Get Rid of This: Aboriginal Discrimination in The Workplace12/11/2022
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Discrimination is a hard-to-remove stain in human society. It has happened throughout the history of mankind, and unfortunately, it seems that it will not go away any time soon unless we change it.
Discrimination often happens in countries with multicultural societies. We often hear some kinds of discrimination happen in a developed country like the United States. Similarly, it happens also in the continent country in Southern Hemisphere, so let’s learn about the Aboriginal discrimination history in Australia.
Origins of Aboriginal Discrimination in Australia
Aboriginal discrimination originated long ago when a British fleet landed on the Australian continent. Captain James Cook was the one claiming the area as a part of the British Empire in 1770. He named the area New South Wales, which later being changed into Australia.
Back then, the British government used the vast area of Australia to solve the overpopulation of British prisons. The United Kingdom officially colonized Australia in 1787 when a fleet of about 700 prisoners was sent to the country.
Because of the colonialization, Australia’s native people, Aboriginal Tribe, were forced to live together with British people. They seemed to live in peace at first, but then, they did some unfair things toward the native people.
The British government felt they were responsible for the well-being of all people in Australia, including the Aboriginal ones. They saw many aboriginal children did not get access to proper education, cleanness, and health, so they wanted to provide those needs as well as make the children get along with white children.
An Aboriginal camp was an approach used by the British government. They did that to make Aboriginal children slaves for white people as they grew up. It was seen not only as racial discrimination but also as cultural genocide. This dark Aboriginal discrimination history in Australia is known as the “Stolen Generation”.
Examples of Discrimination Against Indigenous Australians
Discrimination can be done either intentionally or unintentionally. Sometimes, people even do not realize that they discriminate against indigenous Australians. Knowing that, let’s see some examples of what discrimination looks like.
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people have some distinctive appearances. But, because of some interracial marriages, there are plenty of indigenous Australians who appear differently.
That makes people say harsh comments toward Aboriginal people with different appearances about how they should look.
Looked Down On
Indigenous Australians are usually expected to make some mess in anything they do. Then, if an Aboriginal in Australia is successful, that person will be viewed as a special one among the entire race.
Assumptions and Stereotypes
Some negative assumptions and stereotypes about indigenous Australians often come from the mouths of non-indigenous ones. Those negative comments are usually in terms of career ambitions and education.
Seen as Dishonest or a Threat
Some people somehow can not fully trust indigenous Australians. They sometimes even feel threatened just because of their Australian Aboriginal flag origin.
Not Being Taken Seriously
This behavior is usually seen as Aboriginal discrimination in the workplace. As Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, coworkers, or even bosses, often get surprised when they do something well as if it was a strange thing.
How Does the Australian Government Response to Aboriginal Discrimination?
Since 1905, the Australian government has made some laws for the Stolen Generation. The laws were about some legalization for the country to take Aboriginal children from their families to join the government’s program. Each Australian state had its own age limitation for those children.
Then, in the 1950s, Aboriginal people and some human rights activists demanded civic rights for the native people. They fought for some unfair laws to be removed and gone for good.
On May 27, 1967, Australia’s federal government held a referendum to set equality for all people in Australia. In 1991, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, the original name of Reconciliation Australia, was established. It has a duty to promote the culture of the Aboriginal Tribes.
Finally, 2008 became the year when Aboriginal people’s struggle for their rights reached the finish line. The then-prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, uttered a speech to apologize to the Stolen Generation. He also made May 26 a National Sorry Day to remember the dark era.
What we can learn from Aboriginal Discrimination History in Australia is that any kinds of discrimination have no place in our society. Let’s change our behaviors toward all people, so we can live in harmony.