Colonial trauma exaggeration leads to victims: indigenous scholars


Indigenous scholars warn of the impact of overemphasizing the “expected trauma” of colonization in addressing Aboriginal issues at school and promote the “victim mentality” of indigenous students. Stated.

The comment was made about a week before the Victoria State Government implemented a new school program that required a state-wide educational environment to recognize indigenous cultures and adopt measures to “eliminate racism.” I will.

Beginning on July 1, this standard applies to all public and private schools, including schools without indigenous students.

“Australia’s colonial history has caused significant trauma and wounds that individuals, families and communities still feel today.” guidance Said.

“But the Aboriginal community has a long history of resilience and growth in the face of adversity and trauma. Schools need to respect the deep resilience of the Aboriginal community in Victoria.”

However, Anthony Dillon, a researcher at the Institute of Positive Psychology and Education at the Catholic University of Australia, argued that the statement was “significant.”

“Some Aboriginal people may have been traumatized at the time of colonization, but suggest that the trauma that Aboriginal people may be experiencing is the result of events at the time of colonization. Is a pretty stretch today, “he told Epoch.

Dillon said that if the program “focuses on the trauma that is supposed to be caused by colonization,” it could “promote the spirit of victims among students with Aboriginal ancestry.” rice field.

“Are there any lessons about Aboriginal students who provide forgiveness to the’former invaders’? Can many Aboriginal people tell their students that they have escaped the possible trauma today? “

Negative approach can cause casualties

In response to the government’s proposal to foster a “culturally safe environment in which Aboriginal youth are respected and respected,” indigenous scholars said, “Do they feel respected and safe now? I asked.

“Does such an initiative encourage children of Aboriginal ancestry to accept all ancestors, or just one of them?”

Indigenous leader Warren Mundin told The Epoch Times that Australia’s achievements should be celebrated more, rather than focusing on “always negative things.” He argued that such a negative approach would cause divisions among students.

“My concern is that this victim spirit is born among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and on the other side you feel this guilty because they are all negative. We don’t want that, “he said.

“We don’t want people to feel guilty without being victims. We want people to be strong and stoic and to move forward and build this country together. . “

Under the guidance, the school will have 15 throughout the year, including Stolen Generations Anniversary (February 13th), Gap Closing Day (March 18th), Sorry Day (May 26th), Reconciliation Week, etc. You need to be aware of the major indigenous events of. (May 27th-June 3rd).

All Victorian educational settings display ornaments and signs to recognize Aboriginal heritage, talk “with respect and confidence” about Aboriginal culture, and hold events with national approval as a permanent agenda. , It is recommended to use this “as an opportunity to pause and reflect”. .. “

Staff are also trained to create a “culturally inclusive learning environment,” but Aboriginal history and culture are considered essential to staff professional learning and student curriculum planning. increase.

Benefits of “minimal” program

Dillon suggested that some activities may “instill a little pride” in indigenous children.

“Apart from that, any benefit is minimal,” he added.

Victoria’s Prime Minister Dan Andrew stood by the school program on Tuesday, claiming that “it’s about making everyone feel equal.”

“I think it might be the whole school and I don’t think it’s anything wrong,” he said. Herald Sun.

“That’s all it takes to reconcile. You can’t reconcile unless you’re ready to admit the pretty terrible things that happened in the past.”

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based reporter. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected].