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Post and Riposte

By Tim Dunlop - posted Wednesday, 19 April 2000

Two emails are republished here. The first was read out on commercial radio station 4RO. The second is an answer from Tim Dunlop. The presenter who read out the first was apparently disciplined. These two are presented here side by side in the belief that views should be addressed, not suppressed.

Email 1 - Australian Apology to the Aborigines ?

We feel that we must apologise for building hundreds of homes for you which you have vandalised and destroyed. We apologise for giving you doctors and free medical care, which allowed you to survive and multiply so that you can demand apologies.

We apologise for helping you to read and write and for teaching you the English language when previously you had no written language and thus we opened up to you the entire European civilisation, thought and enterprise.


We apologise for developing large farms and properties, which today feed your people, where before you had the benefits of living off the land and starving during droughts.

We apologise for building roads and railroad tracks between cities, and for building cars, so that you no longer had to walk over harsh terrain.

We apologise for developing the oil wells and minerals including gold and diamonds, which you never used nor had any idea of their value.

We apologise for working hard to pay the taxes that finance your welfare, medical care, education, etc. to the tune of 10 Billion dollars a year.

We humbly beg forgiveness for all these sins and are more than happy to take back all of the above and return you to the paradise of the outback whenever you are ready.

Email 2 - Aboriginal Apology to all Settler Australians

We feel we must apologise to you for being black because you are white and that must be better.


We apologise for being on this land before you and not just disappearing when you arrived.

We apologise for not dying quickly enough or completely enough and we apologise for our continued existence, our memory and our voice.

We apologise for forcing you, by our existence, to TAKE this land so that you can survive and multiply and FEED YOUR PEOPLE and so that you can remind us of how INCONVENIENT we are.

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About the Author

Tim Dunlop is a writer based in Adelaide. His PhD dealt with the role of intellectuals and citizens in public debate. He runs the weblog, The Road to Surfdom.

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