Recently, I sat down to interview an Aboriginal Elder from South Australia for the ExCandidates podcast, of which I am a host. Her name is Kerry White, a former nurse and diabetes educator from the Narungga people….
Indigenous does not mean Aboriginal:
During the pre-interview phone call I had with Kerry, I made the mistake of using the term ‘Indigenous’.
With no hint of hesitation, Kerry quickly corrected my error and informed me that Aboriginal people prefer to be called Aborigines.
I asked her to expand on this during the interview.
Kerry explained that Indigenous were ‘…anyone native to Australia. Including flora and fauna. If you’re born in Australia, you’re Indigenous.’
‘The other term that they use for us is First Nations,’ Kerry went on to say. ‘First Nations — that’s Canadian. We are not Canadian. We are Aboriginal. We are from Australia and the Torres Strait.’ …
Cities versus Remote/Rural:
‘When it comes to Aboriginal people, we have two separate lots,’ she began, educating us again. ‘We have a lot of Aboriginal mobs. Not tribes, not clans. Mobs. That’s an Aboriginal term. [The mobs] are divided into two. And that is rural and remote, and that is separate from the city-ites.’ …
Kerry went on to teach us another Aboriginal term – ‘tick-a-boxers’. These represented the people who claimed to be Aboriginal when it is clear they are not. Recent census data points to this.
Since the 1971 census, the number of people identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander has risen from 116,000 to over 800,000 – a 590 per cent increase. Even from 2016 to 2021, the national population increased by 8 per cent, but the Indigenous population increased by 23 per cent. …
Kerry pointed out that the word Indigenous is included in the official wording of the proposal – the ‘Indigenous Voice to Parliament’. Therefore, one wonders, would simply ‘ticking a box’ to indicate you were Indigenous suffice to be recognised by the new body? What can of worms would that unleash?
The government would need to issue race cards, saying what race you are — always the sign of a failed and divisive policy.
The Voice? What a joke:
How many times have true Aboriginal Elders been asked to comment or contribute to the debate on The Voice? According to Kerry, it is yet to happen for anyone in her community.
For Kerry, her feelings on the Voice to Parliament are clear.
‘It’s a no from me. I say no to The Voice. I don’t want it,’ she replied pointedly.
‘We, the Aboriginal people from rural and remote Australia do not want it.
‘A bit over two hundred years ago, they rounded Aboriginal people up and locked them on missions. So Aboriginal people were segregated from White society. Then we come forward to now — “The Voice” — and they’re segregating us again. They’re taking us back two hundred years.
‘You’re dividing the country again, it’s back to segregation. And frankly, it’s racist towards our White brothers and sisters that live in this land with us.’
Furthermore, Kerry makes the argument that Aborigines are already over-represented in Parliament, thus nullifying the need for a new body such as the Voice.
‘We have eleven Aboriginal members in Parliament, in the Upper and Lower house.’ Kerry begins. ‘That equates to 4.9 per cent representation, Aboriginal representation in Parliament. For 3.2 per cent of the population.
The Voice is just a way to give a group of lefty activists, under the sway of the Labor Party and the Greens, the right to veto any legislation in Australia. The 97% of us would be disenfranchised in the name of systematic racism. Only the usual suspects would think this was wonderful.