Monday, January 19, 2009

Charles Perkins

I know that Charles Perkins is an Indigenous Australian.

This is all I know.

I shall go find out more.

Well, I can't play with the Birthday Website today because Lord Wiki doesn't know when Perkins was born. He says it happened between 1936 and 1937.

Wait. Off to the side, there is an official birthdate. I don't know if that's real or not though. It could be just a made-up date so they'd have something to put on official forms. I'm going to skip that for now.

Lord Wiki says that Perkins was born to an Arrernte woman and Kalkadoon man.

He had eleven brothers and sisters. Wow.

The Arrernte people are Aborigines that live around Alice Springs.

The Kalkadoon were from Mt. Isa in Queensland. The two places are about twelve hours from each other.

I wonder how Perkin's parents met. Did they meet in Alice Springs? Queensland? Somewhere inbetween?

Perkins went to Alice Springs Church School. I can't easily find any websites, on that so I'm guessing it might no longer exist.

He also went to a school in Adelaide; St Francis College for Aboriginal Boys. Was this a school or a place they took stolen children? How did he end up all the way down in Adelaide? Did his whole family move to Adelaide? Was he taken away from his family? If he was, why did they take him all the way down to South Australia?

Perkins went to the Metropolitan Business College. There's a school with that name in Parramatta. I wonder if this is where he went. I guess then he switched to the University of Sydney. He became the first Indigenous Australian to graduate from a University. While going to school, he worked for the city cleaning toilets.

Either before or during his university years, Perkins got married. His wife was named Eileen Muchenberg. I just googled her to see if I could find any information about her. I ended up on a page that has a picture of Charles Perkins. I've seen him before. In fact, I have his photo saved on my screensaver slideshow. Before I started this blog, I spent days looking at various Australian biography sites. I think I read about Perkins then and saved his picture. Then soon I had no idea who he was. I just saw him as an important Indigenous man. I didn't even remember his name. That's the scary thing. The information goes in my head and then goes right back out again. I'm actually trying to prevent that though. I've been adding everyone I research to the slideshow. Then I watch it, and as the random photos pop up I test myself. I make sure I still know who these people are.

Anyway, back to Muchenberg. I was wondering if she was part Indigenous or not. I don't think so. Her family were German Lutherans.

Well, I could have guessed the German part.

The Perkins couple ended up with three kids.

In 1965 Perkins participated in the Freedom Train. This was inspired by the US Civil Rights. It involved a bus ride around New South Wales. The purpose of the ride was to expose and deal with discrimination. Unfortunately, they were able to prove their point. In Walgett, an RSL club refused to admit Aborigines even though some of the Aborigines were ex-servicemen. In Moree, Aborigines were not allowed to swim in a swimming pool. They tried and were attacked by white people with eggs and tomatoes.

I guess some areas of Australia were less prejudice. There was an outcry against what happened in Moree; and the city council of Moree felt pressure to reverse the decision.

But then later they changed it back again.

Besides being involved with the Freedom Ride, Perkins was also manager of the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs. In 1967, there was a referendum to see if Indigenous Australians should be included in the census or not. The Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs had a big part in getting enough yes votes. The amendment passed with 90.77% of the votes being yes. That's pretty great. At least I think so. I think I've heard questions about whether the referendum ultimately helped the Aborigines or not. Did it do as much good as it intended? Maybe. Maybe not. But I still think there's something positive in the fact that so many people voted for it.

In 1969, Perkins worked as a senior research officer for the Office of Aboriginal Affairs. He was suspended at one point, because he called the Liberal-Country coalition in Western Australia racist. What happened to free speech? And for how long was he suspended?

In 1981, Perkins was appointed as Permanent Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. Well, at least in those days, government roles dealing with Aborigines were given to Aborigines.

Who was Prime Minister at that time?

Malcolm Fraser.

From 1981 to 1984, Perkins was Chairman of the Aboriginal Development Commission. During his time in office, he spoke up about problems he saw in the government's treatment of Indigenous Australians.

