Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Great Aboriginal Dissenters

The editor of the National Indigenous Times has published his list of his top ten Great Dissenters in the past couple of decades of Aboriginal affairs and politics.

I would say yes, yes, yes to nearly all on his list, but I think that Patrick Dodson deserves his own listing up there on my list. I am really impressed to see a woman elder, Marjorie Woodrow, in the number 1 spot, and tend to agree on the basis of what he wrote.

Something I keep wondering at is, again, the absence of any Torres Strait Islanders from the list. Admitedly, the editor specifically identifies the list as his top ten dissenters in Aboriginal politics. But why? Is it because the NIT is Aboriginal centric, and isn't imbued enough with Torres Strait Islander struggle and culture to appreciate their place in history?

Surely this is not for a lack of TI leaders in the past few decades. Why isn't Eddie Mabo in that list?

This only confirms my sense that the Torres Strait Islands and its struggles is still hidden from many of us non-Indigenous in Australia – even if we support the struggles for land rights and self-determination of our Indigenous neighbours.

Does this suggest that it may be similar for mainland, or certainly central and southern/southeastern Aboriginal people?


At January 31, 2006 9:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of speaking to Marjorie over the phone almost ten years ago. At the time I was a resource officer with the Qld Department of Families and Community Seervices, and she called to ask for any Indigenous child protection resources avialable in Qld with a view to developing something suitable in NSW. Marjorie later sent me a signed copy of her autobiography. I had seen plenty of the Department's 'black' history from files at the time, but this was before "Bringing Them Home" so it was the first personal account that I had read. Very happy to see her on this list.


At February 01, 2006 12:45 pm, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Cool! That is amazing to hear! Also, I didn't realise that she was also involved in Aboriginal child protection – more reason to admire her, I think. I must track down her autobiography...

At February 01, 2006 2:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One of the Lost Generation"
Marjorie Woodrow
ISBN: 0 7316 8407 9
Claude Smith Printers Pty Ltd
PO Box M84, Dubbo East. 2830

Perhaps I should set it free?

At February 06, 2006 12:23 am, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

If it's a signed copy, nah!


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