Welcome to Australia

Welcome to Australia

1999, Society  -   97 Comments
Ratings: 7.82/10 from 28 users.

Welcome to AustraliaThe Australian heroine from start, when she carried the Olympic torch into the stadium, to finish, as she crossed the line to take 400m gold, was the indigenous athlete Cathy Freeman. Against the will of many of her still oppressed people, she came to represent the symbol, albeit shallow, of reconciliation between White and Aboriginal Australia. But the frenzy of flames and fireworks surrounding the Games blinded the rest of the world to the darker side of a land down under.

In 1999, John Pilger returned home to find that the elaborate preparations for the Games overshadowed a hidden world where Aborigines continue to live in Third World conditions. He revealed that some of the greatest sportsmen and women in the world were in fact Aboriginal. Many of them, like blacks in South Africa under Apartheid, were until recently denied a place in their country's Olympic teams.

He also found that the Australian Government was in the process of overturning the landmark legislation of 1992 which finally recognized Aborigines as people with common law rights before the English colonized the country. 'Welcome to Australia: The Secret Shame Behind the Sydney Olympics' was the third film Pilger made on the Aboriginal struggle alongside fellow Australian, Alan Lowery.

More great documentaries

97 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Michael Stuart-Shaw

    Enjoyed this video, visited in 1968 , and traveled all over Aus mainly doing labouring jobs, and as a South African in the heydey of appartheid was careful to cultivate an Australian accent and not say too much about my own easy life back home. However did meet up with a black fellow in the little town on Deniliquin who invited me to go hunting and camping with him over the easter weekend and accepted the invitation readily as none of the white workers in the water Commission payed the least attention to me. I thoroughly enjoyed setting rabbit traps and shooting cockatoos when they settled in the trees above us, one shot with a shotgun would be enough to bring down at least 3 of the hapless birds. Now 48 years later my wife an I are busy arranging to live in Sydney with my daughter who is happily living there for going on 6 years.
    Racial harmony can be realised when we have stuff in common that we can discuss and enjoy despite our different colours. It seems to me that cultural differences form the big divide between us.

  2. Ava

    Heartbreaking documentary. It's obvious the Aborigines were an exceptionally gifted people. Which is probably part of the reason there was so much conspiracy to keep them down. They excelled at everything the did.
    I'm convinced they would have excelled in all areas of life, and not just sports if given the chance.
    I'm sure the British settlers were terrified they would take back their own land.
    I'm sadden by the suffering and the short lives so many Aborigines had to face.

    The Aussies failed to realize the Aborigines were their own people. They shared land together. They would have been better off working together to make Australia great.

    1. jackmax

      John Pilger is nothing more than a Murdoch whore and has shown himself to be dishonest as well as misleading in this Doco. If you were to investigate his claims about the outback and the population you will see that it is not a skin colour problem rather than a remoteness problem that all the communities both black and white face equally.

      I've lived and associated with the outback communities and whilst the aborigines are the biggest population with in the outback they are not the only people that are there and are effected by the remoteness.

      One of the problems we all face here is all you people that have never actually lived and seen any our my great land for them selves and believe people like Pilger on face value.
      He is in it for fame and fortune and will say and do anything for that goal.

  3. Nabila Naorin

    how could the speaker mention the aborigines like that..half dog..what the f***.. are they seriously that uneducated

  4. Lina

    Lived in Sydney for two years. Never hated a country and its idiotic people more than Australian. Racist, stupid and childish population.

    1. Lola Diaz

      I agree. There are 2-types of Australians. This does not include the Indigenous Australians who have much to teach the ignorant . Type A: normal, well-travelled, open to learning,and Type B: Aussies who are proud of being stupid, childish and idiotic.

    2. Ava

      I didn't know many of the Aussies are so ignorant.

  5. Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    Minister Phillip Ruddock: An very unwanted SMILE came up your face at minute 33:37 in this video. Just after you claim it is not in your hands to make a difference. ¿Why did you postulate or accept the charge you have? Just do not understand if you sleep well

  6. Jon Hope

    ha makes me laugh reading these comments from Australians actually believing there is only a small majority of racists when I see racism from all walks of life everyday, this documentary might be old but it is still rampant today that is for sure for example the labour party has never had an indigenous member till this day I have met some good people but the overwhelming majority of the population needs to start changing their attitudes to the rightful owners of this great land

  7. screaminjay

    Pure nonsense.

    And well, it's no different in Canada. Pretty much identical really. What more can you do? In Nunavut, 30 000$ per citizen is sent, and it still has the highest suicide rate on earth. I mean, after you go past discrimination, what else can improve anything?

    John Howard was correct in his understanding of history. John Pilger is purely anti-western, there's nothing he stand for except to portray the past the same way Howard Zinn does. That is, all revisionism.

