Posts Tagged Queensland
The Australian Constitution had enshrined and legitimised the White Australia policy by a direct reference to race as a provision for enfranchisement and disenfranchisement.
Provision as to races disqualified from voting
For the purposes of the last section, if by the law of any State all persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State, then, in reckoning the number of the people of the State or of the Commonwealth, persons of that race resident in that State shall not be counted.
A Threat To White Australia
By 1901, there were approximately 9000 Pacific Islanders working the cane fields of Queensland. Their presence was seen as an enormous threat to White Australia. During the first year of Federation, Prime Minister Barton introduced the Pacific Island Labourers Bill into the Federal Parliament.
“White Australia!” – With a Black Smudge
Politics is a game, and politicians are gamblers. Probably, nearly all politicians would prefer to win with honest cards; but the essential thing is to win…”
The Bulletin, April 6, 1901
Although the enactment of the White Australia policy in 1901 is usually associated with the Immigration Restriction Bill in both the popular and political mind it was also enacted by the passing of the Pacific Island Labourers Bill. In Parliament, the debate for one often merged into the debate for the other. In the flurry to produce a white nation and render invisible the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia, the concern was to protect Australia’s borders from non-white newcomers and to exclude those who were already in the country; the Pacific Islanders.
The Bill ordered the recruitment of the Pacific Islanders to cease after 1903 and gave the federal authorities the power to deport any Islander found in Australia after December 1906. The only Pacific Islanders allowed to stay were those who had arrived in Queensland prior to September 1, 1879, those working in crews on ships and those granted certificates of exemption under the Immigration Restriction Act (1). The Bill granted compensation to the sugar industry and ordered the introduction of white labour on a just wage.
The inference was not so apparant to many readers and constitutional jurists alike suffice it to suggest that the Australian founding document had given the green light for lawmakers to pass respective federal laws legitimising laws of exclusion of persons from equal enfranchised rights based purely on race. The most salient law that would be passed after the passing of the Australian Constitution within the British Parliament in 1901 was the passing of the Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901 leading up to the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901.
The Tim Tufuga lowdown of the 2012 Queensland State Election.
Australian Labor Party members gather for the True Believers dinner function on Friday evening, the 17th Feb, 2012.
On the guest list were former Prime Minister Paul Keating, whom was the gueat of honour. Other distinguished guests included former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd; former Premiers of Queensland, Peter Beattie and Wayne Goss; former Lord Mayor of Brisbane Jim Soorley. As well as current cabinet and backbencher MPs and local Government Councillors and the ALP branch members invited to attend the function.
Hosting the evening’s proceedings was the Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh and the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan.
The event was a precursor launch of the state election campaign for the ALP Qld, as well as acknowledging ALP members of past and present.
The evenings proceeding was a festive occassion with people enjoying the atmosphere and the occassion. It had allowed me to gather a glimpse of the true inner circle of the seat of power within the Queensland version of the oldest political party in the world. The origins of the Australian Labor Party had started right here in Queensland in a remote inner Queensland township called Barcaldine. The Australian Labor Party has been in power within Queensland for most of the past decade and a half of Queensland politics. The recent debacle with the federal leadership challenge has only been considered as a factional party feud between very influential and powerful political characters which invariably seems to be focused upon state focused loyalties pitted against non-Queenslander rivals south of the Tweed Heads.
22nd February 2012
Samoan cultural tradition in the sport of pugilism seems to have become cemented within Australian sporting culture with young 16 year old Jai Opetaia, demonstrating a genetic pedigree from his Samoan heritage which has become most evident in late July, 2011, Junior world championship, in Kazakhstan.
On the flipside, a bucket list pugilist such as I, at a tender age of 43, I have vowed to enter the boxing ring within Queensland to do some long awaited venting.
Pugilism is something in which most, if not all, Samoan young lads have had an occssion to have experienced in their youth either at village level, or in the rough and tumble working class suburbia, within New Zealand, United States, or Australia.
It seems genetically predetermined as much as rugby union and rugby league is considered as the divinely inspired contact sport for many Toa Samoans, Tongans, Maori etc. However, as a Samoan, it behoves all other enthused and eager Pugilist in the making within the humble villages and or the heckling Suburbs to feel inspired, compelled, and impelled, to take up the challenge and to become a modernday warrior.
