Aarya Phansalkar

They ran
Like free birds in the open sky
They swam
Like ducklings paddling in water

Didn’t they know of the danger awaiting
They were the chickens and the geese
Vulnerable to the fox
The prey was found

The white ghosts had come
Like mist on red land
They were taken
They were stolen

The children cried
For their families
They were loved
But now in need

No answer was given
To their desperate cries
They were taken
To places Unknown

The children were trained
To learn white ways
Black forgotten
New embraced

For they were the “half-castes”
The middle of the river
Now swept to a side
They were stolen

They wanted love
But brutality they got
Given beds and pots
Rather than open sky and parents

But little they could do
For their lives had changed
Their memories forgotten
Their hearts taken

They were never forgotten
The thousands of miles
The dusty roads
Could not stop their love

Their parents wished
That their children return
Disheartened they were
For they were
gone forever

They were trained
As maids and workers
They were taught
The way of the ghosts

The ways of thieves
They were never loved
Only trained
Once old they were released

Out into the world
A world of selfish monsters
But no choice they had
Their lives had been broken

Their families old
For they were older
A child of many, an adult of few
They had changed

Their country taken
Made into a growing nation
A prosperous place
Their spirit had died

No longer did they see thousands of miles of open sky
Smoke wafted from chimneys
Their country was taken
They were broken

No longer did they see their tribes
Their ceremonies
Their hunting
Their culture

No longer did they hear
Dreamtime stories
The splashing of water
The snapping of twigs as they ran

No longer did they know
True happiness
True love
True passion

Their bonds broken
Their chains fastened
To a life of pain
Agonising pain

Their hatred grew
For the ghosts of afar
As years passed
Their admiration perished

It was theirs
For once they roamed
On the bare red land
That is now taken

But change arose
A change hunted
A change resurrected
A change theirs

He spoke
That leader of monsters
Of savages
Of thieves

He spoke
To say sorry
To say he was sorry
To say they were sorry

He spoke
For all of them
For the lying thieves
For the devilish fools

He spoke
To say sorry

Tears streamed
Like the river of life
Never ending
Never stopping

Once their paths had changed
Now they were heading the right way
A way to reconciliation
A way to love

He had spoken
That leader
They hated
But now thanked

For he had changed their lives
Broken their chains
Bonds amended
Laws gained

They were once the stolen
The taken
The thieved
The broken

Now they were the loved
The cherished
The comforted
The happy

For they knew
This would once happen
For the land was theirs
This beautiful red nation

The stolen knew
That Australia
Always was and always will be

Teachers Click Here

Many of these resources and activities have been developed in consultation with NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to ensure that the program meets NSW curriculum outcomes for Stages 3, 4 & 5.