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

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

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