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The other White meet

old man emu

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Every year recently we have had to go through the argument about Australia Day - the anniversary of the day on which Captain Arthur Phillip read the King's Proclamation establishing his sovereignty over the easter half of the Australian continent. Our usual means of celebrating the anniversary is to have a day off work and go do whatever we like to do. Some like to gather to voice their opinion that the day commemorates the beginning of the end for Aborigines and Aboriginal culture. Unfortunately I can't find the wording of that Proclamation.


Now I come to the other important proclamation - that of the proclamation of the colony of South Australia as a British province on 28 December, 1836.  The province itself was officially created and proclaimed in 1834 when the British Parliament passed the South Australia Act 1834, which empowered King William IV to create South Australia as a British province and to provide for its colonisation and government. 


We don't seem to hear much in the way of protest about Proclamation Day. Perhaps it is because it doesn't actually deal with establishing a colony, but the establishment of a government. It is interesting that, although the Proclamation effectively only has two paragraphs, the second, which deals with the government's approach to Native inhabitants is much more specific. Here is the wording of that paragraph:

It is also, at this time especially, my duty to apprize the Colonists of my resolution, to take every lawful means for extending the same protection to the Native Population as to the rest of His Majesty’s Subjects and of my firm determination to punish with exemplary severity, all acts of violence or injustice which may in any manner be practiced or attempted against the Natives who are to be considered as much under the Safeguard of the law as the Colonists themselves, and equally entitled to the privileges of British Subjects. I trust therefore, with confidence to the exercise of moderation and forbearance by all Classes, in their intercourse with the Native Inhabitants, and that they will omit no opportunity of assisting me to fulfil His Majesty’s most gracious and benevolent intentions toward them, by promoting their advancement in civilization, and ultimately, under the blessing of Divine Providence, their conversion to the Christian Faith.

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