Anorak News | Too Many Cooks

Too Many Cooks

by | 23rd, March 2004

‘TO the outside world, Australia likes to present itself as a country that has not only come to terms with its aboriginal roots, but actually celebrates them.

The Aboriginal Dog

At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Cathy Freeman was the embodiment of this new Australia, a country that has left behind its White Australia policy and the scandal of the Stolen Generation.

No exhibition of Australian art these days is complete without a large aboriginal section and lip service at least is paid to aboriginal culture and religious beliefs.

This image is, however, almost completely false – aborigines for the most part are given a load of guilt money and encouraged to drink themselves to death far away from the rest of the population.

But it is a myth that Australia is keen to preserve and thus we read in today’s Mail that the country’s National Parks & Wildlife Service is planning to remove monuments at the place where Captain Cook first set foot in 1770 because they represent ‘European dominance’.

Facing the axe is a 200-year-old anchor (which admittedly was found to have no connection with Cook) and two 60ft pine trees, to be replaced by original vegetation such as gum trees and ti-trees.

‘When you go to the site,’ explains Mike Patrick, of the Wildlife Service, ‘the initial message is one of European arrival by boat, not years of occupation by aboriginal people.’

So, plans are afoot to cut new paths around the coast showing where aboriginal tribes lived before Cook arrived and to build a café which will use aboriginal names for tea, coffee and snacks.

Of course, you might argue that the message from the moment you arrive in Australia to the moment you leave is one of European dominance because that is how the country became what it is today.

But as long as we can ask for a hot dog using its aboriginal name (because we’re sure hot dogs were the staple diet of the indigenous population before Cook’s arrival), we can all feel better about ourselves.’

Posted: 23rd, March 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink