Are We Indigenes Yet?

By Viv Forbes

Reference: “Indigenous Voice to Parliament to include regional voices to address local issues”:

The UK has seen many waves of invaders and colonisers – Neanderthals, Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, Norsemen, Normans and more recently Indians and Pakistanis. Only Irish, Welsh and Scottish inhabitants have had the strength to get special recognition today. All are treated as ordinary citizens.

No human race evolved in Australia so we are all colonists or invaders. Several races walked, paddled, sailed or flew here over the past 60,000 years. Some displaced earlier arrivals, others mixed with locals and some became extinct. Some left rock art distinctly different from that of later arrivals and some destroyed or hid evidence of earlier tribes. Some were cannibals, some brought domesticated animals with them and all hunted native animals, sometimes to extinction. None can claim moral superiority.

Visiting fishermen from Asia and exploring mariners from Europe added to the gene pool in this vast land. Negroid tribes were isolated in Tasmania when rising seas formed Bass Strait and others found refuge in the rainforests of North Queensland. Now a few modern survivors of a few of these many tribes are seeking special constitutional recognition as “indigenes” with a special “voice” to Australian Parliaments.

Europeans started settling in Australia over 300 years ago. They sailed here from Britain, China, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Greece, Afghanistan and many other places.

In my own family, my father’s Watt family came from UK and my mother’s Petersen family came from Denmark. Both families arrived in 1860’s and settled in the Warwick/Killarney area in Queensland. Have we become indigenes yet?

And my wife’s ancestors, the Bells and the Athertons settled in Queensland in the 1860’s.

Martha Bell (wife of John Bell) arrived from England in 1860 and settled at Guyra near Armidale.

An 1860 photograph of Australian pioneer, Martha Bell.

Shortly afterwards the Bells trekked to North Queensland with their cousins the Athertons. The Bells were the first settlers at Bell’s Creek in the Sarina District, and the Athertons pioneered European settlement on the Atherton Tableland.

Australian Settlers Bark Hut

Are they indigenes yet? And when can their horses, sheep and cattle join dingos (brought here by aboriginals) as “indigenous species”, welcome in National Parks?

White Man’s Brumbies – Shot by Governments. Black Man’s Dingos – Protected Species

Do we children of pioneers get a special “voice” in Parliament. If not yet, when?

There were hundreds of Aboriginal tribes, languages and dialects. Which one becomes “the voice”. Like Australia’s black colonisers, Pommies, Cousin Jacks, Paddies, Chinks, Ities, Dagos, Huns, Danes, Viets and the recent multicultural mobs are now all dinkum Aussies and should be treated equally in Parliament and before the law.

All Australians should have the same voting, welfare and property rights. If our black indigenes were given individual freehold property rights to the vast lands set aside for them, they would not need welfare. Getting the Voice will just enrich the lucky few who get to conduct this black choir.

Viv Forbes (born Vivian Richard Watt in Warwick Qld), father Albert Watt, mother Jesse Petersen. Judith Forbes (born Judith Anne Bell in Mackay Queensland), father George Bell, mother Edna Nielsen. Martha Bell (pictured) was Judith’s Great Great Grandmother

42 thoughts on “Are We Indigenes Yet?”

  1. Well put Viv.
    Too much Government action is divisive. Why does so much formal paper ask us to indicate if we are of Torres St or Aboriginal ethnicity.
    We are all Australians and should be equally regarded.
    If those of aboriginal extraction were prepared to step up and assume their place in mainstream society and mainstream society was receptive then the divisive issues might go away.
    But not until the choir masters of the aboriginal industry have their snouts pulled out of the trough.

    1. ALL people claiming “Aboriginality” should be DNA tested. Only those who have 50% or more Indigenous blood should be able to apply for “Perks”. If you aren’t at least 50% Aboriginal — you are probably more European/Chinese/Indian than Aboriginal. So – GET A JOB!! A lot of people who are now getting these “perks” have NO Indigenous blood whatsoever. We are wasting Millions of Dollars on these “Fakes”!
      Time we started DNA testing all people who want to claim “Indigenous” perks.

      I will start respecting Indigenous people when they contribute to society in a POSITIVE WAY!

