Bundoora Arabesque

For an image of the huge “Bundoora Arabesque” (1.3 x 2.9 metres) see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288353489/ .

Gideon Polya , “La Trobe University, “Bundoora Arabesque” And Australian Aboriginal Genocide” Countercurrents, 12 August, 2007: http://sites.google.com/site/aboriginalgenocide/-bundoora-arabesque-la-trobe  and http://www.countercurrents.org/polya120807.htm .

La Trobe University, “Bundoora Arabesque” And Australian Aboriginal Genocide

La Trobe University (Bundoora, outer Melbourne, Australia is its main campus) ranks roughly #10 out of Australia’s 40 odd universities. It can boast past or present associations with some outstanding scholars in the areas of bioethics, gay rights, science and human rights. It is named after Charles Joseph La Trobe who was a governor of Victoria in the 19 th century. However La Trobe has an ambivalent history - he was a traveler, mountaineer and writer on the one hand but during his rule the notorious Native Police were involved in the Aboriginal Genocide that delivered the rich agricultural lands of Victoria to European settlers. Indeed this ambiguity is possibly behind a statue of Governor La Trobe at La Trobe University which is UPSIDE DOWN (i.e. head on the ground, feet and plinthe in the air!).

This same dichotomy arises now. I have painted a huge painting (1.3 metre x 2.9 metre) called “Bundoora Arabesque”. For an image of the huge “Bundoora Arabesque” painting (1.3 x 2.9 metres) see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288353489/ .

I am using this Art to inform people around the world about the appalling, ongoing Australian Aboriginal Genocide. In this process of Art versus Genocide I have been doubly inspired by La Trobe University – I have been inspired by the beauty of Bundoora in which it is set and in which I live (Bundoora means “the country kangaroos like” in the Aboriginal language of this region – try to spot them, in the painting!) and by the example of an outstanding La Trobe University academic, Professor Robert Manne, who has led the scholarly fight against right-wing Denial of the Australian Aboriginal Genocide.

Professor Robert Manne of La Trobe University is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading public intellectuals and in recent years he has been particularly forthright and articulate in his defence of Australia’s downtrodden Aboriginal community. One of the world’s and Australia’s leading experts on genocide, Professor Colin Tatz (University of New South Wales, formerly of Macquarie University), has described what happened to Australia’s Indigenous Australians as the Aboriginal Genocide – the Indigenous population fell from about 1 million to 0.1 million in the first century after European invasion (mainly through introduced disease, deprivation and horrendous violence); a policy of forcible Aboriginal child removal (0.1 million “Stolen Children”) continued up to about 1970; Indigenous Australians were not even “counted” or able to vote as Australians until after a referendum in 1967 that permitted the Federal Government to legislate about them; and horrendous Aboriginal Genocide through deprivation and discrimination CONTINUES (9,000 Aborigines die avoidably every year out of a population of 500,000 due to deliberate, sustained Federal and State Government neglect).

Professor Robert Manne has been a leading figure in the so-called Australian “History Wars” in which many Australian scholars have pitted themselves against writers and politicians who claim that there was NO Aboriginal Genocide. Indeed the extreme right-wing, Bush-ite Australian Government refuses to say “sorry” for the past atrocities. A very notable publication is a major academic anthology edited by Professor Robert Manne entitled “Whitewash: On Keith Windschuttle's Fabrication of Aboriginal History”, Melbourne, Black Inc, 2003. (for more a detailed list of relevant scholarly comments see "Aboriginal Genocide": http://sites.google.com/site/aboriginalgenocide/ ). However we live in an Orwellian Age in which “money buys truth” and in which “all the news that’s fit to print” means “fit to print by the corporate Mainstream media” – denial of the Aboriginal Holocaust is alive and well in White Australia.

This has been dramatized by very recent events in Australia. In response to shocking anecdotal reports in 2006 of Aboriginal child sexual abuse in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT), the NT Government set up an expert Inquiry. The subsequent Northern Territory (NT) Report “Little Children are Sacred” concluded that from a QUALITATIVE perspective Aboriginal child sexual abuse IS occurring and this and other serious Aboriginal circumstances must be URGENTLY addressed but sensibly and with community CONSULTATION.

