Acknowledging Country- a bit

Watch the poem (1 minute)

From the book…

If you’re a Second Australian, I invite you to join me in wrestling with what it means to say we “acknowledge Country” The text is modified from the video, especially the end.

I acknowledge, or maybe concede
That we stand
On Aboriginal land
Never ceded

Which is why I gave my house back…

Well, no, I didn’t go as far as that!

I mean “Aboriginal land” in a “spiritual sense”
Not one that has any tangible application
For the property I own in this our nation

Like the way I say
“How’s it going mate?”
But don’t wait for a reply-
Why would I?
No one takes that literally.

I mean I’m not glad if you’re sad
But if you go on about it, you’ll make me feel bad
And then I’ll probably get mad,
Somewhere behind the smile.
And next time I see you, I’ll run a mile.

I mean, I’ve acknowledged that you seem blue
So just shut up about it, why don’t you?
It works for mates
And our nation too.

I mean sure,
When I acknowledged that my rent was due
I paid it
But when I acknowledge this is Aboriginal land…

Do I really just mean,
“Hey Uncle, come and welcome us willya?
But make it quick,
We don’t have time for you to spill ya
Guts and spin your yarns

We’ll give you two minutes
And two hundred bucks
Keep it light,
We already know it sucks.”

Well, no,
I don’t always think we do.
I’ve heard some shocking acknowledgments in my time
But some great ones too
In word, but also
In deeds big and small
There’s a long way to get “there”
But let’s not give in to cynicism and despair

If you’re a second Australian like me
And want move forward less cynically
Pay the Rent in a way that makes sense to you
Then join the call for Voice, Treaty, Truth!


If you are looking for ways to make direct restitution for benefitting from a couple of centuries of invasion and colonisation, your local Land Council will probably gladly collect it for you, or you could check out…

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