      By the way…………I have a LOT of RESPECT for Northern Territory Politician — Jacinta Nampijinpa Price. Jacinta can see through the Bull…t that we are being fed by unscrupulous (and often White!) Political Activists — who are ONLY in the game for their own benefit —- NOT for the betterment of our “Indigenous” people.

      In twenty year’s time our Government will be being sued for NOT removing children from their Alcoholic, Drug Addicted and/or Sexually abusive families.

      1. Too true Helen, but I don’t think it will take 20 years. These things go in phases & the current phase is supportive of leaving Aboriginal children with their families & in community & working with the families. Removal is the last resort for Child Protection & involves lengthy deliberation. Problem is, some families simply can’t be worked with. Everyone involved can see these children are being abused by their families & communities but no one wants to point out the elephant in the room for fear of retribution, even magistrates. Meanwhile, these little kids continue to be abused & who knows if the impact can ever be addressed in the future, let alone be reversed.

  2. Currently, the indigenous people are being separated from the European aborigines so the helpful international financiers can establish a central bank for them. Aren’t they nice?! The indigenous people will be able to achieve equality with the European aborigines by being in the same sort of fantasy debt, up to their necks!

  3. P.S. Eventually Australian settlers learned to tilt chimneys away from their bark huts and support the chimneys with a pole. If the chimney caught fire they could remove the pole and the chimney would collapse away from their house. A technological innovation.

  4. Creating a “Voice to Parliament” is a blatantly racist, divisive move when our national anthem says “we are one”.
    Of course, we could all do a “Bruce Pascoe” and become members of the “First” “Nation” and thereby gaining a voice to parliament in addition to our regular vote.

  5. I get annoyed with the way we are cow-towing to the aborigines and I wonder what
    is behind the call for Abo homelands.

    We should just integrate.

    1. It’s all about the money. About $60 billion a year which goes out annually on indigenous only (the aboriginal variety) welfare $60+ billion. Lot of taxpayers work hard to provide those funds – and think how the health care system (from which aboriginals also benefit) would benefit from that amount every year.

  6. I have long held the same view as expressed here. I was born here, so were my mother and father, their parents arrived after 1st world war (where he fought and sustained injuries). My father likewise fought in Ww2 (Darwin). As far as I am concerned, I am as Indigenous as any Aboriginal and entitled to same treatment, but that does not happen.
    How many 100% Aboriginals are left – I doubt there are any? So why do they continue to bleed the country under this false banner?

  7. My grandfather was a English school teacher from Somerset/Dorset. In N.S.W., life was difficult in the countryside, no electricity. Washing was a slow process, don’t let the fire go out. Roads were often impassable. The German side of our family arrive by sailing ship, the port somewhere in the south of the state. They had it tough, struggling with the new language, but they survived.
    Life goes on…..

  8. Viv, you are correct as far as you go. My paper, “Aborigines, the Constitution, and the Voice” at describes the origins of Aborigines and the many distortions of law and policy that have allowed this subject to become so divisive. On the subject of the Voice, starting at page 15 of my paper, I write:

    Presently, each and every Australian, including all Aborigines, has a voice to Government through their elected representatives. Notwithstanding, there are many activists, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, who seemingly wish to keep Aborigines as a separate species. They demand that Aborigines have a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution, and that the Australian national identity be reframed, based on Aboriginal culture.
    The Uluru Statement from the Heart was endorsed by a gathering of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders on May 26, 2017, following a four-day First Nations National Constitutional Convention held at Uluru. It proposes three key elements for sequential reform: “Voice, Treaty, Truth”.
    The Voice is top of the list. The Voice would constitute an advisory body of First Nations traditional owners to advise Parliament on policy affecting Aboriginal people. The Voice would offer a way to include Indigenous Australians’ cultural authority in matters of law that affect them, and constitutionally guarantee them a say in their own affairs. Realistically, such a Voice would impact on every policy of Government because every policy affects every Australian in some way or other. Such a Voice would complicate all Government policy.
    Then would come a Treaty. The Treaty would be a formal agreement between the Government and Aboriginal people that would have legal outcomes. It would likely include binding ‘rights’, and agreements on specific issues like health and education. A Treaty would likely create ongoing legal turmoil.
    Following a Treaty, Aboriginal sovereignty and self-determination have been stated by Aboriginal activists and their followers to be necessary. Sovereignty, be it sovereignty over all Aborigines or many sovereignties over many different Aboriginal groups, would give the power to Aborigines to determine their own form of government and the power to interpret their own laws and ordinances.

