How Much Can a Koala Bare!!!!!!!!

i live in a small town on the beautiful NSW coast....a town that has been lost in time...visitors have described it many times as the town that "time forgot"...tourism portrays it as the "verandah post town" founded by the cedar getters....**** they used to tie their horses to the posts and now they are just a ******* hazard when you are parking ....and the bloody cedar getters took every single cedar tree they could find...massive cedar trees that lined the river banks...they didn't leave one and they glorify this crime against the environment every year with  a woodchopping display and friggin monuments...

this portrayal of our town is offensive to environmentalists, and the original inhabitants of this area "the Bawruung"clan of the Gumbayngirr nation

when they moved in here it was a garden of eden gaurded and preserved bu the Bawruung for 100,000's of years ...they conserved every precious resource and wonder to ensure the survival of the future generations and the preservation of mother earths creations and beauty....

but in 160 short years the whitefellas took control and now it is in danger of not lasting one more generation as a healthy environment...who are the ignorant savages here ..... 

there is much racial tension in this town due to past injustices and present concerns particularly the murder of 3 aboriginal children some 10-15 years ago.....no justice was ever done.... the guilty one was tried but got off...twice...he was a local whos family has been here since the "cedar getters"

this is bad enough but the sad thing for my community is this town has continued to ignore their pain and emotional distress

they turned their back, shut their doors on crying mothers plea's for justice ...even for some support or recognition of their suffering and fears...

the broader community have never assisted my community, never said sorry,

they moved in here just took over the land where my people were pushed to the fringes of town...they lived by the river...were allowed in town to spend their money but were not allowed to stay in town...they had to buy thier milkshake from the back door of the cafe and take it away to drink it.....stuff like that

mothers were not allowed to have their babies in the hospital...only white fellas were allowed in the hospital...my partner was the first blackfella born there in 1957...

when the whitefellas decided they wanted a golf course by the river they removed them again onto the mission which was the white fellas toxic dumpsite that was filled in....then they wanted a race course so they removed the remaining families who lived on the other side of town and put them on the mish too...they are still there today ...living in third world conditions....yes my friends ..this is not a remote community in the outback ...this is the mid north coast of NSW...where blackfellas continue to live on the fringes of prosperous tourist towns where they are ignored

im not meaning to dwell in the past but im just trying to set you a picture of how far back in the times this town still is and i am trying to cut a long story short

many things have improved but many things have stayed the same

the mentality of the broader community who have prospered and lived in paradise at the expense and suffering of the aboriginal community has continued to be one of ignorance and a refusal to acknowledge the curent injustices that my people endure

a funeral was today for a young aboriginal boy from my community he was brutally stabbed by the local auto-mechanic in front of his mates...at least this time they have the man who did it

anyway when they say that an aboriginal male's  life expectancy is 20 years less than that of a white fella...well i can tell you that the magority of men in my community aren't living past forty...it is a much wider gap than what is reported...the women fare better but many are plagued with health problems

but these people as downtrodden as they are have the most loving, generous, peaceful, traditional, musical, creative and humerous souls i have ever known..... and i have been so honoured to be adopted by them and now have gumbayngirr grandchildren...well it turned out that my sons father was gumbayngirr..unbeknown to us when we moved into this country..but thats another story

i have a deep rage when it comes to my family and that is the community here...we are all intertwined in some way....we are all close........

i was brought up to be a whitefella ...my aboriginality was hidden as it was for the previous two of my families generations  anyway thats another story ...i may tell you some time .....i was 30 before i found out officially that i was aboriginal ...although i had always figured and had been told a few things by my father and other family members....

i was now confident enough to acknowledge myself to the local aboriginal communities from where i was living...as i have moved around alot and lived in many places...me and my 2 sons went from place to place trying to find home i guess...

and we found this place.... 15 years ago i moved to this town........and the aboriginal community welcomed us into their families, so graciously and honestly without question....

i owe them a great deal for they gave us back our aboriginality and for the comfort and homeland they gave me and my sons as we were strangers

