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ALDI promoting Terra Nullius on t-shirts

7 January 2014

ALDI Australia has been promoting a range of t-shirts and other products for sale from 11 January for Australia Day.  Among the light-hearted slogans, the green-and-gold, the red-white-blue, are some bearing the words, “Australia Est. 1788”.  I picked this up from someone else’s tweet last night (thanks, @hyperskip) and composed a fresh tweet mentioning the ALDI Twitter account.

This picked up quite a bit of interest (compared with most of my other Twitter output), and in the morning I received a mention from ALDI, apologising for any offence taken and saying that feedback had been passed on.

I don’t think that’s enough.  I don’t want to see ALDI selling these t-shirts at all, so I’ve written a more detailed communication to ALDI, reproduced below.  Their web form allows 1,400 characters, so I couldn’t say everything that I wanted to.

I am writing to complain about some of the Australia Day clothing that you have advertised on your website as being for sale from this Saturday, 11 January. At least two of the items depicted have the wording, “Australia Est. 1788”. This is historically inaccurate, culturally insensitive, and even offensive and racist.

Australia Day on 26 January marks the arrival of the First Fleet of settlers and convicts from the United Kingdom in 1788, to establish the colony of New South Wales. If anything can be said to have been established in 1788, it is New South Wales. The modern nation of Australia was not established until Federation in 1901. Australia as a named geographic location – an island and a continent – existed in 1788, but was not named or otherwise established at that time.

In 1788 Australia was already inhabited by the world oldest continuous living culture, and many of the descendants of those first Australians view 26 January as the anniversary of an invasion, not of the founding of a new nation. To sell t-shirts for people to wear on that day suggesting that Australia was established then is wrong and offensive. It reinforces the discredited view of Australia as ‘Terra Nullius’, suggesting that no-one owned the land before the arrival of Europeans.

Please withdraw the offensive items from sale. It puts reconciliation back decades.

I do celebrate Australia Day, because it is our national day, and I want to acknowledge the things that are good about the place I have chosen to make my home.  I know that the date itself is difficult for some of my fellow Australians – you know, the ones whose place in Australia as a modern nation was only “established” in 1967 – and I would be happy to see the date changed away from one of pain.  I’m also happy to wave the flag and even wear its colours on a t-shirt, although I’d be keen to see a different flag (I’m a rebellious ex-Pom who has never seen the Union Flag in a positive light).

Any suggestion that Australia was “established” in 1788 is wrong on so many levels.

Oh yes, ALDI’s customer service comment form, for those who feel inclined>

  1. really permalink
    8 January 2014 12:44 pm

    Have you ever started dating a girl and 12months later you realise there was no real point where you said will you be my girlfriend, it just kind of grew into something, so you look back and say lets call it our anniversary today and celebrate, because something happened on this day a year ago that started forming what we know it as today. Well Australia day is the day we choose as anniversary of when the Australia as we know it today began to form.

    I remember dating a girl who was still with her previous boyfriend, sure it was a bit messy, and no ones proud of how it went down, but what it grew into was something amazing anyway.

    There is no denial in celebrating Australia day that there was a great piece of land with it’s own amazing people and history before that date. 1788 Something happened right wrong or otherwise, something began to be established, something started that year and it was a turning point towards what we know, and what many of us love and call home today.

    And in stating it was a grievous wrong to take the land from the native people of this land, there was a time in past where people took what they needed by force and by need as their tribes grew, this happened throughout the world throughout history. It is not ok in today’s world of law, but in past it was. Yes the native Australian’s lost a great deal, as the larger more powerful tribes of Europe took what they had, but throughout history there has been tribal wars across Australia for the same reasons. Basing what was right and wrong in the past on the law of today, does more to destroy our understanding of our own cultures than it does to offer anything back to those our ancestors took from.

    Racist to say Australia was est. 1788 is a little far fetched.

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 8:18 pm

      No it’s not Really. It’s not far fetched at all. I honestly think your girlfriend analogy is trite and shows a distinct lack of awareness of history. Can you please do some reading and investigation of our honest history – make the effort it’s worth it. It was horrible. Today for many Aboriginal people it’s still horrible. The statistics prove it. As for understanding our own culture – I think we could learn so much about ourselves if we took the time to understand other cultures but we rarely do. There’s a great story about a white guy driving a ute in the bush which gets bogged. He gets out and starts to work on freeing the tyre while cursing in his head, the mob of black fella’s in the back, as ‘lazy bastards’. Meanwhile, the black fella’s in the back are thinking ‘what a stupid proud white man, why doesn’t he ask us for help?’. Now, the message here is let’s stop judging others by our own parameters and take some time to better understand where they’re coming from. They’re not less, just coming from a different perspective. And the perspective for many is one of hurt and pain because their families were affected within living memory. But just think of this – we had people coming from across the world who were punished for sharing – yes the convicts included people who were starving and took a piece of bread to feed themselves. They came to a place where people were punished for not sharing because they wouldn’t have survived for over 40,000 years in a place we can’t survive in for more than a day if they didn’t pull together, and share what they had. Indigenous people had a very strict social structure which gave them extraordinary survival skills and they were punished should they be greedy or not follow the rules that jeopardised the greater good. Our scientists are now studying Indigenous knowledge of medicines, weather, land and fire management and astronomy. Their culture is ten times older than the Ancient Egyptians or Ancient Greeks and they are far more remarkable – we’ve just not been told about it. You need to make an effort.

      • 8 January 2014 10:48 pm

        You are going way beyond the simple fact that before 1788, Australia had no name. The Aboriginal people had no knowledge of any other country except for the one they lived in, so had no need for a name for it.

        I’ll give you analogy: I discover something new but don’t give it a name. Someone else says it should be called a ‘thingamebob’ and the name becomes accepted by all, including me, the discoverer. Was it always known as a ‘thingamebob’ or from only when it was given the name?

        The first name for Australia was Terra Australis (1400s), then New Holland (1600s), then it became widely accepted as Australia in the early 1800s. So ‘establishing’ the name at the colonisation on 26th January 1788 is entirely accurate and accepted by almost all of Australia.

    • Dianne permalink
      9 January 2014 7:00 pm please read this

  2. ALM permalink
    8 January 2014 12:47 pm

    Oh dear, another of the perpetually outraged, latte left – and an Aldi devotee apparently?
    Now that i’ve been alerted to this shirt, and the fact that it outrages the likes of you, I shall buy it and wear it with pride.
    I celebrate my culture on AUSTRALIA day, and the fact that the British arrived in 1788, and not the Spanish or Portuguese. Imagine Australia as a South American-style nation.
    And “invasion”?? I mean really, the movement and resettling of peoples around the globe is as old as time. Are the boat people currently invading australia?

    • Laz permalink
      8 January 2014 1:51 pm

      ALM – One cannot compare refugees in the 21st century to an organised occupation of an unknown land at a time when international law was established for European nations to undertake treaties with occupying Indigenous peoples. Treaties were signed and delivered by the British and French for well over one hundred years in North America & some parts of the pacific.

      The British crown knew from Cpt Cook’s reports that the continent was occupied by Aboriginal peoples, and sent a military force to ensure that the landing at Botany Bay & Sydney Cove would succeed. The British Govt was well aware of such threats from experiences in the Americas and Pacific.

      What is clear and on record for the public to see, is that not only was there a concerted and ongoing Aboriginal resistance to the British occupation of the Sydney basin between 1789-1804.

      The British occupation set a precedent for future race relations in this country by formally endorsing the destruction of Aboriginal peoples and their resistance in the lower Hunter valley in 1819 under Governor Brisbane’s administration. This is not ‘settlement’, this is ‘conquest’.