    Clearly, the essence of the Uluru Statement is to separate Aborigines forever from other Australians.

    1. Greetings Lindsay. The plan is, as you say, to separate them and then lend them more money generated out of thin air than anyone could possibly repay (predatory lending). Then their land and waters could be seized, and then the lenders will claim the land, buildings and fixtures connected with any organisation that has recognised a tribe as being to owner of the land beneath it.

      The word ‘traditional’ has no legal meaning when used in ‘traditional owners’ because ‘traditional’ must mean that ownership has now ceased. Therefore ‘owner’ actually means owner. For example, a university that states that a particular tribe owns the land beneath it during graduation ceremonies makes that statement in front of every official including the head of its law school and cannot claim that its statement was not serious. The creditors of aboriginal tribes will claim that university’s assets and Australian politicians will support the creditors’ claims because the rest of Australia is in debt to them also.

      Remember that former PM Howard refused to allow the word ‘custodian’ to appear anywhere near the Constitution of Australia because he knew that naming the aboriginal people as custodians would enable their representatives to borrow huge sums of money and have everyone else pay for it. A disclaimer to the proposed preamble stated that the preamble was to have no legal effect within the Commonwealth. What would have prevented an aboriginal leader borrowing money outside of the Commonwealth of Australia? It was a loophole as big as the rest of Planet Earth. The aboriginal people do not need to borrow a cent. If 400,000 people save on dollar daily then they have $400,000 daily to invest in themselves.

  9. Just to set the record straight…

    The original inhabitants in Australia were negritos, with a genesis in Africa, who arrived sometime in the Pleistocene era. They occupied all mainland Australia, which included Tasmania which was still part of the mainland.

    In the Holecene era, new arrivals reached the mainland, immigrating along the northern land bridge. Extant evidence strongly suggests that one or all of these new arrivals had some kind of objection to the first settlers, refused to intermarry with them, and eventually all but eliminated them. AKA Genocide number one.

    As the most recent Ice Age receded, the vast northern ice fields melted, the seas rose, and the Negritos were saved from southern extinction by the isolation of Tasmania. There was one exception. In north-west Queensland, in the deep Atherton rainforests, one tribe of the Negritos survived. These were reached by a team of American anthropologists in the 1880s, who took a series of race-recording measurements.

    However, Australian anthropologists found this narrative conflicted with their black-arm-band view of history; and they wanted only one genocide visible. So they have buried the Atherton and Tassie Negrito history.

    But before you self-righteous tossers wave your banners triumphantly, the massacres of Aborigines by white death squads did take place (AKA Genocide 2), and it was much worse than even I imagined a decade ago. The last en masse slaying of men, women, children and babies, took place in northeast Arnhem Land in 1936… only seven years before I was born.

    As a former Commonwealth and NT Government Welfare Officer, and later researcher, I can state categorically that the genocide continues (Genocide 3), but this is infinitely more sophisticated than the brutal “good ‘ol days”.

    1. Tony, I have read about the many killings of Aborigines by settlers. However, I am unaware of the ‘en masse slaying’ in 1936. Can you please provide me with a reference?

    1. My dictionary gives Indigenous to mean, ” born or growing naturally in a region or country.” Thus, if you comply, you and your dog are ipso facto indigenous.
      I find when some paper shuffler asks if I am Indigenous (s)he will not quibble when I respond “yes and proud of it.” They look askance but aren’t game to argue. It is only boat people and those early settlers of any racial origin or place who sailed, landbridged or floated over on their back who cannot claim to be true indigenes. White indigenes are treated shamefully by some coloured folk and it has to stop.

  10. The urge to get rid of Australia Day will not blunt the fact that it happened when it did. Slowly but surely it will be accepted as a defining event that, like the Norman invasion of the UK in 1066, will be remembered for what it was, a new beginning. Whether for better or worse, for richer or poorer, will be for the future to ponder but never resolve.

  11. Google PYGMIES in AUSTRALIA,

    Pygmies, I believe are still in North Western Australia and were the first before aboriginals, please check it out.

