Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM
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Sunday 8th March, 2009
MESSAGE FROM A TRADITIONAL OWNER OF
ELCHO ISLAND, NORTH EAST ARNHEM LAND
Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM
Aboriginal leaders need to have a mind of their own which is grounded in the empowerment of their own people, and who are able to fight the system they are victims of.
We need to learn from the past leaders who have gone before us, like Mabo, who's struggle was not just for his own people, the Islanders, but all Indigenous in Australia.
All Aboriginal leaders must come together and set the same agenda, one that is of their own. And the Government of Australia must follow our agenda, as we are always forced to follow theirs.
Ghandi's method was powerful.
We Indigenous Australians also have to be able to say ‘no' when we think things are not right. And to find the courage and confidence to stand up for what we think is right.
We have not been able to say ‘no' we won't wear your clothes, or eat your food or participate in your legal system, because we are scared and we are not empowered.
So in the meantime, we remain slaves.
There are 2 kinds of slaves
The slave who works, sweats and tries to do something, he/she is whipped, tortured, rejected and / or locked up.
Mastered Slaves, who's hearts have been brainwashed by the master. They do what the master says, and is always thinking, ‘What is there for me?' They get the handouts, the pensions, or the big pay cheques from Governments because they do not have the guts to say what they truly feel. Their spirit is poisoned.
Our people have been crippled, we are less and less likely to get our own natural foods, speak in our own tongues and participate in our own cultural practises. We are forced to live by the balanda (white) way, without the choice to decide what is best for us.
I am frustrated, sick and worried for the leaders, for the people, and for the young children.
I wonder, what is the empowering weapon for the people now?
The government is always listening to only 2 or 3 Aboriginal people like Maria Langton, Warren Mundine and Noel Pearson, who do not and can not represent the rest of us.
These Aboriginal people have been brainwashed with the white way of thinking. They cannot speak on behalf of me, or the people.
I am saying to these people, stop being the bait.
As long as we Indigenous are divided and fighting amongst ourselves, we will never be achieve what we want for ourselves.
If we are divided, we are conquered.
Reconciliation cannot happen if we are still being hurt by government policies like the NT Intervention and being forced to sign 40-year leases on our lands in return for basic citizenship rights.
The healing will not happen if you are still torturing us, taking our land and killing our culture.
Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra, OAM
Galiwinku, Elcho Island.
Pentecost in Arnhem Land, Australia, Dr Rev Djiniyini Gondarra - http://www.pastornet.net.au/renewal/journal1/gondarra.html
ABC, The 7:30 Report - Web Extra: Extended interview with Dr Djiniyini Gondarra - 18 July 2007 - http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1981973.htm