 

jinda jinda
56-60, F
23 Responses Feb 25, 2009

today this one who evicted us ...comes struttin down the street.....she comes in ...the kids are there.....and she says ...oh we have relinquished the lease of the building and the off-site classrooms have to go cos there is someone else who wants the building...<br />
how can they do this...the school pays the rent...these kids who are deemed unteachable by the dept of education...they are not even allowed on school grounds<br />
and they are beautiful kids.... i love them so much they are so smart and clever...this town just wants them to dissappear....so now we have to find them a place<br />
and its not just black kids eh ..we have white kids as well who can't cope in the education system

it only takes a kindness of a few words like that of my friend to give you that boost you need when you feel so low..(thats why we love EP so much) and someone says something that gives you the strength to overcome your despair......and gives you back the hope you need <br />
<br />
anyway we're sitting there....and the fella that has the nursery, the coffee shop and the bowen centre that him and his wife run...came over and needed to talk to steve, the real estate fella...<br />
so they go off and have a talk and then steve comes back with the biggest grin on his face and i said ...what has he got buds or somethin...cos most of the good guys in this town smoke yandhi<br />
he said ....i'v got great news ....that guys wife just left him and went back to NZ....and the bowen shop is now vacant....and its all yours...<br />
we started to do a dance in the street ...i think it was something like a tango type crump with some <br />
oh yeah...oh yeah.....oh yeah<br />
we forgot about the poor fella whos wife just left him....i did'nt care he had three locations eh ...and we had none<br />
<br />
so they tried to get rid of us but now we have a central location...right in their faces...they can't ignore us now<br />
<br />
we had to re-structure but it has fallen back into place and the workers and the kids are happy again....<br />
we are seperated from the kids who are expelled ...but when they finish their tutoring they come to the shop and do stuff there.....<br />
they are so proud of the fact that its theirs....<br />
the older ones are producing some fine pieces of art and craft.....and we will bring tourism to the town ..we have been here for a month and have already generated much interest in the the works that have been produced<br />
so this story does have a fairy tale ending but...........

the centre was going great and the off site classrooms for the expelled kids was working ...these kids would normally be on the street causing trouble...but here they can still be learning everyday and not feel so isolated from society and forgotten....<br />
<br />
it was a good partnership between us and the school to help the kids.......<br />
so what does the establishment do when a program for the disadvantage is successful......they do there best to ensure it fails....<br />
<br />
firstly the community org that holds the lease to the complex, evicts us...they reckon they are concerned for our ******* safety and we have to go cos they have to make money and TAFE want the space.....<br />
this is an aboriginal organisation run by whitefellas evicting an aboriginal org....from the building that we worked so hard to keep when we had no funding....<br />
<br />
there was no other place for us .......all the shops were occupied and we needed a place for the mens workshop ....they work with power tools and things ....<br />
<br />
i was so depressed and filled with so much despair...i have felt despair personaly but this was different it was at such a deeper level....the kids had been so happy ...we finally had funding that would truly benefit those who need it most..something that was good ....<br />
the kids were laughing....the men had a place to be proud of and the women had their sewing machines everyone was happy and feeling good about themselves......then they strike their mighty blow.... and this ******* town don't give a damn...<br />
<br />
i was sitting in the street trying to figure out what we would do if we don't have a place we have to give back our funding....i was trying to stop the tears...i didn't want this town to see me beaten.....i wanted to burn the friggin place down....i was so angry.....<br />
<br />
the local real estate guy ...who is a friend ...knew what was going on ....he seen me sitting there and came and sat with me....he was comforting me saying never mind now, something will happen you have to much good and positive energy, far greater than their negative ****...something will come up...just be patient...we will figure out something...<br />
i'm just gonna submit this and continue in my next post ...cos i'm worried if i take too long writing my story ...i get logged out...and all my comments are gone

I type up my stories using word document then cut/paste to this site when I have finished. I too have had a problem with loosing stuff.....

citysleeper if the whitefella keeps mining and destroying this beautiful land in 50 years it will be uninhabitable<br />
just like uncle Damps found the western deserts....<br />
so you better get back here quick so you can save it <br />
<br />
well not only whitefellas ...blackfellas are guilty of living the whitefellas way ...but you forced us into it...<br />
and the land and water has been poisoned and the animals are dissappearing or diseased...so we can't go back to hunting and gathering to survive ...you whiteys real clever eh ....why think about tomorrow when you can gorge yourself today<br />
sorry to all you other fellas ..that was just intended for <br />
citysleeper<br />
<br />
i cant believe i just spent about an hour finishing my story...it was bloody hard to get out ....and when i went to submit it this stupid site says i wasn't logged in ...i lost all that writing ......why does that happen ...i'm so peed off...it took a lot to write it and its just goooone<br />
crikey<br />
<br />
i jus

