The Pickering Post
Wednesday, 23rd January 2019

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By Frank Salter

Larry Pickering

Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.


Frank holds a PhD. and has taught at universities in Britain and the U.S. and Europe. He is an authority on the biosocial study of ethnicity and nationalism.

 In the last several years I have observed many “Acknowledgment of Country” ceremonies. The wording varies but typically, at the start of a meeting, the master of ceremonies declares that the meeting is being held on the traditional lands of a particular indigenous people or peoples in general.

He/she then describes them as the traditional custodians or owners of the land, acknowledges their close ties with the land and pays respect to their elders. I have observed versions of this ceremony at many public meetings. Prime examples would be the New South Wales Parliament, in school assemblies, and on television and radio broadcasts.

Do you feel included in these Acknowledgement of Country ceremonies? Probably not. This acknowledgement is not an inclusive statement, it is an exclusive one. It excludes the vast majority of Australians who are not Aboriginal, and it ignores their contribution to the building of this nation.

                                  Namatjira's art struggled to span both cultures

The typical Acknowledgement of Country is incomplete and needs to be updated to include an acknowledgement of more than just the Aboriginal people who were here before the Australian Nation began. The following statement would be far more inclusive, and it honours not just the First People, but the founders of the nation itself.

“We acknowledge the explorers and pioneers and their descendants who planted the British flag and Christian faith on this continent, creating the Australian nation. We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have lived here since the Dreamtime. And we acknowledge the Federal Commonwealth of Australia, created by the nation under the Crown to guard the liberty of all citizens.”

Detail could be added to fit the occasion. For example, the identity and achievements of the pioneers and indigenous peoples might be elaborated, as might the functions of the Commonwealth.

The “Acknowledgment of Country” ceremony purports to recognise Australia’s origins but focuses exclusively on indigenous peoples. It purports to respect the traditional owners of the land but ignores the nation’s sovereignty.

                          Early Australian pioneers also deserving of recognition

That is a pity because, whatever its motivation, it amounts to a psychological assault on most Australians. Because it is not accompanied by an acknowledgment of national origins the ceremony ritually degrades most Australians’ sense of national identity and alienates the nation from its homeland and from most of its history.

The saddest examples are recitations at school assemblies, where children are told, repeatedly throughout the year, that their country belongs to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. The Acknowledgment appears to have taken the place of the loyalty pledge.

Usually words other than “owned” are used, but the meaning is clear. One school I know of concludes its ritual with the words “under the concrete and asphalt, this land was, is, and always shall be, the traditional lands of [the local indigenous people]”.

Only three per cent of Australians are of indigenous descent, yet the ritual makes no reference to the ancestors or national identity of the overwhelming majority of students.

There is no counterbalancing statement of national origins used in school assemblies or public meetings. To correct this imbalance, an Acknowledgment of Nation should be adopted, that adds to the recognition of original indigenous habitation by acknowledging the origins of the Australian nation and the Federal Commonwealth it created under the Crown.

We all need secure communal identities that position us historically, culturally and geographically. That is especially true of children and young adults. The Acknowledgment of Country ritual is meant to affirm that identity and pride for indigenous peoples.

                            A spear throwing ceremony aimed at white footy fans

Unfortunately, it ignores the origins of the nation as a whole. The Aboriginal acknowledgment is justified as a statement of origins. However, national origins consist of much more than indigenous prior habitation. The Acknowledgment of Country needs to be supplemented to become an Acknowledgment of Nation, one that accurately describes national origins.

Any recitation of national origins should have at its heart, a historically accurate description of how the nation was founded. Indigenous Australians are a part of that story because their ancestors occupied the land when it was settled under British auspices.

Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders are Australia’s first peoples. Anglo Australians are Australia’s first nation.

An acknowledgment of the historic nation needs to talk primarily about the people among whom national consciousness first arose in the late nineteenth century. Who were they and who did they think they were?

The acknowledgment should also state the connection between this national awakening and the establishment of the Commonwealth, formed in 1901 when the self-governing colonies became States within the new Federation. It is often asserted that the nation began in 1901 with Federation, but that is not true.

National consciousness arose among people of mostly British descent who thought of themselves as such. At the time there was no Commonwealth but self-governing colonies. Most thought of Britain as the mother country but also identified with Australia.

This was the most cohesive class of nation, an ethnic group living in its homeland. It was not the type of “nation” whose only social glue is belief in an ideology or set of values or a constitution. It was the heavy-duty type of bond, the kind needed to undertake great things.

Indeed, this identification inspired and facilitated the constitutional conventions of the 1890s, with the goal of federating the colonies for the purposes of common defence and economy. The nation created the Commonwealth.

An organising principle of the proposed Acknowledgment of Nation is that “Peoples” take priority over political systems. The nation has priority of recognition because it was the first nation in Australia, and it created the Commonwealth.

