Delve into danger
KEYNOTE // The Uluru Statement is ignored. So is history. When will white Australia start listening to First Nations People?
You are also with the Consent of the Natives to take Possession of Convenient Situations in the Country in the Name of the King of Great Britain… These were Captain James Cook’s orders. Instead, the land was taken without consent – setting in train an ongoing process of colonisation that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have endured with their identity and sovereignty intact. That is the hard truth – a truth that cannot be wished away, that is not ‘discounted’ by Australia’s success as a modern nation. Indigenous Australians continue to reach out to the colonists with proposals for a just and permanent settlement. Those offers continue to be rejected. What is to be done?
Mick Dodson is a Yawuru man from the Broome area in Western Australia. He was the first Indigenous Australian to receive a law degree following studies at Monash University in Melbourne. A proud, courageous and humble Aboriginal leader, Dodson has served in a wide range of challenging roles and has been an enthusiastic advocate for social justice. He joined the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service in 1976 and became a barrister at the Victorian Bar in 1981. He assisted the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in the late 1980s and was appointed Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner in 1993. Dodson subsequently pursued an academic career and is Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. Professor Dodson is a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and continues to pursue positive progress in Australian Indigenous affairs as Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia.