Oldies at Large – Retrenched!

Jan an NaumRetirement? It happened to us this week. I have been retired from the work force for a few years now and I must admit that I love it. I love not having to go to work, I love that we can manage well on hubby’s wage now the kids have all gathered up chattels and left. I love that I can spend days planning on gardening, writing, playing with the Grandies and a myriad of other things. It took a long time to arrange our affairs to this practicality.

This week however, the Man was handed a redundancy package and seriously … they did us a favour. We have nothing to complain about though organizing the management of these monies would be the number one priority. It has to last a period of time before we can expect Government assistance in the form of “New Start Allowance” or the “Old Age Pension.”

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Off on a Sortie into Sydney

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 9.25.17 amTravelling is like enriching the soul. It brings new visions, new experiences and opportunities to find new things. Hubby retired this week and we will hit the tar Aussie Style for extended periods in the coming January. We are going to join the Grey Nomad set – caravan division and I am so looking forward it. There is a lot of prep to do but we’ve been doing that for some time now… The reckoning has arrived. We reckon on being south for Aussie summer, once Chrissy with the over 30’s something set is celebrated.

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The Killing Times – A Colonial Secret

killing times bookI have just read a most amazing book ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ by Timothy Bottoms, a deeply researched account of Colonial Australia and events, which are largely hidden in our history. A very difficult book to read through it is none the less one of the most important collection of colonial accounts, which has ever graced my research shelves.

It raises many issues and helps to settle many questions of a past in colonial Australia, which has been hidden in hypocrisy, deceit and shame. Australia’s colonial history is my history. It is a history that is largely if not completely ignored in the education of our kids. Our schools teach what is a English history to Aussie kids and in doing so completely ignore our social and cultural diversity and it can be argued that this gives rise to racial dissention within our society today. Our current education in history is failing to give our kids an understanding about their truly diverse heritage in pretending we are all of English descent which is simply not true. We aren’t even English by majority!

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The Links Between Education and Racism

educIt is no wonder to me that our kids do not know our own history in Aus. I have spent the last few days examining just what our vegemiters are taught of our national history at school and further down is a breakdown in case you yourself are wondering. The data presented here is collected from Queensland but can be applied as an example across our country.

It is little wonder to me that we are now dealing with endemic racism and gross misunderstanding and ignorance about who we are and how we got here. Most believe we were English crim’s who having arrived in a convict boat with a couple of the landed gentry, hopped off in old Sydney town to a land full of roos, sheep and ockerisms to be greeted by Aboriginal savages and there we started the fighting. This is a load of crock! Having received such a strong response to my recent post Just Who are Aussies I have consistently heard of how history as a subject is failing to inform Australians about ourselves, and our national heritage and history.

boat peopleI sincerely believe that if we were taught something of our rich and varied experience as a colony and a nation, we would not be dealing with the racial dissention we are now seeing, this about WHO Australians are and just where we each belong in our world.

The RACISM I see everywhere, sticking its head up like a ferret out of a nest to be shot at by others is truly disturbing. We need to understand WHO we are and how we got here to truly appreciate our diversity with due respect.

ferretOur kids spend a small part of Year 5 learning about our Colonial History, that which forms the basis for our self-awareness as a nation and valued individuals and I sincerely think that this is grossly inadequate. While the topics relevant to our self-awareness are so blatantly absent from the curriculum, or are barely mentioned if addressed at all, our children will lack in self-awareness and due respect in their varied heritages.

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The Lore of the Dreamtime


Painting Dreaming
The legend and Lore of the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime is a mystery often, even to today’s descendants of those ancient tribes. Colonization of the continent of Australia, which began just over two hundred years ago has seen the loss of much of what was Aboriginal Lore as an ancient people were drawn into a culture which imposed its own ideals in a world of contemporary religion, commerce, industry and the development of an all encompassing social structure and the society that makes up our cities and towns, which they became a part of.

