Cultural Cleansing And Assimilation

737 Words 3 Pages
Although the term is highly contested in contemporary discourses, ‘terra nullius’ was historically used to defend the justice of colonisation in Australia for the benefit of the European expansion (Fitzmaurice, 2007). It allowed settlers to claim territorial jurisdiction and was ultimately responsible for the dispossession of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living on the land now known as Australia (Prokhovnik, 2015). The political ideology during federation revolved around British patriotism, therefore terra nullius bestowed the settlers with the constructed theory of domination and superiority that often accompanies racism, and casts them as the superior race to the detriment of the Indigenous peoples, who were facing cultural cleansing and assimilation (Prokhovnik, 2015; …show more content…
Therefore, the act of making a more unified country does not depend on the Indigenous population; it is independent of their decision and out of their hands. In an interview on the subject, Patrick Dobson insisted that the Aboriginal people should at least be given the option to consider if they wish to be recognised at all (ABC news, 2015). Before they do so however, it would be important to determine what a constitutional recognition would actually mean for the Indigenous people, and what changes are likely to come from it (Leroy-Dyer, 2014). Leroy-Dyer suggests that “recognition must be accompanied by sovereignty, land rights and a treaty”, and therefore, that any change should be for the benefit of the Indigenous peoples (2014, p. 10). Such restorative justice starts with the admission of misconduct and develops into a strategy for equity for all the parties involved, resulting in a positive transformative change which reflects a new shared value ideal, such as the proposed constitutional amendment for instance (Wenzel, Okimoto, Feather, & Platow,

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