A darker edge to Australia Day

posted in: Life and things | 0

Australia Day (26th January) has been and gone, with the usual nonsense that has surrounded that date over the last several years. It’s the day in 1788 when Captain/Governor Phillip established the first British settlement at what would become Sydney. There were ‘invasion day’ gatherings in all the capital cities, supporting the notion that was the day when Australia was invaded by the British. Indeed, in Melbourne (woke capital of Australia) Greens senator Lidia Thorpe upped the rhetoric by declaring that indigenous people were still at war with the white interloper. She said, “they’re still murdering our men, stealing our babies, raping our women.” Presumably ‘they’ are us white people. Or does it include the Vietnamese, Chinese, Sudanese, Indian, Malaysian, Sri Lankan etc etc immigrants who also call Australia home?

Thorpe and her ilk want recognition that the aboriginal tribes owned Australia, and they still do. That’s the meaning of ‘always was, always will be’. They want a treaty, not a voice. The war started in 1788 and has not been concluded. Read all about it just about everywhere, but this will do.

This debate is much more than finding a new, mutually agreed, date for Australia Day/Invasion Day. People like Thorpe are divisive, driving indigenous people and everybody else apart. And while they bang their drums about politics, Alice Springs and other outback towns are suffering the consequences of lifted alcohol bans. Children, mostly indigenous, roam the streets at night. Violence has exploded. People like Jacinta Nampijinpa Price in an article in The Australian newspaper have suggested sensible ways to address the problem, such as this one.

As part of the 13th Alice Springs Town Council, we developed the Traditional Owner Elder Patrol, which consisted of local elders (my mother, Bess Nungurrayai Price, included) patrolling the streets from 9pm to 2am ensuring children were being returned to their families and not creating problems. The elders were language speakers and often had kin relationships with the children and their families so this created effective communication around family responsibility for the children. The Alice Springs Town Council needs to fight to have this patrol reinstated and the Albanese government needs to make this a funding priority.” [source]

That’s a sensible, practical way of having aboriginal people take responsibility for what’s happening in their own communities. Lidia Thorpe and the other inner city aboriginals wouldn’t know what it’s like to live in an aboriginal community in the desert. What’s a ‘treaty’ going to do for the people out there?

This sort of crap makes me soooo angry. Okay, I’m going to have to have a nice cup of tea and simmer down.

I want to talk a bit more about the art AI, Midjourney. Much has been made about how the AI collects data from images online. There’s talk of plagiarism and piracy, the theft of copyrighted pictures. So I thought I’d give Midjourney a picture and see what happened.

The picture is of (a rather younger) me.

I sent this image to Midjourney and asked it to create a caricature. This is what I got.


Okay then. That’s interesting. Somebody did suggest the photo was me showing my ‘inner tradie’.

I changed the prompt to ‘in the style of Streeton’ expecting an image executed in the style of the Australian artist Arthur Streeton.

At least I’m female – but I think Streeton was translated as ‘in a street’.

Right then. What would happen if I ask for a portrait?


It’s certainly better. But none of those women look like me, don’t you agree? Neither do the men.

Apart from getting my knickers in a twist over Lidia Thorpe this week, I’ve also read a book. I often read crime novels and most of them are set in the UK or America – but this one was set in Australia in 2019, the year of the massive fires. It was offered on Bookbub as a freebie so I gave it a go. It was great. You’ll find my review here. It’s not a freebie anymore, but it’s still good value for a 400-page book.

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