However the Report (p57) states that “it is not possible to accurately estimate the extent of child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory” while DOCUMENTING that 34% of females and 16% of males in Australia as a whole experience child sexual abuse (Dunne, M.P., Purdie, D.M., Cook, M.D., Boyle, F.M. & Najman, J.M.(2003), Is child sexual abuse declining? Evidence from a population-based survey of men and women in Australia, Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 27 (2), pp141-152)
(see: http://www.nt.gov.au/dcm/inquirysaac
/pdf/bipacsa_final_report.pdf
).

Yet the Bush-ite Australian Federal, “Coalition” Government and Mainstream media have been commenting extensively and in very strong terms about this without actually knowing about the ACTUAL extent of NT aboriginal child abuse (for all we know it is far LESS than in Australia as a whole).The Government is simply INCORRECT in implying that it knows of the horrific extent of the NT child abuse problem when it does NOT actually know the NUMBERS - just as it was INCORRECT about children overboard (it won the 2001 election by falsely claiming that Muslim refugees had thrown their children into the sea); Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) (a falsehood used to “justify” the illegal, war criminal Australian invasion if Iraq); ignoring and denying Australian Wheat Board (AWB) bribes to Saddam Hussein; and denying huge civilian casualties in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan (post-invasion excess deaths now total over 3.4 million).

Thus there were actually NO children thrown overboard; there were NO WMDs; everybody knew of the need for Iraqi wheat sale bribes from the mid-1990s onwards (the $250 million in Australian bribes diverted from the UN Oil for Food Program are estimated to have killed up to 21,000 Iraqi infants); post-invasion excess deaths in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories total 1.0 million and 2.4 million, respectively, and post-invasion under-5 year old infant deaths total 0.5 million and 1.9 million, respectively (largely avoidable and due to war criminal Occupier mass child-abuse in gross violation of the Geneva Convention; see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/13099/26/ ).

The racism and neglect of the Conservative (Coalition) Australian Federal Government has created appalling Aboriginal living conditions. My recent book “Body Count, Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ; copies in major libraries around the world) estimates that the “annual death rate” (2003 figures) is 2.2% (for Aboriginal Australians) and 2.4% (for Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory) – as compared to 0.4% (what it should be for a comparable high birth rate society), 2.5% (for pre-drought sheep in paddocks of Australian sheep farms), 0.7% (for White Australians), 1.7% (non-Arab Africa), 2.6% (Occupied Iraq under-5 year old infants), 6.5% (Occupied Afghanistan under-5 year old infants) and 10% (Australian prisoners of war of the Japanese in World War 2).

This is happening in one of the richest countries of the world because of deliberate and sustained neglect – Australian Aboriginal health services are funded at about 50% of what they should be according to the Commonwealth Grants Commission (2001) report “Report on Indigenous funding” (quoted by a recent and very detailed report on Indigenous Australian Health by N. Thomson et al: “Overview of Indigenous Health, 2004”: http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/html/html_bulletin/
bull_44/reviews/thomson/reviews_thomson_1.htm
).

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates “total per capita medical expenditure at average exchange rate ($US)” (2004) as $14 (US-UK-Australia-Occupied Afghanistan) and $58 (US-UK-Australia-Occupied Iraq) versus $3,123 (Occupier Australia) (see: http://www.who.int/nha/country/Annex%202.pdf ). With an Indigenous population of about 0.5 million that is funded at roughly the national average (despite huge morbidity and remote location problems) the EXTRA funding required is about US$1.5 billion annually – as compared to the US$0.4 billion now offered, and this largely for Army and bureaucratic personnel and infrastructure.

Let us be clear about what this legislation does and how it grossly violates the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act, International ant-racism conventions and indeed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 (specifically Articles 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 17, 19, 22 and 30; see: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html ). Racist White Australia is proposing to grossly abuse the human rights of NT Aboriginals in a racially-specific way.

