Flat White

NAIDOC Woke

5 July 2021

2:13 PM

5 July 2021

2:13 PM

It’s NAIDOC Week.

Aboriginal elites, corporate virtue-signallers and politicians, cheered on by the media but especially the ABC and SBS, will celebrate Aboriginal Australia. Federal and state public servants who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander will be taking NAIDOC paid leave so they can take part, or just have a day off. Nice work if you can get it, especially as public service employers usually turn blind eyes and give their Aboriginal employees the whole week paid if go walkabout 

How’s this for virtue signalling? Australia Post is proving its wokeness by using NAIDOC Week to launch parcel labelling with Aboriginal place names accompanying with – or even substituting – for official town and city names.  

‘For every town, for every place in this country, we have an original name, and it’s important to use them’ says Rachel McPhail, who has been an advocate for this ‘innovation’. Although, as far as is known, there are no prior Aboriginal cities and towns to rename, and no written history to prove otherwise. 

McPhail sees progress. The rest of us see corporate tokenism and yet another reason for parcels to go astray. 


While the elite parties, on the ground in remote communities, and in our cities and towns, ordinary Aboriginal Australians have nothing to celebrate this week.  They will continue to battle with ill-health, lower life expectancy, family violence, unemployment and general disadvantage. To the extent they are still exposed to racism, it’s largely because activists with agendas stir up hatred and division in their name. 

I went to Aboriginal communities in my time advising a federal health minister. My personal experience wasn’t deep, but seeing for myself Third World communities in a First World country was sobering.  No-one who has seen such conditions for themselves wants to ignore them. 

As Aboriginal ‘leaders’ celebrate themselves and blame whitefellas for everything while pushing their pet causes – constitutional recognition, Waitangi-style treaties and an indigenous voice to parliament – the people they claim to represent continue to have little power and little say in their own affairs. And that suits those ‘leaders’ fine. 

But no constitutional recognition will fix that, and successive governments have tried for decades to do something, yet still have failed. 

There’s no easy fix, and blame games and more billions in conscience money won’t do it. 

Sadly, for every realistic Aboriginal leader like Jacinta Price or Noel Pearson, there’s a battalion of Lidia Thorpes cynically playing the victim card and pointing the bone at their fellow Australians when they should be pointing that bone at themselves. 

NAIDOC week evolved from an Aboriginal Day of Mourning many decades ago, lamenting the coming of the white man. But perhaps it now should be for mourning opportunities squandered and goodwill lost for their people by so many self-entitled Aboriginal activists and leaders. 

Terry Barnes edits our daily newsletter, the Morning Double Shot. You can sign up for your Morning Double Shot of news and comment here.

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