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invasion of land

Google Doodle puts spotlight on treatment of Aboriginals on Australia Day

“All that remains is red sand, tears and the whispers of her stolen dreamtime.”

TODAY IS AUSTRALIA Day.

While it might traditionally have been marked with fireworks and barbecues, a Google Doodle has today drawn attention to its controversial origins.

Displayed on the Australian version of the website, a piece entitled ‘Stolen Dreamtime’ is displayed, taking a clear political stance on the treatment of Australia’s Indigenous people by the white population.

google doodle Google Google

The piece was drawn by 16-year-old Ineka Voigt from Canberra High School, who entered it as part of a national competition run by the website.

Speaking about her work, she said:

If I could travel back in time I would reunite mother and child. A weeping mother sits in an ochre desert, dreaming of her children and a life that never was… all that remains is red sand, tears and the whispers of her stolen dreamtime.

Dreamtime is a concept that Indigenous Australian apply in the way they interpret the world.

Is Australia Day significant for Indigenous Australians?

Australia Day marks the arrival in the country of the first fleet of British ships, in effect making it the day that many Indigenous people see as the anniversary of the invasion of their lands.

And it isn’t only this historical injustice that issue is taken with.

The Google Doodle displayed on the site today is a reference to the practice of removing children from Aboriginal people by the government and church missions in an attempt to assimilate them into white culture.

This practice continued up until the 1970s.

In 2008, the country’s then PM Kevin Rudd apologised for the atrocities that had been committed against what has come to be known as the ‘Stolen Generation’.

Channel Ten / YouTube

What else are people saying?

The Google Doodle has received a positive reaction online, with many Twitter users praising the world’s most popular website for taking a stand. 

However, it has not been welcomed by everyone.

Sam Watson, a Brisbane-based Indigenous activist has called for the drawing to be removed, as the picture presents an woman sitting topless with tribal markings on her body, and that it would have been more appropriate for an Aboriginal artist to have produced a piece of work. 

Read: Australia refuses to recognise British couple’s marriage after man dies on honeymoon

Also: Australian beach evacuated after ’23 foot shark’ is spotted

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