It represents continuity of identity stretching back to the emergence, in the second half of the nineteenth century, of national feeling among people who thought of themselves as a branch of the British people and Empire.

                       Aboriginal rock painting depicting the coming of Europeans

That consciousness and descent connected the new nation to the First Fleet of 1788, to Britain and its constituent nations, to Christendom and its European precursors in ancient times. In that sense the Australian nation has roots as ancient as the indigenous peoples it absorbed.

In addition, the descendants of the historic nation and those who have assimilated into it remain the largest ethnic group in Australia. It is also the leading culture in the sense that all other ethnicities tend to acculturate to it more than vice versa.

The indigenous peoples should be acknowledged because they identified with their parts of Australia long before British colonisation began. Any recognition of origins demands acknowledgment of indigenous peoples, whether one believes that their lands were annexed or conquered by the British.

The Federal Commonwealth should be acknowledged because it is the original instrument of continent-wide government and the institutional basis for citizenship, which defines the rights and duties of all Australians.

A brief statement necessarily fails to acknowledge all contributions to origins, some important. For example, the statement recognises the explorers and pioneers and that they came under British auspices, but it does not acknowledge the nations of Britain – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Nor does it acknowledge the investment made by the British people through their government in colonising Australia. The statement does not mention convicts, subsuming them under the category of (involuntary) pioneers.

Neither does it mention the contributions of law, politics, culture, national character and technology brought by the largely British settlers. Also unmentioned are the hundreds of indigenous peoples and languages, their way of life and spirituality, and special connection with their lands.

It would be appropriate for acknowledgments recited in particular districts to name and describe the local culture, which would convey a greater degree of particularity.

The Christianity of the nation’s founders is made explicit in the proposed Acknowledgment because it was a prominent conscious element of their identity, as it was of Britain and the remainder of Western civilisation in Europe and America.

Some will object that the proposed Acknowledgment of Nation omits the non-Anglo-Celtic identities that now form a substantial fraction of the population. Typically, those identities are encompassed using the adjectives “multicultural” and “diverse”.

                                             Enigmatic Bradshaw rock art

It is sometimes contended that Australia is no longer an Anglo nation, that it has become a new type of nation whose identity consists of the multicultural character of its citizens. It is sometimes argued that Australia’s lack of a single cultural identity is now its identifying mark.

A likely assertion will be that an acknowledgment that omits the non-Anglo elements of the nation would be divisive by creating ill-feeling among millions of citizens. This potential objection should be taken seriously, though it is noteworthy that those who promote and accept the present acknowledgment ceremony express no concern about its own exclusions.

It is reasonable to reject the objection on two grounds. Firstly, the diversity that has arisen in recent decades was not part of national origins. Recall that the nation emerged by about 1880.

It is wrong to claim that diversity was a founding principle then or in 1901. Not diversity but continuity with British and European identity was in the minds of the Founders and in the census statistics.

The nation and Commonwealth were in existence long before diversity began rising after the Second World War. Unless the Acknowledgment is to become a running commentary on every demographic change, it should remain focused on origins.

If it were to focus on the present population instead of origins, that would necessarily demote the indigenous component. If they were given a special acknowledgment, it would be unprincipled to ignore the historic nation.

The second reason it is unnecessary to acknowledge diversity in a statement of national origins is that the proposed Acknowledgment of Nation recognises the Commonwealth and citizenship, which encompasses Australians of all backgrounds.

It is not beyond the maturity of immigrants or their children to acknowledge that the nation was in existence before they arrived.

If it were decided to acknowledge multicultural Australia, two avenues present themselves. The first would be for the acknowledgment to list all the ethnicities of post WWII immigrants, perhaps on a first-come-first-served basis.

The second would be to refer to these peoples collectively as “multicultural”. I think that most would reject the first approach as impractical. However, the latter ignores the actual identities of citizens.

For example, to include Italian Australians under the heading “multicultural” would give no particular recognition to that culture; the same term would apply if not one Italian had immigrated after 1949.

The same term would apply to any diverse country. It seems the only practicable way to recognise the country’s diversity would be in terms that are exceedingly shallow.

Placing the historic nation and Commonwealth in the acknowledgment ritual would restore their proper places in the story of Australia. An Acknowledgment of Nation would be relevant to all Australians.

Of course, this will not happen unless we all get behind it. It is time for us to take the initiative away from the far-left elites. We need to start politely suggesting that the Acknowledgement of Country statement should be upgraded to reflect the reality of the Australian Nation.

Unless we contact MPs, journalists, school principals, heads of RSL clubs and other local dignitaries, they will never know how strongly we feel about this issue.


The only exceptional feature of the many Aboriginal peoples here in 1788 and even that was not exceptional for other groups around the world were the same, was the fact that for 40,000 years they barely evolved from the stone-age. Homo Sapiens entered Europe about the same time peoples entered Australia and look at the difference in evolution.