  8. docoman

    This documentary shows some shameful historical truths, but is also a little misleading and biased at times. The issue is much more complex and broad.

    Racism is not endemic to any race or country. Anyone claiming otherwise is deluded. There are many sad and evil acts in Australia's brief history, but before foreigners point any fingers, have a look at your own histories first.

    With regards to racism now, of course it still happens here, same as everywhere else in the world. Everyone has their share of ignorant loudmouthed wankers. To suggest it is restricted to any one race is wrong. In my experience, the amount of times you see or hear it is on the decline, and Australia is generally fairly tolerant, much more so then some of the other countries I have visited.

    One thing Pilger misleads the viewer on is where he talks about services, sporting and health. It is more an issue of outback Australia lacking in these services. Both black and white people have similar issues in remote parts of this country. I think he suggests strongly that this is only an Aboriginal issue. That's wrong. But, there is a larger percentage of Aboriginal people that still live in more remote parts compared to other races (mainly whites). This explains some, not all, but some of the reason there is statistically significant differences between those groups in areas like life expectancy and diseases.
    This is by no means the whole story, it is much more complicated. The issue of conquered peoples being misunderstood, murdered, displaced from their land is all part of the story.
    Pilger fails to tell the viewer that there is large tracts of land, (get a good, recent map of Australia and you can see) where a white man has to get permission to enter Aboriginal lands, and abide by rules above the actual law.

    Many of the issues with regards to sporting rights ect are true, shameful historical facts, but have in fact been addressed. The fact that Cathy Freeman was his shining light of the Sydney Olympics shows this.
    Yes there are many issues in Australia that are not perfect, show me a country where this is not the case.
    We are not the oppressive, racist country Pilger suggests. You can earn and make a good life for you and yours here, regardless of your skin color. Education, health ect is harder the more remote you get, a downside to having so much room.

    1. hernandayoleary

      No you white aussie are land thief and oppresive racist, you will never get over your racism as long as you deny it.

    2. jackmax

      No doubt you're not white, and you have that poor me chip on your shoulder which is a shame, because if you took your racist hat of and looked closely to the problems all Australians are facing living in the outback you would see that it is not the color of their skin that is the problem it is the remoteness of this vast land that hinders most. All people living in these remote communities face the same problems. I know many Aboriginals that have gone to the cities to study with this plan to return to help their community only to never return from the city because of easy life style it offers compared to the remote areas they where raised. It would appear by your response that your racism is shining through so it could be said that it's not only the white that are racist going by your comments.

    3. Lina

      I'm white, and i totally agree with hernandayoleary

      Australians history is one of the worse in western culture.

    4. jackmax

      you live where?

    5. Lina

      I livED in Sydney (couldn't stay any longer). And I traveled all around Australia. The English (yes that's what you are, not Australians) have ruined that country completely. Did you know that after the white man came to land of aboriginals, they have ruined 99% of the barrier reef??!!! And this was statistic before you started to drill oil there which will ruin probably the rest. When the white man came to Australia there where more than 3 milj aboriginals living in that country, now it's about 300 000 left. And that number is going down. 1991 the average number of how many aboriginals living in one flat was 17!! And they have to live under a law called "the white mans law"! A bit racist maybe?:) On top of all this you have killed 65% of all kangaroos and f--ked up another 90% of the rest of the fauna.
      Seriously, pack your sunblock 50+ and move back to England where you belong and let the aboriginals take care of them self and that beautiful country in peace. They have more wisdom and knowledge than you pink-burned people ever will get.

    6. jackmax

      I'm a half cast... do you know what that is?
      You never answered my question all you did is carry on about s*it you have now idea about. So I,ll ask again where are you from.?
      The biggest problem with my country is not the white Australians, it is people like you that think they know how what best for Australia and its people.

    7. jackmax

      I'm a half cast, do you know what that is?
      Why don't you answer my question, where are you from?

    8. Lina

      Yes i know what that is..(?)
      Sweden. No big deal to tell you that.

    9. jackmax

      If that's the case are you now going to rant how I should go to England now that you're aware that I'm of native Australian decent.
      I think you have very little knowledge of our country or our heritage. It appears to me that you have not traveled through the interior of my great country to see the vast difference between coastal/urban living compared to the outback. Have you look at the remoteness of this great land. what do you know about the school of the air. You mentioned the kangaroo population yet you failed to mention that they got to plague proportion in many areas where they were starving to death due to drought and our harsh environment which includes bush fires and floods with in the roos native areas. Have you seen the lack of services to all people living in the outback not just the aboriginals that live there. The biggest problem is the remoteness of these communities not the colour of their skin which you and many non Australian think.

