I introduce myself in the attached ABC letter. I am writing to beg you on behalf of many of my people to do something to stop the distribution of Young Dark Emu to infant and primary schools please. If you do not have persuasion over literary awards and the publication of education books, I would be grateful if you could refer this correspondence to relevant Commonwealth and/or State Ministers please.
Jacinta Price and I request a meeting with you in the first week of parliament.I am forwarding the ABC letter, addressed to the Chairwoman, Ita Buttrose and Managing Director, David Anderson concerning Bruce Pascoe and the continuing support the ABC gives not only to Pascoe's unsubstantiated claim to Aboriginal ancestry but also the offensive distortion of the facts. My people are particularly offended by the fact Young Dark Emu (the children's version based on Dark Emu), is being distributed to primary and infant school children and it does not end there. The ABC corporation continues to promote Pascoe, his books and his false ancestry claims. I have written to Minister Dutton requesting the matter be investigated by the AFP and it has been referred. I have also suggested Australia needs to do something to stop false Aboriginal ancestry claims. This certainly impacts upon the education budget and portfolio in the form of scholarships. After all, it is the 21st century and DNA tests exist. I have called for a conference between elders, traditional owners and other experts to decide on the most sensible way forward and noted Canada, the USA and other countries require identity proof. False identity claims are harming my people on the ground who continually complain to me about the amount of people making claims. Unfortunately privileged Australians are too far removed from the devastation false claims cause on the ground. Now Aboriginal and non Aboriginal children are being taught to dishonour our proud hunter and gatherer heritage and there will be consequences for Aboriginal children who are already at risk.
As you will determine from reading the ABC letter, Pascoe claims Aboriginal people were not hunter and gatherers and offers no supporting evidence. Pascoe has distorted historical explorer quotes which has offended eminent Professor Geoffrey Blainey, other scholars and writers who have written books and articles about the distortions.
It is profoundly offensive to Aboriginal people to witness our proud hunter gatherer heritage being distorted. If you are one of the many federal politicians who supports Bruce Pascoe and believes Aboriginal people sustained agricultural settlements when the British arrived, I invite you to read the ABC letter and reconsider. As has been questioned in the letter: What native indigenous animal species could be harnessed to help us plough the land, move heavy building materials needed for housing, yards, silos and wells, as Pascoe claims were part of Aboriginal settlements when the British arrived. What animals could facilitate the transportation needed when settling in one place? No cultural evidence exists in our sacred creation stories, dances, songs and ancient ceremonies. Anthropologists and archaeologists have found no physical, spiritual or cultural evidence. Most importantly: What is wrong with hunter gatherers?
Why has Pascoe been permitted to promote his theories for so long? Why is the government turning a blind eye to Aboriginal identity fraud? Why is the Pascoe children's book version being distributed to young and vulnerable children and why is Pascoe and his books being promoted by the ABC?My people are proud of the fact we lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years. There was no need for houses, we drank from pristine waterways and we roamed this ancient, sacred land in an orderly manner which has been documented in our art, our body paintings, our songs, our language and in our ancient ceremonies.
I would appreciate you taking action to support Aboriginal people and look forward to discussing it with you.
Thank you for your reply (attached).
Would you kindly explain the reason the Minister for Education is not responsible for books (Aboriginal or non Aboriginal) being distributed to Australian pre schools and primary schools? Does the Minister for Education take no responsibility for the content of the books Australian school children study? Surely it is discriminatory to separate books on Australian settler history from books about Aboriginal culture and history. A complaint about content misrepresentations (supported by eminent Professor Geoffrey Blainey and other upset historians and academics) surely should be examined by the education minister. I find this response offensive. I am an Aboriginal woman who is concerned about the lack of historical/cultural factual accuracy being taught in Australian schools.
What happens when books misrepresenting non Aboriginal Australian settler history are distributed to Australian school children and you receive a complaint? Which minister would you refer it to? Who is responsible for examining complaints about content being taught in Australian schools? I am confused because this is not solely a matter concerning Aboriginal people. It is a matter concerning all Australian school students.
I reiterate, why does educational content concerning all Australian children about Aboriginal culture and history, not come under the jurisdiction of the Minister for Education? This occurs to me as suspicious and discriminative. The Australian education system is for all Australian children. My complaint concerns books being distributed to all Australian children, not exclusively to Aboriginal children! This is not good enough.
Kindly explain the differential please?
Education - Ministerial Correspondence <firstname.lastname@example.org> Tue, 28 Jan. 2020 at 12:16
Dear Ms Josephine Cashman
Thank you for your email of 20 December 2019 to the Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education.
The issues you have raised fall under the portfolio responsibilities of the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP.
Accordingly, your email has been referred to National Indigenous Australians Agency for consideration.
Parliamentary and Governance
Australian Government Department of Education