Indeed, Homo Sapiens had been in Asia for 160,000 years before anyone set foot in Europe or Australia.

I don't agree with the reference to Christianity since Australia is not defined by any religion, but otherwise, much makes sense.

.... Only three per cent of Australians are of indigenous descent .... Utter rubbish. I have two sons and two daughters, all born in Australia of 100% Gael/Celt ancestry -- and every one of them by definition, indigenous to Australia! That there were earlier immigrants than those who created the Australian nation is noted but any notion of those folk ever having even imagined "ownership" - let alone having claimed it - was only recently (in the scheme of things) instilled in them by the un-and-anti-Australia likes of the self and-own-culture-loathing traitor, Edward Gough Whitlam. And by those, as-evil, who've succeeded him.

Just stop forking out money to these bludging parasites and tell them to enter the civilised world. Cutting all funding won't shut these loudmouth bludgers up, but it will make them try to find work or they will starve. Just like the ABC, stop all funding to blackfellas, unless it is under the umbrella of welfare for all Australians.

40,000 fucking years, not 60,000. Stop changing the narrative just to suit these bludging parasites' agenda, that of 'proving' that they were here before Mungo Man. They fucking weren't, they are not the First Peoples.

Why the fuck would anyone doubt this? They are fucking subhuman savages, most of them, and this sort of shit has been common knowledge for decades. Cannibals, child rapists, not much different from the ragheads. Both subhuman neanderthals.

The First Australians were all those living on the vast tract of land that is now Australia when it first became Australia, on January 1 1901, not just the blackfellas. And the blackfellas standing on the short just looking on as the greatest man in Australian history, James Cook, first came ashore with his courageous crew of intrepid sailors, were not the first nations people as these parasites claim. Which is why they are trying to change the number of years they have been here, from 40,000 to 60,000, so they can say they were here before Mungo Man. Give them nothing, especially if they identify as aborigines and not Australians, and let them live the idyllic lifestyle of their forebears if they so choose. Which they won't, it's far too easy being a bludging parasite sucking on the teat.

Being able to trace and recite my cultural and ethnic origins back to both a convicted and transported felon as well as a colourful and flamboyant indigenous character mentioned in the colonial records of South West Western Australia, named Jackbam, I consider myself neither British nor Aboriginal, but rather Australian. And I resent any efforts to corral or lure me into pitching my tent in any camp except that of Australia. To do so is, in my opinion, both counter productive and divisive. You are, I am, we are, Australians.

Shalom was Edomite Herod's daughter who had one person in every household murdered when Herod died so that the whole nation of Judea would be in mourning.

I certainly feel excluded by these token utterances. I suspect were I to get up and voice this opinion I could find myself being confronted by Tim Soufflé, Triggs’ successor in his Star Chamber inquisition.

one is a real Abo and the other is a watered down creamie,who hasn't any tribal scars etc.

Ditto. Family is real, don't worry about this place. All the best mate.

they think they own Australia [the nth nth Island] and our godamn jobs they think is their fucking entitlement

There would be brainless twats that would vote for this slag too.

They can blame all this Dickless Tracey stuff on Angie Dick-in-the-Mouth, for promoting female coppers. Shot with their own gun, sad.

Is that a medical term.

Maybe that's why there were only 100,000 of them after 40,000 years.

Abos used to eat their babies but now they go to McDonalds on us.

Israel will "liquidate" Syrian President Bashar Assad and topple his government if it continues to allow Iran to use Syrian territory to carry out attacks on the Jewish state, an Israeli security cabinet minister has warned.
"If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues allowing Iran to operate within Syrian territory, Israel will liquidate him and topple his regime," Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Ynet.
Trump aides hired Israeli intel firm to find dirt on Obama's Iran deal team – reports
He went on to state that "if Assad lets Iran turn Syria into a military base against us, to attack us from Syrian territory, he should know that will be the end of him."
Hassan Beigi, a member of the Iranian parliament's national and foreign policy commission, responded to the minister's statements later on Monday. "Israel can't do anything," he told RIA Novosti, reminding Tel Aviv that Iran has legitimate grounds to operate on Syrian soil, citing an invitation from Damascus.
Steinitz's bold comments come as Israel reportedly prepares to face a possible retaliatory strike after Syria's T4 airbase was hit by an airstrike on April 9. Iran blames the strike, which it says killed seven Iranian military advisers and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, on Israel. Russia has also stated that Israel was behind the attack.
Israel did not initially comment on the attack. However, a senior Israeli official told a New York Times columnist that Tel Aviv was behind the strike. Two US officials also told NBC News that Israel was responsible, saying it informed Washington ahead of time. Damascus has blamed the air-raid on Tel Aviv, calling it a clear “aggression
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