Shit happens; but so do blessings.

This is a bit of a test post really, running my new laptop through its paces to see what happens, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

A lot of shit has happened in the life of me and my partner Theresa in the last year. We had huge plans about building a sustainable housing resource centre on Palm Island and at Boulia. I won’t go into all the details but shit happened and we have not yet been able to follow through on these plans – yet. So a few months ago I decided to start a blog of my own, after running a quasi-blog on for 12 months. Theresa and I have been a bit house bound but I had a computer and was connected to the internet so a blog seemed like a good thing to do as I very much enjoy writing. Things were settled, apparently, and I could run the blog from Palm Island where we have been planning to move to for some time, making it, I believe, an interesting and unique blog that would also be a primary news source for information about Palm Island. Then two problems hit. 1/ my computor broke down and 2/ the problems mentioned about my nephew and the Qld. adult guardianship regime, throwing significant spanners in the works. The guardianship business is not finished. I have removed the previous article under threat of a contempt of court charge but will write more soon about what I am allowed to say now that I have a computer again.

So, up until a few days ago I was pretty demoralised, and with no computor and still stuck in Brisbane.


Amongst all the shit happening there has been some blessings too.  Two Brisbane elders of the non-Aboriginal support movement have given me a lap top and other support so that Theresa and I can do some business on Palm Island and else where.  They are also assisting Palm Island elder and former mayor, Erykah Kyle, to write by getting her a laptop too.  Erykah has agreed to write for Paradigm Oz too, so stay tuned for that.

I am used to shit happening in my life and have developed various mechanisms to deal with it so that it can be overcome or bypassed somehow so as to keep on going. But the main thing that has, and still does depress me is that amongst all the well documented suffering of Aboriginal people in this country, white Australia does nothing except gossip amongst itself about how bad the situation is but takes to steps in real nuts and bolts ways to do anything about changing the situation. Even organisations such as Australians for Native title and Reconciliation (ANTAR) and reconciliation Australia have only generated plattitude filled commentary but achieved nothing in terms of justice for Aboriginal people.

The Palistinian holy man, Jesus, said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man (and presumably woman) to enter the kingdom of God. When the rich young ruler said to Jesus “What must I do to enter the kingdom of God?” Jesus replied “Sell all you have and give it to the poor”.

It seems to me that until real non-Aboriginal people, as distinct from names in text on an organisation’s mailing list, support real Aboriginal people, as opposed to a political issue or generalised category of people, then nothing will change. There appears to be plenty of evidence that governments are not going to respond in positive ways, though I hope the religious Kevin Rudd heeds Jesus’ economic policy when he becomes prime minister.

In real terms the government and its public service are obstacles that someone must tackle – but who? I believe many people would say “Aboriginal people”. But the truth is, “Aboriginal people” are the most disadvantaged and disempowered group in Australia and have, for structural reasons, no capacity at all to tackle the government. Only affluent white people have this power in Australia so it seems to me that the primary agent of change in Australia is affluent white people. The question is, can affluent white people make connection with Aboriginal people to gain a proper understandning of what the problem is and more importantly, can they be open minded enough to take direction from Aboriginal people as to what the solution, and the path to the solution, might be.

Theresa and I will be in Mt. Isa for a week before going to Palm Island. In the event of no shit happening in the next few weeks, I will be on Palm some time in March.

So the moral of the story – Shit happens but sometimes with a bit of help and sharing, things can get back on track.

the bigger moral – a lot of shit happens in the lives of most Aboriginal people that debilitates hope and vision. A lot of help and sharing from a lot of non-Aboriginal Australians is needed to get things back on track. In terms of Jesus’ economics, somehow, some wealth and resources must get transfered from rich white Australia to poor black Australia.

Well, the new computor seems to be working


1 Comment

Filed under justice

One response to “Shit happens; but so do blessings.

  1. Well said John, and i’m happy to see the computer works.
    Where are you now?
    Please pop in on the way up if at all possible?
    Warmest regards
    Anne Goddard

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