In 1989, he became chair of the Chair of the Arrernte Council of Central Australia. Then in 1993 he became the commissioner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

Perkins attracted controversy in 2000. He said that Sydney would burn during the Olympics. What did he mean by that? Was it figurative? Spiritual? A threat? He also labeled the Australian Rugby League and Australian Football League as racists.

Oh! He played Soccer. Lord Wiki's entry on Perkins is a bit confusing. It jumps around. It's not really chronological. He has his life divided up into sections. So now I learn Perkins was an athlete. He played soccer in England for awhile.  I guess this was before he went to the University of Sydney.

Perkins has won awards. He became an officer of the Order of Australia in 1987; the Queen Elizabeth II honor. He was Aboriginal of the year in 1993. In 2000, he was inducted into the Australia Football Hall of Fame. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Western Australia and the University of Sydney. And he's one of the National Trust's Living Treasures.

I'm going to escape Lord Wiki now and see what else I can find. I'll start with the website I peered at before; the one with the photo of Perkins.

It's an obituary. Perkins died in October 2000. I guess that wasn't long after the Olympics. Oh no. It was in September and October. Did he die during the Olympics? Maybe his statement about Sydney burning was some kind of prediction about his own death. That's kind of eerie.

Something that Perkins is most famous for is he was the first Indigenous Australian to be the head of a government department. Lord Wiki actually said that, but I forgot to mention it.

Perkins was passionate and outspoken. He demanded an apology from the government and said reconciliation couldn't happen without it. It's kind of sad that it didn't happen until six years after he died. But later is better than never. Right?

Perkins was born in an telegraph station. That's an exciting way to start your life.

His maternal grandfather was a white man. He's the one that had the last name Perkins.

There's some disagreement about whether Perkins was part of the stolen-generation or not. He says yes. This website says no. It says his mother placed him in a school. She supposedly needed help because her husband had deserted her after they had eleven kids.

This website almost sounds racist/prejudice. It uses the term so-called stolen generation. I think that infers that there really wasn't any stolen children. Yet at the side of the website, there's a recommendation to watch The First Australians.

I'm trying to get more information on the website. It's actually European. The European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights. That's interesting. I'm tempted to wonder why Europeans have a site about Aboriginal Australians. But then we also have to wonder why an American has a website about Australia.

Anyway, the website doesn't seem racist or prejudice in other areas. There's another section where they talk about the stolen-generation and they don't make it sound mythological.

He spent two years in England playing Soccer. The website says, his experience of having been accepted in the more tolerant racial climate in England had left its mark, and he began to consider a life devoted to the Aboriginal cause. Is that really true, or is the website saying that because they're a European website?

At the University of Sydney, Perkins studied psychology, anthropology, and political science. I wonder what he got a degree in. Was it a mixture of subjects? I wish I had done something like that. Although my college was pretty good in letting you take a variety of courses. I majored in psychology, but I also took several religion and anthropology classes. Plus, there was a little bit of other stuff as well.

During the Freedom Ride, Perkins and his bus friends encountered frightening examples of discrimination. This website goes beyond the pool and RSL rejections. There were places where Aborigines were not allowed to try on clothes. They couldn't get a haircut. They couldn't go to Secondary school. I'm guessing this would mean that things were better in the big cities. A part of me wants to say well, why stick around in those towns? Why not just leave? Why bother with people who are small-minded bigots? But then I'm thinking if you leave them alone to be bigots, you're letting them win. And who wants a bigot to win?

This website says Perkins was fired in 1988. I was wondering why he had left the Federal Government. The man who fired him was Labor Minister was Gerry Hand. Hand was the guy who, under Keating's leadership, introduced Mandatory Detention for Asylum Seekers. I have a feeling I probably wouldn't love this Gerry Hand guy so much.

During his time in Federal Government, Perkins had some issues with white people. In 1982, he urged Queen Elizabeth II to boycott the Commonwealth games because they were racist.

He had clashes with the Premier of Queensland. Perkins had suggested that Queensland exchange Anglican names of towns to Aboriginal names. The Premier said Perkins should change his name to Mr. Witchetty Grub. Nice.

