Ngiyani Winangay Ganunga

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According to international jurist, educator and former judge,  the Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG, “A charitable interpretation of the relationship between the Australian system post-1788 and the Indigenous Aboriginal [and Torres Strait Islander] people of the continent is that it is a tale of indifference and neglect. A less charitable interpretation is that it represents a cruel assertion of power: sometimes deliberate, sometimes mindless, resulting in the destruction of [ ] culture, unparallel rates of criminal conviction and imprisonment and massive deprivation of property and land.”*

Today is Australia Day; a national day of celebration to commemorate the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, the hoisting of the British flag, and the proclamation of British sovereignty over Australia.

But, for so many, it is a day we remember and mourn the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives at the hands of the invaders.

In the words of the Gamilaraay people,

ngiyani winangay ganunga

we remember them.

*Source, Hazelhurst, K (1987), Ivory Scales: Black Australia and The Law, New South Wales University Press, Sydney, p.15.



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