|Suburbia sub-cultural anxieties. The dilemma of multiculturalism|
Perhaps the most dynamic area of geo-demographic growth throughout all of Australia is the South East Queensland region. The Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast corridor has seen the most rapid expansion of the urban sprawl in Australia’s very short history.
The influx of multicultural groups from very diverse cultural backgrounds have brought with it the paroxysms of pluralist competition for power resources such as employment, land and political power. All the while the older Australians, being the indigenous inhabitants, have been vying to consolidate their little vestiges of power resources by promulgating self identity and self affirmation festivals and indigenous initiated programmes which include the present annual NAIDOC week of celebrations.
The Indigenous people have long ago realised the reverse xenophobia with the constant usurpation of indigenous power resources by the overwhelming silent majority of homogenous European White cultures which have hitherto developed the landscape in their cultural Eurocentric image. The indigenous people have become accostumed to cultural rape and dispossession and have arisen from this assmiliation and denigration process. The Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have become self aware and have considered their battered self esteem to be ameliorated institutionally by recent institutional changes.
The demise of ATSIC has been considered as a centralised government decisionmaking setback. The indigenous sychophantic inept bureacrats have proven to be the casus belli for the demise of the only unifying institution for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait people. The outcome has been a devolution of land councils which have diverted to the land council level the appropriate power resources such as Native Titles Act claims and the power distributions to purportedly astute tribal elders. All the while, circumventing the unifying solidarity movement of a national Aboriginal and Torress Strait Islander objective. In the larger picture, the Minerologists and Pastoralists have rejoiced with this lack of cohesion amongst the indigenous people. In light of this fragmentation of indigenous power resource, the pluralistic land councils have asserted flimsy land claims to the Native Titles tribunals with fickle effect.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders have the most obvious weakness, the lack of numbers and consolidation of indigenous power, in which above all else, they lack the ability to seek help from other pluralist groups such as the South Pacific Forum member nations. The SPF, whilst individually they are small and ineffectual, collectively, however, the SPF is a force to be reckoned with, in terms, of geo-political spheres of influence. More particularly, are the influences of the First Nations peoples, in the Pacific Rim, in America, Hawai’i, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, PNG, Solomon Is, New Caledonia, Tahiti, and the NZ Maori, who may proffer precedence and antecedents in matters concerning comparably relevant Native Title claims. The antecedents and precedents for the Indigenous peoples of Australia may be as simple as glancing across the Tasman Sea to the Treaty of Waitangi, for the New Zealand Maori, whose three articles may be considered as relevant from a jurisprudence precedent and antecedent perspective, insofar as, matters pertaining to English common law, and in matters pertaining to the convenants with the British Crown. Moreover, in New Zealand, when the Maori had protested mainly through petitions and Labour party lobbying, ie, the Ratana movement and Matiu Rata supporters, and through hikoi, they had promulgated an affirmation of their alliegience with the crown only, insofar as, it was expedient to do so, to affect the articles of the treaty, and to be honoured by the British Crown, and their preemptive obligations to consult with the indigenous peoples of New Zealand. Hence, most of the matters that were ignored by the New Zealand courts would often be referred to the Privy Council in England.
Outside, the Crown, the recourse of action, for the indigenous people are their regional peers, namely, the indigenous peoples of the region. Oceania, have been colonised for centuries and the difficulty of the decolonisation process has been much of a ‘cold turkey’ withdrawal systems by the materialism afflicted habits of the Pacific Islanders, with the hedonistic lifestyles, reinforced by their Judeao-Christian belief systems, associated with the purported creature-comforts of civilisation, albeit, a Eurocentric version, of civilisation. Inadvertanly, this has caused an increasingly reliance by the SPF member nations upon foreign Aid such as AUSAID and other forms of aid sourcing, in order to bolster a quasi-indulgent lifestyle of westernised livestyles for SPF members. The road to decolonisation, as American Samoa, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Guam, and Micronesia, etc, have proven, has become the double dealing effects of privileged status with perpetual dependence upon their former and present Colonisers.
