1998 David Drew-Smythe

Music courtesy of Guy Brown

The distant vision of a Northern Dreaming, grandly scheming, as heroes of their time, they came, they saw, they came again and stayed. They stayed to claim your earth, your skies, your fire, your moons, your meadows and your mountains. They sent their outcasts, their offcuts and their dispossessed to tame your country and claim your souls. They stole your desert flowers; they burnt your bridges; they broke your mould. They mocked your elders in their wisdom and gave back nothing save disease, death and a new found dispossession.

In ownership they took your sacred places, scorned your faces, marked and measured out your bleached bones in the sand then stripped your trees, your grasses and your lands to make a little England. They sought to make you like themselves; changed your ways, turned your wine to water and your water into woe. They stole and forced your sons and daughters to make their world your own.

Now the children of the children of the children of the child, who grew up believing in the wisdom of the time, look back in sorrow, acknowledging, seeing, now, how you bled and still bleed by all the damage done in the name of mono-culture, colony and creed. There is a need to reconcile two worlds conjoined, two histories collided, two cultures clashed which stand divided. There is greed to be atoned for; there are guilts to expiate. There can be no victors while victims stand and wait for an apology that comes too late.

I, for one, am sorry and speak for many more. I regret misguided policies; misjudgments here and past; the injustices of a certain justice; the uncertainties of law. Deeds, like water that's once spilled, will not be undone but water down the mountain, with time passing, makes a river run. Give me your hand in partnership; I give you mine. Teach me your Dreaming; I have a Dreaming too. Let us look to the future. We have a journey to make, we two.