My sister was lucky enough to visit Zoo Miami in South Florida this past week and snapped some great photos while she was there. I was instantly taken by this picture of a little koala bear taking an afternoon nap that, I’m sure, was much needed.
It reminded me of why I was inspired to choose the topic of Aborigine equality for this blog that I am writing for an international communications class. I knew I wanted to write about Australia because I didn’t know much about it. I looked at this as an opportunity to explore and learn about a place that I was not very familiar with. But as a kid who loved animals, I learned that koala bears are native to Australia. And, they are extremely cute and awesome little creatures. Therefore, Australia must be pretty cool! (Yes, at times, I am that simple minded.)
While the nature and wildlife is without a doubt interesting, diverse and beautiful, I feel that it is almost superficial to solely focus on the happy, fun parts having to do with a country. In Australia, there is too much going on with the native people and their culture to turn the other cheek and ignore it – especially when the United States has, within the past 50 years, dealt with very similar issues that shaped our nation and the lives of everyone who lives in it.
Currently, there are lawsuits and petitions that have to do with the rights of aborigines that arise on a regular basis. An article I read just the other day explained that in West Australia, there is a ‘blatantly racist law’ that dictates that a deceased Aborigine without a will must relinquish all their wealth to the public and cannot pass it on to their next of kin. This law does not exist for white Australian citizens.
“Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier yesterday said he had previously ordered the Department of Indigenous Affairs to finalise a proposal to amend or repeal the act.” -reported by Nicolas Perpitch
This discrepancy is just another way in which the natives are held down and forced to live with injustice. But, with the help of petitioners, Social Justice Commissioners and those who have a deep respect for equality across Australia, these laws are in the process of being reversed.