This is the cry, heard ringing out from the âWarriors of the Aboriginal Resistance rally in the Melbourne CBD recently.
Over the last year there have been several rallies across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and the US to protest the threatened closure of remote Indigenous communities by the WA State Government and Federal Australian Government.
These rallies have mainly targeted busy areas of the CBD in the city in which they were held, to maximise disruption of traffic. This has been to gain not only, on the ground attention of people, but the media's attention to this cause.
During the last rally here in Melbourne, a friend and I attended the rally. We walked with the crowd of people as they walked from the Swan Street Bridge along the Yarra, to the CBD and stopping in front of Flinders St Station.
Many people have already said much about this cause, most notably the Herald Sun in their two page article titled 'Selfish Rabble'. I am aware that this may cause some heated discussions that are a part of a larger debate, but bear with me.
Role reversal and white privilege
Back before my time in 1986, a short Australian film by the name 'BabaKiueria' was released. In the film it re-tells the story of Captain Cook coming to Australia and reverses the roles played in history. Anglo Saxon families are portrayed as already living on the land, and Indigenous people are portrayed as coming to Australia and starting a colony. The film does a quick sweep through history, but in these swapped roles.
When I first saw this film many years ago, I think I almost laughed, as it is really good satire. But something struck me half way through, what if this film isn't actually far off the truth? I had this awful gut feeling ever since then, of something not being right within Australia and its treatment of its Indigenous peoples.
I grew up in the country in a middle class Christian home going to a private school. In terms of privilege and value placed on me by society, there really couldn't be a much better place to grow up. Mind you though, life may have been very different if I'd been born to an Indigenous family, living in a housing commission flat around a low socio economic area, going to a public school.
So maybe some people would only be reading this because of my upbringing, as opposed to if I was an Indigenous man? I don't know, but I think it needs to be said.
In God's image
I remember growing up, learning the creation story from Genesis. Probably my favourite passages in the Bible are the first few chapters, as these for me, really show a caring, creative and loving God.
'So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them'. Genesis chapter 1, verse 27. This passage really hit home for me one day this year when I was in class and we were studying different cultures and the impacts they have on society as a whole.
Do we value each and every person, because of what they can do or what abilities they have? Or do we value them as an image bearer of God. Do we value all people, their culture, their ways of life because it enhances mine, or because I believe God has shown something of His glory in them?
I think this is really starting to show in the west, and in Australia in particular. With the recent 'Reclaim Australia' rallies and the like, to me these movements come across as not seeing value in others, rather than fighting for freedom.
God's eyes or my eyes?
I suppose the question really comes back to this, am I viewing others through my eyes or God's eyes? I know if I do through just my own, I will get caught up on seeing all the faults and failings of others. Seeing them through God's lens though, provides a different perspective.
Is the view we come to on this, one from a position of power and privilege? If so, what can I do to reverse that position and elevate those from a lower level? Or who can I listen to and hear stories from, especially people I haven't listened to before?
Michael Enderby is currently an Intern with SU Victoria in their schools program, while studying a Diploma of Youth Work with Praxis Victoria. He has a heart and a passion for walking alongside youth and helping them realise their potential. He resides in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Michael Enderby's personal blog is here http://www.scot262wh.wordpress.com
His previous articles are at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michael-enderby.html