In 2012, the year of the Olympics, many young aspirant eyes will be hoping upon hope to become an Olympian and to pursue glory in London, or, if not, then in Rio De Janiero within the foreseeale future.
From a Samoan perspective, the year 2012, will mark the 50th year of Samoan independence from the imperial military occupation and colonial rule from New Zealand in 1962.
Moreover, the diaspora of many Samoans throughout the globe will be a time of cultural reflection and a self appraisal and assessment of our achievements and self development and particularly as a unique global cultural identity. We have become citizens of the world within our respective nations and have only our ethnicity to bind our race as an expression of our particularity to the world.
2012, is a year to be proud of being a Samoan no matter where you live and who the master you serve.
15th January, 2012
The movie release of The Orator: O le Tulafale was for Samoans throughout the globe a very touching nostalgic journey of the Fa’aSamoa and for the non-Samoan a window into the pecularised Fa’aSamoa culture.
The opening scene sets the ambient surrounding of a tropical backdrop, the mountains silhouettes and acts as a juxtaposition to a deep iridescent blue skyline. The heavy foreboding pelting of the tropical raindrops spashes upon the Yam leaves blotting the brown earthiness of Samoan soil. It is sometime during the spasmodic rainy season. The Samoan Pacific Isolation seems to be emphatic with the social isolation of the protagonist character, whom, paradoxically, is not the Tulafale, but, rather, it is the wife of the Tulafale. Although the protagonist is meant to be the Dwarf Orator, Fiaula Sanote, the overarching theme is one of belonging and the sense of ‘lotonu’u’, (village loyalty) ma ‘lotoaiga’ (loyalty to family), a theme which was not overly recognised by many outsider movie critics. The overarching theme of love and family bonds seems to have been articulated well and truly within this movie. The motif of Matai Authority is emphasised with the denial of vestiges of power to the Dwarf and his emasculation due not only to his physical size but also to the lack of cultural, fa’aSamoa, (Samoan Culture), authority being a commoner and a son of a deceased chief. The only exception to the rule is for amalgamated chiefly status (O le Aiga O Tupu, the royal highness titles). The central theme of bequethed hereditory authority, ie, inheriting customary landrights, is not a particular aspect of the Samoan culture which is clearly revealed in this movie. Why is this a central aspect of the Samoan culture? It is likened to the right to chiefly status, in that, the right to rule is earned, “O le ala o le pule o le tautua”, (The right to authority and rulership is through service rendered). As was clearly indicated in this movie, the Dwarf was a son of a high chief whom had died and was buried as was revealed throughout the movie. The dwarf is not afforded the same rights as was bequethed to his late father and was denied the customary landrights. The dwarf’s wife, Va’aiga, played by Tausili Pushparaj, is in fact a banished woman from a distant village, she displayed a very strong will which was considered as unacceptable by the patriarchical chiefs of her home village. She is considered as a very strong willed woman and very articulate, but, she is sickly and is dying from some incurable disease. She is adamant in never returning to her family, in part due to her banishment, and, in part also, due to the fact that she is married to her Dwarfish husband. Unfortunately, Va’aiga, is a flawed character, she is ashamed of her dwarfish husband, whom remains hidden when her brother, Poto, a Tulafale, an Orator, and the family, arrive to cajole her back to her home village. Va’aiga consider’s her husband as a perceived ‘Luma’, (a public humiliation), due not only to his Dwarfish appearance but to his emasculation impoverishment.
The Orator, is also a story of the emasculation of manhood, and the strength of the faletua, (wife), which strengthens the espousal bonds to empower the aiga, or the wedlock househod from the paroxysms of an inimical environment, the loss of customary landrights is indicative of Samoan cultural emasculation. The rite to power for a Samoan is to claim their landrights which can only be proffered through the fa’amatai (Chiefly status) of all heads of the family, albeit, the husband. The Samoan culture is made of two distinctive groups, the feudalised Chiefly class, the Matai, and the commoners, the untitled men and womenfolk, or the (Aualuma (women) and Aumaga (men)). The Chiefs, are divied not only the seniority but also of specific roles, the Matai Ali’i is a High Chief and the head of the village council of chiefs, he or she, is not considered as an Orator but is the sole ruler of the village. The Orator, (the Tulafale), is the talking chief, whom stands armed with the symbols of office, Fue, (the fly whisk), and the most important symbol of all, the talking staff, (Le To’oto’o). The talking chief can not address the village chiefs and or a village audience with any authority without having these symbols of office especially the staff, for it is the manifest symbol of the talking chief. The conferment of oratory chiefly status can only be achieved through the appropriate saufa’i (or chiefly ceremony), this is ritualised through the kava ceremony and the blessings by a quorum of village chiefs especially the high chief.
The Samoan people, like many cultures, are as facile and materialistic, and this is indicative with the cultural Oratory bartering exchanges, and in particular, with the passing of wands of dollar notes, indiscretely placed in fattened envelopes, and given to each respective Orator (Tulafale ma le ‘au malaga) and his entourage, but, what makes Samoans unique, is the valued significance of fine mats( I’eToga) and a mysterious exchanges, which is considered culturally valued moreso than the fattened wands of notes in envelopes. The malaga will come barring gifts, or si’i, which is expected to be reciprocated by the hosts, that is to say, the host is expected to give something for them to return to their village with as a gesture of shared burden or celebration.
Perhaps, the most puzzling aspect of this movie is the Ifoga ceremony, (forgiveness), which has been considered as somewhat of a slight exaggeration, with the thugs remaining outside of the house of Saili (the Dwarf) until he allows them to be pardoned for attacking him with rocks. The failure of the audience to understand this scene is in part due to the lack of understanding of the Samoan justice system. When a criminal culpable act has been committed the victim, upon the approval of the council of chiefs, may have the power to enforce the law of the village, which may be through an enforcement of a sala, or punishment, or a fine, and at worse, the perpetrator of the crime or malfeance, may be banished (Tuli ese mai le nu’u) from the village. The ifoga, is the process of reparation and forgiveness, which may include monetary compensation likened to western societies, or if not the ifoga requires ietoga and other compensatory means so as to recompense the loss of property and or bodily harm to the aggrieved.
The complication of the plot of the movie seems to have been emphasised with the coincidental untimely death of Va’aiga whilst the ifoga was taking place. This climatic moment seems to have confused the audience because the ifoga ceremony was unrelated to the inadvertent death of Va’aiga.
Va’aiga’s death becomes the climax of the story and the cometh the man of our protagonist Saili. The somewhat macabre fight for her corpse for buriel seems rather bizzare from a Westerner perspective. Samoans, value their loved ones in life and in death. The Samoans would bury their dead in monuments in front or around their homes as a symbol of connection of loved ones with their land. It is unusual for Samoans to cremate their loved ones it is almost considered as an insult to cremate anyone unless it is an enemy.
The motif of the ‘Ie Measina’, a finemat, woven so meticulously which takes months and even sometimes years of arduous and tidious work primarily by women is considered of the highest cultural symbol for not only the Samoans but also to the Tongans. The exhibition of the Ie measina is displayed likened to a Picasso painting for the villagers to admire. The finer the woven mat the more valued it is. Throughout the final moments of Va’aiga’s life she spends weaving the fine mat, it is her message to her people and a passing gift to her family and village, a testament symbol of her legacy of her lasting commitment to her family and her village to the very last gasp of her life.
The shortcomings of this movie may be considered as few from a Samoan point of view, from a non-Samoan point of view there are some demystifing nuances and aspects of the Samoan culture which may be considered particular to the Samoan. Absent from the storyline is the overwhelming influence of Judeao-Christianity which is very central to the Samoan culture.
Overall, Tusi Tamasese has done an unprecedented service to the Samoan culture and to the diaspora of Samoans throughout the world whom can identify so acutely with the nuances and peculiarities of the Samoan characteristic.
Finally, the Margaret Mead School of though would find some very identifiable sexual license truism of the Samoan behaviour which is also revealed ever so subtley in this movie.
