Belonging

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BUILDING KEY CONCEPTS

Familial Belonging *** Assimilation vs. Acceptance *** Social and psychological barriers to belonging

Familial Belonging
Cultural contexts: contrast European and Aboriginal beliefs and attitudes to family Investigate scene between Nan Dear and Dolly when Dolly seeks help with her Family Tree. Note Nan’s response when Dolly tells her they can’t include their cousins.(p.125) What is Gladys saying when she instructs Errol to call her “Auntie”? (p.146) What is the significance of this? “Shame! They might be drinkers, but they’re still our people.” (p.139) What does this say about Nan Dear’s approach to belonging? (p.169-170) Contrast Errol’s sense of familial belonging to Dolly’s. What is the effect of the Government’s “new Assimilation policy” on the Aboriginal family as represented by Nan Dear, Gladys, Dolly and Auntie Esther’s family?

Assimilation Vs Acceptance
Historical context: research the history of Australian Government policy towards Indigenous Australians Cultural context: identify the impact of the Government policies on the cultural context of non-indigenous and indigenous Australians Social context: what were some of the social impacts of Assimilation – there are quite a few indicated in the play Literary context: the play demonstrates a number of social consequences of the Government approach to Aboriginals. How can the “new Assimilation policy” be seen to be played out in the play? How does this policy destroy any possibility of Aboriginal belonging in non-indigenous society? Errol represents the difference between Assimilation and Acceptance. He says (p.149) “What matters is you. Not your address.” But then asks her to run off with him to a “better life” in the city, separated from his family and hers. Dolly’s concerns (p.171) reflect those things to which she emotionally and spiritually connected: the land and her family. Later, Errol asks to marry Dolly, accepting that they will...
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