      Under instructions from the British crown, the historic record will tell the anyone who cares to know that Aboriginal resistance was fierce and persistent, yet futile in the face of guns, horses and poison. Such aggression commenced with the shooting of an Aboriginal man by Cpt Cook’s expedition in 1770, and ended in 1928 with a Galipolli veteran and a posse massacring over 60 Aboriginal men, women and Children at Coniston.

      Many non-Aboriginal people in Australia are offended by the term ‘invasion’; Is ‘colonisation’ better for you? – Please do a little reading and you may find that our nation’s 1788-1972 treatment of Aboriginal peoples is nothing short of shocking, offensive and disgraceful.

      The fact is the ALDI shirt IS offensive to Aboriginal people and a historically inaccurate as “Australia” was founded on 1 January 1901.

      • Jacob permalink
        8 January 2014 5:01 pm

        leftist rubbish, you can not judge history by today standards. I was born in this country so I consider myself a native Australian. Not European and I take offence at people younger than me telling me I am in invader. If that it true I have a few words of wisdom “GET OVER IT’ the losers lost that is history Just as the history books suggest that the Tasmanian Aboriginals were driven south by new arrivals looking for land

      • 9 January 2014 1:41 am

        There was another people her before Aboriginals. History is full of flux and intermingling. Many of those who milk the guilt are themselves mixed and not really aboriginal. I do not lament the injustices of invading Normans or Romans. In this world the strong rule and the weak die. The future is one in which bogan whites must change as must bogan aboriginals. Synthesis is the only way. This land is big and we took it because we could. One day others will come and take it from us as is happening now. The future will be blended and aboriginality will be gone. It is just a conceited stick used to punish others.

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 8:02 pm

      Yes Jacob, you share your country with the traditional owners who die on average 17 years earlier than white Australians, whose infant mortality rate is double white Australians, who have one of the highest Indigenous youth suicide rates in the world. The losers were poisoned, murdered and mutilated. They weren’t allowed to own land until Albert Namatjira was granted citizenship in the 1950s. There was an apartheid system as bad as South Africa. I have read accounts of white and black people being arrested for sleeping together in the 1950s. Aboriginal people were registered in the same way as livestock. Today they are citizens but many are disadvantaged and live in appalling circumstances. Please investigate your country’s history and then look at what a remarkably sophisticated culture Aboriginal societies were on white arrival and how they were very much misunderstood and dismissed. There is still strong culture out there and it’s amazing and in many ways, offers far more than we know. We can’t “get over it” until it’s recognised and appreciated and we see how we can better the circumstances of so many Indigenous people. It really is shameful. I hope you’ll make some effort to better understand?

      • 8 January 2014 8:08 pm

        Dianne said,

        ” Traditional owners who die on average 17 years earlier than white Australians” – are you saying white Australians are responsible for this? In truth, aborigines are now living longer than ever before. Prior to 1788, most aborigines were lucky to live to 30 years of age.

        Also could you please elaborate on the “sophisticated culture”? Australia prior to white settlement was a tribal warzone.

      • Jazz permalink
        9 January 2014 9:25 am

        Putting it simply. All pro-Aboriginal comments on any forum on the issue of 1788 or ‘invasion’, whatever – are not an attack on white Australia, it is simply Aboriginal people’s collective thinking and knowledge of the past.

        White Australia commemorate or remember events such as Gallipoli, the Japanese war crimes against WWII diggers, Eureka Stockade, Bali bombings. Things that were horrific & should never be forgotten, yes?

        Black Australia remembers (but are criticised for commemorating) when Europeans came to their traditional lands bringing starvation, death and dispossession (1788-1830s); later being driven onto Govt reserves where language and culture were punished (1840s-1940s), people could not choose who they could marry (1930s-1950s); working for no wages (1788-1947); having children and families broken up because of skin colour (1880s-1960s) and having land claims rejected over red tape (1940s – today).

        Making simple insensitive statements as “move on” or “get over it” just means those who say such things do not value who we are today and where we come from. If that is the attitude, none of what white Australia values should be commemorated or remembered because white Australia should just “move on” or “get over it” just like it is expected black Australia should.

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 8:56 pm

      Can you please provide links to evidence of the two points/facts you are making? Neither are recorded in reliable historical documents that I’m aware of.
      Nicholas, we rounded people up onto reserves and prevented them living traditional lives which had evolved to keep them healthy and ordered. It’s been proven that people who follow traditional diets are far healthier. Our scientists are now studying Indigenous knowledge of medicines, astronomy, weather, land and fire management and recognising their exceptional survival skills and sophisticated social structures – like the highly complex marriage protocols in the Central Desert which prevented inbreeding. If we have the benefits of modern medicine, why are the survival rates so different – if the UN is concerned about it, why aren’t we doing more? We created changes and there is widespread concern about ‘The Gap’ amongst authorities. It has been recognised by the Government as something that needs to be addressed! Yes, we need to take responsibility.

    • Dianne permalink
      9 January 2014 7:01 pm

      Read this please:

  3. Adam permalink
    8 January 2014 1:28 pm

    I really have had to bite my tongue here.

    I am really disappointed, that someone who seems to be as educated as you can come up with such rubbish.

    Where is the email to the PM asking him to get rid of those celebrations on the 26th of January.

    This just seems like you are looking for your 15 minutes of fame

    • Julie permalink
      8 January 2014 8:13 pm

      My thoughts exactly!! At what point so we cease to be blamed for our ancestors horrific “crimes” against the Aboriginal people and we ALL come together to celebrate the invasion / settlement of Australia (yes later named – but nonetheless BEGAN)…its a T-Shirt people if your offended, don’t buy it!!!

      • Dianne permalink
        8 January 2014 9:04 pm

        It’s not about blame. It’s about awareness of the recent hurts – it wasn’t just the invasion, it is current. It’s about recognising and acknowledging what is happening today because so many people are in denial! This is from a young Aboriginal artist who won the NSW Parliament Aboriginal Art Prize in 2013 – her flag embroidered with crosses representing the Aboriginal people who died in awful circumstances is hung in Macquarie Street in Sydney and you can go to see it. She writes: “The majority of Australia celebrates 26th January by wrapping themselves in the red, white and blue flag, having barbecues and feeling proud to be young and free. I cringe, stay close to dear friends, do all I can not to leave the house and respectfully hold my grief – the grief for the old, grief for the continuous denial, grief for the disrespect, grief for the lack of acknowledgement and the poor choice of the day to celebrate. After finding this flag at the tip, I went about handsewing my grief, with one cross after another…. it’s only a small gesture to reflect the true loss.” Does it bother you at all that Aboriginal people find it hurtful? Does it surprise you? Do you care at all? It isn’t just a t-shirt!

      • Dianne permalink
        9 January 2014 7:02 pm

        Julie, please read this:

  4. 8 January 2014 1:59 pm

    You come here from England with your loopy left pommy garbage and want to start telling us Australians what to do on Australia Day???? Piss off back where you come from you whinging pom.

  5. Raf permalink
    8 January 2014 2:08 pm

    This is fantastic, you point out that these t-shirts are racist and offensive. Yet based on facts, they are actually 100% accurate.
    In 1788 this land was established as a convict settlement and called “Australia”.
    So what’s the issue?
    Furthermore, I strongly suggest you get off your high horse since you are making comments such as “It puts reconciliation back decades.”
    Now THAT is offensive, to suggest the efforts of so many people and the pregress this nation has been made can be undone by something to petty.
    In that statement, you belittle each every every one of thoses peoples efforts. I find you offensive.

  6. Anon... permalink
    8 January 2014 2:14 pm

    There have been a lot of changes of mind set in recent years. Many over my life time. May be in the spirit of reconciliation and acceptance of apologies given, this date could be re interpreted as the beginning of multi-culturism…. Time to move on. Make peace. It is a brand new day.

