up to knowing it from the inside.  This is not unusual or surprising.  This is an ancient spirituality embedded in a culture that is acknowledged as being the longest continuously surviving culture in the entire world.  By the time the British and others arrived on Australian shores they had long-established behaviours relating to Indigenous cultures. With this entrenched behaviour, coupled with Christianity and Missionary zealousness, there was little chance of Aboriginal spirituality being assessed from a standpoint of respect and a desire to understand it on its own terms.

Is Aboriginal spirituality today different from what it was in the past, how has it changed (or not)?
The spirit has not changed. The Law lies in the land and the spirits of our ancestors have continued to inhabit the landscape during ancient times, during periods of colonisation and after our peoples have been removed from their lands.  Human engagement with Aboriginal spirituality is now challenged by the intervention of other spiritual and religious beliefs and doctrines, as well as the demands of a world filled with technology that infiltrates every corner of human existence.  It is now increasingly hard, except for the committed individual, to stay true to the old ways.  Moving in and out of vastly different domains requires discipline of a high order, but many do so by staying on Land.

What lessons can us ‘white folk’ learn from Aboriginal spirituality?
Simply be. Respectful attention to a commitment to a spiritual path will bring what is meant to be.  Don’t have expectations.  If it is meant to come your way – it will.  Stay on task.  The spiritual domain and practices of the longest continuously surviving culture in the world must have something to offer humanity.  Limit the overlay of other spiritual traditions and try to let Aboriginal ways stand for themselves.

What have been the most important spiritual lessons you have learnt as an Aboriginal man?
Never doubt the presence of spirit and the ability of old ones who have passed to be there for you.  Ask and they will come and ‘show’ themselves in some way.  The land is alive with the spirits and presence of our ancestors and creation heroes.

What works best for you/what do you do when you need some spiritual upliftment?
Go to my Homeland – visit my traditional lands. I engage with my old ones every day and ask for their guidance.

In your 30 years of university teaching, were there any spiritual (or other) changes you noticed in students undertaking Aboriginal studies?
Students have always been interested in Aboriginal spirituality. There are two issues to consider here.  Most students who choose to take a course in Aboriginal studies are already interested in all matters regarding Aboriginal culture and are thirsting for knowledge.  Then there are students who are required to take courses in Aboriginal culture as part of their degree and sometimes these students are resistant to the content raised in these courses. In my experience, the vast majority of students who showed some resistance at first end up thoroughly enjoying the course and go on to take other Aboriginal studies  courses as electives.

From all your years of experience, what spiritual advice would you pass on to others?
Never doubt the existence of spirit and of a Creator – however you may wish to term it.  Spend time regularly [daily] pondering the importance of a spiritual approach to life and take time to care for others and all things.  Respect Planet Earth and the Universe.

Where do you see (or hope to see) Aboriginal spirituality heading in the future?
It is here, always has been here and remains.  The spirit never leaves the land.  People leave the land.  In my experience the spirit presence in my traditional homeland has become more overt since my mother died and there has not been anyone living there permanently.  I notice them when I visit.  It demands that I establish a more active presence there.

Michael Williams:  Australian Aboriginal senior man

Michael Williams was born into the Goorang Goorang peoples of the South East Queensland area.  He has had a long career in public life, mainly in the tertiary education sector, and has recently retired as Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland after almost 20 years.  He is currently working independently as a consultant and holds an honorary position as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland where he continues his research interests.  He is also a long serving member of the Council of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in Canberra.

Michael has maintained a strong interest in the cultural and spiritual life of his people throughout his life, from spending hours listening to stories as a child through to his continuing interest as an adult in researching family history with his nuclear and extended families. This research has led him (at the age of 50) to being accepted into Aboriginal Law/Lore in the Central Desert region of Australia where he follows ceremonial and cultural life through several annual visits.

Source: http://spiritualspace.com.au/aboriginal-spirituality/

Spiritual space magazine is new from Brisbane.

10 Essential Life Skills

There are universal principles that govern our universe.
Metaphysics is the study of these.

The School of Metaphysics is a place to discover, explore, and put these principles into action so you can live the life worth examining, your best life.

Coursework, seminars, media, and intuitive research provide the mental technology for developing your whole Self.

Start upgrading your Spiritual DNA now.

Have you ever wondered how some human beings seem to develop their potential to become a powerful influence in the world?  What inspires a Martin Luther King, Jr. to broadcast a vision so clear it lasts generations beyond him?  What gives a Mahatma Gandhi the courage to hold true to his ideals amidst great adversity?  What enables an Albert Schweitzer to transform his life and career and devote his life to humanitarian service?  Where does a Mother Teresa acquire the determination to give and give with complete surrender to a higher calling? 

