Debate ignites after uni tells students Australia was ‘invaded’ not ‘discovered’ 20



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The University of New South Wales has caused uproar after changing its teaching guidelines to say that Australia was “invaded” rather than “discovered”.

The university has developed a ‘diversity toolkit’ to help people better understand the correct terminology to use when talking about Australian history and indigenous Australians.

Radio host Alan Jones was one of the first to weigh in on the new guidelines, accusing the university of extreme “political correctness at its worst”.

“The study of history ought to be about the examination of facts in order to support a thesis about developing an argument supported by fact … don’t try and restrict the thinking of university students by some so called diversity toolkit on indigenous terminology rubbish,” he said.

“This rubbish toolkit devised by the University of New South Wales represents anti-intellectualism and political correctness at its worst.”

The diversity toolkit also talks about certain words that are acceptable for indigenous Australians to use but not other Australians.

“The Aboriginal English words ‘blackfella’ and ‘whitefella’ are used by indigenous Australian people all over the country,” it says.

“Although less appropriate, people should respect the acceptance and use of these terms, and consult the local indigenous community for further advice.”

The guidelines in the toolkit also say it is “offensive” to suggest Captain Cook “discovered” Australia, and that period of Australian history should be broken into four periods: indigenous, pre-invasion, invasion and post-invasion history.

Controversial radio host Kyle Sandilands was particularly peeved by the changes branding the university teachers as “wankers” who are trying to “rewrite history”

“It divides society,” he said.

“All the flogs at uni reckon we invaded the joint … I’m not interested in who was here first and who did what, get over it, it’s 200 years ago.”

A spokeswoman from UNSW told News Corp said the guidelines were not designed to be politically correct and have been welcomed by staff and students.

“To suggest that it would stifle open debate at a university in any way is plainly wrong,” she said.

“Terminology guides such as this are commonplace across universities and many public sector organisations and it is absolutely appropriate for students and staff to have such resource available.”

What are your thoughts on this issue?

Do you think we should change the terminology from ‘discovered’ to ‘invaded’? Or is this another case of political correctness?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Australia was discovered and when it was, until it was, no one knew this land existed, just like the Americas, discovered by Amerigo Vespucci and then Christopher ColumbusWhats wrong with you people? A Uni is supposed to contain “some” Homo sapiens types!

    3 REPLY
    • What do you mean no one knew? Aboriginal people had lived here for thousands of years, and even if you only count Europeans( and why would you) , Portuguese and Dutch had been here long before the English.

    • So were there no Homo sapiens living in the Americas and Australia before they were ‘discovered’?

    • I’m happy with the truth. Cook stumbled on Australia, after the Dutch and the Portuguese and well and truly after the indigenous people. He mapped part of it’s east coast. But by any plausible definition he did not discover the continent. The first fleet was by any defintion an invasion: those ‘first settlers’ stole land and killed many of the indigenous inhabitatnts; and that practise continued for several generations. I’m not happy that that is the truth … but I am ok with telling it.

  2. Yes, Australia and Neew Zealand were at first discovered, from there on invaded by the same with weapons, the same goes for South Afrika, the Dutch trading post were discoveries, the the poms invaded this part of the world. Vasco da Gama traveled and discovered China, again there after the poms invaded India. Hong Kong falls to my knowledge under the same heading with the opium war to brake them down, and signed a contract that lasted well into our own time. So whether ‘discovery’ or ‘invaded’ both have a meaning of their own.

  3. I am so sick of these people who need to make us less “Australians”!

    Today we are the sum total of what happened in the past…
    Australia would never have become the best place in the world, had it not happened!
    We have so much more we can achieve as a united people interested only in what we can do in our future together.

    Tell me?… Do you ever hear the early inhabitants of England claim that the Vikings ( or any other so called invaders) should recognise the local people today?

    For God sake!!!… Get a grip on reality, you poor miss-guided people!

  4. As far as I can figure the explorers from the northern hemisphere came searching for new lands they were explorers not invaders, mayby they had some idea there was land somewhere south of them but they couldn’t have known there were indigenous people as well, why is it the so called academics have to distort our history, is it because they have nothing better to do.

