Monetising a touch of the tar

mellorMy family is staunchly lower class English on my dad’s side (his mother emigrated from England as a lady’s maid and then started a chicken farm in Greenacre in Sydney’s western suburbs) and bog Irish/Scottish Catholic on my mum’s side.

However, not much is known about my maternal grandfather’s grandmother.  On the family tree she’s just shown as “Daisy” with no surname, and her marriage to my great-great-grandfather as taking place at Kempsey on the NSW mid-north coast.

My grandfather (who I’ve written about before at Troppo – here and here) had a rather wide nose and always sported a good suntan though he seldom went outdoors in his last few years in the nursing home.  Never big on tact or diplomacy, I have sometimes speculated to my mum that maybe there was a bit of blackfella blood in the family.  She would quickly change the subject.  My mum has always had distinctly Hyacinth Bucket aspects to her personality, and has never grasped the fact that Aboriginal heritage has a certain snob value these days, especially among the southern urban latte sipping classes who have never actually met an indigenous Australian.

If I had any artistic talent and was a complete wanker (some might argue about the latter even now), I might enter and win the Telstra National Aboriginal  and Torres Strait Islander Art  Award.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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gecko
12 years ago

I’m not sure what is with this thing over skin colour, or lack of it.

pablo
pablo
12 years ago

Yes gecko I have a feeling that the black African immigration evident in eastern seaboard cities will eventually have a profound effect on indigenous claims of inherent white racism. Even the recent rash of Indian student claims of rascism were somewhat secondary to more important issues of exploitation. None of this is to downplay indigenous claims of a special place for those first Australians as a cultural icon as evident in the beauty of the featured art awards.

Tony Harris
Tony Harris(@tony-harris)
12 years ago

Go for it Ken!

Before the word gets around that racism in the name of affirmative action is still racism.

paul walter
paul walter
12 years ago

Re Jacques Chester
“aboriginal” comment#1, the same presumably applies to w—-s?

melaleuca
melaleuca
12 years ago

Since something like 80% of Aboriginal women marry a non-Aboriginal man, within half a dozen or so generations I think most of us will be entitled to call ourselves indigenous.