Calls for Victorian curriculum to say Australia was invaded, not settled
This is just Leftists stirring up hatred. When the English arrived in Australia, they didn't come waving swords and muskets. They didn't need to. There were no spear-wielding bands of warriors to confront. From behind cover, the Aborigines mostly just stood and stared in amazement and fear. As time went by there were isolated violent clashes but settlement was nothing like an invasion, as we normally conceive it
The picture I have just drawn is a traditional one but in the second half of the 20th century, Leftist historians set to work to demonize white settlement. And they told monstrous lies in the process. Zero Aboriginal deaths in some incidents became 10,000 deaths, for instance. Keith Windschuttle has however caught them out
Education Minister James Merlino has reignited debate about whether the curriculum should refer to Australia being invaded rather than settled. It follows the Minister recently declaring that in the eyes of Aboriginal people, Australia was invaded rather than settled.
Aboriginal leaders and advocates are calling for change, and say it is inaccurate to tell students that Australia was settled by Europeans.
Victorian Aboriginal Education Association general manager Lionel Bamblett said that he would prefer to see the term invasion in the curriculum.
"Settlement is inaccurate," he said. "From an Aboriginal viewpoint we believe there was an invasion. We also know that sometimes that causes a fair degree of concern in the general population, and at one stage we tended to settle on the use of the word colonisation."
In March, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that Australia was invaded and schools had been lying to students for too long.
Mr Merlino made his comments in a speech about trust and the media that he delivered last month at RMIT. "Look at the Daily Telegraph's page one assault on universities for having the temerity to state the obvious — that European settlement in Australia was, for Indigenous Australians, an invasion," Mr Merlino said.
But he told The Age that he was not considering changes to the curriculum, despite its references to settlers and settlement. "Victorian students are already taught about Australian history from a number of perspectives," he said. "It is important for students to understand the different historical interpretations and debates surrounding our nation's history."
The curriculum states that year 9 students should consider "the effects (unintended and intended) of contact" between "European settlers" and Indigenous peoples. This includes massacres of Aboriginal people, "their killing of sheep" and the Stolen Generation. It predominantly refers to European "settlement" of Australia, and sometimes uses the term "colonisation". It never refers to invasion in an Australian context.
University of Melbourne masters student Elizabeth Muldoon – who is also a history teacher at a state school– said the Australian curriculum was misleading.
"The little Indigenous history included in it is telling a really one-sided story. It emphasises the struggles that Aboriginal people have fought for civil rights as opposed to land rights and the right to self determination."
She tells her students that for Aboriginal people, Australia was invaded rather than settled. "For Aboriginal people, colonisation was a violent process so invasion is more appropriate. Settlement obscures the violence, and implies that it was peaceful and the land was vacant," she said.
Reconciliation Australia co-chair Tom Calma said the term "settlement" was too passive. "Wherever a settlement took place there was conflict, it was fairly bloody. They didn't peacefully negotiate anything, they just killed people. "You get some ultra conservatives who want to mask what happened versus reality."
The new Victorian curriculum incorporates and reflects most of the Australian curriculum, and is being rolled out across the state.
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