CampfireFinding little in common with many religions I spent years looking for its purpose, and looking at the results of religious passion or faith. I saw little that was encouraging until I began to examine Australian Aboriginal Lore many years ago. After realizing I had my own respect and connection to my land and the country of my birth this continuing curiosity and study has since been an interest of mine for much of my adult life.

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You Have Mail – a Reminder

I’m an Aussie and proudly so. But my family story is often forgotten or lost in the melee of righteous injustices of the past, so I would like to tell you about one of my fore-fathers experiences of colonial Australia.

During the years of the Australian colonization my ancestor was taken from his country and sent to a reformatory a long way from his family. It was a harsh place with strict discipline and although there was segregation he thought himself lucky because he could be with his brother.

Stranded

This story is true in every detail and well documented.
With literary licence I recount the following story in the first person, though I have not altered the facts as found in extensive research over many years and personal knowledge. My fore-father didn’t ever learn to write, though he learnt to make his mark and sign his name after a fashion.

Colonial Australia: A Letter from the Past

HarbourThey took me from my family, from my mother and sent my brother and I to a place a long way from our country because they thought us thieves. We never saw our family again. I was barely 10 and my brother was 12 when we were first removed from our family. Where they took us to we had to work every day along with the other boys for many years. Every day but Sunday was the same, on Sunday we had to go to church so it was special. I had never been to church before this and I didn’t much like it because I always got into trouble and our punishment was harsh, but you get used to it in time and Sunday was the best day. My brother liked church though and everyone was punished so we were no different than others. In time when we grew stronger we were taken from the boys camp and sent to work with the men where the work was much harder. We never saw wages, but no one did so we were no different.

By the time I grew old enough to leave and was able to walk free I was 20 and I wasn’t welcome in the town because I was a man amongst many men in town who couldn’t find work, so I lived in the bush with others. There we lived off the land and learnt to hunt and had to steal to survive as there was less wild game to hunt by then and sheep were slow and easy to kill.Bush life

I became a man in the bush and lived there for years until I was sent to an island prison for stealing food. My brother was also sent there with me as we did every thing together, he was the only family I had then and although we were treated harshly, often beaten and whipped when we didn’t work hard enough, or didn’t tip our heads to our overseers or were thought to be insolent, we were at least still together.

By the time we were returned to the only country we had ever really known I was able to find work in the town, on the docks and helping colonists in their gardens. I wasn’t allowed to return to the country where I had lived before because they thought I would cause trouble with the settlers.

I met my woman in the town. She too had been taken from her country and worked for the settlers as a servant. Her first child had been taken from her once the baby was just a year old and it died soon after. So did our son who was also taken from her when he was just 14 months old, soon after that he died of starvation. They said that she couldn’t work with a child on her hip but he was too young to survive without his mother and he fretted away they told us.

Many children died in these days when they were taken from their mothers, those who worked as house servants and cooks for the settlers, they even had an orphanage where they sent the babies and most died there.Orphanage

I had trouble with drinking at this time, alcohol that I got from the town people often as payment for the work I did and sometimes I was given flour or tea and salted beef. The year our first daughter was born was the year that we left the town because there was no life or freedom for us there and we wanted a better life for our kids. We wanted our children to survive and to be with us.

But alcohol was still a problem I had and it was difficult to provide for my woman and children so I ended up returning to work for the settlers, even though I was often paid only in alcohol or food, sometimes I would even be given coin now. Because I had not reported weekly to the police station as they said I should have done, even though I was free, I was thrown back into gaol again. I was also sent back to gaol because we grew small crops for a while but when they were ready for harvest we were told that the land was not ours. We never did harvest those crops. I think the settler who said he owned the land sold our crops even though we had paid to use the land with extra labour.

Street kidsWhen I finally was released we once more fled the town but two years later I was gaoled for stealing a blanket. It was in July in winter and my kids were cold and there was no work. I spent four years in gaol for that, a long way from my family and when they set me free I was at least able to work once more to feed my kids. We had four kids still alive by then but we had lost two more, they had died while I was in gaol.