This website explains the burn comments regarding the Olympics. Perkins warned the British not to come to Sydney, giving them the idea that there'd be fires started by protesters.

I just saw at the end of the obituary, the website says the article (I just read) came from the Times. So maybe it was The Times that made the so-called stolen generations remark. Maybe they didn't notice that (or realize it was offensive) when they posted the article. Maybe some people don't find it offensive. I find it offensive. To me, it infers that the children weren't really stolen; that Aboriginal parents WANTED their children to be taken away. There might have been a few cases like that; but that doesn't discount all the children who were forcibly taken away from their families.

Now I'm going to look at the intensive Australian Biography website. It's part of Film Australia which is affiliated with the Australian government. This really is a great site. I looked at it months ago. They have extensive biographies about various famous Australians. I didn't spend too much time on any individual. But now I guess I shall.

I'm watching some video clips first. They show his mother and he talks about her. He says she never drank or smoke. More importantly, she taught her son to always speak his mind. He definitely followed that advice.

Okay, Perkins himself says, in the interview, that he was not part of the stolen-generation because he wasn't ripped from his mother's arms. But he still grew up in institutions. And he hated it. I guess he lived in the institutions but went to regular schools, because he talks about not being invited to birthday parties. The white children rejected him.

When he was fifteen, the institutions pretty much threw him out. They gave him his suitcase and told him to leave. He had no money. That's scary. The reason he was given, for being kicked out, is he was too cheeky and disobedient.

Perkins says the Freedom Ride wasn't for white people. It was done more to show the Aboriginal people that they didn't need to be second class.

Now I'm going to read the transcript of the full interview. This is mighty long.

He talks about his parents and the tribes they come from. He says the Kalkadoon (his father's tribe) were warriors. Many of them were massacred in a fight with white people. His mother's people, The Arunta are more peaceful and introspective. She worked in a gold mine in Arltunga, a town near Alice Springs. Arltunga is now a ghost mining town, but it has some some tourist attractions.

Perkins says he didn't meet his father until his father was close to dying. I think this was when Perkins was an adult, because he says his mother didn't tell him about his father until he was in his 30's. Once he met his father, he made connections with his extended family on that side. He said he eventually developed close relationships with them, but regrets not having these relationships earlier.

Okay, the interviewer asks the question I had. How did the parents meet in the first place if one was in the Northern Territory and the other was in Queensland. Perkins says, Oh, you know Aboriginal people they chase employment, work all over the place. That makes sense. He goes onto also say, And so, you know, wherever you can chase employment even if it was that hard, well you went for it. And so Aboriginal men, particularly, moved all over the countryside you know and had relationships with Aboriginal women or other people, and that happened in my case. I think Lord Wiki was confused. He made it sound like the two had a fairly happy marriage with eleven children between them. But in this interview, Perkins makes it seem like it was more of a passing relationship.

Perkins didn't learn to read and write until he was ten. I wonder how detrimental it is to a child not to learn to read earlier. In the Waldorf philosophy of education, children aren't taught to read until second grade. There's very little (if any) academic instruction before then. Do these children grow up to be less intelligent than children who are taught to read at the age of five? Was Perkins less intelligent than a man who got an academic education earlier than he did?

Ten might be a bit late to start academic instruction. But in a way, I'd prefer that to children being pushed to read when they're in preschool. Some children do naturally learn to read early. Jack could read at the age of three. We didn't push it. And I have no problems with that. But children learn at different paces. Some children might not learn to read until they're eight. It could be their brain isn't ready yet. It could mean they didn't yet have the necessary instruction. Whatever. But I'm not sure it matters. I have a feeling most of these children will catch up just fine.

This BBC article says studies have shown that preschoolers who are given formal instructions at an early age do better on initial tests. But by the time they're eleven or twelve, there's no difference between them and children who had less formal instruction.

