Science Denialism Down Under: “Indigenous Arrival Has No Date”
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From the Weekend Australian:

Indigenous arrival has no date, dons told

BERNARD LANE, 12:00AM JUNE 29, 2019

University science lecturers have been warned off making the familiar statement in class that “Aboriginal people have been in Australia for 40,000 years”.

It “puts a limit on the occupation of Australia” and many ­indigenous Australians see this as “inappropriate”, according to the University of NSW language ­advice for staff.

The document suggests it is “more appropriate” to say Aborigines have been here “since the beginning of the Dreaming/s” ­because this “reflects the beliefs of many Indigenous Australians that they have always been in Australia, from the beginning of time, and came from the land’’. ..

The inclusivity guidelines, which introduce and link to the indigenous language advice, were approved by a working group involving the dean Emma Johnston.

The guidelines say: “Recognise that intentional or unintentional racist, classist, homophobic, ableist, ill-informed and/or disparaging comments or content can be harmful or damaging to students from minority identities.

“In the case that a student calls out your use of non-inclusive ­language, avoid being defensive. Acknowledge it, and reflect on how you might ensure inclusivity.”

The indigenous language ­advice says putting a date on ­Aboriginal arrival “tends to lend support to migration theories and anthropological assumptions’’.

“Many indigenous Australians see this sort of measurement and quantifying as inappropriate.’’

Asked for evidence, a UNSW spokeswoman cited “extensive consultation” with the university’s Centre for Indigenous Programs, Nura Gili, and its Equity Diversity & Inclusion Division. …

He said: “Scientists can potentially damage the standing of the elders, or the right to land claims, should our findings contradict the oral traditions.”

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