Thursday, January 17, 2013

Deadly Bloggers: A 52 Week Blogging Challenge

Check out this great initiative over at Deadly Bloggers. I am getting on the band wagon a little late but i can catch up pretty quickly. Bring on a Deadly 2013

Cheers Don

Deadly Bloggers: A 52 Week Blogging Challenge: I don't know about you, but I definitely wished I blogged more. I write plenty of posts in my head when I am inspired, but sadly they don't ...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

What is POZIBLE can become REALITY! Thank you

Have you ever underestimated what a group of people can achieve? I know I did exactly that with this Pozible campaign.

I am reminded of what Jim Rohn said in relation to "Goals. There is no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There's no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There's no telling what will happen when you act upon them."

I am inspired by the offer of a 10 weeks Artist Residency in London with Raymond Connell.  I believe that this opportunity to work intensely, will take my operatic voice and career to the next level. I am doing everything to make this trip a reality!

But do you know what is more important than me being inspired, believing and taking action?

It is YOU doing it!

I want to say a massive thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking action and helping me to reach my minimum target of $3000. The reason I am so blown away, is that my underestimated target was to reach this amount in 11 weeks. And as of now, with minimum spruicking from me this second week, another $975 has been added. So again, thank you - I truly did underestimate what would happen once you joined me in being inspired, believing and taking action to make this project a reality.

Pozible projects are only funded once they achieve their minimum target and because of your belief in me and by reaching my minimum target in just one week, I am well and truly heading to London in October. But in no way will AUD$4000, approximately 2600pounds, be enough for me to live, eat and sing in the UK for 10 weeks and with this Pozible Project not ending until October 4th, we still have time to inspire others to believe in this project and take action by donating and sharing.

So I am asking for your continued support of this project over the next 9 weeks

If you can donate but haven't done so yet, PLEASE DONATE!

If you have donated and can forward my project out to your network, PLEASE SHARE!

If you can inspire just 1 more person to donate, PLEASE INSPIRE!

If you believe in the power of my project, PLEASE SPRUIK YOUR BELIEF TO ALL THAT WILL LISTEN!

If you have ever underestimated the power of taking action, PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY!
MY GOAL IS TO REACH $15,000.00 in the next 9 weeks
and with your assistance there is no telling what is possible!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

@Aboriginaloz Blog: Part-white or part-Aboriginal?

@Aboriginaloz Blog: Part-white or part-Aboriginal?:

"Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are some calling for a national debate on Aboriginal identity... or in more accurate terms they are calling for a general free for all to slam Aboriginal people. To slam Aboriginal youth, Aboriginal parents, Aboriginal communities, and Aboriginal people who aren't Aboriginal enough according to some non-Aboriginal people...

Rather than a national debate, I am calling for a series of national education.

Today's lesson is about what happens when you combine two racist stereotypes:

1. The idea that Aboriginality is something that is 'bred-out' of people over time. That once a person's physical appearance and/or 'blood-quotient' reaches a certain point, then that person can be considered to be not Aboriginal and;

2. The idea that Aboriginal people are a 'privileged group' in this country.

The result?
"the part-whites who are making a racket out of being so-called Aborigines at enormous cost to the taxpayers".

That is the heart of some recent and on-going tension in the media, but that isn't a recent quote.

It was said in 1988, by Bruce Ruxton... but it sounds like something that could have been said much more recently. Even more plausibly so now that 'Aborigines' seems to have made an unwelcome resurgence in the media lately.

This recent debate is actually quite old, and it is reliant on the fact that people don't know it is an old debate.

Any serious journalist with even a passing interest in Aboriginal identity, and an interest in serious reporting, would quickly find something like this research note, available from the Parliamentary Library, titled "Definition of Aboriginality".

It comes up when you do a google search for 'Definition of Aboriginality'...

It mentions:

"In his analysis of over 700 pieces of legislation, the legal historian John McCorquodale found no less than 67 different definitions of Aboriginal people.

Though colonial legislation initially grouped Aboriginal people by reference to their place of habitation (e.g. aboriginal natives of New South Wales and New Holland), 'blood' quantum classifications entered the legislation of New South Wales in 1839, South Australia in 1844, Victoria in 1864, Queensland in 1865, Western Australia in 1874 and Tasmania in 1912. Thereafter till the late 1950s States regularly legislated all forms of inclusion and exclusion (to and from benefits, rights, places etc.) by reference to degrees of Aboriginal blood. Such legislation produced capricious and inconsistent results based, in practice, on nothing more than an observation of skin colour."

Sounding familiar yet? "based, in practice, on nothing more than an observation of skin colour"!

