the dreaming

re-visioning Aboriginal Sense of Place


Click on an Arrow at the end of the Quote above or on a Dot to advance to a different Quote

Unless otherwise indicated, the quotes are from Robert Lawlor's "Voices of the First Day"

Please note there is no intention to offend by using the words "Aborigines" or "Aboriginal" or "Indigenous"

To learn what a TREATY would mean -  click  HERE

Blog Posts

The Final Quarter: A Documentary Film Review. I STAND WITH ADAM GOODES

“The Final Quarter” is a 75 minute documentary of archival media footage related to Australian indigenous AFL (Australian Football League) player, Adam Goodes. It was produced by Shark Island Productions and directed by Ian Darling and aired in 2019. The documentary covers the last 3 years of Goode’s outstanding football career, 2013 to 2015.

In my honest opinion, If you don’t know anything at all about the happenings that the footage relates to, the documentary may confuse you or not make a lot of sense, simply because it is made up of a sequence or a collage of snippets taken from radio and television interviews and shows.

Being aware that in May 2013, at Sydney’s Indigenous Round match against Collingwood, that a teenage spectator called Goodes an ape when he was at the boundary line, and his immediate reaction was to point her out, resulting in her being escorted off the grounds, I was interested in this documentary.

I wanted to know more, especially because I have lived in Australia since I was a baby and was brought up in an English-Australian family; but because I have Chinese genes, I have faced racism — a lot of it.

If you are continually jeered at and pushed against and have had your Self, the essence of spirit that is uniquely you, stamped out, it gets to you.

Adam Goodes, born in 1980, played Australian Rules Football for the Sydney Swans from 1999 to 2015. Goodes established himself as a solid utility player and one of Sydney’s best scorers. In 2003 he was joint recipient of the Brownlow Medal for the home-and-away season’s best and fairest player.

The following season he was the sole winner of the Brownlow Medal, becoming the 12th player to take the award more than once.

In January 2014 Goodes was named Australian of the Year for both his efforts to end racism and his work with indigenous-youth community programs. However, one person alone cannot end an entrenched system of subtle, ignored and wanton racism.

Released in June 2019 at the Sydney Film Festival, the film prompted the AFL to formally and unreservedly apologise for its failure to try to reduce the racism experienced by Adam Goodes.

The documentary puts together the words of those who feel that Goodes was and is an attention-seeker and should “man up” and not let the taunts and constant booing of him until 2015, when he permanently retired, get to him, and the words of the few whom supported Goodes.

Some, like Eddie Maguire, Collingwood club president and media personality, with what is called an “on air gaff”, alluded that Goodes should accept the un-wanted attention (taunts) and keep quiet, for the sake of the sport.

The documentary covers a segment of a radio show with conservative media commentator Alan Jones with a notation that permission was sought from Jones but not given, to use his image, with a speaker speaking the words of Alan Jones.

Jones stated that Adam Goodes always plays the victim and had to change his behaviour if he wanted the crowds to stop booing him at AFL games.

This is a bit like saying, in a domestic abuse case, that if you are being beaten up by a violent spouse, you have to change your behaviour if you want them not to kill you.

“They’re booing Adam Goodes because they don’t like him and they don’t like his behaviour.”…….Alan Jones

Earth to Alan Jones: Duh, and some of us don’t like the behaviour of people taunting us based upon our race or the perception of us being disruptive or un-acceptably different because of our race….or age, gender or other characteristics.

It is the opinion of people like Jones and other conservative media commentators like Miranda Devine, from the Sydney Telegraph, and Andrew Bolt, News Corp columnist, that Goodes is in the wrong, and incited the booing because of arrogance or disrespect or bad playing (staging for free kicks) or all of these: things which some see because they choose to see them and paint him completely with these brushes.

Miranda Devine wrote for the Daily Telegraph, Sydney, that “Only Adam Goodes can stop the booing” yet goes on to say that “short of banning the fans, there’s not much the AFL can do about this vicious cycle, other than to counsel Goodes to remake his image.”

This viewpoint conveniently lets the AFL and others in positions of power off the hook basically. If Goodes, one man against thousands of footy fans, can stop the booing, I’ll eat my hat.

Outspoken radio and television personality, and former Geelong player, Sam Newman, featured on the Footy Show, is shown saying, with vitriol, Goodes wasn’t booed because he is Aboriginal, it was because he was acting like a jerk.

It takes one to know one, Sam.

Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun claimed that Goodes was at fault for publicly singling out and bullying and embarrassing a 13 year old girl.

Never mind that the girl offensively called the football player an ape. Having been called “Ching Chong” and “four eyes”, “Ah-saw” and a “Hobbit” I have a little experience knowing how it affects ones psyche when you are not only called names, but encounter other forms of discrimination also.

Hey Andrew, I suppose you wouldn’t mind being called a “snow fruit.”

Wake up Miranda and Andrew. If you watch the documentary, you will see that Adam Goodes, a clearly intelligent and articulate person, spoke out 28 times in defence of the girl, asking for her to be left alone and saying that she was not at fault.

What happened was due to how she was raised by her parents and society at large, Goodes also pointed out. His reaction was an intuitive response, and has caused out-of-proportion pointing of him as beating upon an innocent, hard done by, young girl, the reason for this being that what one focuses on grows.

Some choose to be outraged by their notion of a sweet young girl being picked upon by Goodes, and conveniently and selectively ignore the extent of racist taunts that indigenous and others in Australia face, and what it might be like not only for them, but for those they love, to be treated in this manner long term.

The girl was NOT identified by the media or by anyone, other than by anyone who personally knew her at the match. In the clip you can’t see her face so I don’t know her from Martha. Furthermore, her mother, calling herself Joanne, got her “spot in the sun” in the media, saying Goodes should apologise (for what?) and had this to say.

“If he hadn’t have carried on like a pork chop it wouldn’t have mattered. I don’t think he should retire, he should man up and just take it.”

I wonder what she feeds her daughter on.

If it was a fifty year old man that Goodes had pointed out, would that have been okay? When I was thirteen, I was reading Shakespeare, Michener and Arthur Haley’s “Roots”.

Bolt also said:

“I also thought Goodes was very silly to stage a kind of war dance and threaten fans with an imaginary spear.”

This reflected when, after scoring a goal at the 2015 Indigenous Round match, Goodes did a victory dance and mimed throwing a spear in the direction of the Carlton fans.

Goodes later said that the dance was a war cry created by a group of Aboriginal teenagers from the football development and leadership program, the Flying Boomerangs.

It was a celebration of his goal and of his team’s achievements, along the lines of the New Zealand haka at their rugby games. If it had a tinge of rebuttal in it, think about it, after 3 years of constant booing and being put down, might you not react with some defensiveness?

Nobody is perfect, not even Adam Goodes.

Indeed, Goodes as do many others, have had to build up a “thick skin” to inure themselves against subtle and overtly expressed words and actions which show ignorance of racial matters, and wanton racism.

Imagine yourself at a public place and someone saying to their mate “I want to put her head in a vice and crush it”. This happened to me one day as I was walking from the bus station to someone’s car, absolutely minding my own business, but looking Asian.

Little doubt that the “polarisation” or the divided opinions and feelings of Australians will be renewed afresh with the release of this documentary, which is well worth watching.

It has already sparked conversation in workplaces, and I assume at homes, such as it being pointed out to me that there has been a “tradition” of booing a player in his home State after he has left that State team, gone to another team and returned to the state of origin.

The systemic booing at sports events has even been acknowledged by Goodes, who said he has been booed before the incident with the teenager, and it is a fact of footy life.

The challenge of the AFL and those who were able to take the plunge into recognising that the booing and pointing the finger at Goodes were an expression of people’s discomfort at the fact that Adam Goodes was raising the issue of racism, was not taken up by the AFL

I like it that interspersed among the footage were definitions of things, like “racist”, “ape” and “racial vilification”. The mother and others claim that the thirteen year old didn’t know that calling someone an ape was offensive. Really? Folks, there's a fine line between humour and disrespect. 

In a special edition of The Project, aired after the documentary, host Waleed Aly issued a challenge to Australia to embrace what they had learned.

“It seems that what began as personal torment for Adam quickly became a national controversy,” he said.

“The question now really is whether it can become a productive national conversation. And the answer to that question rests with each of us.”



Adam Goodes should Apologise

Swans star Adam Goodes always plays the victim: Alan Jones

Three Pieces of Fake News the Booers Believed

Adam Goodes Was Failed By The Game And Fans He Loved

Eddie McGuire apologises to Adam Goodes for King Kong comment but will not resign

Adam Goodes ‘cut down’ by racist booing because he was powerful, says commentator Charlie King

The Final Quarter: Waleed Aly’s major issue with reaction to Adam Goodes documentary

PAUL KELLY - THE AUSTRALIAN - Uluru Statement deserves respect, but treaty would backfire

MAY 31,  2017.   What The Australian has to say about a Treaty that cannot happen now:

"After a 10-year process and six months of discussions around this country, the historic Uluru Statement from the Heart, authorised by 250 delegates, deserves a respect and evaluation by the political class befitting its seriousness.

