Articles

Can we handle the truth? Indigenous Australians depend on it | Paul Daley

From frontier massacres to the theft of children, violence reverberates generationally, which is why a formal truth and justice commission is a crucial step towards conciliation

While a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice to parliament remains hostage to toxic mainstream political manoeuvring and corresponding media coverage, politics is also failing the other Uluru priority of historical truth-telling.

Tony Abbott’s lament that prayer needs a greater role ignores a history of Christian invasion | Paul Daley

Abbott should read up on the importance of Indigenous connection to country after his latest opportunistic - or wilfully ignorant - stunt

He’s done it again.

The prime minister’s so-called special envoy for Indigenous affairs, Tony Abbott, just can’t seem to stop deliberately trolling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the progressive supporters of their compromised rights.

Bennelong’s grave: how history betrayed Australia’s first diplomat | Paul Daley

Woollarawarre Bennelong was a warrior and a peacemaker who became, perhaps, the country’s most misunderstood Indigenous man

Woollarawarre Bennelong’s grave could not be more underwhelming, given all the myth and drama attached to his short life as the most renowned and, perhaps, misunderstood Indigenous man in the first three decades of Australia’s post-invasion settlement.

Bennelong was a warrior and a peacemaker for a time held captive in chains by his European dispossessors. He took the pragmatic path of becoming an envoy for the Gadigal of Sydney to the invaders.

Australia has reached peak Anzac. And not before time | Paul Daley

It’s time to focus on events beyond the Anzacs that have played a much more seminal role in defining Australian nationhood

Thank goodness it’s over. I’m talking about the $600m festival built around the centenary of world war one, that drew to a close on Sunday after forcing all things Anzac on the national consciousness for four long years.

Relief and reckoning: the first world war was over and Australia counted the cost

Patriotic fervour greeted Australia’s entry in 1914. By the time of the armistice on 11 November 1918, the country was marred by rancour

It was mid-afternoon on the east coast of Australia when allied commanders and their German counterparts, after meeting for several days at the forest of Compiègne in battle-devastated northern France, agreed to the terms that would end the first world war.

The $498m about to be blown on the Australian War Memorial could be spent better | Paul Daley

Did the expensive project just get the rubber stamp because of the magic Anzac cloak?

A few years ago the Australian historian and novelist Peter Cochrane wrote: “Drape ‘Anzac’ over an argument and, like a magic cloak, the argument is sacrosanct.”

Every time I go to Bunnings I feel like I’ve left a little bit of my soul behind | Paul Daley

Whether it’s the hardware store or Ikea – AKA the divorce factory – there are harsh realities to be confronted


I’m sure Bunnings is a verb.

As in, “It’s Saturday so we’d better do what half of Sydney does and Bunnings before the car park fills up.”

Related: I hope that by staying home I have shown my kids that there is another way | Paul Daley

'A presence on our terms': the Aboriginal Memorial is artwork and political statement | Paul Daley

Thirty years after its creation the memorial is more important than ever in its service of national memory

It is three decades since white Australia threw an exclusive party for itself to celebrate a bicentenary of European invasion and settlement that trampled on the sensibilities of this continent’s Indigenous people.

Etched in Bone – chronicling Australia's shameful trade in Indigenous remains | Paul Daley

A sensitive documentary shows the theft and eventual return of human bones to Arnhem Land

Early next month when the documentary film, Etched in Bone, is screened for the small west Arnhem Land Aboriginal settlement of Gunbalanya it will be almost seven decades to the day since an expedition of American and Australian scientists stole the remains of community elders and dispatched them to Washington.

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