These great men and women throughout history tapped the hidden powers of the mind.  Scientists report that the average person draws upon only ten to twenty percent of his or her brain power.  The remainder lies dormant until we learn how to develop and strive toward our full potential.  We believe that any thinker can come into his own greatness by increasing his knowledge, exercising mental discipline, and generating insightful discoveries that can be employed to improve his own life, and sometimes aid all of humanity.  (from School of Metaphysics Student Guide)

We can greatly increase our ability to be powerful, intelligent, creative, and expressive by learning how to access reasoning and intuition.  These are two of the ten essential life skills taught in the School of Metaphysics course of study.  These skills are:

SELF RESPECT – Everything begins and ends with you.  When you can view yourself from different perspectives, you develop a greater awareness of who you are and how to become the person you desire to be.  Knowing how you cause everything in your life gives you the great power of knowing how to change.

Undivided Attention – Attention is one of our greatest commodities!  You can learn to put your whole self into whatever you doing.  You can learn to be here now to reap the beauty and fullness of each moment.  Your relationships will improve, you will be a better employee or employer, and you will be a great influence on your children when you give your undivided attention. 

Concentration- Holding your attention where you want it for as long as you desire makes you powerful, effective, and efficient.  A high degree of concentration is one of the secrets to success in the business world, the field of education, for artists and musicians, and for anyone who wants to understand commitment.  Concentration is a skill that can be built with exercise and practice! 

Memory – You can also build the skill of drawing out of your brain what you have stored there, at will.  Undivided attention and concentration build the memory power.  The ability to strengthen memory saves time, produces relaxation, and helps you to learn from the past so that you can live a better present.

Listening – Everyone loves to be heard.  When you cultivate the ability to listen to your inner self through meditation, you can be s still-minded, calming presence for others.  Listening to your inner self enables you to listen to other people.  Good listeners are great marriage partners, wonderful parents, sought-after employees, excellent employers, compassionate friends, and wise counselors. 

Imagination- This is a skill that distinguishes the exceptional person from the average one.  Imagination gives you the ability to improve your self and your life and to create new ways of being.  Every great discovery in our world was made by someone who could imagine a better way!

Reasoning- Reasoning skill is built through developing memory, attention, and imagination.  Learning to discern cause is a function of reasoning.  A good reasoner can learn from any experience, can produce growth and understanding, and is able to become healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Intuition-True intuition is the direct grasp of truth.  It is the ability to draw from the subconscious store of understanding and wisdom, the “teaching from within.”  Intuition can be cultivated and developed for better decision-making, for understanding dreams, for drawing upon abilities like clairvoyance and telepathy. 

Breath – Most people don’t think of breath as a function of the mind.  Conscious breathing is the ability to give and receive energy.  We can learn to be more balanced, more energized, more relaxed, and to become aware of the Self that exists beyond the physical body. 

Entrainment – Coordinating the head and the heart we become a Whole Self.  We experience the truth that we are all connected with one another energetically, as we realize the connection of our outer, physical self with the inner, spiritual self.  If you have ever had a “peak experience,” you’ve been entrained.  You can cause this state of consciousness on a regular basis with the practice of mental discipline.

Source: http://som.org/NewPages/Newsite07/SOMNavigation/Purpose.html



I Value the Aggressive & Receptive

I Discipline My Mind

I Am Open and Loving

I Expand my Consciousness

I Am Connected with All

I Learn in Every Activity

The Permanent and Lasting is Most Important 

I Add to my Understanding Every Day

I Receive the Wealth from the Universe

I Create Plenty for Everyone 

I Am Committed to Becoming Fully Enlightened

From DREAMTIME – Parables of Universal Law from Down Under

SOM http://som.org/

Mental illness or spiritual illness: what should we call it?

Dr Ross Ingram Memorial Competition Winner

Mental illness or spiritual illness: what should we call it?

Lindy L Moffatt
MJA 2011; 194 (10): 541-542
With permission from my son I am able to tell this story. I have not used his name for privacy reasons.

I would like to dedicate this essay to the many Indigenous people who have passed away in psychiatric hospitals and did not make it home to their families and communities.

