When you step into history of water and country in Anglo-Australian society you quickly reconnect with the colonisation of Australia, the pre-Mabo narratives of Australia as an empty landscape (the doctrine of terra nullius), the colonialist discourses that we are rooted in colonialist ideologies and legacies and racist law. These justify and legitimate the nigger hunts in the colonial history of frontier conflict involving white men riding out on hunting expeditions to hunt and exterminate aboriginal people, as an exercise in land clearing.
A core colonial ideology is all about progress and destiny, the planting of flags and the arrival of legitimate historical narrative. This settler narrative is a heroic tale of the British as the discoverers, explorers and pioneers of the country, of how these white men came to settle a strange country and transform it by their science and technology, capital and labour, thus creating a civilisation out of a wilderness. This narrative is silent about a population that has been almost exterminated; and it denies that the wiping of Australian Aborigines should be considered a genocide.
This discourse repudiates the alternative narrative of invasion and dispossession of the original inhabitants. Section 127 of the Australian Constitution pre-1967, was a section in which Aboriginal Australians were not classified as people but as part of the flora and fauna. This represented the extinguishment of their rights to land. Continue reading