Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


Susan Shore
ANTaR, Victoria

The Ballad of Terra Nullius

Dear Co-ord. Committee; This is a literary work, not paper or workshop proposal...a poem, in 14 stanzas. Its themes-Colonisation, displacement and genocide, refugees and boat people, make it very relevant for the Conference. (I was concerned that there be a Treaty workshop during the conference; Peter Lewis is much more qualified and experienced than I, and his proposal has been accepted. So I'm free to think about and propose this instead. It would take less than four minutes to read; might it be suitable for the Conference dinner programme? It combines lyricism, satire, and some rather incorrect political comment, and influences as diverse as Augustan satirical verse and Australian bush ballads. I presented an earlier draft to Joy Murphy on International Women's Day (Sherryl Garbutt's IWD Dinner). I wrote it for an amazing and inspiring group of Indigenous women, dedicating it to 'a group of women who lead the nation'... Joy loved it. A couple of educated white women to whom I read it loved its lyrical moments, but were rather shocked by some confronting truths in unsanitised
language... 'it wasn't really like that, was it?' Lillian Holt might just
love it. Might it be too strong a meat to serve at the Dinner? There may be a better spot for will know! (It would be sad for it not to get a berth because it's not suitable to occupy a half-hour or hour timeslot). If I can't work out how to attach it to this presentation form, I'll send it by separate e-mail.

Susan Shore is an educator, welfare worker, writer and psychologist, who has taught in the TAFE and secondary school sectors, and worked with the Italian, Greek and Turkish communities. She is presently the co-ordinator for the Jaga Jaga Branch of ANTAR Vic (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) and is a member of Reconciliation Australia.

Presentation Type
To be presented at Conference Dinner


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001