“Historical trauma” is defined as the subjective experiencing and remembering of events in the mind of an individual or the life of a community, passed from adults to children in cyclic processes as “collective emotional and psychological injury . . . over the life span and across generations”.1

Iwas raised in a foster family from the age of two, in suburban Brisbane, Queensland, with three of my siblings. I am a proud Aboriginal woman with close family ties across south-east Queensland and the north coast of New South Wales. My mother is from the Wakka Wakka clan group in Cherbourg and Brisbane. My father is from the Gumbaynggir and Dunghutti communities of the north-coast region of New South Wales.

Recently, I arrived in Canberra from Brisbane with my son to take up a Research Fellowship with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. My research is on the question of “Mental health: what treatment options are working for Indigenous peoples?”. I have chosen this topic because of my personal experience as a mother.

The day before we left our home in Margate, a suburb in the north of Brisbane on Moreton Bay, to travel to Canberra, we attended my son’s mental health review tribunal hearing, an event that was life-changing for both of us. My son has suffered from a mental illness (schizophrenia) for many years, which saw him hospitalised for ten-and-a-half years. During this time he was on a forensic order as an involuntary patient, because of crimes he had committed while being unwell. I was expecting to be seeking the tribunal’s permission to take my son interstate for the three months that I would be working. Instead, to our surprise, his forensic order was revoked, meaning he was able to leave Queensland and live wherever he wanted. Overwhelmed by the decision, my son kept repeatedly asking the tribunal panel what it meant for him.

As a mother I have struggled, mostly because I was only seventeen years old when my son was born. Of course, you can never imagine or prepare yourself for the way life can take such a turn some twenty years later. I had lived with my biological mother on and off since I was fifteen, so she took on significant caring responsibilities for my baby, who was her first grandchild. She was very close to him. My mother had also suffered from “mental illness” as a young woman and had been hospitalised (I don’t know how many times). I remember being told about it in quite a negative way. Mum was admitted to what was the “old” Wolston Park Hospital some forty years ago. This hospital was located on the same grounds as the hospital called The Park, Centre for Mental Health, where my son has spent his years. She had grown up in Cherbourg Aboriginal community in Queensland where she spent some of her childhood in the dormitory while her mother travelled away for work. I know she did not have good memories of the dormitory days, as she later shared some stories with me about the abuse that she witnessed and was subjected to in the dormitory. My mother died at the age of fifty-seven from kidney failure caused by diabetes, when my son was only twelve.

What I have read and come to understand about transgenerational trauma within Indigenous communities is that the suffering of individuals and communities from trauma and pain results in many unresolved issues not just for those immediately affected, but for those around them, their families and their descendants, and from what I know about my family history the trauma reaches much further than my mother. Personal experience has left me with no doubt that transgenerational trauma contributed to the mental/spiritual unwellness of both my mother and my son.

After my mother’s death our lives changed dramatically. I was in deep grief. It was difficult to “be there” emotionally, or in any other way, for my son. I felt vulnerable and extremely fragile. The grief was unbearable. It took me to a place that I found hard to come back from, to the point where I thought that I would die from it. At the time part of me wanted to. Fortunately, I did come back, just as my son was about to travel down his own road of self-destruction, which began with bizarre behaviour patterns. At about age fourteen, he started to use drugs — first marijuana, then amphetamines, known on the street as speed.

This is a parent’s nightmare. Drug taking was not something I had experience with, nor did I expect this to be happening to my child. What followed was years of risky behaviour, crime, eventually juvenile detention and then prison! As a mother, the pain of this is beyond imagination: it reaches into the very core of you. When your child is locked away, you are too. I was overcome with feelings of shame and guilt. I felt emotionally, psychologically and spiritually immobilised and trapped within myself. Of course, eventually it took its toll on my mental and physical health, and I was diagnosed with my own life-threatening illnesses. One of the many challenges was dealing with blame from people who were close to me. Some made conscious and unconscious hurtful comments because of their own pain and lack of understanding of my son’s illness.

We also experienced discrimination arising from the general community’s ignorance of mental illness. When going out in public — going shopping, for instance — people would stare, laugh or make comments.

The effects of this trauma are still with me today.

In prison, my son’s mental illness started to become very obvious, through the signs of self-harm, and symptoms of mental unwellness such as crying and responding to voices. Eventually, he was hospitalised and I visited him regularly, took him on leave many times and had him living with me for short periods. Unfortunately, he was so unwell that he would abscond from the hospital, and would run away from me as well. This caused immense anxiety, not only for me and our family and friends, but also for staff at the hospital who were genuinely concerned about his welfare. My son would go missing for days, sometimes weeks, without his medication. The police were, of course, alerted and it was their responsibility to find him, but I would usually locate him before they did, and would then seek help from the Indigenous workers or nurses to return him safely to hospital. This happened on many occasions.

