Years ago, my father's spirit joined his ancestors in soaring over the land like a proud eagle, snaking its way down sacred waterways, like the great rainbow serpent. His laughter can now be heard, proud and strong, with the rest of his people for the past 65,000 years.
Then, in a land far away from us, you decided by hook or by crook, that you needed to send people here. People that you say had to be punished for trying to scratch out a living in this harsh world. A world you yourself created.
This happened in the year 1788, but to us the date would forever be called the Time of Great Tribulation, with the loss of our freedom, the loss of our land, the loss of our way of life, the loss of many diverse cultures. It was also the year our numbers were halved, and halved again from health issues that you gave to us.
This was followed by more bondage, more rapes and more oppression. And still, all the while my people were being rounded up and taken prisoners, you then told us where we had to live, our children were taken from us, and we could no longer sing our songs in our own language.
Then finally we were told not to dance, but we did so in secret. You changed our looks so much - our skin became fair, our hair had streaks of yellow or red, and we had eyes of blue and hazel. Our blood carries in it the blood of Irish and Scottish convicts, proud men and women. And also noble English blood from men fought in wars that we did not start.
But you did not count on the feeling of being Aboriginal coming from deep within, protruding out of the heart and mouth. Now those long ago chains you placed on us, through us and around us, are fading and there is nothing you can do about it, as you cannot force us to listen. This is where all you can do is try to make amends for all your wrong doings by taking my hand and walking with me to the place where we both can say yes, I vote yes, you vote yes, he votes yes, she votes yes, EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE VOTES YES!