The Treaty

So I am not really sure how this post will go down… it might be a little heavy, so if you are looking for a happy list update or Emma’s unusual but mildly hilarious life musings you might want to skip this one… but it’s something that I have been thinking a lot about while I have been away, and something that I feel like I will be able to better process if I put some of it out in the open… because being in New Zealand has really got me thinking a lot about Indigenous Australia…

I am a white Australian… I didn’t choose to be, it’s just what happened… but being Australian is all I know, it’s all my parents know and I am pretty sure my grandparents too. Although I realised today that I don’t actually know that much about my heritage… I mean I know the countries my families come from, but I don’t know if we were convicts or migrants… All I know is we came second… second to the Aboriginal People… and that before me a lot of things went down.

As a child I was taught about Captain Cook discovering Australia, about the stolen generation and about how Australia became the Australian I know today (there was lots in between, but you get the idea). But as I have been traveling around New Zealand, I have been learning about Maori tradition and culture and the integration of English settlers and the traditional landowners and it has made me a little sad. It makes me wonder how much more of Indigenous Australian culture could have been saved and cherished, if things had have been done differently.

I know that there are a number of really significant differences between the indigenous cultures such as the way they communicate (multiple languages vs one) and their style of community (nomadic vs territorial), the approaches of the invading countries and perhaps even in the way it has been dealt with in the aftermath, but as I sit here in, on the Waitangi Treaty grounds, I can’t help but be a little jealous. I am jealous of the way that Maori culture has been persevered and respected. I am jealous that the English seemed to be completely different in New Zealand than in Australia (although that may just be the way the stories have travelled through time?) and I am jealous that things weren’t different, and that it is so hard… maybe even impossible to un do the damage that has been done across the Tasman in my home land.

I am frustrated that even now, in 2015, at home, it still feels like the Indigenous culture is just something that is there, its isn’t something that is embraced and cherished… it is something that is tolerated… well at least that is how it feels where I stand.   I am frustrated that it seems like such a big bridge to mend and that I actually don’t know how I can actually help this process as a someone who came here second. I am sad for my children and my children’s children that they will have the same or maybe even less of the true Australian history than I do… but mostly I am sad that I in this instance I still refer to myself as a white Australian… There shouldn’t be a divide, we are one.

I think when I get home I need to learn more about Aboriginal history and make sure I position myself as an ally and not another intolerant immigrant. I pray that there will be a day where Australia as a whole is just as proud of Aboriginal culture as the New Zealanders are of the Maori… not just a token acknowledgement of land, or an additional sentence in a text book, but a true blending of the old and new which really does make Australia the luckiest country in the world.   Until then I will let the words of my favourite Australian songs sum up my thoughts…

I came from the dream time, from the dusty red soil plains
I am the ancient heart – the keeper of the flame
I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I’d been the first Australian

I came upon the prison ship bound down by iron chains
I cleared the land, endured the lash and waited for the rains.
I’m a settler, I’m a farmer’s wife on a dry and barren run
A convict then a free man, I became Australian

I’m the daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman on the long and dusty road
I’m a child of the depression, I saw the good times come
I’m a bushy, I’m a battler, I am Australian

We are one but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian

I’m a teller of stories, I’m a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira, and I paint the ghostly gums
I’m Clancy on his horse, I’m Ned Kelly on the run
I’m the one who waltzed Matilda, I am Australian

I’m the hot wind from the desert, I’m the black soil of the plains
I’m the mountains and the valleys, I’m the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky, the rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land, I am Australian

We are one but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian

2015… Here is Your List!

Happy New Year!

It’s 2015 and it’s List time… This is my 6th list… which I think is pretty impressive!  While sitting in an Otaki Motel the other night I started to watch the Movie ‘Julie and Julia’ which I had seen before and even blogged about here… but the same sentiments from when I blogged about it then struck me again.  It reminded me why I like to blog, and in fact why I make my lists… not because I want to become a super famous blogger, but because it gives me drive, something to look forward to, some thing to aim for… 100 little goals, some silly, some hard, some fun, some serious and some that just seemed like a good idea at the time, but all things that will shape my year and move me forward when I need a little nudge.  If you wanted to catch up on the the journey so far you can check out my old ‘lists’ by clicking the year 2006, 20072010, 2012, 2013 or 2014.

