Where is the Black Steam Train when we need him?

That of which Andrew Bolt was not prepared to speak.

I had always aspired to work at DFAT and saw the Indigenous Cadetship Program as a great pathway to a long term career in the Department.

Smiling people!

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46 Responses to Where is the Black Steam Train when we need him?

  1. Tas

    i’ve got blonde hair and a better suntan so i’d have to be a shoein.

  2. Baldrick

    No wonder there are rubbery figures on indigenous health and education. The real figures are much worse but for the use of ‘white’ rubbery figures!

  3. Tom

    Deadman told us last week that, with minimal research, he established that he could arrange an Aboriginal identity for himself — the key to rich scholarships and cash government benefits not available to non-Aborigines — in the same way that, with minimal research, anyone can buy illegal drugs. The government turns a blind eye to such institutional corruption. Three out of the four people in the picture at the link are not even half-caste. No wonder real Aborigines are pissed off about having benefits intended for them stolen by white identity thieves.

  4. PoliticoNT

    There is a FaHCSIA poster for Reconciliation Week that featured various body bits (a white palm, a black palm and a brindle forearm), in which by the looks of it a southern graphic design agency made a bit of a mistake. The black palm is, well, black. A couple of the Aboriginal guys I was working with at the time used to laugh about it and hold their palms (a flesh pink colour) up next to the poster.

    Cue collective groan by everyone working in the (NT) State Office, many of whom were locally born and raised, and of Aboriginal heritage. As much as I enjoy reading Andrew (Bolt’s) blog, and appreciate the things he draws attention to – like freedom of speech – his campaigns for rigorous, rational honesty for all things Aboriginal Australia sometimes jar in the North. And that’s something that’s not really taken into account in this debate.

    Sure, there are an awful lot of ratbags in southern inner city communities, who scream blue murder anytime Andrew opens his mouth. It’s a different world up North. Nobody really cares about the Aboriginal ‘angle’ of another government department dolling out largesse to its favoured few. It’s the largesse and irrelevance of the inner city elite (and its ways) that’s relevant because they’re not part of the real world the majority of us live in.

  5. stackja

    I might have Aboriginal ancestry but have never claimed it. As I see it my ancestors lives are none of my business.

  6. Baldrick

    Tom
    #1192304, posted on February 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm
    No wonder real Aborigines are pissed off about having benefits intended for them stolen by white identity thieves.

    Now I know what they’re talking about when they say ‘stolen generation’.

  7. Rafe

    Thanks Politico, I would really like to see some elaboration on the way that Bolts’s campaigns for rigorous, rational honesty for all things Aboriginal Australia sometimes jar in the North.

    If that’s something that’s not really taken into account in this debate, then I really want to hear from people like you with feet on the ground out there as to how we might or should to take these things into account.

    If you have got too much to say to fit into a comment I can put up a guest post to give you more room to move. Then people will have an opportunity to comment on the specific issues that you want us to understand better.

  8. Robbo

    Any advice to help me get on this lurk? It has to be a con surely. No wonder we are often short of money for really essential things when these government funded gravy trains are running at full speed.

  9. Here’s a picture I did, if you want to share. And just in case people haven’t read it here is one of the best articles I’ve read on the topic.

  10. Driftforge

    Until we as a nation get over the vestiges of WWII, real racial differences are going to continue to frustrate any attempt to ‘close the gap’. Money, at the most, resolves only the generation it is spent on, and at worst leads to r-selection, reducing the advantages built up over generations.

    This can’t be fixed until we face up to what it is that needs fixing. Only then, over a period of generations, can the ‘gap’ be closed.

  11. ar

    “What qualifications do you have?”

    She leaves out the prerequisite one…

  12. Viva

    white identity thieves

    An apt description which I hope catches on.

  13. Here’s a picture I did, if you want to share. And just in case people haven’t read it here is one of the best articles I’ve read on the topic.

    About two thirds of the way down the page (on Oh Honey Honey’s link) is a comment made a couple of years ago by our sporadically regular favourite at the Cat: Hammy.

