Australia’s Silenced History

A poem by Nola Gregory, WA

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Australia’s silenced history
Two hundred years of shame
Lock it away in a dark place
And never speak of it again

In the past is where it stays
Out of sight, out of mind
Let’s never talk about it
It’s best for all Aussie kind

It’s like an unstoppable river
Winding its way down the track
Stand up and look forward
Don’t you ever dare look back

Let history remain right there
Exactly where it should be
And you stand there in ignorance
Blind and not wanting to see

These very words they haunt us
It’s definitely not what we need
We just want you to acknowledge it
The past and shameful deeds

Don’t tell us to forget it
That’s something we cannot do
It’s there within our spirit
And we want you to know the truth

Australia’s dark and cloudy past
Was built with hate and fear
How could you stick a flag in dirt?
And then claim no one was here

For sixty thousand years we roamed
The Country of our birth
Then along you came with guns in hand
And killed our hope and worth

Trying to heal two hundred years
Is not an easy feat?
It requires some dedication
And a history we cannot repeat

A Country with a stain on its soul
Needs to clean the slate
Admit that these atrocities happened
“Come on Australia” it’s not too late

So open up the books of time
And teach our children well
That these things really happened
It was a living breathing hell

A shame we all must now accept
And together build a life
Stand up for the Australian Dream
In unity and with Aussie Pride

Nola gives insight into why she wrote this poem:

"This poem was written just recently [in November 2016] by me and is a response to the very powerful and thought provoking video going around of Stan Grant talking about racism and the Great Australian Dream.

"This is about our nation not forgetting that Australia has a dark past that needs to be dealt with and acknowledged so that we can all live as one in this great country of Australia, the country of my Ancestors who fought to be recognised in their own land.

"This is not about making people feel guilty, it’s about asking people to open their eyes and see, learn about the past history of our nation, 'go' sit down with an Elder in the community and learn what they have had to live with in their life. It’s about opening up the pages of the books and learning together."

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2020, Australia’s Silenced History, <https://stage.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/arts/poems/australias-silenced-history>, retrieved 22 June 2024

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