Ma le fa’aloalo lava
The attitudes which had permeated within the political movements such as the Australian National Action and other ultra right wing xenophobia has become institutionally infiltrated within the purportedly leftwing ideological foundations of the Australian Labor party. The truism of this infiltration is the true lack of connectivity and interaction between the pluralist Australian community with the hitherto monocultural policy formulators within the heart of the ALP think tank.
I have lived in Australia for the past 31 years after having migrating from New Zealand, and, in 2009, I had finally become enfranchised as an Australian citizen. Recently, however, I had finally become a member of the Australian Labor Party and I had adopted a political social attitude that was based upon my socio-economic circumstances. I had endeavoured to embue a citizenry democratic notion of my Australian identity that was based upon my enfranchised status as a battler migrant, only to realise that, in reality, the truth of Australian realpolitickal life is facile personality politics, devoid of ideological premise, impracticial, whimsical, realpolitically irrelevant, and inconsequential, for many of the collective within the the Logan and South East Queensland electorate. Moreover, at the grass roots level, institutional exclusion, unemployment, inequality of opportunity, anti-discrimination at the workplace, tokenistic affirmative action, are merely gestures proffer an appearance of social justice measures are being met. But, in truth, even amongst the purported ALP equalitarian ideologues, there is inequality within their pecking order of policy making processes. There is a political elitist inner circle of political ideologues within the ALP party structure which is anti-equalitarian, which is indeed against the ‘battler’ concerns apart for when it is politically expedient to do so.
The Australian population is thwarted by the elective dictatorship which has become synomonous with Australian political elitism that has arisen even from the commonness of the Australian labor party which is essentially founded by the working class and the so called battlers of our society. As it turns out, the reality, reveals, a complete reversal of tyranny by a privileged few with the rule by the ochlocratic mob. The tyranny by the masses whilst it may be considered as democratic and politically sanctioned, for the minority, particularly the Samoans, they are disadvantaged by their socio-economic status, by their employment condition based overtly upon the them versus us bigotted attitude by many simplistic minds that is indeed the ordinary Australian mindset. The bifurcated view of their political reality of the Australian political creature is indeed simplistic, you are either white or you’re a them, a black, and a disempored minority.
The perception of a mulitculturalist pluralistic society is considered to be pallatable but it is too confusing and too complicated for the simplistic minded battler. Instead, a bifurcated them versus us will suffice. In truth, the pluralistic nature of Australian society has revealed the Samoan as being lumped in together with Indonesians, all other Pacific Islanders, Malaysians and South East Asians, as a collective enemy by many Eurocentric Australian.
The purported protectionist political parties have professed to stand for the Indigenous cultures whilst, in truth, they are in disguised a latent Eurocentric xenophobic political machinary, ie, the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_First_Party
The Eureka flag is a symbol synomonous with the ultra right political ideologues embedded within the Australian Labor movement and the Australian Labor Party. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/02/28/1077677015074.html These people are vile and extremely bigotted. I have found their blend of politics completely enshrined within the ALP, the Queensland political party, the Australian Party, as well as the mainstream Liberal National Party (LNP).
The lack of attention paid to the recent housefires within Queensland has also sparked some suspicions of the reluctance attitude of the present incumbent government in explaining the housing conditions, particularly regarding the installation and operational effectiveness of fire/smoke alarms within Queensalnd houses as per the prescription of the law. As it turns out the post fire forensic reports are incomplete suffice it to suggest that recommendations for the improvement of smoke and fire detection alarms are questionable in light of the recent spate of housefires and the more serious 11 deaths of Australian Pacific Islanders in Logan City, south of Brisbane.
After a recent regional conference of the ALP I had been privy to the notifications of various motions of policy amendments and proposals to government, I had realised that my motion in support of fire alarms upgrades was ignored which I believe is considered as irrelevant to the Australian Labor PArty and for Queenslanders.
O lenei ua ou taumafai ina sué se pati e feasoasoani mo tagata Samoa ma o isi tagata Pasifika oloó nofo iinei i Ausetalia.
Faáfetai lava ma le faáloalo lava
O Tim Tufuga