Round 10 – Sir Doug Nicholls Round: Concerns for our First Nations People

Sir Douglas Nicholls Round       AFL


It’s the fifteenth anniversary of the Long Walk, Dreamtime Game MCG between Richmond and Essendon and I still have great misgivings about our First Nations people and their future wellbeing.


Unfortunately I’m convinced that a sizeable minority of Australian are racist.


I wonder how many people have made the effort to read the Uluru Statement which asks for reconciliation and understanding of all Australians.


I wonder how many people have heard of or read Bruce Pascoe’s book Dark Emu. It talks of an Aboriginal society that lived in permanent houses in villages, grew crops and fished rivers with complicated fish traps as seen by early white settlers and “explorers”.


I grieve for Adam Goodes and the despicable booing over a number of seasons, supported by a section of the media, that sent him into early retirement.


So have we moved forward to understand and celebrate a culture that lived in harmony on this great island continent for over 65,000 years.


I fear not.


Rod Oaten




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  1. Prescient Rod. It’s as if you made the observation and the world rallied in the following 24 hours!

    It is National Reconciliation Week. Have you seen the SMH front cover this morning? And the injection of energy into the discussion.

    Add to that the forthcoming release of the Adam Goodes doco (forthcoming) and the discussion which will be generated.

    All this on top of the Indigenous Round in the AFL.

    As you observe, and have observed consistently over the years (with heartfelt promotion), this is THE issue of the moment. It must be given prominence and priority in my view.


  2. E Regnans recently posted the Uluru Statement in full – in Part 3 of his family trip story.

    Read it at

  3. I am with you, Rod. So much work to be done.

    Very much looking forward to the new Adam Goodes doco.

  4. A lot of talk recently about the death of R J Hawke. However i’ve not noticed any reference to his contribution to the Barunga Statement in 1988 when he said there’d be a treaty by 1990.

    This became the springboard for the great Yothu Yindu track :

    But promises can disappear,

    Just like writings in the sand.


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