To "bite the hand that feeds you", is to ask for soveriegn independence, from former Colonising exploiters, who has proffered an unequal quid pro quo arrangement. The Coloniser had asserted their dominance by rewarding their sychophantically loyal with secured employment, privileged status and social aggrandisement at the expense of the non-complying self actualised indigenous person.
The power to discriminate the right person for tokenistic promotion has been by way of political nomination, scholarship awards, and promotions in various multinational enterprises, throughout the South Pacific region. The SPF is certainly not immuned to this process of tokenism, which explains why most of the political figureheads are, in fact, politically appointed, with the approval of either Australia and or New Zealand purveyors of political power, often at University level. The disempowerment of the SPF is the very nature of its power source, strategically politically appointed incumbent officers.
Meanwhile, the demise of the ATSIC like the nominal power of the SPF symptomatic of the power of the Eurocentric elements behind the scene in manipulating the statesmanly political leadership within the region. The predominance of a AUSAID sponsored scholars within political powers of influence in regional politics has meant theat it is not necessarily the gifted that are selected for scholarships, but, rather it is the sychophantic token who is proffered the permission to socially aggrandise throughout a given society or in regionwide politics to be in important spheres of influence within the SPF.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait indigenous people have become accostumed to disempowerment, the South Pacific Forum too whilst outwardly seem to assert the power of the regional indigigenous people are themselves tokenistic appointments by AUSAID and NZ government university approved appointees.
The individual scholars, who have paid their own way through university, as private citizens, have one influence which they can not deny, they have the independence of thought and are not obligated to serve their political masters who fed them when they were dependent scholars.
What are the problems faced by the Pacific Islander intelligenstia today? Affirmation and approval by their respective community. The process of defamation is easily contrived by overwhelming elements, in reality, simply rivals, with the specific design to denigrate the reputation of a political or character authority, in his or her, community. By doing so, the defamed individual may seek to assert political power resource with little or no support from his peers, and, outwardly, throughout his community. The process is easy, you deny power resources, such as employment and financial power. Enemies grew and friends dwindle in a divergently multicultural community.
Australia has become accostumed to rapid change, however, the overwhelming universal theories pertaining to cultural diversity remains certain. The growth of pluralist ethnic groups such as Samoans, Tongans, Fijians, Hungarians, Croatians, Serbians, Jews as well as Africans within South East Queensland has shown how different the face of Logan and Brisbane has become. The Anglo-Celtic majority has become a dying breed. The regional perspective has indicated the shortcomings of political leadership whilst at the grass roots level the people on the streets are, perhaps, much more attuned to the regional political realities which would make them much more savvy than the purported political masters, who are, purportedly, pulling the puppet strings from above.
In truth, perhaps, it is at the street level, where the public policy decisionmaking are really being forged by the everyday interactions of real people, unfettered by personas and appearances such as our political masters and their sychophantically appointed leaders.
The change is hastening and the sooner we realise what has been before, the traditions and history all of which has shaped the present landscape, the sooner we will find self actualisation and cultural identity. If not the process of instability and division will result in socio-economically and culturally contrived anxieties now and into the future.
Australia is not stagnant culturally it will evolve as much as the urban sprawl rends and reshapes the landscape in its perpetual motion into the hinterland. The older Australians have become circumspect and even somewhat stubborn in their xenophobia, but, such illconceived myopia is short term. The lessons of history often tends to repeat itself although in different forms. Nevertheless, we do learn and adapt and evolve from our past achievements both good and bad.
The nature of man is to survive and endure in a seemingly inimical environment. The ultimate survivor is he who maintains his cultural identity and he or she is, therefore, morally. psychologically and emotionally strengthned by this self awareness. You will be forever resilient inspite, and despite, the assimilationary forces that will try to compel, and impel, you to conform. Conformity comes with regimentation and uniformed compliance. The outcome of this assimilation process is a loss of self identity.
Good day to you all.
Ia manuia le tatou aso
Tofa mo lenei fo’i taimi
O Tim Tufuga