The Star of the East

Australia, Xinjiang

Australian Authorities Bulldoze Sacred Aboriginal Tree to build highway

Australian authorities have provoked anger and protests after bulldozing a tree considered sacred to indigenous peoples. The Djab Wurrung tree based in Victoria was brought down by authorities in order to build a highway despite objections by local activists. The local government defended its position stating that the tree was not on a “protected list” despite having pursued longstanding negotiations to save it with locals.

A Gunai and Gunditjamara woman, Meriki Onus, told the Guardaian that the demolition of the tree, especially coming on a day when the lockdown restrictions were lifted in Melbourne, showed Aboriginal Victorians that “we don’t matter to the colony”. Another local woman, Sissy Austin, said o“I can feel the chainsaws tearing through my heart, my spirit, my Djap Wurrung body is in pain…Today I laid on the floor and cried. Cried for our mother, Djap Wurrung country.”

The continued contempt by Australia towards its indigenous population comes despite authorities and think tanks in the country accusing China of “cultural genocide” in the Xinjiang autonomous region, and has accused the country of demolishing mosques and other sacred sites. It might be time to remind ourselves who the Australian landmass belonged to in the first place…