Christopher Pyne last year. It echoes Tony Abbotts comment on Indigenous people on Q&A back in 2010:
Now, I know that there are some Aboriginal people who aren’t happy with Australia Day. For them it remains Invasion Day. I think a better view is the view of Noel Pearson, who has said that Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage’
It is no surprise that the review commissioned by Christopher Pyne recommends a greater focus on Western civilisation and scaling back emphasis on Indigenous & Asian history.
Our current educational system is already a racist anglocentric account of Australian history that sanitises the invasion and colonisation of Australia. Australian textbooks still refer to white colonisation as a settlement and not an invasion. It still ignores the armed resistance of Indigenous tribes. It is light in recounting the wars that were fought. Most Australian students are still painfully unaware which tribe has ownership of the land that they reside on. Many are incapable of identifying an Aboriginal language. A sizeable proportion of the population are completely unaware of racist laws such as the Flora and Fauna Act that identified Indigenous people as flaura and fauna and not people as recently as 1967. First nations lives lost in the Frontier wars are still not honoured or recognised on ANZAC day. I don’t think its possible to sanitise or further ignore Indigenous history and culture than we already do, white history is still front and centre of our current curriculum, the achievements of ‘white civilisation’ still exalted. If Australia wants to embrace its march towards a prosperous multicultural modern nation it needs to reflect on the racist and violent roots that have borne untold misery and torn Indigenous communities apart, not ignore it.
Columbus Day Fun Fact: A Catholic preist named Bartolomé de las Casas, who transcribed Columbus’s journals, wrote the following regarding the genocide:
"There were 60,000 people living on this island, including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over 3,000,000 people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it."