Tuesday, 8 April 2014

European Settlement of Australia -- a co-creation story

Once there was an ancestor who lost his homeland through revolution.  He remained loyal to the colonising army.  When these people were sent back where they came from, he went with them.  Others must feel the same as me, he reckoned.  They will have to leave their homes too because they backed the wrong side, and where will they live?  These are my people and I must help them.

Some people organised a scientific expedition (that meant they wanted to explore new lands).  This man was still young and he went with them.  When a new land was found as hoped, a new people was also found.  Many new people -- some of whom were hostile and some of whom were welcoming.  The new people thought the visitors very strange and were glad when they left.

The man, who was starting to get older, thought about the place he had visited and the people who had not been hostile.  My people can live there he thought.  I must tell my friends.  The elders did not care about the man's people who had lost their homes, but they had a problem of their own.  Some of their own people -- many, many in fact -- had broken the rules of their society and were not welcome any longer.

The people had broken laws because they were hungry.  Their own land had become too crowded and dirty.  They did not know how to feed themselves or their families without stealing from other people.  This was because they had lost their ancestral connection to their land.  Some one had taken it for themselves and left them out of their plans for prosperity.

So it was decided the law-breakers, who could no longer be sent to the man's homeland because of the battle that was lost, would go to the new place instead.  Arrangements were made for ships to be filled with food, young woman and men, and warriors.

And so it happened that the people of Europe came to live in the continent of Australia.  The new people, as the Europeans called them did not like this name.  They had been living in this place from the beginning and remembered its story, its creation.  Of course, they believed the Europeans were new.  And destructive to their lands and ways.  European people did not tell stories of their creation in the same way, their stories came from different lands, far apart from Europe.  The land of Europe clearly could not hold them any more.  And all they had was their fearful ambition and desire to dominate one another.

It would be many years before the people of the land of Europe and of the continent of Australia were able to work together, to play together and dream together.  It was a long time.

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