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
love it. Might it be too strong a meat to serve at the Dinner?
There may be a better spot for it...you 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
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.
To be presented at Conference Dinner