  14. Des Deskperson

    ‘Before joining DFAT I was a journalist with Fairfax Media. I really enjoyed the variety of the role but after a few years in the job needed a new challenge’

    The issue isn’t really about skin colour, it’s about assistance being based on need. This person was already in a middle class job that many non-Indigenous Australians would envy, but she ‘needed a new challenge’. I always understood that the Cadetship programme aimed at helping Indigenous Australians who need to be supported while they gained a tertiary qualification, not someone who simply wants to change career.

    The Cadetships is one of three Indigenous ‘affirmative action’ recruiting programmes (in fact they may be the only ‘affirmative action’ recruitment programmes of any type in the APS). The Indigenous Traineeships help otherwise unqualified Indigenous Australians to learn on the job. In my experience, it generally actually works, I’ve seen people from disadvantaged Indigenous backgrounds turn into excellent workers (sorry if that sounds patronising, I can’t think of any other way to put it) through traineeships.

    The Indigenous Graduate Recruitment Programme, on the other hand, tends to recruit middle class Indigenous Australians (including the children of senior Indigenous public servants) who have already had the advantage of going to university, and I’m not sure that there is a case for further assistance.

  15. Pedro the Ignorant

    Oh Honey’s FB link (2.54pm) has been removed.

    Must have upset someone.

  16. Jim Rose

    rafe, two-thirds of the 565 federally recognized Indian tribes in the US require a certain blood quantum for membership.

    the membership lists of smaller tribes have been purged from time to time to leave more of the casino profits for those that remain.

  17. Armadillo

    Doesn’t surprise me in the least. Mrs A works in a bank that had previously a big commitment to Aboriginal traineeships.It soon became patently obvious that no-one could even distinguish that the trainees were in fact Aboriginal (bar the American slang like ‘Bro’). They all lived in reasonably well to do families.

    This rubbish has absolutely nothing to do with ‘closing the gap’, and everything to do with ‘getting a clap’. Corporates and Government departments need something to put in their Annual Report. What a load of garbage. Its the equivalent to a couple both in full time employment applying for a Department of Housing tenancy. I really don’t know where to start with some of the stuff I have seen and heard, other than to say, it must stop.

  18. Washout

    Did anyone else see Hammygar’s comment in the Quadrant piece that Ooh Honey linked to? Seems Hammy sees it as “disloyal” to question the racism extolled by the professional aborigines -

    I’m amazed that a person with aboriginal heritage should write such appalling things. This is playing into Andrew Bolt’s hands and giving him what he will assume is a licence to continue his racist attitudes towards our first citizens. You should not be proud of your disloyalty to your people.

    —hammygar: 27 Sep 2012 3:50:56pm

    Why am I not suprised that Hammy supports racists?

  19. Washout

    Looks like Steve beat me to the punch =)

  20. danno

    Something for nothing .. human nature, we will always have the poor, we will always have parasites.

  21. gabrianga

    It is quite lengthy but this information put out by the Feds gives the background and current status of “being an Aborigine”

    The 70′s, 80′s” three part recognition” gives an insight to the deliberate confusion created by the Fraser and Hawke Governments as some form of “appeasement”

    Even in those days “yella fellas” were given the short straw by the full blood Aborigines.

  22. Louis Hissink

    These clowns don’t understand what indigenous means. The stupids are in charge and it’s not good.

  23. Major Elvis Newton

    According to The Age:

    “…A record number of Koori students completed high school in Victoria last year, helping to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous students…”

    and then:

    “…Alana Ryan, who scored an ATAR of 99.25 at Ballarat Clarendon College and will begin an arts degree at the University of Melbourne…”

    Looking back we see Alana Ryan celebrating her exemplary achievement – and National Scholarship – won no doubt through application, diligence and plain hard work.

    I doubt the color of her skin or her cultural ‘heritage’ had anything to do with it.

    But there you go in Modern Australia. Let’s celebrate “the gap”.

  24. cohenite

    I really wish Bolt had appealed the Bromberg decision.

  25. ar

    Have you used your qualifications/experience during your time in the department?

    Working as a journalist provided excellent grounding for diplomacy, given the representation and reporting skills journalism so often demands. Equally, I found my professional and academic experiences routinely interacted as an indigenous cadet. On several occasions my university studies strengthened my understanding of the policy environment DFAT operates in and my DFAT experiences complimented and my full time studies.

