“We cultivated our land, but in a way different from the white man. We endeavored to live with the land; they seemed to live off it. I was taught to preserve, never to destroy.”Tom Dy
After arriving at the hostel, grabbing some food from the bins and an evening walk through my area in Sydney, I fell asleep in a bed. It was a very recovering sleep, and sometimes it is great to sleep in a bed again.
The next morning I went exploring the parks and the river side. I grabbed my book and rad at a nice spot in the Royal Botanic Gardens. My feet dangling down a rocky cliff, while I could watch boats passing by. Sydney got very different vibes than Melbourne. I would compare it to Dusseldorf and Cologne. Sydney is more fancy and posher while Melbourne is very breezy, open and wild, Sydney is more organized, less relaxed and people in general smile less. They seem very proud on things that they have like a bridge and an opera house, while Melbourne is more proud on its people and its atmosphere. From there on my way back to the hostel I passed the art place again, and again I had a bunch of free drinks and listened to art about Aborigines and art about the country Australia. There is a strong movement of giving Aborigines back what European-Australians took of them. Australia is starting to confront its in my eyes on of the worst slaughters in human history. A lot of Australians don’t even know about their history. They also don’t get taught in every school what I found very surprising. In general I had the impression that the government tries to ignore the history of the slaughter of Aborigines and is kind of ignoring the Aborigines through not paying them respect and feeding them with alcohol and sugar.
When you try to find out about a massacre on Aborigines in the Australian history you will find that it is nearly always mentioned with a higher amount of deaths due to disease and not killing to cover up the killing. After some researching I found out that the journal of marine captain Watkin Tench indicates that the First Fleet carried bottles of smallpox. The ‘main reason’ of Aborigines being killed by a disease and not by warfare, like you can read everywhere. So in less than a year, over half the indigenous population living in the Sydney Basin had died from smallpox. The region, once alive with a vibrant mix of Aboriginal clans, now fell silent.
“The colonists had destroyed within months a way of life that had outlasted British history by tens of thousands of years, and the people soon realized that the trespassers were committed to nothing less than total occupation of the land.”
The stories of the land have been lost forever. Much of what we do know about the northern Sydney clans must be gleaned from their archaeological remains. Middens, shelters, engravings and art remnants of indigenous life are prolific throughout the region, but no one remains to reveal their particular meanings or ancient significance. No one remains to bring the archaeology truly alive.
Shocking is also that from “Criteria such as defining a massacre as the killing of six or more people are used and an interactive map as an online resource is included. As of 3 March 2019, at least 270 frontier massacres over a period of 140 years have been documented revealing “a state-sanctioned and organised attempt to eradicate Aboriginal people”. ” Massacres were conducted by the following forces: British Army, New South Wales Mounted Police, groups of armed colonists, Border Police, Native Police and also by officers of the Western Australia Police and Northern Territory Police. Most massacres were perpetrated as summary and indiscriminate punishment for the killing of settlers or the theft and destruction of livestock. There are over nine known cases of deliberate mass poisonings of Aboriginal Australians.” If you are interested in seeing a list of the better documented massacres of Aboriginal Australians follow the following link:
“To most settlers, the Aboriginal people were considered akin to kangaroos, dingoes and emus, strange fauna to be eradicated to make way for the development of farming and grazing.”
“And though a guerrilla war had been mounted against the British during the early years of the colony, the eradication, for the most part, had been easy. Smallpox had destroyed more than half the population and those not ravaged by disease were displaced when land was cleared for settlements and farms. Dispossessed of the land that had nourished them for so long, the Aboriginal people became dependent on white food and clothing. Alcohol, used as a means of trade by the British, served to further shatter traditional social and family structures.
Proclamations were made giving assurances to the Aboriginals that they were equal under the law, but the reality was pretty obvious.
For example, John Batman, a resident of the colony at the time, led a raid against a group of 60–70 men, women and children. This raid was made on behalf of the colonial government.
They killed 15 and captured 2 wounded men, a woman and her 2 year old son.
Batman then wrote that he:
“…found it impossible that the two former [the men] could walk, and after trying them by every means in my power, for some time, found I could not get them on I was obliged to shoot them.”
He returned with the other two. He handed the woman over to the authorities but kept the boy and another from a different incident because they were “as much his property as his farm”. Although the governor of the colony appears to have been concerned by Batman’s methods, he faced no legal consequences. He went on to be one of the foundeding fathers of Melbourne. The Federal seat of Batman is named for him.”
Till today Australians celebrate the Invasion day as “Australia Day”, having BBQ and drinking beer and eating a steak. To me the country feels wrong and poisoned, like its worst animals. Shimmering with beauty and energy but underneath the skin there is a deadly animal or insect hidden, trying to shade all its bad actions and not updating the inhabitants nor the natives on what is going on with the country.
Well, after a very interesting afternoon, so catching that I stayed until the art place closed in the late evening, I contacted my old neighbor and met up with him. We walked through the skyscrapers at night and hung out here and there. He showed me his flat in the 35th floor, shared with 4 Germans. We went swimming in floor 7 followed by a sauna in floor 8. Crazy life. The next day I joined him and two friends to go to palm beach. Palm beach is beautiful and not to crowded. We came of the main track and climbed up to the top. Watching the cliffs through some drone shots of a friend. Until this day I was kind of negative poled towards drones, they are loud and very disturbing, but man, when you got a drone you can get some amazing shots with those. We saw spots we could never reach. Water smashing against brown massive cliffs and erupting loudly into white mist. On our way back, we nearly got eaten alive by a huge spider spinning a long white wire just above our heads. Descending in the dark like batman from pole. Scary and sneaky.
On our way back I introduced Gerion to bin diving, wow we found tons of food, really awesome great food. Even loads of sweet potatoes. There was also a trash day. People put all their old stuff outside on the road. We saw surfboards, great soccer balls and a scooter, bmx and all kind of random shit. But really, I never saw that much good stuff being thrown out.
Next time I will tell you about my way to Brisbane. I think it was one of my coolest and best hitchhiking experience. From getting wet all over, nearly drifted straight into my grave, picked up by a real trucker that didn’t care for the insurance. That was also the first time that I discovered that hitchhiking is possible with the same person for more than a day, that I somehow never considered possible.
Maybe really check the bins of your local store one evening a week. Yes it is illegal, but you can make the choice what is worse for mother earth and more illegal. The food thrown away or the food that you would buy less to support a rich company that can deal with throwing these tons and tons of perfectly fine food away every single day.