The RocksYou never forget your kids and I wish life had been different though we tried hard to make it better for our kids, but sometimes we have little choice in these things.

My hope is that my kids and their kids will have a better life. Perhaps in 150 years time or so my Great – Great – Great Granddaughter will write and tell of my life and you will wonder just who I am.

I am Australian, and we are a proud people.

Robert Charles was a convict, sent around the world to Van Dieman’s Land as a young child with no hope of ever returning to his family. He and his brother were sent to a land that was the only home he really ever knew. His descendants are likely of many different colours by now and if this is your country also, I would like to remind you that we are all Australian.

Robert Charles
1823 – 1881

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The Kadaitcha – Superhero’s of Aussie Lore

Aborigine vs batman

The Lore of the Kadaitcha is an ancient and respected Lore, one of the oldest faiths in the world but one denigrated in the past by historians who recorded Australia’s colonial times. The ignorance of these historians is only surpassed by the lack of depth within the westernised concept of spirituality when it comes to understanding an ancient culture and Lore. A Lore ten times older than Christianity or any other mainstream religion.

In the social media recently I came across the graphic image shown here and found it a remarkable image. To me it represented reality vs fiction or the Kadaitcha of Aussie Lore vs pop cartoon caricature. While I have also enjoyed the still popular vampire fad of the present day up to a point, I do recognise that they are fantasy as is Batman, Clark Kent and any other super hero you might like to name including Astro-boy. I could write reams on the physical impossibilities recounted or presented in popular paranormal or supernatural fiction. This however would not include the Kadaitcha or ‘clever men’ of the Australian traditional Lore who are very, very real and are recorded in our history and the social news-sheets of their day, as well as in legend and tales which recount a social history within an ancient culture which has no ancient literary text as reference.

ELKINFor anyone who has ever encountered the elusive Kadaitcha Men, or truly studied their strengths recorded in history, such as Prof. A.P. Elkin who published a study of their Lore in ‘Aboriginal Men of High Degree’ which is available online,  there is little doubt as to their commanding power. Amongst these people can be counted a number of historical figures who recognized their strengths with respect. The most notable record of historical accounts of brushes with the Kadaitcha was when Governor Phillip, Australia’s first Colonial Governor, first met the highly respected Kadaitcha Man, Pemulwuy in an incident where the Governor was speared in 1790. To his credit Governor Phillip ordered that there be no retaliation against Pemulwuy, as he believed he acted to defend his people over atrocities committed against them by one particular colonist. The renowned Kadaitcha Man was likely undertaking what is known as ‘payback’ for these same atrocities and reacting to the failure of the Governor to control his followers or those otherwise known as colonists and convicts of the early penal settlement. Pemulwuy was of the Kadaitcha Lore and a great leader amongst his people.

Read more on the Kadaitcha in Colonial History

To Own a Woman

I often hear, as you do, about Women’s rights in todays world and despite the great distance we have come in the last century we still have a long way to go before women are truly considered as simply human, aside from skin colour and prejudice with all the privileges and rights equal to the other gender of our species, mind you this is only an opinion constrained to our species. But that is not entirely what I want to bring to you this week.

SuffragettesInstead I would like to bring to you an understanding of how far we have come. Women in history, within different cultures have enjoyed varying standards of equality if any at all but largely they were a possession of men, be that husbands, sons or fathers. They were once equal to a trade or social commodity, particularly in our more common patriarchal social structures which we are mostly exposed to. This is also an opinion constrained to our species. In other species it is the male who courts and competes for the female commonly and it is the male who protects the female and offspring… we went terribly wrong with some of the males in our society didn’t we? Perhaps we shouldn’t mate with those lesser males ladies, but that is another posting. Perhaps this is why there are so many single males around, we might want to play with them but we don’t want to necessarily marry them.

Read more about owning a woman in our history