Sydney City declares settlement of Australia an invasion!

City of Sydney councillors voted last night to wipe the words "European arrival" from official documents, igniting a row over Australia's history.

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  1. The new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statement says: "In 1788 the British established a convict outpost on the shores of Sydney Harbour.

    "This had far reaching and devastating impact on the Eora Nation, including the occupation and appropriation of traditional lands. Despite the destructive impact of this invasion Aboriginal culture endured and is now globally recognised as one of the world's oldest cultures."


    A victory for common sense!

    Paul Morris, head of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, declared Sydney's decision to describe the arrival of white settlers an "invasion" as a victory for common sense.

  2. Lord Mayor Clover Moore and several other councillors had wanted the word "colonisation" considered for the council's 2030 corporate plan, saying "invasion" was divisive.

    But they eventually voted to retain the word after members of the city's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Advisory Panel threatened to quit.

    Deputy Lord Mayor Marcelle Hoff, who also co-chairs the panel, says the threat was understandable.

    "It's much like the Jewish people considering they suffered the Holocaust, and we would not dream for one minute about taking that word away from them," she said.

    "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people believe it was an invasion."


    Divisive Dominello

    NSW ABORIGINAL Affairs Minister Victor Dominello said Sydney City Council's description of European settlement as an "invasion'' is divisive.

  3. Wide-reaching effects

    Mr Morris urged other councils across Australia follow suit, saying the word was important to indigenous people.

    "The invasion is the truth which isn't acknowledged in everyday documents," he said.

    "It is a significant event that affected not only a whole race of people but a nation as a whole."

    He said that native Americans and Maoris had their past history acknowledged yet Australia hadn"t acknowledged it in every day documents.


    "Intellectual" honesty from some.

    During last night"s debate, Deputy Mayor Marcelle Hoff argued that the term "invasion or illegal colonisation" should be used in the council's official documents and statements. 

    She read out dictionary definitions of invasion as "to take possession, to penetrate, to intrude upon, to overrun".

    "They came in and they did not leave.

    "When other councillors described the term as offensive, Ms Hoff said: "It's intellectually dishonest to not use words that offend some people."

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