Throughout these years of experience with my son and his illness, there were many moments when I questioned my own thoughts and feelings. I did know, however, that I was experiencing something that was deeply spiritual and unknown. My son’s thin and pale, ghost-like appearance haunted me, and I could feel him detaching from what was real. That is why it was important for me to be around to keep the strong spiritual and emotional bond between us — I knew from a sickening feeling inside me there was a very real risk of losing him through suicide. He was haunted by voices, and would respond by talking to people that he believed were real. Sometimes he was happy and laughing along with them; other times he would be screaming back at them to leave him alone, and would cry in a very mournful way that made me cry as well. I remember all this very vividly, especially the times at night when I would lie awake listening to him talking in another language which I knew to be an Aboriginal language. This did freak me out a little, as he appeared to be having conversations and speaking the language fluently. I thought that I was imagining what I had heard until family members and workers at the hospital told me that they had witnessed him doing the same thing. It was through this experience that I came to know and believe that Indigenous mental illness is also spiritual illness, as it is deeply connected to our spirituality and cultural beliefs. I also believe that this spiritual connection is what helped my son get through his illness to where he is today. A quote from the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW newsletter has been helpful in supporting my thoughts around mental–spiritual illness.

Wellbeing is an holistic and collective issue, with specific individual health problems being of little relevance if not considered as part of wider social, spiritual and community health . . . Mental illness or disturbance may be seen as a ‘soreness of the spirit’ caused by loss of social and family networks, destruction of kinship and family, dislocation from ancestral lands and the conflict between tradition and the pressures of trying to exist within and alongside European culture.2

On one very memorable visit to the hospital I sat with the treating psychiatrist to discuss my son’s “progress”. She explained to me that there were “two very sick patients in the hospital at the time, [my son] being one of them”, and that “out of the two, he [was] the most unwell”. In a roundabout way, I guess she was trying to tell me that my son was the sickest patient in the hospital at that moment. To this day I don’t remember how I drove myself home.

During his long hospital stay of over ten years, my son lost elders and friends, mostly Indigenous patients, who passed away in hospital. He dealt with this in his own way, showing courage and strength. The thought was always at the back of my mind that he himself would not survive. I questioned myself all the time as to whether I was in denial of the possibility that he would be institutionalised forever, but remained convinced that it was important to rise above this thinking, and to try to stay positive, and most of all to believe that things can change and be different. My son is now very well, the best he could possibly be. He lives with me full-time and is actively seeking employment.

I have presented at workshops on mental illness in Indigenous communities and received positive responses from people who appreciated honesty and openness in talking about this sensitive area. There is definitely a need for more understanding and education in our communities so people can come together to share and talk openly without any shame or blame. I always tell people that talking about it and seeking help can mean the difference between life or death for a loved one. Through the years, I have always felt very strongly that “someone” was around, guiding me through this time in our lives. I listened to the messages and acted intuitively, particularly when my son was at his most critical times of illness, and the times when he went missing from the hospital. I give many thanks to all the people who were there supporting us on this long journey, such as family, friends, hospital staff and community, who gave us hope and encouragement. If it weren’t for them, I know we would not be here today to tell this story.

This story is difficult to tell because I know that I will be revisiting the trauma, reliving the memories of events that took place, and visualising the images that will forever haunt me. With permission from my son, I wanted to document and share this story in the hope that it may give strength and support to some other family who is going through the same or similar circumstances.

Author details
Lindy L Moffatt, DipCommWelfareWork&Counselling, Indigenous Visiting Research Fellow
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra, ACT.
Correspondence: Lindy.MoffattATaiatsis.gov.au
Atkinson J, Nelson J, Atkinson C. Trauma, transgenerational transfer and effects on community wellbeing. In: Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice. Purdie N, Dudgeon P, Walker R, editors. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, 2010: 138. http://www.health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=sendfile&ft=p&fid=1708785562&sid= (accessed Apr 2011).
Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW Inc. Quality of life. Indigenous: mental illness as understood in Aboriginal communities. 2008. http://www.sfnsw.org.au/About-Mental-Illness/Quality-of-Life/Indigenous/default.aspx (accessed Apr 2011).
(Received 4 Apr 2011, accepted 19 Apr 2011)

Source: http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/194_10_160511/mof10395_fm.html