  5. Discovery yes, because it was unknown to them until arrival. B
    ut if I discovered your car in your garage is it then mine to claim? Did they plant their flag in the ground and claim that land as their own ? yes. So if the Chinese or other powerful nation DISCOVERED what a large seemingly empty country we have, you would have no problem with them killing us, putting us in chains ect. History should be accurate.

  6. Was it said ‘Australia ‘ lets invade? Come on some no name academic wants their 5 minutes of fame

  7. There are two points of view yes the country was invaded the original inhabitants were forced off their land. Many were killed really murdered they lost the free possession of land they had lived on for thousands of years.
    The British as other Europeans did not believe that the lad belonged to any one as there were no cities or as it appeared to them any one to have title of the land. The idea that only civilized people lived in cities goes back to Ancient Greece. What happened was a clash of cultures and one lost and is still suffering now.
    It is not political correctness gone mad it is the truth Australia was invaded but the invaders really did not understand the culture they were invading.

    1 REPLY
    • It could also be well said by the animals of this land like the turtles, goannas, kangaroos, crocodiles and the species of the animals that became extinct that, the Aborigines invaded this land some thousands of years ago, they settled, they hunted us down and killed us off. The problem and lucky for the Aborigines is that animals can’t speak for themselves and reveal the truth.

      The long history of Aboriginal violence. Interesting reading.

      The Aboriginal’s clearly state that the land owns them not they own the land so are they going to now change that part of history too, this uni guy needs his head read, and people are paying money to be brain washed into this crap. I can assure you 200 years later in this present day they would all be dead anyway either from the climate or the Indonesians would have arrived.

  8. Learn your Australian history. The west coast of WA was visited by dutchman Dirk Hartog in 1616. Didn’t like the look of the place so no further exploration took place at that time.
    Cap’n Cook sighted the east coast in 1770 and liked the look of the place. Some time later the British wanted / needed somewhere to get rid of criminals infesting over crowded prisons.
    So in 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip landed on the east coast at Botany Bay – didn’t like the look of the place so moved to Port Jackson a few Kms north. There he established a colony – peacefully at first – but was this an invasion ??
    The locals probably thought it was.
    None of which can be changed now. None of which makes us less Australian. Words are just words
    The indigenous people of NSW had a hard from 1788 onwards, so did a lot of the first fleeters that came in chains.
    but then again it was hard for all of them – no food – no shelter – no letters from home – and hard hearted overseerers out to make a fortune – or at least survive.
    I’m Australian – proud of it – but not blind to the past – warts and all

    1 REPLY
    • The Chinese called in during the sixteenth century. Like those that followed, they didn’t want Australia. England had a need and Cook was the catalyst. So began the fourth wave of invasion.

  9. Another backward step – how uninterlectual.
    Glad you were not one of my lecturers because I would tell you that you were a pompous self serving
    git. Why do we have to put up with this piffle?

    1 REPLY
    • Couldn’t agree more, Voyager! Methinks these so-called academic’s just want to to SO PC, & make time-wasting ‘thoughts’ to earn their big salaries.

      The current indigenous wouldn’t EXIST, & should be forever grateful, that the Portugese or Spanish didn’t settle here in the 18th Century, as ALL, repeat ALL, the natives’ would’ve been killed, ie WIPED OUT!

      The British may’ve seemed cruel, but they were doing the best they could at THAT time. One should read the writings of Capt Arthur Phillip, to find out the incredible difficulties he had trying to establish a Colony.

      People forget that trying to do things for other peoples’ from the 18th-20th Centuries’ was just plain hard, & very, very difficult.

      They all did the BEST THEY COULD AT THE TIME! Seems like many indigenous are willing to forget that, & want to be told ‘sorry” every five minutes! Gets a bit thick, after a while…….

      Australians of the 21st Century were NOT responsible for the ills of this Country for the last two & half hundred years.

  10. This is a left wing load of rubbish meant to divide people. The aboriginals are being used as pawns by
    left wingers. Don’t let them succeed.

  11. The long history of Aboriginal violence. Interesting reading.

    The Aboriginal’s clearly state that the land owns them not they own the land so are they going to now change that part of history too, this uni guy needs his head read, and people are paying money to be brain washed into this crap. I can assure you 200 years later in this present day they would all be dead anyway either from the climate or the Indonesians would have arrived.

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