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Australia’s National Law School

Push for black wars memorial

By neanderthalsis - 10 April 2008 17

In a move that will have the chardonnay sipping left grinning over their lunchtime lattes, the CT has an article calling for a national monument recognising the “Black Wars” when those nasty white colonials came in and upset the peaceful nomadic lifestyle of our Indigenous brothers.

Cue to the CT:

Australia ought to recognise formally the ”Aboriginal Wars” with displays in the Australian War Memorial and a monument in the Parliamentary Triangle, according to Canberra Institute director Peter Conway. Mr Conway, a Labor candidate at last year’s election, has written to acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard asking that the National Capital Memorials Committee formally recognise the conflicts. ”Given the context of this year’s parliamentary ‘apology debate’ and the forthcoming 2020 conference, the Canberra Institute would like to suggest that your committee examine the possibility of nationally recognising military- style conflicts …

He also suggested that the (Australian War) “memorial ought to include a section in its colonial war dioramas.”

Now admittedly, whilst we never had armed conflict with our native population unlike New Zealand with the Maori Wars and the USA with their continued battles with the injuns, there was a few scraps back in the day. But was there ever enough to warrant a national memorial and will it include reference to the thousands of Chinese miners killed by marauding aborigines near the Palmer river in FNQ during the gold rush?

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
Push for black wars memorial
Mr Evil 12:03 pm 11 Apr 08

Anyway, I thought this stuff was covered in enough detail in the National Museum?

Mælinar 11:13 am 11 Apr 08

Defence pulled out of Gallipoli, we got a battle colour.
Defence pulled out of Vietnam, we got a battle colour.
Defence pulled out from the kangaroo cull… watch this space VYV8…

Thumper 11:07 am 11 Apr 08

What about our 50 foot Jim Morrison statue….

I want my 50 foot Jim Morrison statue…

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 10:59 am 11 Apr 08

I think we should raise a memorial to remember all the kangaroos that get hit by cars in the ACT region. It should be 100 metres tall and made of solid gold.

Mælinar 9:26 am 11 Apr 08

I don’t think there should be any development on the war memorial front unless an Australian in-service batallion is awarded a battle colour for their action.

For those not so up to play on battle colours, when a military unit parades, they have 2 flags, one represents the nation, and the other (the battle colours) represents the honours that unit has won on the field of battle. Here’s a linkie with more detail

Following that logic, the size and importance of the action – significant enough to award a battle colour, would similarly be significant enough to build a statue, yada yada yada.

Not on a battalion colour ? Phuck off.

Thumper 9:09 am 11 Apr 08

Oh, I should add that, apart from the little skirmish in Tasmania, people are missing a major fact in that, frankly, there was no war.

Yes, there were isolated pockets of violence on both sides, but that is not a war.

Thumper 9:02 am 11 Apr 08

This is just plain stupid and typical of the far left who seem to want to rewrite history regardless of facts.

As Lex points out, there was a real war in Tasmania, in fact it makes quite fascinating reading. But it was English/ Irish versus Aboriginals. Australia didn’t really even exist in those days.

By all means, have a memorial of some sorts, but don’t ever associate it with the Australian War memorial. I certainly wouldn’t be against something down near the lake, it would be more relevant than the ridiculous non relevent SIEX mewmorial.

And how would it all look to the Aboriginal men who fought in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and in recent conflicts?

Or even to those serving today.

It’s disrespectful and shameful.

(DMD. History these days is a little more copmplex as people have been wrting alternative views for 100s of years. And if one is to use primary sources one can read between the lines. The old adage of ‘history is written by the victor’ does not apply as much now, as it did, say, 400 years ago)

Deadmandrinking 11:44 pm 10 Apr 08

I’d personally be interested in such an exhibit. If there was armed conflict of any kind, I think an exhibit in the War Memorial would be appropriate.

Imhotep, a vast majority of history tends to be political when you think about it. Much of our knowledge of events passed come from biased records.

Pandy 8:54 pm 10 Apr 08

There are no Aboriginals from where I come from. So what is all the fuss about then?

imhotep 8:21 pm 10 Apr 08

Whatever your views on the aboriginal ‘war’, I think that a memorial to it would seen largely as a political statement, and not in keeping with the tone of the Australian War Memorial.

Lex 7:34 pm 10 Apr 08

There was the Black War in Tasmania – I recommend the book Whitewash (2003, ed. Robert Manne) which gives a comprehensive account and gives many historical references that the colonists/officials did think of themselves at war. A pertinent quote is that ‘In October 1828 the Executive Council declared that the “outrages of the aboriginal Natives” amounted to “a complete declaration of hostilities against the settlers generally.’ (p.124). It wasn’t a huge war sure, but then it was against a fairly small indigenous population.

barking toad 6:05 pm 10 Apr 08

Peter Conway has just confirmed that he’s a fucking idiot.

Mr Evil 5:55 pm 10 Apr 08

Oh, for goodness sake they can’t be serious?

Maybe a better idea would be an official memorial to all the South Vietnamese who had assisted Australia service personnel from 1965-73, and who were later left to their fate at the hands of the North Vietnamese by Whitlam’s Govt in April 1975?

bonfire 5:44 pm 10 Apr 08

The Australian colonies did take part in the Maori wars, albeit not formally.

Ingeegoodbee 5:22 pm 10 Apr 08

If they do go ahead with this I think that they should adopt the United States model for commemorating the sites of these conflicts. In the US sites where the army / civilian militia slaughtered Native Americans are listed as “Historic Battlegrounds” and sites where the Native Americans slaughtered the army / civilian militia are listed as “Massacre Sites”

Really though, the killing of Aboriginals by whites and visaversa is essentially one of frontier lawlessness rather than military campaign so I cant imagine the War Memorial getting too enthusiastic about it. Maybe Comrade Standope can paint all those Siev-X memorial poles red, black and yellow and we could call that the memorial.

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