Australian Genocide of Aborigines

Australia’s 'sanitized' genocide against Aborigines in the 21st century

“Whether the Blacks deserve any mercy at the hands of the pioneering squatters is an open question, but that they get none is certain. They are a doomed race, and before many years they will be completely wiped out of the land” - Harold Finch-Hatton (1885).

When we mention the word genocide, one of the first countries that comes to mind is Australia. This is greatly due to the research done by Ronald Wilson from Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, which brought this genocide to light and made it appear in the mainstream spotlight. In his report, Sir Ronald pointed the finger at Australia for breaching international law.

Murdering and brutalising Aboriginal Australians was an integral characteristic of being a 'dinki-di' anglophile Aussie.

 

"The United Nations Charter of 1945, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1965 all imposed obligations on Australia relating to the elimination of racial discrimination," the report says[1].

Although the British colonial dominance over every other part of the world has been busy with the same genocidal intent to kill indigenous people, the case of Australia has caught particular attention. British policies were based on white supremacy and that the aboriginal race would sooner or later die out. These policies intensified as Australia gained independence from the United Kingdom.

British Colonizers collection of the New Zealand native's heads in 1895

The indigenous people of Australia had been living on the continent for more than 65,000 years before English colonial settlers arrived in 1788. According to N. G. Bultin's (1993) estimation, there were between 1 and 1.5 million aboriginals in 1788, which is the year Britain began to colonize the continent. By 1901, however, less than 100,000 aboriginal people remained. This large reduction in Australia’s aboriginal population was carried out through official genocidal policies that covered disease episodes, the withdrawal of resources, and killing [2]. The English settlers and their descendants expropriated native land and removed the indigenous people by cutting them off from their food resources, and engaged in genocidal massacres.

According to Article II (a) to (e) of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, to which Australia is one of the signatories, genocide is defined in following lines:

“(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly removing children of the group to another group.” [3]

A close look at the situation, whether historical or at the present time, reveals that the Australian government, both before or after its independence, has fulfilled all the above factors in treatment of its minorities. British invaders actually attacked 85 countries on the Australian continent; in 30 of these cases the violations constitute a genocide against Australia’s native people [4].

In 1788, which is the time before the British invasion, there were 350-750 different ethnic groups in Australia that were categorized with broad strokes as “Indigenous” people. Each of these ethnic tribes used to speak their own languages and dialects, of which only 150 survive today. In addition, about 20 native Australian languages are currently on the verge of extinction due to the continuing genocide and cultural genocide of the remaining Indigenous societies [5].

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies published a report in 1999 that delved deep into genocide in Australia. This report was written by Professor Colin Tatz, the director of the Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies at Sydney's Macquarie University.

The report provides comprehensive material which showed that British violations in Australia are tantamount to genocide. Despite an increase in the population of native people in Australia since 1911, their conditions of life continue to be in an impoverished and highly oppressive state. The report states that diseases, such as coronary disease, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory infections, are far more widespread among Aborigines. Their life expectancy is 50-55 years for males, and around 55 for females. The unemployment rate among Aborigines is three times that of non-Aboriginal Australians —22.7 percent as opposed to 8.1 percent. Those aborigines who are lucky enough to find a job will receive an income 25 percent lower than the average income. According to this report around 10,000 Aborigines were killed from 1824 to 1908 in Queensland.

“Considered ‘wild animals', ‘vermin', ‘scarcely human', ‘hideous to humanity', ‘loathsome' and a ‘nuisance', they were fair game for white ‘sportsmen'.”[6].

Australia, until 1960s, Aborigines came under the Flora And Fauna Act, classified them as animals, not human beings.

Although aboriginals make up around three percent of Australia’s population, they constitute a whopping 28% of Australia’s prison population [7]. Meanwhile the incarceration rate continues to increase among the Aboriginal people [8].

Aborigines were kept behind fences as if they were wild animals. This kind of segregation was meant to ensure that nobody got in or out. Aside from this intense kind of segregation, the British policies were centered on assimilating the native people to English ways. Tatz points that “Under the Victorian Aborigines Protection Act 1886 aid was restricted to full-bloods and half-castes over the age of 34. All others, regardless of their marital or sibling status, were forcibly expelled from missions and reserves. Children were not exempt. They faced relocation to white foster parents, white adoptive parents and half-caste or assimilation homes.”

The assimilation policies that exist even today are aimed at the disappearance of the Aboriginal people. In 1937, 1951 and 1961 official assimilation policies against Aboriginal people were again ratified in Australia. In these policies, terms such as "breeding them white" clearly shows the intent was to find a biological solution, which constitutes a form of genocide.

In line with the assimilation policies was the policy to take native Australian children from their parents to raise them in white foster homes away from their roots and cultures. So from an early age, children would grow up with an English life style. This dark period in human history--happening between 1910 and 1970-- is called the “stolen generations” period. During this period, up to 100,000 Aboriginal children were abducted from their families, and were forced to live in dismal conditions, in "homes" that were not homes. While forced removal of children was the cornerstone to destroy the rest of the surviving Aboriginal languages and dialects, children were also encouraged to abandon and deny their Aboriginal heritage and language, and adopt western standards. In addition to isolation from their families, these children also faced sexual abuse. The policies carried out were grounded in white superiority theory and that the native people would eventually die out.

Forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families was still taking place while this article was being written. John Pilger, an Australian-born filmmaker and author for Truth-Out.org, maintains that nearly 14,000 Aboriginal children had been “removed” from their family environment in June 2013, in continuation of a century-old colonial policy. If the forced removal in Australia remains at the current rate, “this mass removal of Aboriginal children will result in a stolen generation of more than 3,300 children in the Northern Territory alone,” Pilger writes.[9]

 

Australians protest genocide of Aborigines on Invasion Day

 

Of course, the forced removal of Aboriginal children was not about building a better future for them, because they received a lower standard of education, or sometimes no education at all in comparison to white Australians. According to the National Sorry Day Committee:

“In Western Australia, for example, once removed, children were often placed in dormitories, trained as farm laborers and domestic servants, and by the age of 14 were sent out to work.”[10]

It is in connection to this unfair and unjust policy that Aborigines, who account for a mere 3 percent of the Australian population, make up one fourth of Australia’s prison population [11].

As further proof that the previous colonial attitudes are not over yet, it must be highlighted that Australian PM Tony Abbott declared that Indigenous Australians who continue to live on their own traditional lands and speak their native languages constitute “lifestyle choices” therefore, Australian taxpayers should not subsidize them [12]. The Australian policy regarding the removal of native culture is still in place in Australia. According to a recent study (2009):

“At the end of 2008, the Northern Territory Government, supported by the Commonwealth Government, all but closed bilingual education in remote Indigenous schools by determining that the language of instruction for the first four hours of school must be English. This decision could spell the death of the remaining endangered Indigenous languages in Australia.”[13]

Involuntary sterilization of Aboriginal women and children [14] was and is widespread in Australia. Aboriginal women were labeled by the British occupiers as impure. This theory justified the sterilization of Aboriginal women in Australia [15]. Even today, sterilizing women in Australia is a major concern for international organizations, such as the United Nations, whom announced in November 2015 that this practice, in Australia, is a complete breach of Human Rights [16].

Despite all the glaring evidence that point to an ongoing genocide against Australia’s Aborigines, former Australian PM John Howard still believes that there has been no genocide against Aborigines[17]. This statement reveals a historical cover-up has long been in place, regarding the continuation of horrible crimes committed against minorities, in Australia. Howard’s denial also reveals how the Australian government is still refusing to recognize the minorities’ rights on its territory.

Australia Aborigines ask UN for refugee status

 


[1] Sydney, Robert Milliken. Australia accused of genocide against aborigines. Independent. [Online] 05 24, 1997. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australia-accused-of-genocide-against-aborigines-1263163.html.

[2] The Impacts of English Colonial Terrorism and Genocide on Indigenous/Black Australians. Jalata, Asafa. 3, Tennessee : Sage open, 2013, Vol. 3. Available at:http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/spsgo/3/3/2158244013499143.full.pdf.

[3] Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. United Nations Human Rights Office of High Commissioner. [Online] [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CrimeOfGenocide.aspx.

[4] Polya, Gideon. As UK Lackeys Or US Lackeys Australians Have Invaded 85 Countries (British 193, French 80, US 70). Counter Currents. [Online] 02 09, 2015. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://www.countercurrents.org/polya090215.htm.

[5] —. Abbott & Australian Aboriginal Ethnocide. Media With Conscience News. [Online] 03 11, 2015. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/50239-australian-aboriginal.html.

[6] Report details crimes against Aborigines. World socialist Web Site. [Online] 09 07, 1999. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/1999/09/geno-s07.html.

[7] Aboriginal prison rates. Creative Spirits. [Online] [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/law/aboriginal-prison-rates.

[8] Prisoners in Australia, 2015. Australian Bureau of Statistics. [Online] 11 12, 2015. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4517.0.

[9] Australia Perpetuates Cultural Genocide Through Forced Removal of Aboriginal Youth. Indian country today media network. [Online] 03 26, 2014. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/03/26/australia-perpetuates-cultural-genocide-through-forced-removal-aboriginal-youth-154181.

[10] Stolen Generations History. National Sorry Day Committee. [Online] 05 24, 2015. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://www.nsdc.org.au/stolen-generations-history/.

[11] Indigenous Imprisonment Fact Sheet. Law Council of Australia. [Online] [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] https://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/lawcouncil/images/LCA-PDF/Indigenous_Imprisonment_Fact_Sheet.pdf.

[12] Medhora, Shalailah. Remote communities are 'lifestyle choices', says Tony Abbott . The Guardian. [Online] 03 10, 2015. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/mar/10/remote-communities-are-lifestyle-choices-says-tony-abbott.

[13] Caffery, Josephine, McConvell, Patrick and Simpson, Jane. Gaps in Australia's Indigenous language policy: dismantling bilingual education in the Northern Territory. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. [Online] 12 2009. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://aiatsis.gov.au/publications/products/gaps-australias-indigenous-language-policy-dismantling-bilingual-education-northern-territory.

[14] Huff, Ethan A. Australian children to be sterilized without parental consent under new eugenics law. Natural News. [Online] 03 08, 2012. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://www.naturalnews.com/035185_Australia_sterilization_children.html#.

[15] Bernard, Anne-Sophie. Aborigines and aboriginal women's identities in Australia : the damaging and painful meeting with others. s.l. : Literature, 2013. http://dumas.ccsd.cnrs.fr/dumas-00925060/document.

[16] Jabour, Bridie. UN examines Australia's forced sterilisation of women with disabilities . The Guardian. [Online] 11 10, 2015. [Cited: 02 05, 2016.] http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/nov/10/un-examines-australias-forced-sterilisation-of-women-with-disabilities.

[17] Davidson, Helen. John Howard: there was no genocide against Indigenous Australians . Thew Guardian. [Online] 09 22, 2014. [Cited: 03 05, 2016.] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/22/john-howard-there-was-no-genocide-against-indigenous-australians.

Comments

  • 2017-06-19 12:41
    Who wrote this and what is the original source please?
  • 2017-09-19 02:36
    John Howard 'n Tony Abbott 'n the queen of Britain I want sued for every bit of their evil acts of attempting g to wipe us indigenous people's right to exis.
  • 2017-09-25 07:49
    its all true, sources are there

Comment