The more lists I do, the more I love them and I am really excited about this year’s list because there are some super fun things on it.  In fact, I think the 2015 list is one of my most adventurous lists yet as I am taking advantage of the fact that I am starting this year off in the extreme sport capital of the world… New Zealand… not that I am really doing that much extreme sport… just some more adventurous things than I would probably attempt at home. So here is my 2015 list of 100 things that I would like to do/achieve in the coming year.

Just like all the lists that have come before the list is a mix of all kinds of things, some of them are things that I have done previously and just wanted to do again, others are things I have attempted and not quite achieved yet, so they are back on the list again and some a brand new this year.  I think there is a nice mix of weird and wonderful, thanks to everyone that helped me put the list together… and as things are better when we do them together if you see something that you might like to attempt with me… sing out!

Hopefully this year I will be a little more efficient at blogging about things are they get crossed off, but we will just have to wait and see… but enough rambling… here is the 2015 list:

  1. Visit Hobbiton
  2. Make my own dumplings
  3. Do another Pinterest craft
  4. Make my own hot cross buns
  5. Follow through with the 2015 date box again
  6. Paint Something
  7. Eat something I have planted
  8. Buy lunch at work no more than twice a week
  9. Go to two weddings
  10. Order fish at a restaurant
  11. Try again to embrace home cooking
  12. Have a weekend away
  13. Go to some carols by candlelight
  14. Work as a classroom teacher
  15. Make the most of my gym membership
  16. Run 5km without walking
  17. Do some trivia
  18. Learn another song on guitar
  19. Have a picnic in the backyard
  20. Start collecting and sorting photos of Dave and I’s family history
  21. See some black sand
  22. Put some new photos up around the house
  23. Blow some giant bubbles
  24. Ride a rollercoaster
  25. Play mini golf
  26. See a movie at the drive-in
  27. Build a sandcastle
  28. Buy an ice cream from an ice cream truck
  29. Take a selfie with the selfie stick fully extended
  30. Go to the beach at least 5 times
  31. Stargaze while lying on the grass
  32. Watch the sunset from a beach
  33. Rent a bike and go on an adventure
  34. Stay at the Langham
  35. Go Hiking
  36. Take a last minute road trip
  37. Make a playlist for each season
  38. Bake a cake for someone
  39. Buy a stranger dinner (e.g. pay for someone else meal at a restaurant)
  40. Learn a greeting in a language I haven’t spoken before
  41. Give a heartfelt surprise to someone
  42. Dance in the rain
  43. Plant a tree
  44. Knit a scarf
  45. Read a book on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose
  46. Fly a kite
  47. Write and email/call a company from which I received excellent service
  48. Go on a romantic getaway
  49. Help someone in need
  50. Learn something in sign language
  51. Wear fancy dress to something
  52. See two oceans meet
  53. Go in a sea vessel… kayak, canoe, paddle boat, regular boat… whatever
  54. Play a board game with friends
  55. Write at least 3 letters to my prayer pal
  56. Go fruit picking
  57. Swim 20km across the year
  58. Do another boot camp
  59. Do another fun run
  60. Walk/run 400km across the year
  61. Go camping
  62. Walk 10,000 steps more often than I don’t
  63. See some fireworks
  64. Eat a Fijoa
  65. Go on a luge
  66. Swim in a thermal pool
  67. Cook all meals at home for a fortnight (no going out or lazy take away)
  68. Take a photo everyday
  69. Play Super Mario Bros
  70. See a Musical
  71. Read 15 books
  72. Try four more local cafes in search of our new breakfast spot
  73. Try Inverloch’s ‘Red Cup’ equivalent
  74. Have a mocktail
  75. Finish unpacking the last boxes
  76. Visit a country town I haven’t been to before
  77. Put up some outside lights for christmas
  78. Keep getting closer
  79. See Big Hero6
  80. Use a remote control toy
  81. See a live music concert… or 4
  82. Do some colouring
  83. Go to a live sporting event
  84. Have a hot jam donut
  85. Have High Tea
  86. Cook something from each of my Donna Hay Mags
  87. Learn a new skill
  88. Make a photo book of our New Zealand Adventure
  89. Have at least 5 different groups of people over for dinner
  90. Ride a push bike without tears
  91. Complete my sentence a day book for 2015
  92. Make a teepee or blanket fort and watch a movie in it
  93. Go to a farmers market
  94. Go through the alphabet of foods/restaurants/cuisines
  95. Do something handy at home
  96. Walk the dog once a week
  97. Set up our outdoor furniture and eat at it
  98. Actually read through the New Testament
  99. See a wild swimming animal
  100. Touch a volcano

And that’s it… that’s the list… here we go…