Perkins talks about the place he lived in during his early childhood. It was a compound controlled by the police. The Aborigines were not allowed to leave the place except for Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. His grandma wasn't allowed in because she was full Aboriginal. Perkins and his mother were part-aboriginal.

Perkins says, They separated everybody. Separated the part-Aboriginal people from the full blood people and they weren't allowed to mix. Part-Aboriginal people weren't allowed to speak the language. You weren't allowed to participate in the culture and, you know, the white people had those laws at that time. The welfare system operated and it divided families.

It's so sad. It's amazing how horrible we can treat people when we're ignorant. Maybe instead of focusing so much on teaching numbers and letters, we should focus on teaching basic human decency. The sad thing is there's still huge amounts of ignorance and discrimination today.

Perkins used to sneak out to see their grandmother. That's sad and sweet at the same time. Maybe this is poignant to me because I have a mixed-race child. I can't imagine someone taking my child away simply because we don't have the exact same racial background.

They were locked in a dormitory at night.

Perkins says he has always been frightened of white people and at the time of the interview he was still scared of them. I can't say I blame him.  Although what he feels IS racism.  Still.... I can't blame him for feeling that way.

He says there was a school on the compound, but there were too many discipline issues for any real education to happen. His mother sent him away to school in Adelaide to get him a better education. Perkins says they were very close and it was hard for her send him away. But she made that sacrifice to do what's best for her son. Was it best for him? I don't know.

Perkins didn't realize he was going to be gone that long. He thought it was temporary; a chance to visit the sea.

He didn't enjoy the institutional life. And it seems the institution didn't enjoy him. He spoke up against abuse. He refused to accept people treating him like shit. I think this is the type of outspoken person I can admire. Recently, I researched Paul Keating and Margaret Whitlam too. They were outspoken in terms of insulting others. Is it admirable to say what's on your mind and not care what other people think? Maybe. Sometimes. I think it depends on the situation. If you just enjoy hurting people or coming up with clever insults, than I can't respect that. But if you speak up for injustice, that's admirable. I think that's heroic.

Once he was kicked out of the institution, Perkins was forced to get food out of the gutter. He had to be a scavenger.

That reminds me of a story. A fellow unschooling mom told me that she had been to a lecture given by adult unschoolers who were scavengers. They had no jobs....outside of doing lectures I guess. Or maybe they did have jobs. I forgot the details. But they got their food out of garbage cans. My friend talked about them finding a package of chicken. I was completely disgusted. I started to wonder if we had taken the wrong educational path. I told my friend she probably shouldn't share this story with her husband. He wasn't too keen on the unschooling idea and it seemed he was often on the verge of forbidding it. My friend and I both laughed.  I think my laugh was more nervous than hers.

These people got their food from garbage cans. Disgusting! And my friend actually seemed impressed with this. I thought it was weird and creepy.

Later my viewpoints changed. I think this probably came after I saw movies like An Inconvenient Truth and The Story of Stuff.

I can't say I aspire to being the mother of a child who fishes through the garbage can. I also can't say that I personally would choose to get my food from a garbage. But now I do have admiration for people who do that. It no longer disgusts me. We waste so much. We're a throw-away society. I now think that's the more disgusting thing. Most of us aspire to have successful children, and by success we mean wealth and a prestigious title. Maybe more of us should aspire to have children who are resourceful and less wasteful. The world might become a better place.

Anyway, I know Perkins didn't choose to get food from the garbage. But I still admire it in a way. I think of it as having good survival skills. To me, that's very impressive.

He did awful at school--failed everything. Yet this man is very articulate. He is one of the most important Australians. He's been honored by the Queen of England. He managed to get a University Degree. He had an important position in Australian government.

I love hearing stories of people doing bad in school but still succeeding.

Okay. Now this is very lovely here. This is what one of the teachers told Perkins. You're not very good at school. You're marks are very poor because you haven't got much brains.

I don't think it's that rare for kids to hear things like that. One of the arguments against homeschooling is that it puts children at risk for abuse. If children don't come to school, how do we protect them from abusive parents? Okay. But how about abusive teachers? And I would consider someone telling you that you have no brains as emotional abuse. I have this urge to go back in time and plead to Perkin's mother. Don't send your child away. Keep him with you. You might not be academically educated. But you love your son and you ARE intelligent. He'll be so much better off with you.