A comparason between Native Title & Land Rights

at last!!!
a good comparison of what is land rights and what is the more insultingly and falsely called native title.
as gary foley and others have said for many years, ‘native title is not land rights’. it does not even come close to real land rights for the traditional owners of our ancient lands.
the major difficulties of comparing the two systems was that mainly it became very very difficult to explain the differences to those who had a limited legal knowledge and/or a more limited understanding of land for the traditional owners. there was a new-age primitivism that clouded many enquiring minds but that eventually brought many conversations to an inconclusive  close. 
the gove case 1972 and heard by j. blackburn found that land rights did not exist when it came to mining claims. then pm billy mcmahon strongly put to parliament that land rights would never exist, hence our tent embassy was formed. whitlam, not satisfied with that outcome then set up the woodward royal commission to look at land rights in the nt. his findings were given to whitlam but the cia-arranged dismissal of whitlam then  allowed fraser, much to his credit, to bring the nt act in. john howard spoke quite strongly against the act being brought in but fraser, quite correctly, ignored his racist and rancid statements  and proceeded. howard never forgave him and i believe howard’s later venal and personal actions led him to grab back the lands of the nt. among other reasons too, of course.
mabo 1992 found for the meriam torres strait islanders and this had a flow-on effect to the mainland land claims. then came the wik people win  in 1996 that found that traditional land owners did not lose their lands to pastoralists and others. howard and his minions were now in power and they went ballistic with the high court decision. the coalition government decided then that the high court could no longer be trusted to continue to back the invaders as they had done so for nearly a hundred years. howard and tim fischer then came up with the infamous and racist 10 point plan to allow for, as they put it, ‘buckets of extinguishment’ against tha aboriginal traditional owners.
with some little change the bill made its way to the senate whereby, because of the then numbers, the final decision was to be made by senator brian harridine and he called on father frank brennan to assist him. two non-aboriginal men, steeped in white christianity, were charged with either rejecting the bill in toto or in attempting to amend the bill by cutting the bill off at its knees. we were calling for complete rejection but our voices would not be heard.
harridine and brennan decided to not consult with those aborigines, including noel pearson who referred to the coalition government as ‘racist scum’, because they did not want a ‘racist election.’ the 10 point plan became the 6 point plan to stop racist elections! these two men have cost aborigines dearly since those days and they continue still to do so. what they did not seem to understand is that for my people, every bloody election is a racist event. especially in the rural areas where land claims are before the tribunal.
governments around the country listened and learned well on how to win on every land claim that came before them, and that was to keep the cases out of the courts and set up negotiating bodies that they could quite easily control. real land rights has been reduced to indigenous land use agreements that now only allow for negotiated agreements that only allows for cultural access but with no ownership of the land or its resources.
we badly need to return to the land rights as a proper human rights procedure. the krudd and gillard governments are more than prepared to continue to steal our birthrights from us. the yorta yorta land claim was naught but a travesty of justice, as so many others have also been. the court found against their cultural continuance on their lands, a complete travesty of natural justice, and then the victorian government of the time recognised enough of their cultural continuance to do a negotiated theft of their lands.
strane thing, white justice. we are never ever allowed to win.
we want rights, not some smoke-and-mirrors theft of what is ours and has been gor more than 60 000 years.
always was, always will be – aboriginal land.

To see comparison document:


ray jackson
indigenous social justice association

Appearances and ‘real’ people.

From The Ring Cedars.. From Illusory People chapter.