  7. nicki permalink
    8 January 2014 2:20 pm

    never have been worried about whether ALDI is culturally sensitive, or even “has a responsibility to” as a good corporate citizen. i don’t like the T-Shirts but then neither do i like the day, or the bogans with painted green & gold flags.

    there are bigger problems out there – like where those t-shirts are made (probably Bangladesh or China) and the pittance wages that are paid to those whose labor goes into making them

    • Dodger permalink
      9 January 2014 9:27 pm

      Thank you so much for this comment.

  8. Time Traveller permalink
    8 January 2014 2:29 pm

    Conrad HenleyCalvert you jerk, you are insulting both Aboriginals and Africans. Humans originated in Africa. And – you might be amazed to know – still live there. So Australian Aboriginals are NOT the “world oldest continuous living culture” as you put it. Or do you consider Africans not to be human??
    And by the way this is not Racism as you put it. Fact is, Australia was an English concept. And it was established in 1788, whether you like it or not.

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 8:40 pm

      Dear Time Traveller – Aboriginal Australians have been linked back genetically with DNA testing to the first modern man out of Africa – there was a exodus and they travelled up the east Coast to Israel and then down to Kerala in India and walked across the shallow water to Australia – you might like to watch First Footprints on ivew which shows this and tells how Aboriginal people have been in Australia some 44,000 years and are today, the longest surviving continuous culture in the world. Conrad’s reference is correct. We have the oldest group of footprints in the world at Lake Mungo in NSW and the oldest recorded human face created by man, etched into rocks at James Price Point in the Pilbara. Best not enter into arguments unless you know your history. And also learn about and show some awareness and sensitivity towards the Indigenous people you are sharing this continent with.

  9. Bob permalink
    8 January 2014 3:32 pm

    you’re whats wrong with this country…not the t shirts…… #Bigrolleyes.jpeg

  10. Dave permalink
    8 January 2014 3:59 pm

    Conrad Henley Calvert – get over yourself you self-righteous wanker – if your not happy with they way Aldi are advertising their t-shirts then i suggest you piss off back to England – after all didn’t most of us racist bogans originate from there in the first place?

  11. jonny price permalink
    8 January 2014 5:07 pm

    I Recently came back to Australia after 13 years in Asia, reading this crap from the Author questions whether I landed on the right Planet. What happened to this country?? what is with the extreme political correctness, the nanny state behaviour. The doo gooder left wing hippy nutters, have skilfully taken over the country With the yobs, the bogans, and the suburbanites letting them walk in the front door.. I think I would rather the risk of kidnapping and beheading by the the crazed Muslims in southern Philipinnes. then put up with the shit flowing in this once great country.

    • Billy permalink
      8 January 2014 5:22 pm

      I couldn’t agree more andf im sick to death of these extremely politically correct people who have probably never set foot outside their own state. its a t-shirt get over it

    • 8 January 2014 6:01 pm

      Nice well said Jonny !!

    • Mum of 3 permalink
      9 January 2014 6:19 am

      Well said Jonny, we have turned into Pomms, always complaining about one thing or another. Why can’t we just enjoy the day for what it is, why do people like this have to spoil it for everyone. Australia used to be a place people came to have fun because that’s what we believe in. Now too many people take offence to easily, things taken out of context all the time.
      Chill out people stop getting angry at this stuff, just be nice and have a bit of fun.

    • Dianne permalink
      9 January 2014 7:03 pm

      Please read this: It’s about humanity not about political correctness!

  12. gail permalink
    8 January 2014 5:08 pm

    Oh get a LIFE!!!!

  13. Ryan permalink
    8 January 2014 5:14 pm

    Cultures and lands have been getting conquered for years deal with it. No one alive was around 1788 time to move on our country has a name a flag and a day to celebrate. Just enjoy it and stop acting like a gallah

  14. Bails permalink
    8 January 2014 5:16 pm

    Thanks for the link to ALDI

    I’ll be complaining about small minded people like yourself being listened to in the first place. I find your complaint offensive. I find your request offensive. I find your small minded belittling of the average Australian offensive.

    If wearing such a shirt would put reconciliation back decades then it never existed to start with.

    I find your type of “Oh look at me! I’m offended ! Everyone! I’m offended!” existence offensive.

    Please do something about it?

  15. Billy permalink
    8 January 2014 5:20 pm

    haha what an absolute IDIOT… you are offended because the shirt says 1788 not 1901. its people like you that hurt this nation with extreme bouts of political correctness. I bet your the type of neighbour that constantly calls the council about your other neighbours

  16. A.Cheng permalink
    8 January 2014 5:21 pm

    Quit b*tching and get over it. Whoever you are I have one word for you! C*NT!

  17. 8 January 2014 5:21 pm

    If you don’t like the shirt….don’t buy one!!!!! It’s really that simple!!!! I am so over people complaining because it doesn’t suit their opinion / lifestyle / morals etc. If you don’t like what you’re watching, change the channel, if you don’t like what someone sells, shop elsewhere…..don’t whinge, bitch or moan about it. You have a choice, exercise it but don’t moan about others that also choose to exercise their choice

  18. Richard permalink
    8 January 2014 5:21 pm

    Wow…who cares.

    Australia wasn’t named “Australia” until 1788 so why is this so wrong?

    Get a grip on yourself Conrad

    • Your wrong permalink
      8 January 2014 7:29 pm


  19. Millse permalink
    8 January 2014 5:34 pm

    how pathetic that you even bother to waste your time whinging about it… Its a shirt for god sake…GET OVER IT!!!!… If it offends you don’t buy it… I too will try to get my hands on as many as possible and wear them with pride just to piss people like you off.. Too many people spend too much time trying to find wrongs with the world…. Just live… Its people like you that create all the issues with stupid things like a t-shirt

  20. 8 January 2014 5:34 pm

    To the people Whining about “THAT SHIRT”>> please enlighten me where on the said shirt is there ANY racist or derogatory reference to anyone. It IS when this Nation was started to be built, i don’t see anything in history, of machinery or structure, any authority or jurisdiction, of any kind that was forcibly taken,dismantled or had been overthrown by any of our forefathers. The year 1788 is a proud day in Australia’s history, our beginning as a civilised settlement and Nation, and you my friends would be some of the very small minority to disagree. It’s people like you that stir up unnecessary trouble and trivialise what it means to us patriots. Long Live Australia and her people……Oz

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 7:18 pm

      There certainly were buildings Oz and I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the territorial map setting out the hundreds of language groups and their nations and sub group boundaries. It exists. How do you define civilized? Indigenous people lived in houses on the coast – there is a record of Captain Cook throwing beads through the door of a hut written in his diary. There are sketches of such houses. We now know that Aboriginal people harvested crops in SE Australia via the explorer’s diaries and also that they had knowledge of penicillin and had we listened and understood prior to WWI, we would have saved many thousands of lives. We have the oldest group of human footprints in the world at Lake Mungo; we have the oldest depiction of a human face in the rock engravings at James Price Point in the Pilbara. Our scientists are now busily studying indigenous knowledge of medicine, weather, astronomy, land and fire management and much more. Aboriginal people had a very sophisticated marriage protocol which prevent inbreeding. They knew they needed strong genes to survive in an environment where we can’t survive for half a day. They lived through the separation of Tasmania from the mainland, extreme weather, massive floods as well as times of ice and extreme drought. Their traditional knowledge systems and social structures were extremely effective and sophisticated – we were never taught them in school – but it’s worth finding out about it – you’d be amazed and perhaps even see things in a new light.

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 7:53 pm

      Oh yes, Oz, there is a map showing territorial boundaries of different language groups and nations – just as America had Apaches, Commanches and other different tribal groups – Australian Aboriginal people are defined by the language group they belong to – there were somewhere around 600 different groups at the time of white settlement and the major boundaries were defined by rivers and mountain ranges. A good way to learn about Aboriginal culture is to go to some art galleries and read about the stories. It’s fascinating and you’ll be blown away by their cultural knowledge. It’s different and more. Certainly not less.

