Were they that bad? #3 – Flora and Fauna Act

It seems almost unfair to include this post in the collection, because the ABC has begrudgingly (very begrudgingly) done my work for me. Mind you, up until just recently, even official government websites were touting it as gospel.

Fact check: Were Indigenous Australians classified under a flora and fauna act until the 1967 referendum?

SPOILER ALERT: They weren’t!

If Linda Burney and Jackie Huggins (see below) can remember when ‘they were counted among the nation’s wildlife’ (being a completely debunked contemporary recollection), it doesn’t bode well for the potential veracity of stories passed verbally through the generations.

Dreamtime indeed.

If the incredible momentum this urban myth has gathered, is any indication of the damage a fallacy can wreak, inter-generational stories should be treated with extreme caution and examined in minute detail.

When I was fauna: citizen’s rallying call

Making us look great in world news:

This one’s current, government and paid for by you! Clearly can’t be bothered to fix it.


Given the Covid response, this one about human rights is one of my favourites. I particularly like the inset picture of the Nazi soldier:

24 thoughts on “Were they that bad? #3 – Flora and Fauna Act”

  1. Myths are hard to shake, which is why nothing should be off limits when presenting the facts.

    Thanks, Mater; another great piece.

    (Bearing in mind that ABC article is only four years old, would the ABC, or any other msm, today, take a look at that claim, I sincerely doubt it? See the barrage of guff being flogged today by the ABC (and others) to get the referendum over the line.)


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  2. The “not counted at census” myth comes about because, although the aboriginal population was “guessed” (due to practical issues about counting people in very remote locations at the time), the states had to pay a tax to the Commonwealth to get the Commonwealth established. This tax was based on their population, so not reporting the aboriginal count was essentially a tax dodge for the states, although it’s described in more grandiose terms and with some (beneficial) outcome intended for aboriginal population than that in the research.

    Fancy that, not only more mythology but a time when states transferred money to the Commonwealth: defies belief in these times!


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  3. LINDA BURNEY remembers her childhood well – those days when she was counted among the nation’s wildlife.

    “This is not ancient history,” says the state’s first Aboriginal minister. “I was a child. It still staggers me that for the first 10 years of my life, I existed under the Flora and Fauna Act of NSW.

    I rang Linda Burney’s office to formally protest that claim – whoever answered the phone could barely speak English, and when I rang my local member, they said they didn’t want to give Linda Burney ” a chance to play the race card.”


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  4. Off topic, at a detour; I once was routinely exposed to life in “communities” as a function of my employment. I was an surveyor and frequently stayed in these communities while I worked a project. I didn’t do social work or anything, but I lived amongst it as it were for months at a time.

    I read this article the other day at Spiked online

    https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/07/17/grooming-gangs-the-making-of-a-national-scandal/

    The only difference between the UK and Australia is that the perpetrators and victims are from the same identify group. We ignore it for the same reason.

    For all the hollow bleating about how Australia treats aboriginals, “this” is the actual stain on our collective souls: the actual outcome of the racism of identity politics.


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  5. You might want to follow this link through for some SBS research about not being counted on census, not allowed to vote and the actual purpose of the 1967 census versus the mythology spouted today.

    More posts are pending. We are only at #3.


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  6. it doesn’t bode well for the potential veracity of stories passed verbally through the generations.

    “Stories my Nanna told me..”


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  7. More posts are pending. We are only at #3.

    There’s someone over on Bolt’s blog repeating the tired old bullshit about how Aborigines didn’t have the vote and weren’t citizens until 1967 —the best rebuttal was on Kev Gillett’s blog a few years ago.


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  8. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:
    July 18, 2022 at 9:02 am
    it doesn’t bode well for the potential veracity of stories passed verbally through the generations.
    “Stories my Nanna told me..”

    The oral tradition is a blessing for the narrative. If it doesn’t suit the argument today you just alter it and there is no evidentiary pathway to prove the falsehood. “Sacred Sites” appearing out of nowhere for mischievous purposes is a real world example of the utility of this tradition. I often wondered if this is why LWNJ’s try so hard to keep aboriginals at arms length from education.


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  9. If Linda Burney and Jackie Huggins (see below) can remember when ‘they were counted among the nation’s wildlife’ (being a completely debunked contemporary recollection), it doesn’t bode well for the potential veracity of stories passed verbally through the generations.

    Dreamtime indeed.

    This.

    Another excellent post Mater.


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  10. I have always thought the very title ‘Flora and Fauna Act’ ridiculous enough to ring alarm bells.

    What did this act supposedly do? Formalise the distinction between animals, plants, and rocks?

    What about ‘Prime Numbers Act’.

    Or the ‘Where are My Car Keys Act’, which contains a schedule of places to look, such as behind the cushions on the sofa.