But who knows. If he stayed with his mom, maybe he'd be happy and less angry. And if he was less angry, he might not have been the fighter he ended up becoming. Maybe it's all about fate.

OR maybe he would have been a fighter, but without the anger he would have achieved even more.

I guess I should stop making guesses about probable futures and move onto more reading.

Perkins does back up what the European website had said--that the British were nice to him. He says, I mean a lot of people in Australia denigrate the English, you know, but look, the English were the first people that gave me the hand of friendship when I was over there. They didn't worry about Aborigines, didn't worry about who you were. They just took you as they found you
He talks about how he preferred British girls over Australian ones....mostly because the Australian ones rejected him.

I do have to wonder. If he preferred the British so much, why didn't he just stay there?

The weather! The weather? He came back to Australia for the weather. Why? I mean I love Australia. But if he didn't like it, why come back? I can't imagine returning for the weather.

He said it was during a game at Oxford University that he became inspired to go to University one day.

He stole his friend's girlfriend at a dance. That's how he met his wife. And she was Australian. I guess he doesn't dislike all Australian women. Well, this one was different. He says her family had no prejudices. The family had no problems with their daughter marrying a black man.

On the other hand, his mom had some problems with her marrying a white woman. She thought it might cause problems for him. But then she met his girlfriend and realized she wasn't so bad.

Perkin's wife wasn't the last and only decent white person he encountered. He met a kind white woman named Mrs. Cox who encouraged him to work with a humanitarian named Ted Noffs. Perkins says Noffs was the father figure he never had. He was a man who wanted to help everybody. But he was a man who looked after everybody, you know - prostitutes, drug addicts, no-hopers, alcoholics. The good, the bad and the ugly he looked after and he took an interest in me, as he did in them and he wanted to do something in Aboriginal Affairs because he was disgusted the way it was.
There's an organization named after Noffs; the Ted Noffs Foundation. It's seems what they do is provide help to families dealing with drug and alcohol problems.

Perkins talks about being at the University. He says it was hard for him since his earlier background in education was weak. Yet, he loved learning new vocabulary. And he loved Shakespeare. He struggled, but he ended up doing okay.

Perkins said the Freedom Ride was made up of a variety of people--not just Aborigines. There were Jews, Communists, Christians, etc. They were all a bit lacking in plans. Perkins says, It was the blind leading the blind. It seems they figured it out as they went along...a bit impromptu.

As for the RSL, Perkins said that Aboriginal war veterans WERE allowed to attend RSL events on Anzac day. But all other days, they weren't allowed.

Holy shit! Here's a story. During the Freedom Ride, they went to the RSL. Right? The bigots told them to leave. They threatened to call the police. There's quite a scene. Seventeen years later, Perkins returns to the same RSL place. One of the same men was there and he remembered Perkins! He remembered the "trouble" Perkins caused, and he made him leave again. I don't know what's more amazing; that he was able to remember Perkins, or that he was still such a racist? I guess the former is more shocking. It's not too surprising that there's racists out there.

But on the bright side, there were decent white people and Perkins recognizes that. He talked about the people who participated in the bus ride and he says there were white people in the rural towns who risked their reputation to do what's right. He says, Yeah, you change as well. It was an education for me all round. It was an education for all of us. But certainly an education for me, and I can only speak for myself in that I began to look at people differently, white people. And I began to understand, you know, white people a bit better and be sort of more open minded. And I lost a lot of the hate - just sort of drained out of me a bit.

It's wonderful when we can realize there's still good in the world.

Perry talks about this guy named Perry Mason. I'm pretty sure he was white, but I'm not positive. He thought the Freedom Ride was just a fun old bus tour. He didn't realize the politics of it all. He didn't realize it would involve protests and being hit with tomatoes. Perkins said, He was such an innocent. A nice person. He just didn't have any, you know, racism in him. He just loved everybody, you see. And he just didn't understand the politics of it all. He was such a kindly person. And he just ... he just got caught up in it. But he recovered from that. But he couldn't get off the bus quick enough.
There's something sweet and innocent about that. I think it would make a great movie. I don't know why.

I have to confess something here. This interview is very long and I'm kind of stressed about having to read so much. So....I'm not reading every little part. I'm kind of just picking out the questions that look interesting to me. I'm skipping stuff I'm not interested in; mainly sport related things. So, if you're interested in the sports career of Charles Perkin, you might want to stop reading this and read the interview for yourself.

Perkins talked about how the Student Action for Aborigines involved themselves with an Indian woman who was going to be deported because she didn't fit into the whole White Australia thing. The girl was being carried by a police officer at the airport. Perkins offered to hold onto her while the police took care of tickets, papers....whatever. How small was this woman? Was she a child? I can't imagine a policeman holding a woman. How was he carrying her? Like a baby? Maybe they don't mean he literally carried her. Maybe he just was holding onto her in some way.

Anyway, Perkins pretty much kidnapped the young woman. She didn't mind though. Perkins saw an announcement on the TV saying he was wanted for kidnapping. But he was never charged. And he believes this event was instrumental in ending the White Australia Policy.

Perkins says he was not technically the first Aboriginal person to go to University, but he was the first person who considered themselves Aboriginal. That makes sense. Some people could have been raised in white communities. They might not have had any connection to their Aboriginal roots.

In terms of politics, Perkins seems dissatisfied with both the main parties. He says, But I think both political parties have got something to offer in Aboriginal Affairs, but they still offer it mainly as a secondary consideration to their aims and objectives. Aboriginal Affairs always comes second or third in the priorities on their agenda. And that goes for Labor as well as the Liberal-Country Party.

This is a bit interesting. Perkins said he went to America and didn't like the black Americans. He said, I thought they were very cheeky, a bit arrogant, aggressive and not much depth. Yikes! Okay, but it's not that bad. He later realized that he was being closed-minded. And that was a very superficial judgement on my part. Later on, I began to appreciate them more and I began to meet more of them.
Perkins takes credit for the tent embassy. He says he was on a Kidney machine.  Dialysis maybe? And when some people came to visit, he made the suggestion to them. But now he's not getting credit for it. He reminds me a little bit of Keating in this way; kind of wanting to make sure he gets credit for things.

As for the purpose of the tent, I like how Perkins explains it. No politician could go into Parliament House without turning around and looking at the embassy there and saying, 'Them bloody blacks, they're still there!' You know, but every day they've got to remember the blacks are there, the blacks are there, the blacks are there and they're not going to go away and that made them think and it disturbed them. They couldn't sleep at night - some of them. It, you know, disturbed their conscience and that's what we wanted and we made them feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. And they wanted us all to go away and disappear and we weren't going to do that.
I hate to do this. But it's getting late. I think I'm going to stop reading the interview. It's really long.  I mean long enough that my blog posts look short in comparison.

I feel like I'm kind of just summarizing anyway. It's probably better if those who are interested read it for themselves.

I do want to check out some other websites though.

Never mind. That's stupid. Why check out other websites when this one has the guy's own words?

I'm going to go back to reading. But I guess to to compromise, I'm promising myself that after I read the interview, I'm stopping. This blog entry will be over. I think I was stressed about finishing the interview and them playing on Google for hours. I don't have the energy.

Perkins got a kidney transplant. That's important.

When he finally got the kidney, he had been expecting to die. He was ready to give up and go back to Alice Springs so he could die there. I mean BEFORE he got the transplant. He thought he was going to die and then he got that phone call.

He talks about the various Prime Ministers and their attitudes towards Aboriginal issues. He says Gorton and McMahon both couldn't care less about Aboriginal affairs. But McMahon had at least seemed to have compassion about it.

 He calls Whitlam a breath of fresh air, not only in Aboriginal Affairs but for the whole of Australia.