      • 9 January 2014 11:03 am

        Read my comments properly!>>
        i don’t see anything in history, of machinery or structure, any authority or jurisdiction, of any kind that was forcibly taken, dismantled or had been overthrown by any of our forefathers.

      • Dianne permalink
        9 January 2014 7:31 pm

        Oz, building a machine or a structure isn’t a measure of ownership, ability or anything else. Indigenous understanding of life nature and the planet would blow your socks off – we have no idea really! I read your comments very carefully. William Dampier said similar things when he landed in WA in the 1600s – something along the lines of these pitiful wretches who are without clothes, livestock or houses. There is a different way of seeing and living and it’s much much cleverer. Remarkable and fascinating….

  21. David permalink
    8 January 2014 5:46 pm

    I am aboriginal and I in no way find that shirt offensive. Move on, get over it and get a life.

    • Your wrong permalink
      8 January 2014 7:27 pm

      David, thank you. I am an Australian Born with English blood, and I too do not see this offensive and the fact that an Aboriginal such as yourself sees this as well I commend you. There are many more things to worry about in this world than who owns what or who turned up first. And quite frankly the land is owned by no one as with every other continent in the world. It is merely inhabited. If the writer want to have a go at a nation have a go at the Dutch for calling it Van Diemans land originally!!! All the writer is doing is installing racial prejudice against ALL Australians no matter when they inhabited our great land, such as the writer! Idiot, go blog about your issues with the Union Jack you have an issue with and P””” OFF!!!

      • Dianne permalink
        8 January 2014 7:36 pm

        It’s not just a case of who owns what or who turned up first. It’s the conquering of a society with cruelty that is horrific to read about – but particularly one that has been severely disadvantaged since white occupation where we have today, a huge gap in life expectancy, double the infant mortality rate, ridiculous incarceration rates, one of the highest Indigenous youth suicide rates in the world. Something to be proud of white Australia? What was invaded was a sophisticated culture with a social structure that was remarkable and enabled them to survive in an environment we can’t survive in for a day! It is great this argument has come to light. Bring it on and wake up Australia. Apartheid is thriving in the Land of Oz. The Lucky Country for people with blinkers who have no idea what’s happening across the continent.

  22. steve permalink
    8 January 2014 5:53 pm

    What an absolute load of rubbish. Another fine example of the majority having to pander to the minority. Get over yourselves.

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 7:30 pm

      Apathy and ignorance about our shared history is a malaise in this country Steve. Did you know that Aboriginal people were using penicillin all along; that they were extremely healthy and happy on traditional diets and had a highly sophisticated social structure. The conquered are a poverty stricken underclass in this country today with premature deaths and disadvantage. We don’t understand it widely because we haven’t been taught about it at school or otherwise. It’s worth understanding.

      • Zac permalink
        9 January 2014 5:52 am

        My ancestors didn’t take part in the invasion of whatever the place was called before Europeans turned up. However you’re still happy to generalise by saying “something to be proud of White Australia”
        I’m not the person affecting anyone else’s health white, black or otherwise, yet you’re still happy to blame me and anyone who is white.
        Who’s the racist now Dianne?

    • Julie permalink
      8 January 2014 8:56 pm

      Dianne, what you fail to acknowledge is that tribes of Aboriginals were killing each other long before 1788 and yes whilst white man introduced different disease upon invasion/settlement, there are of latter years major beneifts that white and Aboriginal Australians have and continue to benefit from. The death rate pre 1788 is unknown, suicide rate – unknown, health – unknown, perinatal deaths – unknown, paediatric death rate etc. – unknown as there was NO data collection!! Penicillin as we know it was NOT used – it had not been invented and that which aboriginal people used was plant based and not beneficial to the masses as our (I use the word OUR to include Aboriginal and white Australians as I see no difference having been born and bred in Australia – my ancestors created the divide…I choose not to continue it) penicillin is today. IF you seriously believe that the health and death rate is greater than pre 1788 your delusional, and how do you know they were happier? “they” and I refer to the Aboriginals of 1788 none of whom are alive today and for many many years suffered, the Aboriginal Australian of today is far better off than there ancestors…yes my Aboriginal Aussie bros and sis do have greater mortality and morbidity, however what you and many others fail to mention is it is due to their lifestyle choices rather than being subjected to white Australian treatment!! I work in Health AND Education and I am more than familiar with the funds, programs, courses, education available to the Aboriginal Aussie however, there is a choice whether they choose to partake or as I said their lifestyle. For example the increased death rate due to trauma occurs in aboriginal males 24- 44 years of age, in the NT for example who travel on dirt roads at high speed with unrestrained occupants in the front and back of utility vehicle (think about families traveling on a scooter in asia – it too is unsafe and the death rate increased). Alcohol related diseases (and yes driving those darn utes intoxicated), are rife in Aboriginal people, as is diabetes, sight and hearing health related diseases – think conjunctivitis in their children which has a low rate of treatment, as does ear infections, perinatal death rates due to having their babies outside of hospitals…I can go on and on, but the upshot of what I am trying to get across is that the issue is much more than white man invading/settling in 1788, the issues you raise are also directly proportional to the lifestyle choices, including seeking medical assistance, taking up the positions in university set aside for them with NO ATAR needed, the number of scholarships available, the housing loans etc the list goes on and on, remember you can lead a horse to water but you can’t always make it drink says a lot, as does not punishing the child for the sins of their fathers!!! Finally, many of my closest friends are Aboriginals, and agree that much effort needs to be placed on how we can get them to access the many available assitance, education, funds etc. rather than an attempt to complain about T-shirts furthering the divide between “them and us” !!!

      • Dianne permalink
        8 January 2014 9:39 pm

        I understand that you have personal experiences. I too see many other things on a regular basis and do a great deal of reading and researching and there are complex issues. I also actively fundraise for Indigenous scholarships and literacy and am well aware of the issues for taking kids out of country away from their families. Healthcare is a profound problem but I have heard stories of misunderstandings in why people aren’t helping themselves too. One major issue with help we give being that there isn’t a homogenous culture and every community is different and has different needs. However that said, you have misunderstood/misquoted me Julie. I will address the issues you raise. But please ensure you read this: about an incident in Utopia, and also check out First Footprints on iview which would counter the historical claims of constant killings – it shows there was a lot of trade, extensive trade routes all over Australia and also back up into India. But it’s not the point. The point is that we are so insensitive, apathetic and unaware overall of how many Aboriginal people feel about the day we celebrate on and are ready to dismiss Aboriginal culture as being of little interest. There are books which show that Aboriginal people lived in houses and grew crops on the coast – it is all recorded in the explorer’s diaries in text and drawings – there is a great photographic book with sketches by early colonists exploring the Sydney coast showing that people hunted and fished and enjoyed life. They had good lives.and happy lives and there are drawings showing this. They lived in houses and grew crops. There is a record of Flory acknowledging that he was prompted to test penicillin in the laboratory because he saw Aboriginal people using mould from the dark side of trees. But perhaps if someone else had listened/looked earlier, it would have happened earlier? Aboriginal traditional healers are now working alongside doctors at Alice Springs Hospital. The CSIRO is actively studying Indigenous medicines for skin cancer and other conditions. I didn’t actually say the death rate is higher today since white settlement – I said the gap between white and Aboriginal people’s survival today is 17 years – and I add it is actually recognised and regarded by our government, the UN and Amnesty International as appalling. The other point is that traditional culture has a clever social structure designed to keep people healthy and it gave them life skills, how to hunt and cook, how to bring up their children, etc.. It was integrated into their spirituality and the missionaries forbade them to practice their spirituality because there were undesirable sides to their religion in their view like taking multiple wives. This was a practical practice because there were more females than males. So we took away their healthy traditional diets, their social structure and life skill knowledge which was very clever.

