Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Friday, 5 March 2010

White and Black in Australia

Before this sold-out lecture, all I knew of Germaine Greer was that she was a feminist, famous principally for writing The Female Eunuch, and to my generation, for walking out of the Celebrity Big Brother house after five days.

The talk, as the title suggests, was not about feminism; it was about Australia. Specifically, it was about indigenous Aboriginal Australians and intervention from the Australian Government who wish to assimilate the Aborigines into Australia’s predominantly white society.

I’ll be honest – beforehand I knew next to nothing about Aboriginal Australians. I certainly didn’t know that they were an oppressed people, defiantly living in hardship in spite of Government funding which they see as charity, and so refuse to take as it would compromise their pride.

One important point that I took from Germaine’s lecture was that, despite the blatant prejudice towards Aboriginal culture, many things people consider typically Australian, such as boomerangs, are taken from Aboriginal culture to give Australia an identity that stands out from other Commonwealth countries.

The lecture was given in a clear, lucid style, holding the interest of the audience by being both sympathetic and amusing. Germaine was very engaging, and I look forward to discovering more of her ideas in my new copy of The Female Eunuch.

Alexa Lewis

Picture source: Wikimedia Commons

1 comment:

  1. If you're interested in how the Abo's problems started, find a book called 'English Passengers' by Matthew Kneale, there's a lot of fairly shocking truth in an oddly funny tale.