Aboriginal Charter of Rights

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Aboriginal Charter of Rights Analysis

Aboriginal Charter of Rights by Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) is a poem about the treatment of the Aboriginal population of Australia. Written in 1962, the purpose of this text was to expose the inequality, prejudice and suffering faced by the Aborigines under the control of the Australian government and political system. Noonuccal was a strong believer in indigenous rights and this is strongly portrayed in the poem. She uses a critical tone, juxtaposition and repetition to emphasise her point. Aboriginal Charter of Rights exposes the uses and abuses of power by the Australian white majority.

Aboriginal Charter of Rights, aimed at a white audience in the 1960s, discusses the problems faced by the aboriginal people and how they want to be treated as equals. It also shows that they know that they are being exploited and the lack of respect they receive. Lines such as “Must we native Old Australians in our land rank as aliens?” (lines 41-42) and “Give us welcome, not aversion” (line 23) are used to tell the reader that the Aborigines, whom had called Australia home, long before the white settlers, are alienated from their homes and from society. The poem also references religious indoctrination and how, even after the indigenous people were “…baptised and blessed and bibled” (line 35), they are still “…tabooed and libeled” (line 36). The poem gives a message to the white population that the aboriginal people do not want to be exploited and that they want the discrimination to end. This is shown in lines such as “Make us equals, not dependents” (line 4). Aboriginal Charter of Rights exposes the problems in society and how, through abuse of power, the Aboriginal people’s rights were oppressed.

In this poem, Noonuccal uses many languages techniques that serve in positioning the reader to believe that Aboriginals are being marginalised and discriminated against. Juxtaposition is one of the main techniques used. By...
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