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  11. Did you know? Aboriginal people can go and live anywhere in Straya. You can’t. You can’t go onto Aboriginal land with a permit. Big mob penalties apply. Politicians and bureaucrats have been implementing the recommendations of the Abbarigines for decades and while the post-nominals might look good on paper, those with them are as far-removed from the reality of traditional existence as it’s possible to be and in the vast majority of cases, as poorly read as it’s possible to be. And like many a university-qualified acadumbic, “it’s my idea so it must be brilliant and the only reason it fails is because we haven’t done enough of it” reigns supreme.
    If you’re just visiting rather than living in remote areas it’s very easy to be suckered into believing the narrative. The local language is often unintelligible and the natural assumption is it’s a mix of old and new – pidgin. It actually isn’t, it’s just a variation of English as much as any other unintelligible dialect. Traditional languages haven’t been spoken in decades and there are no words for anything in modern life in traditional languages.
    Any organisation with “Aboriginal” in the title is just a bureaucracy, it has no actual output. I came to believe they were created to simply employ people, work being better than idleness. In reality few decisions are made without significant Western input into the decision-making and functional processes and recommendations are based on entirely unachievable or wishful thinking notions.
    Our forebears got it and put in many a protective measure which have suddenly become historically racist. The powers that be, having benefitted enormously from these protective measures, benefit further from never having their failed recommendations taken to task, they are just funded further for more of the same.
    While the theme of your excellent piece is the lie about F&F and my rant isn’t, the parallel is the whole thing is a lie from the worshipping of traditional life to the fractional ancestry conferring special knowledge. Shamefully, public servants go along with the lies because it’s easier to than not.


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  12. HTsays:
    July 18, 2022 at 7:59 am

    From the SBS article at HT’s link:

    Even when the Chifley Government passed an Act in 1949 that anyone eligible to vote in state elections could now vote federally, many Aboriginal people still believed they could not.

    Finally, in 1962, legislation extended the vote in federal elections to all Aboriginal people of voting age, but, even then, it remained voluntary and not well known.

    Say it! Say his name! “Sir Robert Menzies”.


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  13. Even when the Chifley Government passed an Act in 1949

    The Chifley Governemnt also extended the right to vote to Aboriginal ex – serviceman in 1949.


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  14. From HT’s link:

    But the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium head says the list of misunderstandings about the years leading up to it needs one addition.

    Long before Aboriginal people were accepted as a real part of Australia, he says — be it 1967 or whenever — many made a very real, often ignored contribution on the battlefield.

    “I think it’s really important that people understand how men and women enlisted in the armed forces to fight for Australia, even in the Boer War, all the way through to the situation, you know, prior to the ’67 referendum, where some people kind of had to deny their Aboriginality to ensure they could be enlisted.”

    I’ve already shown in a previous post that this contention is complete shit.

    https://newcatallaxy.blog/2022/07/09/maters-musing-50-naidoc-lies-ive-had-enough/


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  15. Long before Aboriginal people were accepted as a real part of Australia…

    Now that aboriginal people are “accepted as a real part of Australia,” who do so many want to be regarded as members of separate nations?

    Wasn’t advancing beyond treating people differently according to “race” part of the goal?

    The fundamental unit of Australian identity is citizenship, not ethnicity. The introduction of an ethnic test to obtain benefits and a status not available to other citizens undermines our democracy.


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  16. The fundamental unit of Australian identity is citizenship, not ethnicity. The introduction of an ethnic test to obtain benefits and a status not available to other citizens undermines our democracy.

    Indeed.
    Racism to combat racism.
    You know it makes sense.

    It’s why they’ve changed from using the word ‘equality’ to now using ‘equity’. It seems insignificant, but it’s not.


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  17. “It’s why they’ve changed from using the word ‘equality’ to now using ‘equity’.”

    Equality is simple, logical, laudable and makes no discrimination except for ability, aptitude and conscientiousness. It should be acceptable to all and encouraged at every opportunity.

    Equity is insidious, immoral and divisive, making discrimination based on immutable characteristics, rather than individual merit. It should be unacceptable to any and derided and avoided at every opportunity.

    Yet we see the reverse – equity is now the aim, apparently.
    So I identify as a gay, left-handed, midget, albino eskimo. Work out the “intersectionality” on that, morons.


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  18. Respect, Mater.

    I, too, am sick of the lies. Historical records with the facts are conveniently ignored in favour of the “narrative”. That narrative has more changes than Liberace in recital.

    The consequence of the failure to teach history in school and the removal of history departments in universities all over the country.

    Keep up the good work.


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  19. Living in the land where “Sacred Site” clearances are needed before you can do anything, it is a constant source of wonder to me how the oral histories have skipped multi generations of “Traditional owners”. The young people know of sacred sites and stories that the old people didn’t know about, and always coincidentally, where you wanted to do something on the land you had bought and paid for, and they use the taxes you pay to create the story.


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