  12. A quick read popped up one falsehood. European settlers arrived in 1788, less than 300 years ago as stated.

    A form of apartheid and genocide has been practiced in Aus for the past 233 years, targeted against aboriginals; keeping them in their place, and not ours. I agree that this proposed 2nd Parliament/ Voice whatever is irrelevant. We have had Neville Bonner (and past others), current serving aboriginal members of all levels of government across states and boundaries. Globally, humans moved from everywhere to everywhere, sometimes integrating, sometimes butchering and slaughtering. Look at the UK; the Romans, Angles, Saxons, Scandinavians, Franks (Normans); all added to the Picts, Celts and Gauls.

    Let’s not get precious about ourselves. Any objective view of global history is not a pretty one. ALL the great empires were built on aggressive conquest and not gentle persuasion alone. There were always pointy ends extended out. I agree with most of the article.

    I am a whitey, mostly of Dutch/French heritage with a dash of Indonesian. If the rant of “go back where you came from” were to globally applied, we would never stop moving around the world. Ironic because that’s what got us all here in the first place.

    I am Australian, born here. Indigenous? Maybe not yet, but does that matter? Do I care? No. Have I been racially abused, yes; by aboriginals in Mt Isa “f******g white c**t” many times. Have I been racist? Yes. Not proud of that either. Lets live and live.

  13. Great stuff Viv!
    I have noticed that the term “First Nation” has crept into Australia’s lingo over the last few years.
    How has this happened when to me clearly our living Aboriginal tribes were not the first?…..ref, Mungo Man and cave paintings in the Kimberleys.

  14. An optimistic perspective, very well expressed. Don’t give up Viv. One day we’ll have our country back from the woke warriors.

  15. Viv,

    Well put about settlers. The Tasmanian aborgines became isolated around 16000-12000BC. There were no dingos in Australia at the time. Arrivals or settlers from PNG (at a time around 6000-3000 BC) brought in the dingos which then killed off the mainland Thylacine (called in Tasmania the Tasmanian Tiger). The arrivals from PNG also killed off most of the aboriginal occupants with superior wooden weapons. Some intermarriage may have occurred. No present day aborigine could trace their origins to the originals settlers some 40,000 to 60,000 years ago.

    keep up the good work and keep well

    regards Peter Benkendorff

    1. Who killed off the Tasmanian Dingos that were alleged to have wiped out the Thylacines? Was it the squatters who were importing feral sheep and cattle? It certainly wasn’t the aboriginals. They were their pets and Doonas.

  16. Are we indigenes yet? …how long does it take? Well based on African experience – NO and NEVER! Seems to be the answer.
    I am a 16th generation South African, my family arrived in southern Africa BEFORE the Tembe tribe (largest of some 26 clans making up the Zulu Nation) and yet I and my tribe are still called white scum and told to go home… Home?! Oh you mean that country in Europe that enacted new laws after ’94 to prevent just such homecoming – ja well no fine

  17. Viv, you know as well as I do that the indigenous industry is on the money trail for bigger handouts from the hardworking Australian taxpayer.
    They haven’t studied history or know of the pertinent points that you make about ‘their invasion’ of Australia and their annihilation of the pygmy tribes. And if they do, they ignore it to put the blame on to we white invaders.
    Funny how they all claim Aboriginality with only a drop of black blood and run around with Anglo-Saxon names, isn’t it?

    1. I can see the time coming when Aboriginals will attend universities to learn their “cultures”.

  18. A divided society with priviliges based on origin, skin color, whatever, is the only society that can be controlled and pretend to be a democracy or republic. Otherwise, you must have complete order based on government assigned positions, like in North Korea. We can never “all” be one or the government simply loses power. I am sure you all know this is not about “indigenes” but rather division and hatred. There are no indigenes anywhere except the Middle East or wherever you believe mankind began. Everyone else is flat-out an intruder.

    (Native Americans are NOT native–they too are intruders. They are “first people”, the first to land or walk to what is now America. Odds are, they crossed the land bridge, so they would be what are now Russians or Koreans. They are anything but “native”.)

  19. i am Australian & proud to be.
    i was born here,
    as were my parents & my g/parents,
    so too my children & my g/children.
    i have been here longer than most of those who tell me i don’t belong here.
    but i do belong here,
    & belonging to a place makes one “indigenous”
    and I’m not even ashamed of being white.
    if that makes me a racist,
    so be it.

  20. Thanks, Viv – Very interesting articles, and stories –

    Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated. Hopefully, now Barnaby is back in the saddle we might see some necessary changes

    YES – I believe together with my family we are proud indigenous Australians. Furthermore, I am a descendent of a “Stolen Generation”

    My Great Grandfather as a young man was “Torn Away” from his family and “Country” and sent right across the world to an unknown, brutal and unfriendly place called “Van Diemen’s Land” because he knocked off six chooks to help feed his parents and family !!!
    I am very grateful and happy he did that.

  21. I find this current so called “tribute” to a certain Aboriginal Tribes ( named) “being original owners or holders of this land” before a public function are profound statements, verging on tokenism. How does the composer of the statement know the named tribe are the ORIGINAL OWNERS, when the history goes back for thousand of years?

    Further more if a gathering is called on to pay a tribute, I believe it should be to our 120,000 (at least, and including many Aboriginals) ex-service men and women who lost their lives in defending Australia during the past 150 years.
    Had they not been successful then the Aboriginals of Australia would be of much fewer numbers today, might even be extinct. (the reason is obvious)

    So to me if we are paying tribute to people then our service men and women should be the most honoured in our Nation by us its present inhabitants.

  22. G’day Viv,
    Thank you for the very interesting mailing.
    Your headline article ‘Are we Indigenes yet?’ is a fascinating overview.

    I see no point in turning back the clock and attempting to re-write history. I do not believe that the Voice to Parliament has any purpose, except as an activist stepping stone to Treaty.
    I welcome the possibility of Jacinta Nampijinpa Price representing the NT in the Australian Senate.

  23. Well said. The simple reality is that everyone born here is indigenous. The word is misused when applied to Australians with Aboriginal Ancestry, a group which ranges from 100% Aboriginal ancestry, not many of those, to less than 1% Aboriginal ancestry, plenty of those, and with most so minimally Aboriginal in ancestry they could not register as such in any other country in the world.

    Everyone has been colonised, the British a dozen times, and Aboriginal peoples were also colonisers. This move to divide helps no-one and betrays the very nature of our modern, liberal democracy. The reality is that every human on the planet today is descended from the same relatively small subgroup of humans in the distant past, according to genomic studies. There are no races beyond the human race and we forget that at our peril.

  24. Not one person or tribe from any past period in human history can lay superior claim to any country or land – all humans have been placed on earth to take care and look after it during their lifetime. Those who believe that certain people must be treated differently because of past events in history are the problem that keeps discrimination alive. This policy should not be supported “through taxes on hard working peoples.”

    It’s time for the Government to wake up to the game that is being playing out by these people that is allowing them to ask for more and more. No amount of money or special privileges can change past events – get over it, get a job and pay taxes like all sensible minded people.

  25. For aborigines and those who identify as aboriginal, the terms “indigenous” and “nation” are used frequently and presumably accepted as suitable terms.
    But has anybody ever tried to find a clear concise definition of the term “indigenous”? Has anybody considered the word “nation” and what is required for a community to meet the specifications of the term. I suspect not.
    So far as “indigenous” is concerned, I have yet to come across a clear and specific definition. Those referred to as a “nation” appears to have a number of possible qualities such as:-
    A common language
    A common culture
    A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent
    government; a country.
    The territory occupied by such a group of people.
    The “indigenous” people of Australia seem to fall short on some vital qualities.

    The current generation of aboriginals, on occasion, refer to Australia as if this nation ha existed for thousands of years on indigenous peoples terms.
    The name “Australia” came from Mathew Flinders and came into effect in 1901 . Previously, it does not appear to have had any characteristics of a “nation”. Such was the situation for some 50,000 years.

    In the first two hundred years of European settlement, many mistakes and wrongs have occurred and aboriginals have not fared well as a result. But, generally, I believe past efforts to consider the welfare of aboriginals was well intended (although, perhaps, frequently misguided ). Often it was misguided because it was not clear what should be done.
    It is right that mistakes of the past are rectified. However, along with these current efforts, the aboriginal section of the community must be truthful about their cultural history and avoid embellishing any narrative simply to gain political advantage.

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