Back to the kidney thing. I guess before he got the new kidney, he had to be on the dialysis machine for ten hours three times a week. I can't even begin to imagine! And yet, he is able to do all this political stuff to improve Australia. That's heroic. I'm impressed.

Oh! Interesting. His favorite Prime Minister was not Whitlam. It was Fraser. He says, He was tops. He was the best of them all on Aboriginal Affairs. And Gough is good but you know the problem with Gough, he ... sometimes he thinks he started everything and, you know, it didn't ... he didn't. Fraser was very good on Aboriginal Affairs and he produced the goods. Something came out of all the discussion and rhetoric, and I was able to relate to him really well.
It's surprising that he liked a Liberal Prime Minister better than the Labor one.

Perkins talks about how he feels white people should be involved with Aboriginal affairs. I find it interesting and I think it has some merit. He says, Don't try and be an Aborigine, which some white people try to be, just be yourself and do what you can to help an Aboriginal person. But the first thing they've got to do - the governments - is to spend money on the physical things, infrastructure for example: sewage, water, housing, roads, electricity. Do all of that; provide money for medical services, legal services and all of that. That's all those basic things they do, but don't try and get into the cultural or psychological part of Aboriginal Affairs. That's for Aboriginal people to handle.
He says what the Aborigines need is money. Some people said to me like in a debate the other week, one lady said to me, 'Well, look, we're not going to throw money at Aboriginal Affairs, that's not the answer to Aboriginal Affairs. We got to worry about outcomes'. I said, 'Well, what are you going to use for money? Monopoly money? Monopoly? Or you going to have good wishes and great rhetoric?' I said, 'Because that won't produce outcomes. If you're looking for outcomes you got to spend the money to get it.

 I think that makes a lot of sense. It's nice to apologize and make promises. But in certain situations, money is what's needed.

Okay. Thank you, Perkins. He backs up what I said in a previous post. Indigenous Affairs Ministries in government should be led by Indigenous people! Well, if Aboriginal people don't have control to a large extent, or total extent, but to a large extent of their own affairs well, then, nothing's changed from the mission days when the missionaries decided when you eat and when you sleep and who you marry, or governments. So in the natural progression from that is that a person should be in charge of their own destiny, individually or collectively, and Aboriginal people have always felt this in the air that we got to run our own affairs to the best of our ability considering our weaknesses, you know, like in lack of education and all that.
Yes! Exactly. I hope the Rudd Ministry changes that. Jenny Macklin seems lovely, but I think they need an Indigenous Australian in her position.

Well, I am going to stop now. This post is long enough. My eyes are tired. I need to take a shower.


  1. hi there
    I stumbled across your blog via "Memoirs of an Aussie" and I was so excited. Not only are you an Aussie enthusiastic BUT you are a homeschooler too! I am an Aussie living in Washington. I"ve lived here for the past 5 years..(originally my family and I are from Sydney)...anyway I am thinking of homeschooling my 3 kids and I would LOVE to hear any pearls of wisdom you may have. Thanks

  2. Donna,


    I would love to talk to you about homeschooling! I'm so excited to hear you're considering it.

    Do you know about the laws in Washington? It's legal to homeschool in every state, but some states have more difficult rules and stuff.

    How do you like Washington? Do you miss Sydney? Are you in the US permanently?

  3. Charlie Perkins wasn't a bad old stick but there's been too much corruption,lies and history re-written to judge Aboriginal Affairs properly.
    The reason many websites use the phrase "so-called stolen generation" is because several court cases have failed to prove any children were stolen against their parents wishes or that there was any kind of govt policy to remove children.

  4. Jayne:

    I think there are a lot of different versions of history.

  5. Hi Dina, I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled into your blog, but gee I'm glad I did! Almost ashamed to say I am Aussie, when reading your entry on Charlie has taught me more about him than I ever learnt in school or since! Thank you so much! Looking forward to reading more of your blog, Cheers, Kyles in Coffs Hbr, Aus xo

  6. Hi Kyles!

    I'm glad you found me!

    Thanks : )