STEVE GUMERUNGI HODDER: This song I wrote about was one of the first rhymes that I did. I actually wrote it as a poem because I'd read about Australian history and black fellas and white fellas and the fights that we had in...you know, like 1800s, when were still pretty much just tribal fellas, mostly. And it made me angry too some of the stuff...even when we did start to work for whitefellas, we got treated like slaves. And people...you know, they forget about that sort of stuff too. So I was writing this poem about what it was like to imagine being one of them stockman and ringers and getting only paid flour and sugar and tea.and
STEVE GUMERUNGI HODDER: Right. Hit it. # You may not have heard this story before # See, it ain't a part of common Aussie folk law # Us Indigenous people # We were used to slave labour # And you wonder why there's so much antisocial behaviour # They that we're messed in the head, we're nothing but slack # Will let me take you back # To when the backbone of Australia's cattle industry was black. #That's news to me.
I know there was a problem with payments being held back and the money being misappropriated and I am not talking about that, but I am talking about the bullshit notion that aboriginal stockmen were slaves. Some may have been badly treated, but there are people who will treat employees badly even now, it does happen on properties and to stockmen black or white.
Aboriginal stockmen were clothed, fed and sheltered by the graziers who they worked for. Mostly their extended families were looked after by their employers.
I feel that successes achieved with this project may be negated by the promotion of the victim mentality and a "them and us" attitude.
And Rebecca Wolmby deserves a medal chasing the children to school. (See the video for a better idea of this story.)
Read the transcript here and see the video here.