part 3 of my story<br />
when i first started this story my anger and frustration came from what i have experienced in my time of working at the centre..and how ignorant this backwards town is to its aboriginal people...i have always known about what they did in the past but geeezzz...its still the same...and fought hard for them to embrace and support the centre....this is the first time in history that a place has been provided and equipped for the fellas on the mish ...and our centre is not hidden away it is in the main street...well at the end and at the back of the gallery ...but it seems that was too close....<br />
<br />
when i first started a blackfella (not from here) was in control ...we had no funding so we raised money through our art to raise the rent and power....<br />
our building was at the back of the Art Gallery...but our entrance and reception was dignified enough<br />
we worked together and put in a submission for funds and formed a partnership with the local school to set up off-site classrooms for the kids that are expelled to be tutored ...as i know the kids and was already doing some art/craft stuff with them...when i had the time.....these kids have no proper home supervision and roam the streets getting into mischief....this was a great plan to help the kids but also the school hires the rooms from us and we can pay the rent<br />
so we got behind in the rent waiting for the school to pay us......and was evicted even though the landlord new the situation, he had spent alot of time with us and knew our ability to manage the centre<br />
<br />
anyway the principal encouraged another community organisation to take over the lease ...so that we could remain and not have to worry about rent ....that happened and it was cool we thought...we lost control of our building<br />
our reception area was taken over by the school and we were squashed in between them and the gallery...and our entrance was now around the back around the back...through the workshop.....no one could tell that we also occupied the complex <br />
if we played music or made to much noise we were asked to be quite <br />
well i wasn't taking that and told them ...what you made sure no-one could see us now you want to make sure no-one hears us...**** off....i said <br />
anyway that tutor got sacked and i get on good with the new guy.....he's lovely, hes a teacher, a carpenter, he plays guitar and piano ..and the kids love him...did i mention he's lovely, he is also married and much younger than me.....but he is oh so charming....wait i'll just stop drooling and get back to reality<br />
well i must be getting a bit booky and need a feed so i'll continue the rest later...the last chapter

hi enna....<BR>write to her anyway but do it snail mail ... harder for them to ignore<BR>maybe we should write to KRudd himself ..i'm going to write to mick dodson and linda burney she is aboriginal and the minister for fair trading ...<BR>we will see if they can do anything ...both should already be aware of the situation but neither has raised it as an issue...they may need a push<BR><br />
and if only the peoples of the world could get together to save our planet and feed everyone....now what a wonderful world that would be<br />
cheers

CDEP funding was a great initiative in most communities and when it was withdrawn I despaired (for the umpteenthg time!) f the short sightedness and inadequacy of our nation's leaders.<br />
<br />
I hadn't realisd Kevin 07 had not reinstated it - I'm going to try and write to my local member about it.<br />
<br />
Trouble is, she is Belinda Neill!! Not the most sensitive or culturally aware person in the govt. lol!!!!<br />
<br />
In any community it is people like you Jinda who make a difference - I know sometimes it is hard to see that but plase believe it is true.<br />
<br />
If I could have one wish for our country (after world peace and the reversal of climate change! lol!) it would be that we could really go forward in a true spirit of reconcilliation instead of just paying it lip service. <br />
<br />
Oh well, one day at a time my friend . . .

vendetta you make a good point, as usual<br />
bv if only more people were as brave and knowlegeable as you my dear, your intelligent desire to know and actually reach out and connect with aboriginal people is far beyond most peoples reasoning....<br />
we have to try and tolerate those who know no better...they are still in the dark.....you can only attempt to get them to turn their lights on lol and they may never see the light of day.....<br />
as vendetta says...its not that they dislike blackfellas but a fear they have from their parents and others a certain mindset that has been instilled in many sub-consciously, they tend to follow the pack also..they still live the "white Australian Policy"<br />
i know your friends reaction was a bit of a shock but try not to blame her for what she has been taught to think and fear about aboriginal or ethnic people..<br />
but make sure your friends know how you feel and what you have learnt .....i know you do that anyway lol<br />
it may take awhile but one day, you may dis-spell their fears<br />
cheers

lol, I like how the dog interrupted your story. That was funny. Go Priscilla! <br />
<br />
And BV, it's possible, maybe not likely but possible, that your friend wasn't being racist but only scared. Like you said, there are many bad tensions between the races, and like you said not many white girls walk up to the natives. Your friend could have been fearful that some racist had done something bad to these 3 and that they would take it out on you, all the while not having any racist thoughts about them, only scared of a possible justified rage on their part. <br />
<br />
Maybe, just trying to see a way to give them the benefit of the doubt.

part 2<BR>the story about my town continues<BR>this town has been recongnised as one of the most disadvantaged towns in NSW...for black and white fellas....there are many farmers and workers who have jobs but the majority battle unemployment, low economy with no access to public services...about 30ks from two major towns...there is no public transport if you dont have a car it is very difficult<BR>anyway whitefellas have their art gallery, theatre, music groups and coffee shops...but the blackfellas have never had any place where they can produce their arts/crafts/music etc ...and the majority live on the mish and keep to themselves ....they kinda feel inferior going into whitefellas places...not that the whitefellas make them feel unwelcome ...but its just a mindset that has been instilled into them since the times of apartheid and because of the 3 children...there are heaps of fellas that are not of the old mould and do want to improve things they just go about it the wrong way...they dont consult they go ahead and do things without understanding what they do is culturally inappropriate...and they wonder why blackfellas dont come...<BR><BR>for the last twelve months i took a CDEP position at a center/workshop that had been set up for blackfellas by a slimy woman...she has aboriginal blood but she doesn't have a blackfellas heart...she has been rorting blackfellas funding for years....no-one from the community would participate in her program ...cos she dont come from here and she is not to be trusted....<BR>anyway....she abandoned the center and the organisation, taking all the equipment with her .....<BR><BR>this slimy woman continues to go from community to community ripping them and the government off....<BR>...because oh cripes my dog stole my chicken i was cooling down....im back...oh dear...couldnt save the chicken only priscilla from eating the bones<BR>back to the story<BR>now we can't complain about stuff like this to the funding bodies because they see it as in-fighting and they will stop any future prospects of our community recieving any more....<BR>we have no protection and are simpy told that the comminity must deal with it<BR>The CDEP is the comminity development employment program that was set up years ago...its like work for the dole...only we work for the aboriginal community and organisations two days a week, our wages were equivalent to the dole but we had the credibility of an employed person and we could acquire top up wages without losing any of our payment ...<BR>and for our town it was great cos of the isolation of no public transport and many of the lads were employed ,learning skills and stuff<BR>i went on CDEP 12 months ago and took over the centre, there were 5 of us ...and we kept it operating <BR>raising funds for the rent and power...we recieved funding 6 months ago and have been going from strength to strength....im in control of this money .....but luckily for all i'm the most honest person i know...and the money is being spent on my beloved people ...there is no way i would pocket one tiny cent from their funding...as i owe them so much for welcoming me into their hearts... <BR>well howard decided to scrap this program and put us all back on the dole....and krudd is carrying it out ...it is to cease in June<BR>well ive already been taken off the program and had to go back on the dole...i will have to work for the dole or do a course...which will be bloody miles away and i cant work for the dole at the centre cos its not registered with them...and we cant do that until July when they have worked out what they are doing<BR>so i can either work for some whitefellas organisation in town or go miles to a course 3 to 4 days a week<BR>i run this centre ...i dont want to do anything else and their is no-one else i can trust to do it......<BR>i work many more days than the 2 that i have to ...sometimes im ther 5 days a week ...no-one else gonna do that if they don't get paid...<BR>but i have a plan<BR>cheers

yeah who knows, its best just to ignore him unless he explains himself ....<BR>maybe i<BR>m just paranoid about these comments now that i don't know whether they are joking or not<BR>cheers

Maybe citysleeper was just trying to funny (if so he sucks at it!).<br />
<br />
Or maybe he's just a jerk, not worth our time...(I'm going with the latter)

Jinda, you have a gift for saying things, and a loving open heart. Your little story about how the kangaroo was named is wonderful , as well as your description of what the convicts faced and overcame. You really have a way of making us understand.<br />
Keep writing! You are amazing.

