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'Terra nullius is a lie': the brutal denial of First Peoples' humanity

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The Australian Dream is a film about Adam Goodes, but it is not Adam Goodes's film. It is a film I have written and helped produce, but it is not my film. It is not a film just about football, or even racism – although that is unavoidable; it isn't just about who is right and who is wrong.

The Australian Dream is a film about us, about our nation; a nation founded on an idea that the First Peoples of this continent were invisible. It is about the denial of humanity, the brutality of that, and the unceasing, unending, irrepressible demand to be heard. It is about having a voice. The Australian Dream is a film about terra nullius.

Adam Goodes in a reflective moment in The Australian Dream. Credit:Madman

I have terra nullius memories: poverty and restlessness; being taunted as a black c…t at football training; trying to scrub the colour off my skin; reciting the names of white explorers in class; shrinking at the mention of the poor Aborigines; the schoolyard pledge of allegiance to Queen, God and flag.

Goodes has terra nullius memories: moving from town to town; always being "that black kid"; estranged from his culture and his people; his mother stolen from her parents; trying to fit in.

Terra nullius memories: segregated missions; half-a-day's pay for a full-day's work; turned away from swimming pools and pubs; "honorary........

© Brisbane Times