Summary of Text: ‘The Redfern Address’ is a speech that was given to a crowd made up of mainly indigenous Australians at the official opening of the United Nations International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in Redfern Park, New South Wales. This text deals with many of the challenges that have been faced by Indigenous Australians over time, while prompting the audience to ask themselves, ‘How would I feel?’ Throughout the text, Keating challenges the views of history over time, outlines some of the outrageous crimes committed against the Indigenous community, and praises the indigenous people on their contribution to our nation, despite the way they have been treated.
In what ways does this text explore the development of belonging through connections to people, places, groups, communities or the larger world?
‘The Redfern Address’ is a text that explores the development of belonging through connections to people and communities.
Throughout the text Keating connects with people on a personal level through his word choice and tone. This connection with his audience allows him to further develop belonging, and evoke a greater emotional response in his audience. This word choice and tone can be seen in the lines, “We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We practiced discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice.”
These lines exemplify Keating’s constant reference to the non-indigenous group as ‘we’ and ‘us’, this coupled with the accusatory tone present throughout this section of the text ensures that the blame is being put on the white Australian’s of the population. The word choice and tone in these lines and throughout the rest of the text makes individual responders to the text feel as though they, personally, are a part of the group who committed these terrible acts against indigenous people.
In this text Keating addresses the white Australian community directly, as seen through the use of personal pronouns such as ‘us’ and ‘we’, which not only connects with people personally, but directs the accusation towards the whole white community. Throughout the text there is an underlying address to the Indigenous Community, this is not direct, and cannot be seen in the words. Lines throughout the text, such as, ‘Imagine if we had resisted this settlement, suffered and died in the defense of our land, and then were told in history books that we had given up without a fight’, while pointedly directed at white Australians, are also subtly recognizing our mistakes, and giving the indigenous community the recognition they deserve.
In what ways are identity, relationships, experience and understanding significant in this exploration of belonging?
In Paul Keating’s ‘Redfern Address’ the themes ‘identity’, ‘relationships’, ‘experience’ and ‘understanding’ are significant in exploring...