One of the most troublesome subjects for interpreters who work with Australian languages is finding acceptable ways to refer to the concept of a sacred site. In Kuninjku, these are known as Djang. In central Australia, the term Tjukurrpa is becoming more well known by non-Indigenous people. These terms involve more than just a location, but also ideas about deep history, the period of creation and the association between specific groups of people and totemic aspects which have their historical focus in these places. The term ‘Dreaming’ is so inadequate and misleading and so many Indigenous people are starting to reject this term, although others continue to use it.
There are no winners in any of this—a group of women are (rightfully it seems) aggrieved by Walker's (admitted) failures in research and diligence, a respected author has suffered a terrible fall from grace and none of us (well, most of us) will get to read what is/was without doubt a valuable contribution to our shared musical history.
Now after the Catholic church has spent over a century stripping us of everything they could get their thieving hands on including our culture and our children, they have managed to find themselves another role to play. To add insult to injury they now present themselves to the world as the preservers and keepers of Tiwi culture.
From the early days, young Aborigines were trained and used as labour on VRD and the number of white men, according to Big Mick, was very small, often only the manager, head stockman and cook. In those days the Aborigines received no wages, only rations of dry bread and beef, sugar and tea, and at the end of the season were given small amounts of tobacco, flour, sugar and tea: Dr. Partick McConville.
With the greatest reluctance, the AIATSIS Council has decided that applications for research grants will not be invited for the 2012 year. Although an important discretionary program, this will be the first time in over 20 years that grants will not be available.
That policy of speaking English only at school is the wrong thing - it is not good for our children, because if they put, if the children are only taught in English - they will forget their language, and they will lose their identity. They won't know who they are.