      • Joyce permalink
        9 January 2014 8:47 am

        Thank you Julie, for a clear, levelheaded response. It was interesting to read, as several others have been as well.

      • Dianne permalink
        9 January 2014 2:27 pm

        Zac, you are sharing a country where the statistics show clear disadvantage – these relate to today, now, the current situation – everyone has the ability to be aware, and everyone can lobby for equality. We can’t change what’s happened before, we don’t have to feel guilty for what others have done of course, but we can do something now, today, currently. Or you can ignore it and just have fun? Here’s the link providing a gap of disadvantage:

        And I quote: The 2009 report indicates that so far little progress has been made in overcoming the disadvantage experienced by Indigenous people. It found that across virtually all indicators, there continues to be wide gaps in outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians.

        Research also shows that community consultation about what is needed has been lacking – blanket solutions don’t work.

  23. Aussie permalink
    8 January 2014 5:55 pm

    Why do people live in a country they seem to be so repulsed by how it was established over 200 years ago?? all of my immediate family were born and raised here so we are Australian noone can change how we got here so just get over it and enjoy this awesome lucky country we live in. If you dont want to enjoy it leave…

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 7:25 pm

      Acknowledging what happened during the 200 years is important so everyone can move on Aussie. It’s not just how it was established. Aboriginal people were deliberately poisoned, babies were smashed against rocks and terrible things happened. While it’s denied it’s upsetting. so let’s set the history books straight. Then we can get on with enjoying what this country offers. We can. But did you know that twice the number of Aboriginal babies die at birth? Do you know that Aboriginal people die 17 years before white people in this lucky country on average, and from diseases not even found in third world countries? Did you know that Aboriginal people were classified along with livestock until the 1960s? That we had an Apartheid system? That Albert Namatjira the famous artist was not allowed to buy land or a house when he became a successful painter in the 50s because he was Aboriginal? Know your history and know what still goes on and you’d understand that it is not a lucky country for the conquered.

      • Julie permalink
        13 January 2014 5:55 pm

        Dianne, as I pointed out in my previous post…the gap mortality and morbidity that the government acknowledge IS NOT due to anything other than Aboriginal tribes/communities accessing the many many health programs etc. that have been available to them for many many many years, and or their lifestyle choice! And yes these programs ALWAYS involve the elders and work with the many different tribes/communities etc. to ensure buy in, and that such care and programs are culturally appropriate and meet their needs. Despite this there are and always will be a gap as many many aborigines will not for whatever their reason seek treatment for their children, nor will they want to change their lifestyle. For many it is easier to sit and complain about the past and place blame, which our ancestors, not us are responsible.

        You keep referring to the past…move on, the Prime Minister apologised and I am certain all Australians alike a very regretful of the past, however in the thirty years I have worked in an Emergency Department I have never ever seen a child arrive in the ED dead due to being bashed against rocks or an adult hung by white man…as I said, it is past, this is ALL our country now and despite that horrible PAST we have the right to celebrate our Australia Day….perhaps on Australia Day aborigines of today could also look to the past accept it was their ancestors, not them personally that had these horrible wrongs against them done by our ancestors, accept we are all very sorry, and celebrate the future as part of this great nation. It is this living in the past that perhaps pulls them down…everyone knows and is told, you can’t change the past, but you can better the future by acknowledging what happen is in the past and moving on!!

  24. Dave permalink
    8 January 2014 6:01 pm

    *** wonders if Conrad is a shirt designer who has just come up with a way to sell a lot of his ” Australia Est. 1788″ TShirts ***

  25. Dave permalink
    8 January 2014 6:23 pm

    You my friend are a f?$kstick

  26. Dave permalink
    8 January 2014 6:24 pm

    You my friend are a first class fu$&stick

  27. Rod permalink
    8 January 2014 6:35 pm

    What a load of politically correct crap ! Yes this country had been “inhabited” for thousands of years before the arrival of the First Fleet but in that time had not advanced in any form from the Stone Age culture they practiced. Does Conrad want to revert to throwing sticks and living in bark humpies ??? We celebrate Australia Day as the founding of the modern Australia that has evolved into the great country it is today. For those people who, for their own financial or political reasons do not wish to participate, then crawl back into your caves, or better yet go walkabout – preferably to another country !!!!

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 7:43 pm

      Dear Rod, Aboriginal culture had the most sophisticated structure which enabled it to tranverse out of Africa and survive on this continent for over 40,000 years – during the separation of Tasmania from Australia, ice ages, unbelievablly severe droughts and rising sea levels – please do watch First Footprints on iview on the ABC website and learn about the remarkable survival of Aboriginal people in environmental conditions which would kill us in a day. Our scientists are now studying Indigenous knowledge of astronomy, medicines, land and fire management and the weather. There is so much we could have learnt earlier on – for instance – they had been using penicillin – the mould from the dark side of trees all along. We could have save so many lives – Flory noticed it after WWI – too late for that conflict and what a difference it might have made. Aboriginal people had a marriage protocol that was really sophisticated and prevented inbreeding – they shared and people were punished for greed – they had tough moral laws which made them highly civilised. People lived in houses on the coast and cultivated crops – it’s in the explorer’s diaries. Modern Australia could certainly learn a thing or two or maybe a huge amount. Don’t dis Aboriginal people’s survival here Rod – it’s the longest surviving continuous living culture in the world and it’s time we made an effort to properly understand it and celebrate and be proud of it! You really don’t know what you’re missing!

      • Julie permalink
        13 January 2014 6:09 pm

        Yes but then evolution happened!! You are not giving anything more to the discussion Dianne, and you so you really need to move on. Watching a program ( always edited, and take from the biases of the producers etc.) as you suggest, or looking at pictures of early houses with smiling aboriginals is not enough to prove your arguments raised. To accept your arguments means that history should never have happened and none of us would be living in this wonderful country today…what are you trying to argue anyway? That we can’t forget the past, or that Australia Day is wrong to celebrate? That we are all responsible for the death of Aboriginal ancestors? What exactly, must because a person writes how they cringe at Australia Day as it reminds them of what happened to their ancestors etc. does not mean that ALL Aborigines agree with you…in fact I challenge you to go to the pubs on Australia Day in any hotel in Australia, particularly those that have large concentration of Aboriginal populations and I guarantee they will be full of Aboriginal people drinking along side their white Aussie friends and foes!!

  28. william permalink
    8 January 2014 6:53 pm

    Is it leftist to put the indiginous people first, they are the true founders of the land now known as Australia. We should ask them the original name of the country and change its name to that. Oh and get rid of the union jack from your flag, its an insult to the aborigine people and us Brits.

  29. Dianne permalink
    8 January 2014 7:07 pm

    I’m not a politically correct lefty – but I find the responses on this page astounding, insensitive and based on a lack of awareness of life across the continent today or the horrific history of white settlement in Australia. There is a staggering account of how a farmer entered a country police station in 1994 and asked if his paper licence from the 1930s to cull Aboriginal people was still valid. This is one small incident where there were so many horrible events. All the atrocities you might have heard about against American Indians happened here too. Did you think Nelson Mandela was a remarkable person and feel he was a loss to the world – do you not realise that we have always had and still do have a form of Apartheid here? Twice the number of Aboriginal babies die as non Indigenous Australian babies; there is 17 year difference in life expectancy. We have one of the highest youth suicide rates among the world’s Indigenous people here in Australia. The statistics are horrendous. Celebrating Australia Day with the arrival of Europeans for Aboriginal people is akin to you being asked to celebrate, as your national day, the anniversary of the invasion of Darwin by the Japanese had it been successful. And how would you feel about that? Did you know that Aboriginal people had been using penicillin all along and that if we’d listened and paid attention we would have had it in WWI and saved a profound number of lives. Today Indigenous knowledge is being studied by our scientists and being considered profound in the areas of medicine, astronomy, weather, fire control and much more. Did you know that Aboriginal people actually grew and harvested crops in south eastern Australia but we weren’t told about it – however, it’s recorded in Charles Sturt’s diary and by other explorers. And the person who mentioned refugees. Refugees are not invading our country – it’s a ridiculous analogy to make. They are fleeing invasions and conflict akin to the settlement of Australia. Please make an effort to understand your country’s history and the plight of Aboriginal people today. The situation is disgraceful. It totally makes sense to celebrate Australia Day on a different day so everyone can participate.