This declaration is not hard to grasp. It is a new direction in the debate over constitutional recognition. It offers a better chance for a successful referendum because it breaks from the dead end this process had reached. It recognises the conservatism of the public and seeks to work with, not against, the Australian Constitution.

The political class should take more than five minutes to comprehend what it means before rejecting it. Immediate rejection betrays contempt for the diligence, realism and revisionism this document embodies.

Are there risks in the Uluru Statement? Of course. There is no easy road on this journey. Are the politicians and public entitled to be confused? Yes, the departure from the doomed stalemate of the past decade is great and the document constitutes a new direction, but not a detailed policy.

Nothing will be achieved without goodwill. Without goodwill from both indigenous and non-­indigenous peoples, this project is lost and Australia will become a poorer entity.

Compromise is the name of the game and the indigenous leaders are willing to compromise. That spirit must be reciprocated.

There are three big political steps involved in the Uluru Statement. First, under the influence of Noel Pearson the indigenous majority has abandoned its insistence that a non-negotiable condition of recognition be a constitutional ban on racial discrimination.

This is the pivotal concession. A reluctant Pearson has embraced this position over the past couple of years founded in a harsh realism. The zenith in the campaign for a constitutional clause came with the 2015 report of the joint select committee chaired by indigenous members Ken Wyatt and Nova Peris that called for a constitutional ban on discrimination on grounds of race, colour, or ethnic or national origin.

This mirrored the deepest faith of the progressive class in its aspiration to exploit the referendum to achieve a sweeping change in Australia’s constitutional character, transfer power from parliament to judges, set this country down the American path and secure guarantees that would apply far beyond indigenous issues.

Any such referendum was always doomed. It would never be accepted by a Liberal prime minister, a Coalition cabinet or a Coalition partyroom. Yet this posi­tion appeared to be locked in. To its discredit, Labor embraced this position in statements from Bill Shorten and other senior figures.

It meant that many people and institutions, such as The Australian newspaper for example, supportive of constitutional recognition, would have had no option but to oppose the referendum. Frank Brennan has long pointed out the folly of this idea, saying it meant every state or federal law or practice dealing with indigenous issues would be reviewable by a court in a process sure to inflame public divisions and tie indigenous policy in hopeless litigation.

Pearson’s success in securing the abandonment of this position is remarkable. He has worked with an array of constitutional lawyers, notably Greg Craven and Anne Twomey, and Liberal MP Julian Leeser, who has called the Uluru Statement the “big breakthrough”. The defeat of the progressive class on this issue has far-reaching import — if it cannot persuade the indigenous peoples on this front then the campaign for a constitutional bill of rights, the ideological fixation of people such as Gillian Triggs, is a truly lost cause.

Leeser tells this column the new approach, “looking at the structures of government and offering a voice in policymaking, reflected the thinking of (Samuel) Griffith and (Edmund) Barton and their colleagues who framed the Constitution, had they turned their minds to this issue”.

This brings us to the second political conclusion. At Pearson’s initiative the indigenous leaders have sought empowerment through process and institutions — incorporating into the Constitution a First Nations voice, an indigenous body, almost certainly elected, to provide advice and recommendations on proposed policy affecting indigenous peoples.

On ABC’s Q&A Pearson called it “the tent embassy in stone”. The leaders said it was designed to ­address “the torment of our powerlessness”.

Let’s get clear what it isn’t — it isn’t a new parliamentary chamber, a rival to the Senate; it has no executive or legislative power; it cannot delay laws and lacks the power to wreck the system. Given the destructive operations of the current Senate, it’s more than rich for politicians to fantasise about the damage this body could render when they have a real live wrecking machine on display. Don’t remotely think an indigenous advisory body would perform with the irresponsibility of the existing Senate.

Indeed, it is possible to think a referendum question asking “Do you support an indigenous body in the Constitution to offer non-binding advice on issues concerning the indigenous peoples?” might actually get up.

Being realistic, however, the problems are immense. The new body would be created by an act of parliament. But when? The public would need to know the nature, composition and rules of the proposed body before any referendum. They could not vote blind.

Brennan argues the Referendum Council should recommend action be taken to set up quickly the new body, since a referendum must await its established operation.

Pearson wants a referendum as soon as next year. An indigenous adviser tells this column one option was a sequence as follows: ­tabling the bill to establish the body, holding the referendum and then legislating the measure.

It is extremely doubtful that would work. Uncertainty about the nature of the body being incorporated into the Constitution will become a chronic difficulty for the referendum’s success. It is unclear how this can be solved.

The third conclusion from the Uluru Statement is the determination of the indigenous leadership to advance a treaty or range of treaties. This could kill the referendum outright. Last week’s statement called for a Makarrata Commission, not part of the Constitution and therefore not part of the referendum, to prepare the ground for treaties or agreements — “the coming together after a struggle”.

The problem is acute. While the referendum is not about a treaty, it cannot be divorced from the plan for a treaty. The Liberal Party and the Nationals have not embraced the treaty concept. There has been no considered analysis of a treaty and no concrete proposal for a treaty at the national level. Who are the exact parties to a treaty? What does it constitute? What are its consequences? It is hardly credible Malcolm Turnbull could endorse the concept.

Because the treaty has been foreshadowed but not defined, it remains a gift for those seeking to run a scare campaign about the consequences of the referendum. The danger with a treaty is that the public will see it as divisive rather than uniting.

The conundrum is obvious — by putting a treaty on the table and giving it potentially more weight than the constitutional referendum, the indigenous leaders may have ruined any hope of the referendum’s success.

The risk is that by asking for too much, they may finish with too little. There was, of course, another way. It is the way they universally reject. It is the method of the 1967 referendum — seek a modest and symbolic constitutional change, secure a huge vote, unite the nation for your cause, build massive goodwill and use the referendum’s momentum to launch a historic series of initiatives over the next 20 years.

The mistake indigenous leaders make is to vest too much in so-called “substantial” changes to the Constitution that are extremely difficult to achieve. Having insisted when John Howard was prime minister that symbolism was all-important, they now say it is worthless. Let’s tell the truth: a modest and symbolic change is far better than no change at all."…/a8a45aafc630371e28432f0b5…



Here is what a Treaty means -

The torment of our Powerlessness

"These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness."

Please click on the Link below to read the ULURU STATEMENT made at the 2017 National Constitution Convention  - it is a PDF document so you will need to download the free Adobe PDF Reader program if you don’t have it already – at this Link   HERE  .


Indigenous summit rejects 'minimalist' recognition, pushes for treaty and voice in Constitution

A referendum could be held early next year to enshrine a "First Nations Voice" in the constitution after a historic all-Indigenous convention overwhelmingly backed the move. 

On Friday 26 May 2017, indigenous leaders from across the country at the conclusion of 3 days of deliberations at the First Nations National Convention, out rightly rejected the idea of mere recognition in the Australian Constitution, instead calling for a representative body to be enshrined in the nation's founding document and for a process to be established working towards treaties.

In a stunning repudiation, the convention rejected acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution, instead backing the Indigenous voice. It also called for a road map to a treaty.

Key points:

  • Constitutional recognition was "totally rejected"
  • Uluru delegation calls for First Nations Voice enshrined in the constitution
  • Delegation also calls for a truth and justice commission, the Makarrata Commission.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is the result of three days of deliberations during the national gathering.  The announcement is the result of a historic convention in the centre of Australia.   250 indigenous people from all around Australia convened in Uluru to try and reach a consensus on whether a referendum on constitutional recognition was needed, and what it would look like.

Australia is the only Commonwealth country that does not have a treaty with its Indigenous peoples.

The message for the Australian public and Federal government is:

"In '67 we asked to be counted. In 2017 we're asking to be heard."

The Convention, consisting of 250 Indigenous delegates, called for a "Makarrata Commission" to supervise and monitor agreements between Indigenous groups and the Federal government and to voice Indigenous concerns about the treatment of Australia's first people,

Founder of the Cape York Partnership, Noel Pearson, said the Uluru Statement, which will be presented to the Referendum Council to adopt options for constitutional reform to then be delivered to the Federal government, presents Australia with a chance to address "the nettle of the structural situation in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live."

The Referendum Council was jointly appointed by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten on 7 December 2015.

Its job is to advise the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition on progress and next steps towards a successful referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution.

Not surprisingly, the Deputy Prime Minister also said any proposal to the effect of a new parliamentary chamber would be unrealistic. 

