For those in Sydney, or who will be in Sydney at the beginning of October, there’s going to be a Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House. There’s numerous good people speaking – including Germaine Greer, Jeff Sparrow, Larissa Behrendt, Ien Ang – and some interesting topics (as well as some kinda annoying topics – ‘Bring Back Conscription’ anyone? hmmm). The one I wanted to point out is by Gary Foley entitled ‘By 2075 the Aboriginal Genocide will be Complete’:
“Gary Foley, one of Australia’s most provocative and respected Aboriginal leaders and intellectuals, identifies some of the key problems with our approach to Indigenous policy, by both the Howard and Rudd Governments.
He argues that if Australian government policies continue in their present direction, Aboriginal people will be extinct by 2075.
Foley identifies key concerns with the influential politics of fellow Aboriginal activist Noel Pearson, particularly with Pearson’s assertion that ‘self-determination has failed’.
He is critical of the assumption that the Australian Labor Party has been an ally of Aboriginal people and argues that the Rudd apology to the Stolen Generations is an example of the duplicity and deceit of politicians.”
If you don’t know Foley, he’s an incredibly generous, interesting and inspiring Indigenous activist and academic, amongst many other pursuits. The website describes him as “an indigenous Australian activist, academic, writer and actor. He is best known for his role in establishing the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972 and for establishing an Aboriginal legal service in Redfern in the 1970s. He currently runs an Aboriginal history website and lectures and tutors at Victoria University.”
So if you’re in Sydney on October 4th, you should head along.
If you’re not, you should still think about the implications of what Foley is talking about – what part do those of us who are non-Indigenous have to play in continuing or ending this genocide?