Citysleper - what ARE you?? Some kind of lowlife slug? People like you make me ashamed to be white.<br />
<br />
Do you think you are funny? or clever? Because you are not either - you are a pathetic racist pig.<br />
<br />
Do NOT insult my friend or my country.

no c8 its not moree but i know their situation is worse than ours ..im too scared to give my location ...because of comments made by racist trolls and they scare me<BR>i did post the rest of the story but i took so long by the time i submitted it i had been logged out ...so i will try and re-write it ...<BR>cheers

Jinda, are you talking about Moree?<br />
<br />
if so you certainly watered down the story....did ep make you do that?

It saddens me that a young boy was murdered in your community. I send my condolences to his family, friends and the community where he lived. It's just awful.<br />
<br />
And while I had no say in where I was born or to what parents I say sorry and I will continue to say sorry until all Australian are treated equitably.<br />
<br />
My thoughts are with you Jinda

thanks for the encouragement...<br />
its truly goodfellas like yourselves that inspire those to do things that they would not otherwise do or even realise that they have the ability to achieve such things....<br />
this is why i love EP so much....a few words can move mountains<br />
degletenoor...thankyou that is a wonderful poem ...so true not even whitefellas were saved from the wrath of the empire builders....the convicts were treated so harshly by their own race...the british <br />
they suffered greatly ...taken from there homeland...the hulks omg how could anyone survive that...and when they got here they were treated with such savagery...it was the convicts and the blackfellas that built this nation with their blood sweat and tears.....not the british heirachy<br />
its where we get our aussie humour ...thats how the convicts survived mentally by making jokes about their horrific situations...its where our men get their hard-arse attitude and she''ll be right mate .....<br />
and blackfellas have always found whitefellas ways to be humourous as well as their own<br />
like the word kangaroo means "what did you say" <br />
when asked by whitefellas what is that animal ...of course the blackfella couldn't speak english so he replied "kangaroo" meaning -what did you say' and the whitefella said 'oh kangaroo it is called a kangaroo' <br />
cheers

Love your poem degletenoor! Beautiful comment - also Datura's sentiments are spot on.<br />
<br />
Jinda I really appreciate what you say abot not feeling guilt - I DO though. I was raised in New Guinea and my family were "colonials" in the true sense of the word.<br />
<br />
Whilst my family were god people and very much loved by the local people, they WERE very patronising, and they subscribed to all the racial prejuidices of the day (1920s to 1980s).<br />
<br />
My views have formed as an adut and I started rejecting the racism quite early in life, but I have a great sense of personal guilt left from my childhood.<br />
<br />
Also, I thnk all white Aussies like me carry the same sort of guilt as many German people (who were not involved in the Holocaust) carry about the Jews. It is hard not to feel ashamed about the awful things that hapened - and are still happening - to our Indigenous people.<br />
<br />
Please keep being an advocate for both races - I truly believe it is people like yourself who will eventually heal the wounds so we can go forward together as one nation.

What a powerful telling , Jinda. Enna is right, this should be published where people in your country can read it and see what it is still like in your town. You have a talent with words that helps us see and understand things. Well done. You are a skilled and passionate voice for your people.<br />
<br />
I can only hope that racial prejudice of any kind ends and ends soon.

enna thankyou you are so kind ...there are many whitefellas like yourself who have nothing to be ashamed of as you have only shown love and acknowledgment not ignorance.....but you carry their guilt ...stop it now lol<br />
i apologise for referring to all whitefellas as the meanies it is not my intention.....i love all cultures and my dear sweet mother was white....i have posted a poem called goodfellas i'd say you are one of them<br />
this is only the first part of my story ..i just spent about an hour adding to it straight after i posted it ...then when i submitted it ...my story didnt register cos i wasn't logged in WTF ...EP shut me down and i was logged out without logging out....it took a lot of effort to post the edited version with the second part of my story <br />
why was i logged out while i was writing....thats twice now...what the grrrrghhhh

You story is all too common in our wonderful country. As a whitefella I have great shame about the way my people have treated the Indigenous people of this nation of our's.<br />
<br />
Your story is so well written and so compelling - I think you should consider sending it to your local paper for publication. It might stir some local comment and that would not be a bad thing.<br />
<br />
I don't live in your town, but I would like to apologise to you and all Aboriginal People of this land for the terrible wrongs and injustices they have suffered.<br />
<br />
You have every reason to be proud of your inheritance and I wish you well in every aspect of your life.