"If you are asking for a new chamber in the federal parliament, some of the articles I see are heading in that direction, that's not going to happen, I am going to be fair dinkum with people," he said.

"We want something we can sell to the Australian people. You know the bosses in this show?

"If you are suggesting that we have local government, state government upper and lower house, then a federal government with a lower house, a Senate and another chamber again, you don't have to be Nostradamus to tell the future of what happens here. The Australian people will say no to that."


How strange.  I thought Life wasn’t about “bosses” and as an Australian who has lived in Australia for over 50 years I certainly don’t feel that I am the “boss” of the Government !!  Also how arrogant for him to say we will say No.

Mr Barnaby Joyce -     I   SAY   “YES”




Speaking on the ABC's Q&A on Monday 29th May, Indigenous Australian panellists Noel Pearson, Pat Anderson Megan Davis, Nakkiah Lui and Stan Grant took to justifying Friday's First Nations National Convention and the Uluru Statement, which calls for constitutional reform involving a "First Nations Voice" in parliament and a serious push towards a treaty with Indigenous people.

Please listen to the Questions and Answer session at the ABC site, link below.  You can also download (save) the Video and / or copy or read the Transcript.


Co-Chair of the Referendum Council and Chairperson of the Lowitja Institute, Pat Anderson said: "We are voiceless and powerless in our own lands. This is our country. We have been here for 60,000 years. There has to be substantive change, structural change that will make a difference.

I think, Australia is ready for it. I think we're mature enough and sophisticated enough to have this what might be a difficult conversation, but for goodness sake let's have it and be done with it.”

The Referendum Council will officially recommend to both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that a treaty be established with Australia's First Nations people, and that a permanent place for First Australians is constitutionally enshrined in Parliament.









Survival Day 26 January - Australia's Day of shame

I won't be celebrating the 26th January as Australia Day and here is why. If Australia Day is about celebrating a Nation with fair services and opportunities and equal treatment of all people of Australia, regardless of the colour of their skin, then I am not celebrating the Anniversary of the day that colonialists first arrived at NSW, Australia, leading to mass slaughter and dis-possession of Australia's Aboriginal people, and treating them like animals, a legacy which of course, to any intelligent person, has had a huge negative impact upon the current generations of Aboriginal people.

I choose to celebrate every day knowing there are people who understand and care about Australia's "black history" and who take real action to bring about reparation, like Clinton's Walk for Justice.

Why not celebrate Australia Day on the 17th September when the Australian Citizenship Act 1973 received Assent, marking the end of the White Australia Policy? Some may say who cares what the date is, it's the purpose or point. Well, people celebrate the anniversary of the day they were born ( their birthdays ) for the reason that date in the past mattered and the same applies here.

What is really disturbing to me is the lack of ignorance around the ongoing ramifications of the Invasion Day.  So many people say rubbish like "Aboriginals have got it easy now" or "They bring their troubles wholly upon themselves" and the list goes on ....  even, astonishingly, things like "survival of the strongest" and "that's what happens".  Well, if white people were not fearful of the original inhabitants of Australia, and were NOT greedy, arrogant and power mongering, they would have cultured a respectful two-way relationship between themselves and the Aboriginal custodians.  Given that they didn't, it is way time that people of today take on responsibility for being part of a Collective, and supposed civilised and humane Society, to restore Aboriginal sense of place.

26th January is Invasion Day and Survival Day for Aboriginal Australia.



Clinton's Walk for Justice - Perth to Canberra

Twenty six year old Clinton Pryor is walking across Australia.  Clinton says:

I do not want to see communities closed down and see my people lose their home because the government has decided not fund service for them. It is not right and this why I am doing the walk to save my people from losing their home and being forced to live homeless.


If you are at all interested in or concerned about restorative justice for Australia's First Nation's People, head over NOW to one of the links below, and learn more.


The official "Clinton's Walk for Justice" website will give you comprehensive information about the Walk.

The government wants to close down our Indigenous communities and I need your help to make a stand to keep communities open.

As an Indigenous person created by the dreamtime, I believe it is my responsibility and the responsibility of all people to look after the planet and to keep the dreamtime alive.

By removing people from country, our connection with our ancestors and spirituality is put at risk. I know because I grew up on country.

Clinton Pryor


To learn what a TREATY would mean,  go to  THIS  post of Clinton's FB Page.

Alternatively,  visit the Australians Together page   HERE


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