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EARTHCHAT: Why we need to decolonise

Updated: Aug 5, 2022


Ruth continues to explore this question with Emma King and Phil Bourne as they emerge from a two day Decolonisation Workshop. What did they learn? Let’s begin with reminding ourselves about what colonisation means and how it’s impacted our country. Australia was a collection of British colonies from 1788 until 1901. The first colonies were established as places where criminals were sent to live and work. These were known as convict settlements or penal colonies. Later, colonies were established by free settlers. How did colonisation affect Australia? Colonisation severely disrupted Aboriginal society and economy - epidemic disease caused an immediate loss of life, and the occupation of land by settlers and the restriction of Aboriginal people to 'reserves' disrupted their ability to support themselves. For Aboriginal people, colonisation meant massacre, violence, disease and loss. Colonisation is also cultural and psychological in determining whose knowledge is privileged. What is the concept of Decolonisation? Decolonisation is the process by which colonies become independent of the colonising country, Great Britain. Decolonisation seeks to reverse and remedy this through direct action and listening to the voices of First Nations people. Australia can only come of age as a nation and a society when we decolonise ourselves.


The First People's Assembly of Victoria

About our Guests Emma King is a long-term social and environmental justice activist. She lived and worked in the Northern Territory for over 20 years, working with Indigenous and non-indigenous communities on environment protection campaigns and human rights issues. She now lives in Central Victoria and works for a local Aboriginal organisation as well as with Commonground near Seymour. She has been facilitating regular Decolonising Conversations in Castlemaine in between lock-downs and is part of bringing these conversations to Mitchell Shire this year. Phil Bourne is a non-Aboriginal person who is concerned about what is his best contribution to constructively contribute to the inequalities in our society around black /white relations. He has worked in a remote Aboriginal community and has been connected with a variety of Aboriginal organisations in Victoria. He is keen to have a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of the colonisation of this country and how one can challenge the injustice that exist within our attitudes, without a self punitive perspective. Hope you can join us!

Tune in to BEAM's radio program EarthChat each Friday on Seymour FM at 10am or to the repeat on Saturday at 8am.

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