Thus: NT Aboriginals will be circumscribed about what they can read, see, drink, use, consume and purchase in ways that do NOT apply to White Australians; their welfare payments will be withheld by the Government; they will not be able to litigate to protect themselves – the Racial Discrimination Act is suspended in a racially-specific way; a Permit system, vital for keeping drug- and alcohol-pushers from remote Aboriginal communities will be abolished; NONE of the 97 recommendations of the expert NT Report will be addressed and indeed the key #1 Recommendation of URGENT ACTION WITH CONSULTATION is fundamentally violated; their Land (Sacred to Indigenous Australians) and their Communities will be seized and controlled for years by the Federal Government which currently presides over 9,000 avoidable Aboriginal deaths annually and which still refuses to say “sorry” for the past horrendous Aboriginal Genocide and Ethnocide. Indeed the Aboriginal Genocide continues – it took 90,000 lives in the last 11 years alone of rule of Australia by the Coalition Government.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission (see: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/about_
the_commission/legislation/index.html#rda
) the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 gives effect to Australia's obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Its major objectives are to (1) promote equality before the law for all persons, regardless of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin, and (2) make discrimination against people on the basis of their race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin unlawful.

Sanctions and Boycotts were applied successfully against the racist Apartheid régime in South Africa which had an “annual avoidable death rate” of 0.4% overall in 1993 as compared to 2.0% for Northern Territory Aborigines in Australia TODAY. The head of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) says that the Federal Government's legislation for intervention in Northern Territory Indigenous communities could face an international back-lash (see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/08/08/2000137.htm ).

The Nazis wiped my family from the face of Europe. I am married to a Black Australian. The Jewish Holocaust and the Aboriginal Genocide both instruct that there must be ZERO TOLERANCE FOR RACISM. The racist Bill has already passed the House of Representatives with bi-partisan support – only Senate approval is now needed but the Senate is overwhelmingly dominated by the 2 major parties that support the Bill (only the minority Greens and Democrats oppose the Bill). Australians have been given just a few days to present submissions to a One Day Senate Inquiry into the 500 page NT Intervention Bill and about 70 submissions have been made (for details - my submission is #35 – see: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/
legcon_ctte/nt_emergency/submissions/sublist.htm
). I and others have urged all Senators to vote against this Bill – a vote for this Bill is a vote against a non-racist Australia and the international reputation of this country.

The World should be watching. Tell everyone you know about the horrendous, continuing Aboriginal Genocide and the resurgent, bi-partisan-backed, politically correct racist (PC racist) New Racist White Australia.

Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003). He has just published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007).


Also see Gideon Polya, Racism in Australia La Trobe, “Bundoora Arabesque” & Aboriginal Ethnocide”, MWC News, 8 August 2007 (partly cached  by Google): http://sites.google.com/site/aboriginalgenocide/-bundoora-arabesque-la-trobe . .

For an image of the huge painting “Bundoora Arabesque” (1.3 x 2.9 metres) see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288353489/ .

Racism in Australia – La Trobe, “Bundoora Arabesque” & Aboriginal Ethnocide

Bundoora Arabesque” is a huge 4-seasons abstract expressionist painting that represents an ecumenical and amity-promoting fusion of Islamic, Renaissance Italian and contemporary styles overlaid with abstract expressionist figurative elements reminiscent of Jackson Pollock and of 20,000 year old cave paintings from Europe and Australia. “Bundoora” is my local area and means “the country that kangaroos like” in the Aboriginal language of this region.  Indeed I often see kangaroos in the early morning and evening in the local bushland (see if you can spot them as well as local bird life in this complex painting).

Bundoora is the Outer Melbourne suburb in which La Trobe University is located. La Trobe ranks about #10 among Australia’s 40 odd universities and some major scholars with international reputations have variously been associated with La Trobe. The university is named after 19th century Victorian governor Charles La Trobe, a traveler, mountaineer and author who is also notorious for setting up the Victorian Native Police who were involved in the Aboriginal Genocide in South East Australia. This ambiguity is reflected in a life-size upside-down statue of La Trobe at La Trobe University in which the head is on the ground and the plinthe in the air.