Anastasias grandfather says in response to Vladamirs statement whilst pointing at two girls in the park talking.  “I think one of them – the one smoking – is unreal.”  And later says “look closely. The girl has on very uncomfortable high healed shoes. Besides, there a little too tight for her.  She wears them precisely because someone else is dictating what shoes women should be wearing these days. And she’s wearing a short skirt of material made to look like leather but it isn’t leather.  It’s harmful for the body, but she’s wearing it according to the dictates of society’s current fad. Look at all her gaudy make-up and how arrogantly she is behaving.  Outwardly she is independant.  But only outwardly.  Her whole appearance is at odds with her self, her real self.  She’s been ‘smitten’ by an image of someone elses thoughtforms, a soulless, illusory image has eclipsed her living soul and taken it captive.” it takes a strange twist when asked to prove if this  is true.  Grandfather approaced the two girls, looked the one smoking in eye n said “put the cigarette, dear girl, into your right hand. You should try holding it in your right hand.” she obediently obliged. But it was more to it than that.  Her face suddenly became completely altered.  Her arrogance had vanished.  In fact, everything about her was differen: her face, the way she stood.  And in a completely different tone she said: “I’l try grandfather.” “You should have your child, dear girl.” “it’ll be hard for me.  I’m all alone.”. “let him come to you. You go and think about that hand of yours, think about your child, and he will come.  Go along now dear girl, you must hurry”. Vladamir says after this “can you tame any woman like that? That’s terrific! Some sort of super-hypnosis, eh? Far out!” to which the Grandfather replies ” it’s not hypnosis.  And theres no far out mysticism here.  It’s simply an attentive attitude to ones fellow man.  And i mean to the man, not the dreamt up image which obscures the real man.  And, man responds instantly to this, he finds his strength, when you appeal directly to him, ignoring the illusory image.” “But how did you manage to see the invisible man behind the visible image?” “It’s all very simple, really. I watched them a bit.  The girl was holding the cigarette in her left hand.  She was also rummaging around in her hand with her left hand. Which means she’s left handed.  And if a small child holds a spoon or does something else with the left hand, his parents try to get him to use the right.  She got along fine with her parents.  I realised this when i saw the way she looked at the man and woman walking along with a little girl in tow.  I spoke to her the way her parents might have when she was little.  I tried to use the same tone of voice her parents might have used.  Back when she was little, unaffected, not under someone else’s image.  That little girl was the real man, and it responded rite off.  And it’s the alien image doesn’t want the child. But the girl’s inner being wants the child very much. They’re struggling with each other.  Now her inner being will win out!!!”

I just found this last night in my favourite series, hope u like it. I could never find the words n now i hav, so i had to share.

The Myall Creek Massacre

There have been many massacres and slaughter of Aborigines that have gone unrecorded in Australian history, but the Myall Creek Massacre, stands out, as the only one of its type, where the perpetrators were punished for the crimes against Aborigines.

On the 10th June 1838, twelve armed stockman rode onto Henry Dangar’s property at Myall Creek in Northern NSW, near Bingara, and rounded up, like animals, twenty eight friendly Aboriginal, elderly men, women and children. These were the relatives of the Aboriginal men who were working with the station manager, William Hobbs.

The twelve stockmen then dragged the Aborigines into the bush and slaughtered every last one. Their bodies were then burnt. The cowardly attack on the elderly Aboriginal men, women and children was well planned.

When William Hobbs returned and discovered the attack, he immediately began his own investigation into the atrocity. He went to the site of the massacre, questioned other employees of the station and let it be known that he intended to report the matter to his employer, Henry Dangar, as well as the authorities.

On the 24th June, Frederick I. Foot, a landholder, travelled to Muswellbrook to report the incident. On arrival at Muswellbrook, Foot discovered he had missed the police magistrate so decided to travel onto Sydney to report the incident there. On the 4th July, Foot wrote an account of the incident for the attention of Governor Gipps.

Governor Gipps ordered an investigation into the incident with the view to prosecution. There was a great deal of antagonism against the Government for this decision.

Unfortunately, colonial Australia was extremely racist and Victorian in their thinking and treated Aborigines as pests, and animals to be exterminated. Later, when the perpetrators were put on trial, one juror was quoted in the Australian Newspaper as saying,” I look on the blacks as a sort of monkey and the sooner they are exterminated from the face of the earth, the better. I knew the men were guilty but I would never see a white man hanged for killing a black.”

The hanging of the Myall Creek murderers caused great outrage in Sydney, but there were many colonists that were outraged at the massacre of Aboriginal people, but unfortunately, those colonists were the minority!

One hundred and sixty two years after the massacre, a memorial to the Wirrayaraay Aborigines of Myall Creek was dedicated on the 10th June 2000. An annual memorial service has been held on 10th June, at the site of the massacre, ever since. Colin Isaacs is the artist who painted the original artwork from which the engravings on the seven plaques along the memorial walkway of the Myall Creek Memorial were made.

 Other Myall Creek web pages and sites:

Myall Creek

Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site, New South Wales
Friends of Myall Creek

The Myall Creek Massacre, 1838

Remembering The Myall Creek Massacre

Teacher Plan for Myall Creek Lesson

Papers on the Myall Creek Massacre 1964-1979 [manuscript]/cLeonard L. Payne

Indigenous Law Bulletin 

Aborigines; Australia: History; Parliament House: Sydney


How it is…

My family hav bn fighting the struggle here 4 40 yrs n i am really trying to look outside the square as i try saving me n my family. We live in bushland without most modern cons and are interested in starting a model 4 thriving here as resources r around jus need to keeo my head above water n unify. Struggling a lil as my family has reduced dramatically leaving a couple of elders n young ones. I feel n pray 4 all our family dominated today n hope to share all about housing, justice, culture, stats, resistance n a better way. Really love to see some mastery in actions of leeders, wats the best way to get a global effort started, any ideas?