    10. Lina

      Just cos you are half cast doesn't mean you are wise or well informed, obviously.. I know my facts. I've spoken to both aboriginals and whites. You should stop being so brained washed. Open your eyes and try to help instead of sitting on that big horse of yours. Scary to read to be honest.

    11. TGOBP

      Can you explain to me why a Swedish person that lived in Sydney for awhile and that apparently talked to people of multiple racial backgrounds, somehow knows more then someone that actually has DNA from those multiple racial lineages, that has lived in the country most of their life, that has traveled all over the country and actually spent time living with and learning from both European and Aboriginal people, not only in the city but in the bush too?

      That is a silly argument from you, in fact you're arguing in his favor when you compare histories....

    12. Lola Diaz

      I work with the Indigenous. What I find is how white workers come to fix their problems by being patronising. I teach Rights and Responsibilities. Their Rights, and how exactly they can demand, expect, deny, and refuse anything they want from whiteman's way and laws. Their Responsibilities, to stop believing that white's care about their children, and for them to take care of, protect, and nuture their children as they have for thousands of years. And the big one. To Stop being so patient! which they are proud of, but as I say, being patient for the lizard or kangaroo, for sure, but not for white bureacracy, for this get impatient and angry and make demands! This is your land.

  9. rae

    As an Australian of European descent I am truly ashamed of, and embarrassed by, continuing governmental and social oppression of the world's oldest surviving people.

    I refuse to celebrate Australia Day until it is moved to a date of significance to Indigenous Australians rather than the current Euro-centric Invasion Day, and until the Union Jack is removed from the Australian flag, possibly to be replaced with an indigenous symbol. Of course these changes are only token gestures but hopefully would symbolically reflect a collective shift in attitude and a proud placing of indigenous culture at the centre of Australian culture.

    The shocking issues brought to light in this documentary perhaps are not as complex as they are often claimed to be by racist politicians - in a first-world country it really shouldn't be so problematic to afford sufficient respect, dignity and recognition to the group with more right than anyone to be here, and more right to rule, but the longer institutional racism is perpetuated the more difficult it will be to acheive reconciliation.

    I hope for the sake of the indigenous population that in my lifetime I will be able to feel something like national pride.

    N.B. It's ironic to me that Cronulla riot-style rednecks, proudly bearing the image of the Australian flag, want "foreigners" to "go back home" but seemingly feel perfectly at home riding roughshod in their utes over stolen land that doesn't belong to them.

  10. Alex1389er

    I'm what the anglo Australians would call a 'wog.' I came as a refugee and I always thought I was white (back in my country anyway). Turns out I'm not white enough, I get called all sorts racist names. But yeah the white Aussies are hella racist towards aboriginals... and pretty much everybody else. Unless your American, they love Americans. But their racism isn't to the extremes of running after and beating up minorities (in my opinion mainly because they are scared of them). Aussie racism is more about screaming out comments as they are walking away from you, saying things under their breath and looking at you funny when your dads blasting ethnic music out the garage.

    Also I know this doc is old and racism in Australia is not as bad, it's just annoying really. Especially when you got some toothless, vb breath having, torn singlet wearing, sunburned, uneducated, bogan calling you every form of racist comment trying to land on the right one because they are too simple minded to know the world and the people within it. Besides the bogans the majority of Anglo Aussies are not so much racist as they are poorly informed...

  11. ranii02

    governments everywhere..pure id**ts. like f--k, john howard the prime minister, give me a break with your ignorant denials. and no formal apology from the government yet? are they going to wait 60years or so like the Canadian government to compensate and apologize to the Chinese immigrants they enslaved for the railroads, or the residential schools, or the American government for the warcamps made for Japanese-Americans?

    someone seriously needs to knock these government officials in their head.

  12. noahgx


    1. Ryan Han

      I didn't understand most of the things you wrote.....Man, get some education and learn to write. What do you mean by "AFTER YOU'VE KILLED US ALL THERE WILL BE ONLY YOURSELVES TO DEAL WITH." Dude, Americans are the ones doing the killing.


      Say what??

      I live in the USA and I gotta tell you the truth, most blacks don't like to work. Just visit a welfare office and you'll see what I mean.

      Now, if you were trying to say that's what the blacks went through during slavery, ok, there was some injustices done. BUT that was 150 years ago, and I have yet to meet one black person who thinks they are worse off here than in Africa.

      So stop the blame game and get your kids EDUCATED. Blacks are offered all kinds of educational opportunities here. I see all kinds of immigrants here, who hold down two jobs, and send their kids to college. And I don't see that in black communities. Most of them want the taxpayers to hand the things to them. I guess what I'm trying to say is "It's all on You, nobody else"

  13. Mohammad Suleiman

    i am an afghan australian and i have never experianced any recism and i am proud to be an aussie and for the people who canceled there trips to australia i just want to say that dont generalize because there are good and bad in every society this documentary is probably 10 years old and we have come a long way now.

