Freya Roberts

The dew settled on the deadened grass, dampening a that touched it. I could see others already lighting their camp res, preparing for another day of fighting for our rights. There was a feeling of impatience, stronger than yesterday settling over us like a thin blanket of fog. It was brewing. We had become a family, strengthened by our shared discrimination, we would fight as one.

We were seen as foreigners in our own land, aliens pushed aside and belittled. We didn’t matter individually, we couldn’t make a difference but as a community we would stand for what we believed in. Opposite the Parliament House we shouted, we hollered, we waited.

We had no land, we were homeless trying to support our case as we as support our families. The founders of the embassy continued to spread hope and peace throughout the camp but people were becoming restless. We needed some evidence that our protest was being heard. As a community, we presented a list of demands, pleading that someone would understand our situation and join the fight for justice.

As the original owners and custodians of this land, we deserved our say. Not only
had they severed the connections between us and our land, our sacred sites but they murdered us mercilessly. A we wanted was legal titles and rights to our own land but we were denied and rejected. Discarded, viewed as though we were scum on their shoes.

We were ordered to leave. Then the police came, swarming our embassy, trampling our tents, signs, possessions. Anything that was in the way was destroyed. Many stayed to fight, as a last attempt to stand for what we believe in. Where else had we to go, we had nothing to lose. What had taken years to build up, took moments to tear down.

Now, once again, we were standing up for our beliefs. Our tents re-erected, the tension growing stronger, a sense of apprehension was in the air as we waited patiently outside the white, sterile Parliament House. We were 200 strong as we held our position waiting for the police force to come, and come they did. Once again turning over our tents and assaulting those who stood in the way. Our peaceful protest was no more.

A gruff policeman wrenched my arm causing me to scream in pain. I writhed in agony as he placed his leather boot against the nape of the neck. “You don’t belong here you abo, so go back to where you came from” he spat, crouching down, his stinking breath brushing my ear. As he left, I scrambled to my feet. I belonged here, I would fight for my cause until my last dying breath.

Those who left were more determined than ever because this was and always will be our land and our home. No one could change that.

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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.