Archive for ‘Aboriginal Australians’

February 14, 2012

Cathy Freeman – Greatest Olympic moment in Australia

It was September 2000,Sydney Olympics in Australia.I was sitting around waiting in the lounge room with my mom & brothers extra nervous waiting for my Aunt Cathy to appear on tv.At this time I couldn’t sit down it was nerve racking.Cathy was our last hope for a gold medal in the 200m final that night.The pressure was a lot to think about.

 Cathy appeared on the starting blocks in her famous Green Phantom suit.The energy of the crowd was magical it was a surreal moment.we were just waiting for the gun to go off. BANG! the first seconds it felt the race had moved in slow motion. photographers blindly flashed as competitors came Around down the last 100m down the track.

GOLD!!!!! Oh my god what just happened? She won!!!!!!!! 

I jumped to the ceiling ! Magic !Cathy from a young age dreamt about always winning a gold medal.The social disadvantages of being Aboriginal person in Australia you just never thought in a lifetime a fairy tale win can place a Native woman on the world stage bring out so many emotions in you.When she draped the Aboriginal flag I couldn’t be more prouder. Cathy’s mom & brothers jumping and crying from the stands was amazing. It wasn’t Australia who wanted Cathy to win, but the whole world.To this day I hear native people from around the world tell me how much this moment made them proud for my people. 

February 12, 2012

Archie Roach – Aboriginal artist interview

 Bittersweet Journey of Archie Roach : Aboriginal Music Artist who plays refuses to be haunted by past

 “That’s a myth,” Roach said flatly. “We’re still people with all these human emotions and feelings. We had ignorance. We had, if not all-out wars, our territorial skirmishes. And with the old traditional rules, the punishments can be pretty terrible. Basic human feelings are still there, things like jealousy and greed.”

But he does think that as the dominant cultures are finding their societies growing less controllable and less humane, there are important things that can be learned from aboriginal society.

“For me, there’s always been a special feeling among my people and a sense of belonging. Wherever I’ve gone in Australia, I’ve been looked after, just because of the common bond of our heritage that we share.

“In it, each individual is important. In our society right across the board the two most important people are the youngest child and the oldest person. If we don’t ensure that the youngest child and oldest person are well, we aren’t living up to our responsibilities.

“We don’t have a monopoly on spirituality or a monopoly on loving, sharing and caring for one another. It’s just that I suppose we’ve been practicing it for a bit longer.”

Roach met his musician wife Ruby Hunter when they both were homeless and living on the street (he tells a bit of her story in the new song “From Paradise”). Since pulling their lives together, they have taken to practicing what they preach: They not only have two sons but are registered foster parents with three long-term foster children in their home and others whom they take on “while their parents sort out whatever problems they have.

“When things go wrong for you as a child, and you’re not treated as a child should be,” Roach said, “I know I tend to reach out to children so that they don’t get hurt.”

The importance of having a family, he added, helps him keep the bloatedly self-important music business in perspective. It also helps him shape his music. Though the new “Jamu Dreaming” album doesn’t shy away from uneasy issues, it is decidedly more upbeat than his first album, and he said one reason is that he had his family in the studio with him this time.

“It made things a lot easier. Otherwise in the studio, it’s always like you’re down in the bunker. There’s no sense of time or space. Sometimes it can be really demanding and hard work when you’re doing one song for most of the day. To have my family there, and have them singing on some of the songs, makes me realize what I’m singing about. To me, it never has been just getting up and singing a song. But when my family is there it really brings it home.”

Another thing marking the shift in tone between the albums, Roach said, is that “the first album was more about where I’ve been and the sort of life I had. This one is more about my life now and which direction I’m taking.”

The album’s “Love in the Morning” is one of the most ebullient tunes about lovemaking to pop up in years. As opposed to such sleazeball horizontal hits as “Afternoon Delight,” the song has a truly celebratory air, with his wife’s carefree laugh and Roach’s mid-song declaration that “it’s a spiritual thing.”

“We once split up for a while because of the problems we had,” Roach said, “but we came back. For most couples love goes beyond a physical attraction, but it took me a while, because I was drinking and that, for it to become more than a physical thing for me.”

The polar opposite of that song, and the album’s darkest moment, is “Walking Into Doors.” It’s about spousal abuse, and Roach said “it’s a lesson I had to learn myself.

“I got that (title) from a poster against domestic violence I saw in a health clinic. In it there’s this sister sitting on a couch, all busted up bad, and she’s thinking to herself: ‘I’ll just have to tell the doctor I walked into a door again.’

The violence “happens when you’re out of work and spending 24 hours a day with all the frustrations and burdens of the bloody world on your shoulders and you don’t know what to do, and there’s no one else there to have a go at except your missus. We men may never know why we’re that way, but it’s just got to stop,” Roach said.

A great many of Roach’s songs focus on children. To him they’re not just symbols of purity and hope but the living embodiment of those qualities. The most poignant song on “Jamu Dreaming” is “Mr. T,” with its simple lyrics about a special moment rarely marked in songs:

The first time I saw my baby begin to walk,

It made me look. Now he can talk,

And the last time I phoned my baby it made him cry,

And it made me cry. Now I know why,

‘Cause he’s starting to understand the meaning of love 

– LA Times ,1993 




February 11, 2012

Aboriginal Representation- Lets Dance video by David Bowie

 Video break down – “Let’s Dance” 

By David Bowie

 Lets Dance was the first music video I saw growing up where I saw Aboriginal faces in mainstream music clip and one of the few 80’s clips that made sense with a political message and great use of metaphor that everyone highlights the complexities of a existing where you feel alienated in your own country 

 Pubs are popular hangouts in Australia this scene shows a metaphor of Australia’s isolation .This scene emphasises how indigenous people are outnumbered in mainstream society the only 2 aborignal people dancing is referencing how out of place they are.The pair are Terry Roberts and Joelene King starring.

 The red shoes are the main symbol that represents capitalism which seduces and oppresses Native People. It’s the main focus through out the song 

 This scene shows how enticing material possessions are by western ideals of being successful member of society .The girl puts on the shoes and dances saying that she accepts the materialistic lifestyle

 in the 1950’s British Nuclear Radiation tests were happening in Aboriginal outback area of Maralinga which caused radiation sickness,blindness & infertility

 the young man is now working in a factory.David Bowie playing a manager to represent how people assert their power over Indigenous people by appearing as a dominating personality 

We go on the the surreal scene of the young man pulling big steel mill machine down busy Sydney traffic much to drivers dismal.On YouTube many people debate why he is doing it.But I believe the negative representation of Aboriginal people in the media where the mainstream audiences tend to look at actions not causes of indigenous disadvantages.Also nothing how difficult it was for indigenous people to leave their communities find work in big cities 

 The young pair are enjoying the luxuries imagined of what life could be like enjoying privileges of their white Australian counterparts 

 This scene shows how everyone in Australia in some way are challenged to the balancing act of maintaining their culture

The girl stomps the red shoes in the dirt disregarding it another political reference on how governments lack of Cultural understanding and their failure to assimilate native people in mainstream society.

“But I see no reason to fuck about with that message, you see? I thought, ‘Let’s try to use the video format as a platform for some kind of social observation, and not just waste it on trotting out and trying to enhance the public image of the singer involved. I mean, these are little movies, and some movies can have a point, so why not try to make some point. This stuff goes out all over the world; it’s played on all kinds of programs. I mean-you get free point time!”

 – David Bowie