    Journalists love them being “complimented”…

  26. Super D

    It’s hard to imagine this young woman has ever experienced persecution as a result of her aboriginality. Perhaps she was taunted at corroborrees for being a ranga.

  27. blogstrop

    Such a scar on our rationality. It’s infra-dig-enous.

  28. DrBeauGan

    If Bolt had appealed the Bromberg ruling and won, there’d be no hope of repealing 18C.

    Isn’t Dallas (Black Steam Train) a great bloke? Honest and clear thinking. The exact opposite of Hammy.

  29. nilk, Iron Bogan

    From Maj. Newton’s link I did a bit of googling and found Aunty Di Kerr. Someone needs to tell Ernie Dingo that he didn’t invent the welcome to country thingo.

    Now an Elder of her Wurundjeri people, Aunty Di is sought by governments and community groups for her knowledge and vision.

    She wears her Aboriginal title with pride.

    She conducts Welcome to Country ceremonies, continuing a tradition that is 60,000 years old, when Elders allowed visiting mobs to enter traditional boundaries.

    She is a director of Native Title Services Victoria, chairwoman of The Royal Women’s Hospital Community Advisory Committee and member of its consumer committee, ambassador for the Indigenous Leadership Network of Victoria, member of the Dandenong and District Aborigines Co-operative Society and was involved in Melbourne Museum’s First Peoples exhibition.

    “I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud that Aboriginal people are still here after everything,” she said.

    “Wurundjeri people went down to 68 people after colonisation, and we’re in the thousands now.

    RTWT

  30. Gab

    Corporates and Government departments need something to put in their Annual Report.

    “…A record number of Koori students completed high school in Victoria last year, helping to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous students…”

    As do schools.

  31. Gab

    I started reading BST from the beginning just the other day. Excellent work by Dallas.

    You see, I committed a cardinal sin apparently. I saw offence in a piece of artwork and tried to speak up.

    This piece, in particular:- [picture of white faces painted black. Gab]

    The artist in question, Bindi Cole, is front and centre. Notably, a woman with white skin whose entire family has decided to paint themselves in minstrel make-up and adorn headscarves as if to portray themselves as Aboriginal Elders. All in an effort apparently to stymie those people who, when told by Ms Cole that she is Aboriginal, always reply ‘but, not really Aboriginal’.

    I hate to cast aspersions on any persons talent, real or imagined, but controversy in itself is not art. It reads instead like a prank gone wrong, a hit and a big miss at social commentary, and if the ‘artist’ in question didn’t claim to have Aboriginal Heritage, the outrage, quite rightly, would have been enormous. The urban art scene fainted in joy at her ‘boldness’ and talent. At every opening of gushing urbanites, it was a sea of white skin.

    If Ms Cole truly understood the offence that blackface causes to those people who, unlike her, have black skin, this piece of ‘art’ would not exist. I have seen many beautiful pieces of photography that I would class as art. This is not one of them.

    Putting her foot in it even further, Ms Cole goes on to claim (in her accompanying notes to her work that were submitted for, and won, a $25k Indigenous Art prize) that there are no full-blooded Aborigines left in Victoria. Being that I am actually black skinned and an Aborigine from Victoria whose family lineage research thus far has established I am a ‘full-blood’, I am puzzled. Has Ms Cole traced all Victorian Aboriginal genealogies? Is she a self-appointed expert on the matter, or did she hope to slip that one under the radar and hope nobody would notice?

    I asked for a retraction of her statement and an apology. I am still waiting for the dignity of a reply. Somehow, I imagine one will not be forthcoming. I am more than happy to prove my heritage and stand behind what I say, funnily, Ms Cole is not at all interested in opening a dialogue. She wields power in the community, being that she is part of a fast growing group of coddled and entitled White Aborigines who have found favour with other White Skinned Aboriginies in important Indigenous Identified positions throughout Bureaucratic Australia.

    Hey how come Cole never hauled Dallas to court? His comments are not too dissimilar to that of Bolt’s.

  32. 2dogs

    One aspect of this issue raised by Bolt, is how do the authorities objecting to the child being raised by whites come to the conclusion that the child is Aboriginal?