I wandered if we’l c see some effort to get big money backers to help found something like exit oppression, providing an equal playing field 4 those in need to help themselves, espcially the leaders of communities. But these people will fight tooth n nail that there is no oppression, i suppose is tha problem. Almost like hoping 4 a miracle hey? It’s just that like you all probably have, since early teens at least. I bn trying to think of a streamlined exit to oppression for all 2 million of our people. Like a 5 star outback resort that could run on our terms by us, potentially employing 500 people, imagine a chain of these?

That was wen i was 14, stil got my 10 pages of ideas lol. Now i think more about a string if festivals could really start the ball rolling globally n here we could save our island from greedy miners if we could bring in money from a high scale festival held annually etc. In my opinion, the only way forward in oz is backwards, to where 200 yrs ago they disregarded our existence, as the problem remains largely to blame for this countries atrocious treatment of their first people. But to do this we will need to be the leaders, unfortunately with enuff money to reschool the whole country before they turn this country to desert with no culture at all. I know this wil resonate wid alot of peeps, especially on this page. 

I have also got inventions and app ideas n have started recording music to path the way 4 young people and showing them a place exist for lyrical revolutionist. I am proud that after all of the women in my line that have suffered, i have bowed out of the system as much as possible, but i am battling my own demons like these women did, n have a long way to go. I am alone because of poverty and dedicate my whole life to changing this reality 4 the next generation. We can’t let oppression continue i’s nasty cycles, it has taken enuf lives already. I feel the but should REALLY stop here, with us. Problem is until now, i hav dubbed myself a personal activist. We have been reduced so low here, our ability to resist is very limited. 

I am largely turning in, to spirit 4 faith n miracles worldwide and learning my culture as quickly as i can as our elders are dying very young. Hope we can grow, keep sharing n make huge ground together. I will spend time reading old posts now. Majikal blessing all on a safe n happy journey too.

Now I’m Wild

Racism makes all sacred man sick, even ignorance is racism, is it not?  

We have complex issues and while people make such insulting comments on public forums we are far from advancing as a united front here or globally, the reason i am sad enuf to be moved to do this.also,  I am young but old enuff 2 b fed up wid tha i’m not racists, my neighbours aboriginal bs!  I pray for patience n change to come to man fast.  More importantly, concern could go into walking proud as MAN (Ringin Cedars) on quest 4 freedom.

Sorry but there is no exception or excuse and it makes me feel disheartened about our progress here in Australia, from a first generation, first people, mother to be free from forced removal.  All my grannies n mothers b4 me hav had physical chains and been literally at the hands of oppressors.

The shame thing… Come on thats total bs.  Check ur source please for cultural correctness, ther is such a term u no? From conquer n divide here our mob that are still able to live the ideal, are too victims of inter racism more than anything.  Fyi i have always lived n bn part of my communities.  So i ask True Indigenous people? Are u the assessor of blackness now too?  Sorry but this truely bothers me. As my granny said you either r or u r not. There is no 1/4 etc that was terms used as part of a racist breeding out of aboriginals act, google quadroon.  So es when your grannies were taken because they were black or not black enuf, the way u talk here is very offensive.

What makes a real black person, boomeran n spear, nakedness?  None of that is in place, so is ther no real ones left? But i am black and wouldn’t change it for quids, fist pump!

A cup of tea is a cup of tea no matter how much milk u add. And furthermore i’m sure that if our people needed guidance from our ancient ones, we’d get it now, especially, that our earth n lifeforce is in peril.  So to all who are doubtful, please have faith that the ole ways that were formed from the first sunlight here in this country, will always be safe like all truths it will keep surfacing no matter how hard any dark forces may try to wipe out the people, land and the ways.  I among many others, just because u don’t c us don’t mean we don’t exist, intend to be the living proof, against all odds.

Anyways you can eat ur words as this black woman from redfern, can now sing n dance to 40 traditional dances, learning native tongue, growing bush food, living lightly on our mother in isolation, taking care of country, and in my opinion a few of u need 2 hav faith. Even if we were killed off, this fair skinned woman will raise her children on my ancient homeland, reviving all that is possible, with access to the outside for balance because it is the will of the creator.  Our law is said to be written in our languages, so unless you have learnt any of them, in my opinion you have no idea of the potential of the first people here, what our law for example has to offer and r missing a huge piece of the puzzle.