  30. Nathan Sebbes permalink
    8 January 2014 7:07 pm

    Whoever made this complaint is so un Australian I doubt you even are an australian

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 7:48 pm

      I believe the person who made this complaint is a sensitive person Nathan who has an understanding of Australia’s history and empathises that it is inappropriate not to acknowledge that Aboriginal people were living here before white people settled here. Aboriginal people have lived on this continent for over 40,000 years! They have been treated appallingly and they are very much disadvantaged today. Wake up Australia!

  31. 8 January 2014 7:57 pm

    Dianna…if you dont like it here, why dont you piss off with Conrad?? And a little info for you, I worked in a ABoriginal town in the Gulf as a bricklayer…once I gave a elder and his grandaughter a lift home with their groceries and he then wanted me to have sex with his grandaughter as payment for giving him a lift which to my disgust I refused,left and then threw up when I got home. Face the facts that not everyone wants to know about Aborigine culture and it does not make people racist becaue of it.

    • Dianne permalink
      8 January 2014 8:29 pm

      Dear Mick, I didn’t say I didn’t like it here so please keep the argument intelligent – I was making a point about our general ignorance and apathy about our history and Aboriginal culture. What I don’t like is uninformed opinion. Your experience is awful indeed. No culture is all positive but I bet there are lots of guys who would take that old man up on the offer. Congratulations on your decency. I could tell you some horrible histories of Aboriginal women being tied to trees by police and repeatedly raped. Charles Perkins grandmother for instance. Please note that I also didn’t label anyone racist, just very unaware and I stand by that. Know your history. It’s as simple as that. And also acknowledge the poverty and disadvantage that exists today because the UN is appalled about it and Australia is on notice. It’s an informed opinion.

      • 8 January 2014 10:35 pm

        Dianne….most of us in Australia do not give a flying shit what the UN thinks of us. This is the same UN that let millions of Africans die by genocide, the same UN that tries to tell us how to discipline our children, the same UN that said there would be no more snow on the Himilayas, Artic and sea level rises would be meters upon meters. It seems to me you live your life bothered by the fact that most Australian’s have moved on and enjoy life here without getting caught on the guilt trip wagon that this whinging pommy simpleton called Conrad and his merry bunch of Twit Twitters that cannot find their way out of loopy left lat’e land and have a misguided notion that the rest of Australia follows and agrees with them. I suggest getting a life and moving on because it seems to me your stuck in the past and pissed off that most of us realise that atrocities were commited on both sides and that Aborigines also murdered innnocent white settlers as white settlers murdered innocent Aborigines.

  32. yvonne permalink
    8 January 2014 8:03 pm

    Racist? You’re off your head . We don’t need pom’s shit opinions about a harmless tshirt. The racist card has been played too many times and now we’re fuckin fed up!

  33. brendan permalink
    8 January 2014 8:09 pm

    The guy who had a big sook about the shirts should do the australian population a big favour and jump off a cliff……political correctness is fucking this country almost as bad as religion. Do you feel better having had a cry now? Are you walking around with a smirk on your face thinking you done something to be proud of? You are nothing more than a whinging fuckwit. Its a damn t shirt……GET A LIFE

    • heidi permalink
      8 January 2014 9:19 pm


  34. Ben permalink
    8 January 2014 8:16 pm

    Its Ironic that a German company is making Australian day T shirts

    Didnt they kill many Australians many years agi

  35. heidi permalink
    8 January 2014 9:19 pm

    Omg….understand the whole 1788 thing….but to that extent! Seriously use your time & wisdom in a better way. #random#whinging

  36. John permalink
    8 January 2014 9:30 pm

    I tried to read most of your intelligent comments but all the words over 8 characters made it a bit tiring. Your reply at 743pm (starting at line 15) was particularly humorous. Fact – the government is more than adequate in the funds it gives the indigenous population. Sometimes they need to help themselves. Happy to go for a drive with you through these hard done by areas. But the facts are give one inch, want four. It’s all about $$$$$$. Please don’t turn this into a “he said she said” argument over a T shirt. We all have our own opinions, and not everyone agrees with each other. Please don’t push your views too hard. Yes, you are entitled to them but I think you would be shocked to realise that most people don’t agree with your version of the new politically correct Australia. It might make you feel warm and fuzzy to champion the causes of what YOU feel is right, but just as many are against you. Noticed the main protagonist was born OS (as I was). I started to type more (thank goodness for backspace) but really, so much angst over a T shirt. Not worth it.

    • Dianne permalink
      9 January 2014 2:20 pm

      I agree that the government has spent a lot of money – unfortunately so much of it misdirected and without community consultation John – blanket solutions where individual community needs differ – here’s a link you may find interesting:

      • Julie permalink
        13 January 2014 6:29 pm

        Dianne you really need to get your info from sources away from the web…any respectable researcher knows that the information contained on the web is for most part FYI only and comes with disclaimers…or at least it should if they want to prevent legal action…as it lacks rigorous research! The link above you refer us all to is Reconciliation and of course the stories told are one sided, and provide no evidence really than opinion, even Reconciliation Australia accept this and provide on their site the following disclaimer… You perhaps should read it before arguing from it!!

        Disclaimer notice
        Reconciliation Australia makes this material available on the understanding that users exercise their own skill and care with respect to its use. Before relying on the material in any important matter users should carefully evaluate the accuracy completeness and relevance of the information for their purposes and should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

        The material at this site may include views or recommendations of third parties which do not necessarily reflect the views of Reconciliation Australia or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action.

        Links to other web sites are inserted for convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites or any associated organisation product or service. These external information sources are outside our control. It is the responsibility of users to make their own decisions about the accuracy currency reliability and correctness of the information at those sites.

        By accessing information at or through this site each user waives and releases Reconciliation Australia to the full extent permitted by law from any and all claims relating to the usage of the material made available through the website.

        In no event shall Reconciliation Australia be liable for any incident or consequential damages resulting from use of the material.

  37. Rray permalink
    8 January 2014 9:31 pm

    Tough if don’t like it don’t buy it.

  38. Stuart permalink
    8 January 2014 9:44 pm

    Haha this conversation is comparable with television censorship, if you don’t like something or Find something offensive, simply turn off the tv or don’t purchase the product…. Why carry on like a muppet when 100/1 probably like what your whinging about. It may be sliightly offensive or incorrect but get over it.

  39. Troy permalink
    8 January 2014 9:51 pm

    Dianne, seriously. You must be taking the pisshard because Im seriously in aww of how you are acting. Trying to sound smarter then whaat you are. If you seriously have a problem with it why dont you drink a cup of cement and harden the f*#k up. I was born here in australian and have lived here my whole life and wouldnt change it for anything. Im proud of my country and im proud to say im an Australian. I cant say you feel the same way. Let me guess you want it to be called citizens day. Well you know where you can put that where the sun dont shine. AUSTRALIAN EST 1788.

    • 8 January 2014 11:05 pm

      Troy I’d like to see the day moved to one that everyone can celebrate and call it Australia Day. I don’t have to try to sound intelligent either Troy and I don’t have to resort to offensive mudslinging to debate a point. There’s actually far more people out there that share my views than you’d think. People who try to see things right for all Australians. For everyone.

  40. 8 January 2014 10:42 pm

    Dianne….most of us in Australia do not give a flying shit what the UN thinks of us. This is the same UN that let millions of Africans die by genocide, the same UN that tries to tell us how to discipline our children, the same UN that said there would be no more snow on the Himilayas, Artic and sea level rises would be meters upon meters. It seems to me you live your life bothered by the fact that most Australian’s have moved on and enjoy life here without getting caught on the guilt trip wagon that this whinging pommy simpleton called Conrad and his merry bunch of Twit Twitters that cannot find their way out of loopy left lat’e land and have a misguided notion that the rest of Australia follows and agrees with them. I suggest getting a life and moving on because it seems to me your stuck in the past and pissed off that most of us realise that atrocities were commited on both sides and that Aborigines also murdered innnocent white settlers as white settlers murdered innocent Aborigines.

    • Dianne permalink
      9 January 2014 7:40 pm

      Aboriginal people were moved on occasions in chains around their necks across Australia, and in the Kimberley they sat chained to each other in a long line in the cold desert nights. There were killings on both sides but Aboriginal people speared with a clean kill, they didn’t torture while white people smashed babies against rocks and committed atrocities. We don’t have to feel guilty for it but at least know it happened. No need for guilt, but just acknowledge it happened and show respect. When Aboriginal people killed an animal to eat because their culture is about sharing, there are several documented instances where white people killed several people to punish them. There is an account of ten Aboriginal people being killed in the Sydney colony for killing one sheep to eat. There is another account of a tribe being murdered in the Kimberley for killing one bullock. It was about a lack of understanding – a culture that punished people for taking, versus a culture where sharing was essential to survival – bound to clash. You don’t have to feel guilty about this. You didn’t do it. But know it happened and acknowledge it. If you now know this is how people were treated, how could you possibly not understand that ‘colonisation’ was traumatic for Aboriginal people. How could you then not understand that the t-shirt is highly offensive?

      • Julie permalink
        13 January 2014 6:43 pm

        You know I’m really offended as a born and bred Aussie that you assume US Aussies are ignorant to the history of Aboriginal people / Australian history!! You have stated such in many of your posts and it’s is insulting!! You also judge our government, our health care system and education system…all of which are not perfect, often far from it, but nonetheless all are more than aware of the gap and as previously stated by me, over thirty years in health and education, and now in my final year of law, we have come leaps and bounds in recognising the gaps and provided billions of dollars each year into aboriginal health and education, all of which includes significant Aboriginal Elders etc. consultation /inclusion in how the funds are allocated and spent. Healthcare and educational players are more than aware unless you consult and include such communities it just won’t work…we’ll guess what it is working as the gap is closing despite your misinformed arguments.

        Oh and FYI the suicide rate of ALL teenagers, not just aboriginal men/boys is the highest than any other group…there is insignificant differences between aboriginal and white Australian males and this has been the case for more than 20 years. However, deaths secondary to petrol and or chemical sniffing in aboriginal teenagers is vey high….but you don’t mention that!! Again look at the true cause of this “gap” you keep referring g to and then come back and argue with scientific evidence not what you read on the web or in the media!

      • Dianne permalink
        18 January 2014 3:50 pm

        Dear Julie, we weren’t taught a lot of our history at school and a Scottish filmmaker recently made the comment that from filming in Australia, he realised he knew more about the Aboriginal situation in Australia from his schooling in Scotland than we do here – do you know that Aboriginal People were never given a treaty and that the settlement by the British was illegal and that treaties do exist elsewhere – in Canada, the US and NZ? Do you know that the resort on Rottnest Island in WA was previously a place of incarceration for Aboriginal men for no particular reason and that there are unmarked graves of 50 of them in the grounds which people can walk across? Do you know that while there is footage and evidence of causing death, just like the latest bout of king hitting in Sydney has brought murder charges, no one has been brought to task about causing the death of particular Aboriginal people. Did you know that people living on an island off the coast of Arnhem Land have been refused services and housing unless they sign over their land to mining? It’s documented by Amnesty International. I didn’t until recently. Neither do most people unless they’ve researched it because it’s not acknowledged. do you know about the Coniston Massacre – there are survivors who are still alive so it’s in their living memory and the knowledge of their children and grandchildren – one being an artist whose work in our state and public galleries with a formal biography which includes this information. Building trust after being threatened with shooting is a big task as I don’t imagine such an event would be easily forgotten. I don’t base my knowledge on reading newspapers or watching television or websites such as Wikipedia where the public can add what they like. I look at Government Gazetted facts. Reconciliation Australia cites factual information gazetted by the Government as ‘Fact Sheets’ – that is they are acknowledged as facts. They also include a section of opinions and the copy you have included from the website relates to this section of various people’s opinions not to the facts. The Indigenous youth suicide rate is far higher than the non Indigenous rate by about 7 times and it’s higher than for other countries in the world such as Canada, the US, and NZ and it doesn’t include death from drugs or petrol sniffing. I constantly hear reports about health workers thinking that Aboriginal people aren’t interested in treatment when there have been misunderstandings about times of appointments, inability to get to the appointment or other reasons. Poor literacy levels mean that people can find it difficult to read a medicine bottle or a bus timetable. A doctor in Mutijulu near a very upmarket resort at Uluru is now checking for cholera and another says she is reticent to give the required medicine out when it has to be taken with food because she knows they can’t afford the food. I have no vested interest in recounting this – you have the choice to believe or not believe. It’s just baffling that people can see Nelson Mandala as a remarkable man achieving such great things in South Africa and not see what goes on here. And I’m not alone. The crowds at John Pilger’s film last night – both Indigenous and non Indigenous show that I’m not alone in feeling concerned enough to give time to this. Of course not all Aboriginal people agree with each other just like we don’t. Aboriginal people are diverse – they’re not a homogenous culture. There are lots of alternative Australia Day Indigenous events supported by government bodies including local councils such as the Survive Day Yabun Festival which is patronised by masses of non Indigenous people who have compassion and understanding. Last night, City of Sydney sponsored the screening of John Pilger’s film Utopia which was incredibly confronting because they see it as containing important historical and CURRENT factual information we should all be aware of. We all have a choice to know or to choose not to know. I choose to know and try to do something about it.

  41. Disgusted. permalink
    8 January 2014 10:59 pm

    Mate you are an absolute disgrace, first of all for taking offense to what is nothing more than a bit of patriotism, second of all for going to all this trouble to have the shirts removed and third of all for actually bragging about it on the internet. Get a life, invest your time into sometching that might actually be constructive.

    I could name dozens of products that are far more offensive but I can’t find any internet losers blogging about having these removed? For anyone that has read the article and comments, if you get to here please close the page and don’t waste any more time before you are outraged enough to leave a comment. I feel awful that I have wasted so much of my time reading and commenting here.

  42. 8 January 2014 11:12 pm

    I don’t live my life bothered by it but it would be a good thing if there was greater awareness of and more sensitivity towards how many Aboriginal people feel about the day. And I think you’ll find I’m far from alone in my views. Maybe not in this forum but across Australia.

  43. Nicole permalink
    8 January 2014 11:59 pm

    FFS … Show me a 200+ year old aboriginal and I will sympathise with him over the invasion of his country … Otherwise get the hell over it.
    We all have ancestors and history, be it here or elsewhere… And what our ancestors did or did not have or own is not ours, it was theirs, and it’s past.
    Move on

  44. Mick T permalink
    9 January 2014 12:03 am

    “I’m proud to be black”, said a black man.

    “I’m proud to be asian”, said an asian man.

    “I’m proud to be white”, said a racist.

  45. Dave M permalink
    9 January 2014 12:04 am

    Dianne, you commented to Nicholas “Can you please provide links to evidence of the two points/facts you are making?”. Would you please do the same and provide links to all the points/facts you are making, for example “There is a staggering account of how a farmer entered a country police station in 1994 and asked if his paper licence from the 1930s to cull Aboriginal people was still valid.” or perhaps “Today for many Aboriginal people it’s still horrible. The statistics prove it”. I’m not saying your wrong but if you want to suggest such evidence maybe you should reference your sources.

    • Dianne permalink
      9 January 2014 2:02 pm

      A policeman from the NSW town who was handed the ‘licence to cull’ was the person who told me the story Dave. The statistics on the Gap between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal Australians’ life expectancy and other aspects of disadvantage have been widely published and here’s a link:—life-expectancy

      Copying from that page:

      5. What goals have been set around closing the gap?

      The Council of Australian Governments has set six targets in an attempt to reduce the disadvantage faced by Indigenous Australians and close the life expectancy gap:
      1.Halve the mortality gap between Indigenous children and other children under age five within a decade;
      2.Provide access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four-year olds in remote communities within five years;
      3.Halve the gap in literacy and numeracy achievement between Indigenous students and other students within a decade;
      4.Halve the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in rates of Year 12 attainment or an equivalent attainment by 2020;
      5.Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade;
      6.Close the shameful gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

      There’s also a website where a person has gone to a lot of trouble to collate information with references although it’s not what I’ve been quoting:

      • Julie permalink
        13 January 2014 6:47 pm

        All heresay in other words…. Not evidence!!

  46. 9 January 2014 1:31 am

    I would prefer a Australia founded 1901 T shirt. There are a number of absurd contradictions here. 1/ Many of those who claim to be Aboriginal are not any more than I am Irish. I don’t start dancing Irish jigs saying I have a right to have the Irish flag everywhere and be called Irish because one of my grandparents were Irish. I was born here and here I belong. 2/ Those majority Caucasian aboriginals should see themselves as a product of a mingling and reconciliation not choose one ethnicity over their majority ethnicity. Playing the victim is an industry..
    3/ The British coming here was a good thing. The stone age aboriginals had a primitive violent society one disparate groups that had nothing in common politically. They needed to reintegrate with the rest of humanity so they could stand up genetically to disease and culturally to adapt to new technologically. They have a higher degree of ancient Denisovan DNA than other humans.
    4/ I expect from them what I expect from anyone not matter their ethnicity. That they behave well and wash, don’t stink, work and move forward. I don’t feel guilty at all. I can’t apologise for the bad deeds of others. Some Aboriginals have done terrible violent and disgusting things themselves. They killed innocent people including each other. I saw one walk up to a stranger and spit in his face for no reason at all. The person was shocked and did not retaliate as was the expectation so victimhood could be claimed. Enough is enough. No more disunity and allowing an aboriginal nation to develop that hold us all hostage.

    • Lillie permalink
      9 January 2014 12:02 pm

      well spoken christopher

    • Dianne permalink
      9 January 2014 2:15 pm

      Please watch First Footprints Christopher which has the latest archaeological evidence updating some of your comments. It shows Aboriginal people lived here for over 40,000 years through the most extraordinary conditions including the separation of Tasmania from Australia – and very successfully. They had a very clever marriage protocol which prevented inbreeding and kept their genes strong – they had to be strong to survive in this environment, one we can’t survive in for more than a day without our own resources. They had very clever survival knowledge and systems and I’m sure you’d find them fascinating. No one’s asking you to feel guilty – no ones suggesting that. But I would ask you to attempt better understanding. Other countries such as the US, Canada and NZ have made significant changes to address Indigenous advantage. We are lagging in this country

  47. Conor permalink
    9 January 2014 8:21 am

    Australia Day has been celebrated for decades prior as the anniversary of the colonisation of Australia, and that’s it. Nothing has ever been intended, with regards to this holiday, to offend the native Indigenous peoples of Australia. However now that a shirt has come out with openly states the date of colonisation, it’s racist? If anything, it’s politically incorrect because Australia was not “officially” recognised as a nation before Federation on January 1, 1901. But I don’t see Australia Day moving to fix this. But that’s not the point, the point is, is that no matter what happens, someone will always be offended and if that happens to be you, then don’t buy the damn shirt – instead, respect other peoples’ decision to be proud of the day when Australia was first settled, for without that occurring, Australia would not be the land that it is today. People need to chill out.

    • Joyce permalink
      9 January 2014 9:19 am

      Thank you Conor.

  48. Peter permalink
    9 January 2014 8:56 am

    Mate, you are a wanker. the only thing you have done is make sure that this shirt will now sell in numbers like never before. You do realise that this same logo has been available on shirts from tourist shops for ages.
    And if people cant get it there, they will get it made.

    As to Aldis bowing to complaints from wankers like you, the maybe if enough people fill in the same form you did asking to nbring the shirt back, they may grow a set of balls and do so.

    Im going out to purchase my shirt today

  49. Lillie permalink
    9 January 2014 11:59 am

    i have many koori friends and none of them wish to live a nomadic life living in bark shelters and picking berries or killing with spear and boomerang in order to live. they all choose to live the life of the whities and it was the whities that established the january 26th australia day. no insult to my koori friends is intended … they are all fantastic friends and wouldn’t even be bothered commenting on the aldi teeshirts ,,,

  50. Born and bred Australian permalink
    9 January 2014 1:38 pm

    In Matthew Flinders book Voyage to Terra Australis, Flinders recommends the use of the name Australia. The new name came into use more and more, and, in 1817, Governor Macquarie formally requested that, in future, the name “Australia” should be used in all dispatches.
    In 1788, the word Australia was not yet widely recognized as the name of this block of land.

  51. Very Sensible permalink
    9 January 2014 8:03 pm

    The abos were still searching for the secret of fire when white settlers arrived – they hadn’t even surmounted the intellectual challenges posed by the concept of the wheel!

    If ever a country needed colonizing, it was that which became Australia!

  52. Dianne permalink
    9 January 2014 9:17 pm

    That is so untrue and not very sensible at all! Your definition of an intellectual challenge might be the wheel – they were far more advanced than that Far far far more advanced. Research your argument. They have and still hold very profound traditional knowledge, far greater than us and that is why our scientific bodies and authorities are now studying their knowledge of medicine, astronomy, weather, fire and land management – traditional culture is highly sophisticated and leaves western society for dead – learning about it is absolutely fascinating – don’t miss out!

  53. Dianne permalink
    9 January 2014 9:19 pm

    Really, just thinking further than that…. invention comes from necessity – what use is a wheel in the rugged terrain of Australia – around the rugged foreshores or coastlines, or the mountains, or the valleys, or in the desert – why would you want wheeled transport?

  54. 11 January 2014 3:12 pm

    Dianne is obviously well educated…but boring

  55. Troy permalink
    12 January 2014 10:22 pm

    Seriously dianne why dont you go write a novel im pretty sure you could have sold none by now. Because all I can say really is noone cares what you have to say. The past is the past lets all look to the future. Because if you dont your just going to be narrow minded for the rest of your life and you are going to be left behind while everyone else is going to be 200 years ahead of you. Wait we already are

  56. Need to Know permalink
    16 January 2014 6:47 pm

    So was all of Australia called Van Dieman’s land before Bass and Flinders discovered Tassie was separate in 1799? Need to know.

  57. jonny price permalink
    18 January 2014 12:48 pm

    So do we all agree that, Dianne has way too much time, hence the volumes of comments.
    And the clown that started all of this, is a Smug Clown.!

    • Dianne permalink
      18 January 2014 2:34 pm

      Some would call it passion and a call for justice – I actually work 7 days a week but I don’t call it work because I’m doing what I love and feel strongly about. If you thought Nelson Mandela was a great man, and that what happened in South Africa was an issue, look long and hard at what is still going on in Australia. I’m not in a minority and there are lots of Indigenous events across Australia called ‘Survive Day’ on the 26th January. Empathy and understanding? Asking Indigenous people to celebrate on Australia Day is like asking you to celebrate had the Japanese been successful in colonising Australia in WWII – just how would you feel – can you see the similarities Johnny?

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