    By the now common procedure, for a person of mixed ancestry to be an Aboriginal it is necessary that they identify as such.

    Did they genuinely ask the child if the child considered themselves Aboriginal?

    It would be interesting to see what happens if any of these children decide to sue in future, denying their Aboriginality and claiming negligence. It would be the stolen generations in reverse.

  33. rebel with cause

    What annoys me quite a bit (particularly as someone with some aboriginal heritage) is that, according to various government agencies, being aboriginal qualifies as ‘disadvantaged’. It is racist. Paternalistic racism that suggests that a drop of aboriginal blood alone is sufficient to destine you to a lifetime of underachievement.

    Special treatment on the basis of race is racist. I don’t understand how people can’t see this. I feel like I’m going crazy.

  34. Des Deskperson

    ‘On several occasions my university studies strengthened my understanding of the policy environment DFAT operates in ‘

    Several????

  35. duncanm

    I’m still in mod for too many links.. but check out the other Blackfellas in Indigenous Staff

  36. Gab

    … according to various government agencies, being aboriginal qualifies as ‘disadvantaged’. It is racist. Paternalistic racism that suggests that a drop of aboriginal blood alone is sufficient to destine you to a lifetime of underachievement.

    Special treatment on the basis of race is racist. I don’t understand how people can’t see this.

    Well said.

  37. gabrianga

    An interesting document from a Federal Government site which highlights the history of politics in defining an Aboriginal person. link

    The late 50′s to the 80′s seems to set the rules but to this day it is still debated.

    I well remember the derogatory “yella fella” being used by full blood Aborigines and the countless times I was called a balanda c…, f…, b…… which was all part of the confrontation manufactured by the Aboriginal Industry.

  38. cohenite

    If Bolt had appealed the Bromberg ruling and won, there’d be no hope of repealing 18C.

    Interesting idea but I think flawed because with a proper case the defects of the section would have been highlighted and provided an easier path for a pusillanimous coalition to remove the damn section.

  39. rebel with cause

    LOL. Checkout our aboriginal ambassador to Denmark! I guess you don’t get much of a suntan in northern Europe.

  40. Special treatment on the basis of race is racist. I don’t understand how people can’t see this. I feel like I’m going crazy.

    True. Not taking account of racial attributes is counterproductive though.

  41. hzhousewife

    Doesn’t surprise me in the least. Mrs A works in a bank that had previously a big commitment to Aboriginal traineeships…….

    I visit a bank branch daily in my line of work, and about a month ago they demonstrated a big commitment to one Aboriginal trainee, and last week to a second.
    The degree of enthusiasm towards the task of being teller leaves a HUGE amount to be desired in the first case, the second person did actually meet my eye the other day, and sort of smile.

  42. Cold-Hands

    True. Not taking account of racial attributes is counterproductive though.

    But racial attributes are almost indistinguishable by the time you’re down to one eighth or less by blood. The current system takes no account of racial attributes- just one drop and you’re automatically disadvantaged.

  43. HK_Brother

    rebel with cause
    #1192607, posted on February 17, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    What annoys me quite a bit (particularly as someone with some aboriginal heritage) is that, according to various government agencies, being aboriginal qualifies as ‘disadvantaged’. It is racist. Paternalistic racism that suggests that a drop of aboriginal blood alone is sufficient to destine you to a lifetime of underachievement.

    Special treatment on the basis of race is racist. I don’t understand how people can’t see this. I feel like I’m going crazy.

    It’s what you call Soft Bigotry of the Left. The key idea is the Presumption of Low Expectations.

    ie: The common theme of the Left.
    => You’re an Aboriginal, you need help.
    => You’re a migrant, you need help.
    => You’re a woman, you need help.
    Etc.

    …Is it any surprise people are bound to exploit the situation in order to get free stuff and special positions that require little effort?

  44. johanna

    As we get sliced and diced into various oppressed minorities, starting with the 50% who are female, ya gotta admire these oppressors. They certainly know their stuff.

    Is that where the 1% meme came from?

    So, 99% of us are too helpless to do anything about our circumstances absent government intervention or camping out in Martin Place.

    Pathetic. Just pathetic. And utterly untrue.

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