Gondwana is part of my jouney for the future as instructed by my old people to better understand where we were in terms of human social developments before land changes.  Try exploring more n making less silly comments on your way is my advice to you janicethefree. I usually attract bees wid honey not vinegar but u stirred up a bee hive lol.

Oh and fyi it has bn said that us mob from down the sothern parts are real fighters, see our history, because of our ancestors resistance efforts, our culture still remains strong in parts more further away from impact of colonisation.  We like to make note of our contribution for the survival/thrival of those more fortunate groups who came up less affected.  If only the thanks could some day be shown in the form of appreciation for the part we played n sacrifices to population n lifestyle balance.  For the record, us southerners have proven undoubetedly we are so strong, we will fight to the end 4 what is right!

I don’t care 2 much 4 english as a language or as anything else, it just happens to be my only language for now, so i will not try to be gramatically correct, especially not here.  Looking forward to hearing back, i know how old the thread is though.

Safe n happy journey with many majikal blessings along the way

From a discussion thread regarding Freeman movement, very interesting thread. Check the original post etc that i respond to here.


The Great Turning

The Great Turning
You’ve asked me to tell you of the Great Turning, of how we saved the world from disaster. The answer is both simple and complex:

We turned.

For hundreds of years we had turned
away as life on earth grew more precarious.
We turned away from the homeless men on the streets, the stench from the river, the children orphaned in Iraq, the mothers dying of AIDS in Africa.

We turned away because that is what we had been taught.
To turn away, from the pain, from the hurt in another’s eyes, from the drunken father or the friend betrayed. Always we were told, in actions louder than words, to turn away, turn away. And so we became a lonely people caught up in a world moving too quickly, too mindlessly toward its own demise.

Until it seemed as if there was no safe place to turn. No place, inside or out, that did not remind us of fear or terror, despair and loss, anger and grief.

Yet on one of those days someone did turn.

Turned to face the pain.
Turned to face the stranger.
Turned to look at the smoldering world
and the hatred seething in too many eyes.
Turned to face himself, herself.

And then another turned.
And another. And another.
And as they wept, they took
each other’s hands.

Until whole groups of people were turning.
Young and old, gay and straight. People
of all colors, all nations, all religions.
Turning not only to the pain and hurt
but to the beauty, gratitude and love.
Turning to one another with
forgiveness and a longing
for peace in their hearts.

At first the turning made people dizzy, even silly. There were people standing to the side gawking, criticizing, trying to knock the turners down.
But the people turning kept getting up, kept helping one another to their feet. Their
Laughter and kindness brought others into the turning circle until even the naysayers began to smile and sway.

As the people turned, they began to spin, reweaving the web of life, mending the shocking tears, knitting it back together with the colors of the earth, sewing on tiny mirrors so the beauty of each person, each creature, each plant, each life form might be seen and respected.

And as the people turned, as they spun
like the earth through the universe, the web wrapped around them like a soft baby blanket, making it clear all were loved, nothing separate.
As this love reached into every crack and crevice, the people began to wake and wonder, to breathe and give thanks, to work and celebrate together.
And so the world was saved, but only as long as you, too, sweet one, remember to turn.

–written by Christine Fry (October 19, 2004)

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A little about page admin Kaiyu Moura (Bayles)

Now living in QLD raising her children on their traditional country, gathering food, learning the old art of building shelters, dance and the local language. For the past 20 years with her late Grandmother Maureen Watson and a dance group with 6 of her sisters Kaiyu travelled schools, festivals, events etc sharing the beauty of First Nations Culture through song and dance, stories, art, theatre, nursery rhymes, poetry etc and engaging all ages in different projects that inspire positive change. Also a poet, documentary maker, songwriter, artist, event organiser, media consultant, testing the waters of micro social enterprise by starting her own tshirt and sublimation printing business and with her own label, Kaiyu creates what she calls Freedom Threads.

After building their own home on Tribal Sovereign land, Kaiyu is now homeschooling and teaching the kids about making our own tinctures, learning about bushtucker and mushrooms, growing food, building with aircrete, setting up wind turbines, composting toilets and ram water pumps... Really learning what it truly means to thrive. This is our Group where we share alot of what we do

Kaiyu and the Tribe