What a long way we have come...

but wait, there's more:

"When policy entered a more progressive period in the late 1960s and 1970s the blood-quantum definitions, which had never been accepted as meaningful by Aboriginal communities themselves, were relatively easy to abandon."
"In the 1980s a new definition was proposed in the Constitutional Section of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs' Report on a review of the administration of the working definition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Canberra, 1981). The section offered the following definition:

An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted as such by the community in which he (she) lives.

This three-part definition (descent, self-identification and community recognition) was soon adopted by Federal Government departments as their 'working definition' for determining eligibility to some services and benefits."

"The advantages of this three part definition were not, however, apparent to all. In 1988 the Victorian State president of the RSL, Mr Bruce Ruxton, called on the Federal Government:

to amend the definition of Aborigine to eliminate the part-whites who are making a racket out of being so-called Aborigines at enormous cost to the taxpayers'.
" the three part definition has generally been found to help protect individuals from the tendency among 'mainstream Australians' to consider 'real' indigenous people as people living somewhere else and others as manipulating the system."

"It also sits well with the definition used by the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1986:

Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies ..., consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing in those territories ... They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal systems."

And here endeth the lesson...

... but right now, as I write this, I get the image of a man trying to explain to an angry mob why he shouldn't be burnt at the stake for arguing that the world is actually round... and that the matter was actually resolved quite a long time ago... and that we don't burn people at the stake anymore... and that it is kind of silly to believe in a flat earth in 2011... and again, please don't burn me at the stake for pointing out the obvious!

If we want to discuss Aboriginal identity and failure in Aboriginal programs that is fine by me, in fact I strongly encourage that conversation; but I must ask that we include Aboriginal people, and consider relevant information, as well.
Two things that have been sorely lacking in the media on these issues, and on most issues affecting Indigenous people over the past four decades or so...

Oh, and if we could cut out the malicious racism, misinformation, lack of Indigenous representation, and maybe even include a capital I for Indigenous, and avoid terms like 'Aborigines' in these 'discussions', then that'd be just great too... thanks.

... and to answer the question that is the title of this article: No.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let the yarning begin, whats your deadly story?

The first week of July celebrates National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander week, when all Australian’s can celebrate our countries first people and their positive contributions to our culture past, present and future.
I always look forward to the announcement of the THEME and this year I am very excited by the power of it and the opportunity it provides.
“Change: the next step is ours” is the 2011 NAIDOC Theme
I hear so many people talking about what changes need to occur; to close the gap; to help make the change for this country and all of our mob. Government’s and bureaucrats are talking. Policy makers and politicians are talking. Shock jock DJ’s and bleeding heart hippies are talking. A lot of talking is being done but is it the type of talking that is going to facilitate the change?
In thinking about this, I thought, “if the next step is ours, what is it that we can bring to the table, what next step can we offer that is different, is truly ours? Then I read a blog by my mate Tom Hearn from Bush TV who asked the question ‘could the art of yarning be the secret?’
As a performer, and an opera singer I understand the power of the human voice. I also know that there is nothing more incredible than to be heard, to have your voice listened to, to have your words resonate in another, to express heartfelt emotion and be heard.
In the wider spectrum of human nature, whether from a baby’s cry or giggle to an elders wail or body shaking bellow in hysterics there is nothing more precious and unifying than the sharing of raw human emotion. 
Now lets think about the history of this country. Our ancestors couldn’t speak the Queen’s English; they had no way of yarning with the invading ‘settlers’. Families were torn apart and moved all around the country. Their languages were outlawed, their children taken away from them. Crippled by this and many other atrocities, generations were torn apart and so much culture was lost including our ability to yarn in our way, in our time and on our land to our own mob, let alone the ‘settler’s’.
Now I hear you thinking, “Wait up Don, Donnie, Donald. What are you suggesting here? You want me to start yarning with them bureaucrats, with them politicians, with them shock jock dj’s and bleeding heart hippies?
And my answer – If you have the opportunity – YES, do it!
What I really think each of us can do today and for the rest of our lives is start yarning amongst ourselves, with our friends and families. Taking the time to sit down and truly yarn and share positive things and simple truths to share our deadly stories. The Qld Government, Dept of Communities has launched a site and social media campaign around exactly this.
Think about it, who do our youngsters get to yarn with about success, positive choices, bouncing back from wrong choices, persistence, and honesty? I am sure many of us remember being told “People are always watching, expecting you to fail simply because you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.” 
I don’t want our kids to NOT fail, I want out kids to be successful in all areas of their lives. To do that, we need to be yarning about SUCCESS. We need to be sharing how we succeeded, how we battled and won, how we helped someone else to become a success.
So let the yarning begin and be the change you want to see for our community, our country, because Change - the next step is OURS!