The University of New South Wales has begun teaching its students that Australia was not “discovered” but “invaded” by the British.
According to the Daily Mail, the country has always followed a curriculum that taught students about how Captain James Cook discovered Australia. However, suddenly, the lessons have been challenged and it is being claimed by the university that it was not appropriate to call the nation ‘discovered.’ It also claimed that it was not appropriate to say that the Aborigines have already been settling in the nation for about 40,000 years. According to a Diversity Toolkit containing Indigenous terminology for UNSW, it was more apt to say that the British invaded or occupied the nation.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were in Australia long before Captain Cook arrived; hence, it was impossible for Cook to be the first person to ‘discover’ Australia,” the guidelines stated. “Australia was not settled peacefully. It was invaded, occupied and colonised. Describing the arrival of the Europeans as a ‘settlement’ attempts to view Australian history from the shores of England rather than the shores of Australia.”
Junkee.com reports that on the sudden advocacy of the invasion theory relating to Australia’s origin, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph has reacted by saying the guidelines were not justified. “The University of NSW wants to rewrite our nation’s history to scrub out Captain Cook’s contribution by saying he didn’t ‘discover’ Australia – he ‘invaded’ it,” the newspaper reported on Wednesday morning while misunderstanding the historical meaning of the word “whitewash.”
“Invasion of the history rewriters: nutty professors want to Cook the record books,” the report stated in its follow-up story. “Students at a leading Australian university are being told to refer to Australia as having been ‘invaded’ instead of settled,” and “are also told it is offensive to suggest James Cook ‘discovered’ Australia.”
The UNSW guidelines have also claimed that it was not true to say that Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth were the first ones to cross the Blue Mountains. “Aboriginal men, women and children had crossed the Blue Mountains for thousands of years before European explorers,” the guidelines read.