My “Bundoora Arabesque” painting was inspired by the beautiful local area through which I walked frequently some months ago when I was delivering a big theory and practical course to second year science students at La Trobe University. The painting has a quite unintended ”Aboriginal” feel to it in striking support of Australian feminist guru Germaine Greer’s idea that European Australians have become unwittingly imbued with love of land that is so intrinsic to Indigenous (Aboriginal ) Australian culture.

Unfortunately completion of this huge (1.3 x 2.9 metre) painting has coincided with the appalling MILITARY invasion of Aboriginal communities in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) by the extreme right-wing, Bush-ite Australian Federal Government.  The “excuse” was an expert NT Report “Little Children are Sacred” that detailed huge problems of alcohol, violence and poverty in NT Aboriginal communities. However the media and right-wing politicians have run with the revelations of appalling NT Aboriginal child sexual abuse that provided the climate for the Federal Government “invasion” of isolated NT aboriginal communities using soldiers in camouflage dress.

This has now culminated in passage of a 500-page Bill (with cowardly Labor Opposition support) that allows for racially-specific expropriation of NT Aboriginal land; race-based constraints on what Aborigines can read, see, drink, consume and purchase; and race-based withholding of NT Aboriginal social welfare payments.

This Bill involves breaching the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act 1975 that (among other things) stopped Federal violation of Aboriginal Australians who had suffered 2 centuries of what genocide experts call the Aboriginal Genocide. The Indigenous population dropped from about 1 million to 0.1 million in the first century of European colonization; the 20th century saw the forcible removal of 0.1 million Aboriginal children from their mothers; and indeed Aborigines were only finally “counted” as Australians after a Referendum in 1967. Their long struggle to regain Land Rights has been compounded by conservative opposition and horrendous living conditions in one of the richest countries in the world.

According to the Australian Human Rights, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975  gives effect to Australia's obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Its major objectives are to (1) promote equality before the law for all persons, regardless of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin, and (2) make discrimination against people on the basis of their race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin unlawful.

The obscenely-rushed racist legislation prompted an Editorial  in the liberal conservative Melbourne newspaper The Age entitled” “Legislate in haste, PM, and you may repent in leisure” (Wednesday 8th August, 2007; links to the Age.)

This editorial goes on to observe that the Opposition only had 24 hours to peruse the 500-page Bill; that the Federal Government will be seizing control of 73 NT Aboriginal communities; the Bill fails to adopt any of the 97 recommendations of the NT Report “Little Children are Sacred” which provided the ostensible excuse for the Federal Government action; and that cost will be A$587 million for the first year of operation.

The militant, extremist, extreme right wing, Federal Australian Government already weeks ago sent soldiers in battle dress camouflage into NT Aboriginal communities. Now with cowardly and unprincipled Opposition support it has brought in profoundly dangerous and offensive racially-discriminatory legislation that grossly violates Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act 1975  that gave effect to Australia's obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and which formally ended 2 centuries of race-based discrimination underlying the Aboriginal Genocide.

This is happening in one of the richest countries of the world because of deliberate and sustained neglect – Australian Aboriginal health services are funded at about 50% of what they should be according to the Commonwealth Grants Commission (2001) report “Report on Indigenous funding” (quoted by a recent and very detailed report on Indigenous Australian Health by N. Thomson et al: “Overview of Indigenous Health, 2004”).

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates  “total per capita medical expenditure at average exchange rate ($US)” (2004) as $14 (US-UK-Australia-Occupied Afghanistan), $58 (US-UK-Australia-Occupied Iraq) versus $3,123 (Occupier Australia)

With an Indigenous population of about 0.5 million that is funded at roughly the national average (despite huge morbidity and remote location problems) the extra funding required is about US$1.5 billion annually – as compared to the US$0.4 billion now offered, and this largely for Army and bureaucratic personnel and infrastructure…


 

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