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Mudjil’dya’djurali Dabuwa’Wurrata (How the White Waratah Became Red)

Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, Frances Bodkin, Gavin Andrews, Alison Whittaker



The overarching purpose of this paper is to critically engage with non-Indigenous representations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Welcome to Country ceremonies, particularly within the conservative mainstream media and academic setting. The foundations of the paper will be drawn from both the critical Indigenous standpoint theories of white pathology by Moreton-Robinson (2015) and colonial storytelling by Behrendt (2016). Both these theories suggest that, too often, non-Indigenous representations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are more a reflection of non-Indigenous ideologies than accurate portrayals of Indigenous positionings. Further, an ancestral D’harawal Law Story will be utilized to reveal that Welcome to Country ceremonies, despite their contemporary adaptations under colonization, may be considered an essential contextual representation of Australia’s true history prior to colonization, and thus should not be dismissed due to ideological misrepresentations or even tampered with by a colour-blind rhetoric.

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740