Reparation

Reparation

A leaf was turned with Mabo. For some a brand new day

because the High Court listened when Murray Islanders had their say

It found that those remaining on land from times of old

may claim Native Title if that land had not been sold

Wik confirmed that where both parties had a claim

co-existence could occur and leases would remain

And in cases where a conflict did exist

preference was given for leases to persist

This ensured leaseholders had no cause for resentment

and peaceful co-existence would guarantee contentment

A solution too considerate for the rich and greedy

who want the land for themselves and nothing for the needy

Pushed by those leaseholders whose greed has made them bold

and demanded to upgrade their leases to freehold

The forces of regression were on a different track

creating policy to put race relationships right back

A “ten point plan” to take us down a different road

and “guarantee extinguishment by the bucket load”

For Australia to be a republic the best way to begin

is clean the slate and be free of any sense of sin

We must create a treaty to give them their true rights

and stop the degradation of genuine sacred sites

Until Australia compensates for that which has been taken

from our native people the past will not be shaken

We must swallow the bitter pill and get over feeling slighted

whenever someone points to a past that never has been righted

We might engage denial or say it’s in the past

but it stays within the national psyche to which we are stuck fast

If we want to grow beyond our convict heritage

we must acknowledge what’s been done with honesty and courage

For until we truly face the wrongs perpetrated

upon our native people our future will be fated

Until we address what we have destroyed throughout the land

we cannot call this nation good or great or grand

Each of us can lend a hand without the need for pity

by extending to them equal rights with love and dignity

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