Paul Kelly

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Paul Kelly’s collection of lyrics ‘Don’t Start Me Talking’, demonstrates the way Aboriginal Australians are administered amongst society. Through his lyrics, Kelly talks of the harsh and unfavourable treatment that was present to the Aboriginals. Through Kelly’s characters he shows that Aboriginals worked for greedy men who payed them very little for their hard work and how settlers came about to take over the land from Aborigines. The Stolen Generation had major effects on the Aboriginal identities and culture and many hunted and killed. Kelly’s lyrics, ‘Bicentennial’, ‘Maralinga’, ‘Treaty’, ‘From little things big things grow’ and ‘Special treatment’ all depict that Aboriginal Australians are the victims of a cruel society.

English settlers took the land of Aboriginals without their consent and were forced to work like slaves. The Aboriginal Australians were required to give their land to the English and work for low wages in harsh conditions “My father worked a 12-hour day”. Through Kelly’s lyrics, he makes it clear that the Aboriginals had a tough life with poor circumstances. As they worked for minimum wages they could barely afford food and were only given very little throughout the day “working for nothing but rations”. Many of the English settlers were greedy and needed only to pay Aboriginals very little for their work, which is why they were used as slaves, “Vestey was fat with money”. Aboriginal land was never bought nor agreed to give it away as described in ‘Treaty’. Instead settlers inhabited the land with guns and forced the Aboriginals to find somewhere else to call home.

Aboriginals were hunted and even killed for bounty. Kelly, through the characters in his lyrics, shows that the Indigenous were hunted and killed. As they tried to free themselves from the cruel environment they were sustained to, they were hunted down so they could return to their work and be like slaves for settlers to earn money without paying the Aborigines a large sum....
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