    1. Ryan Han

      Good for you brother.

  14. Damien Kennedy

    I'm a white Australian who also has some Aboriginal heritage.

    Yes this doco was filmed a while ago, and some of the issues here have been addressed, but there is a LONG way to go. The life expectancy for Aboriginal people is alot lower than for other Australians. For aborigines it is 59 years for males, 65 years for females. 79 for other aussie males, 84 years for other aussie females. Aboriginal life expectancy is similiar to the life expectancy of people in Iraq.

    There are still huge problems of access to quality education, health care and other services in Aboriginal communities. Diseases like diabetes and heart disease effect aboriginal people much worse than the rest of Australia. 1 in 4 young Aboriginal men will go to jail in their lifetime. similiar to the incarceration rates of African American men.

    I could go on with stats. I have had to write a few assignments on Aboriginal issues whilst at university. The fact of the matter is that you have a group of people who are living in 3rd world conditions in a first world country. The communities really do look similiar to the pictures shown in this documentary.

    To those who say that Australia has little racism are in denial. there is plenty of racism. Aboriginal people are probably vilified more than any group, but minority groups in general will face racism from whites and other groups. not to mention the media and often political parties who use it to polarise issues (ie. immigration and asylum seekers).

    this is not to say that all Australians are racist, or that all whites are racist. many are not, but many are. attitudes towards racism are getting better, fortunately. and racism is not just confined to whites. plenty of other groups are racist against other groups. I think it is quite ridiculous that one Australian on here claimed they have never heard any racism whilst living here. you must not own a television, radio or read a newspaper. and you must remain in your house all the time.

    Australia is a great country, with alot of great things going for it. its just unfortunate that one group of people doesn't get to see the benefits. i thoroughly recommend people visiting Australia. I guarantee you will enjoy yourself, and Australians are very friendly and welcoming people. if you are not white, you will still be welcomed. Most Australians are not racist. many are in denial about what is happening to Aboriginal people though. Just don't be under the impression that this country is not without its dark past and present problems.

  15. samuel welsh

    aussies racists are doomed

  16. Lary Nine

    Ich bin ein Krapfen.

  17. jdoyle14

    To those who wanted to come to Australia but have changed your minds because of this documentary, GOOD, because the immigrants that we have at the moment are mostly great and we don't want judgmental i@#$%^ that watch one documentary made a long time ago and justify us as a people like that. Obviously you don't know what Australia is about, you watch an old documentary and you know everything about this country that is bigger than Europe.

    We don't want you the critics with no knowledge, to all the other people from poor repressed countries, all I can say is we have our arms wide open for you, Like we always have. It can be hard to get in because we don't have the info-structure to support such a large amount of people at once, but for a country that takes in 250,000 people per annual with only 21 million people does bloody well. Peace to all. By the way, I am aboriginal so get f@#$%& to this documentary and I have been around this country three times. And again peace to all :)

  18. Freedom

    oh and by the way the Asian people who complain about the white people being racist, you are racist yourself, the Chinese don't like Vietnamese, the Thai don't like Cambodian ect you know what I'm talking about. One can only get respect from other if you open your mind and not stereo type. In Aus is mainly culture differences that prevent group of different races to mingle, not race. Everyone else is complaining Australian are racist and not multicultural but what about you people who chose to migrate to Aus for a better life did you try to open up and except Australian culture and not close off every else when you finally made it here? if you haven't then it is you creating you own world and close everyone else off.

    1. hernandayoleary

      O please, whites are known world wide for being the group who closes themselves off most to new comers, they dislike anyone who isn't exactly like them and always want to stay in their little ghettos for fear of being the "only white in the room/street/area".

      When 2-3 chinese or viet-cong move in, all the whites start selling and moving out, because no one wants a "gook neighbour"

    2. jackmax

      You seem to have little knowledge of Australia and its people and I would be very surprised if you have ever been here.

  19. Freedom

    OMG people who watched this doc!! do you realise how old these images are? it 2010 now. I'm an Asian migrated to Australia when i was young many years ago. Many years ago there were more racism against all races not just the Aborigines, things improved as i was growing up, now i rarely see any racism in most places, there still some but they are a minority and probably these people weren't educated properly by their family. I went through high school and uniin Aus too, i have friends from every continent on earth.

    The racist this doc talking about are the previous generation, they are a dying breed. but you know what? have any of you though about how old our country Australia is? it is one the youngest democracy!!! in the world!! so please don't compare Aus to the US or UK or many other countries because considering the history in term of years Australia progressing much faster than many other western country in regard to issue of racism. Racism exist in every country on earth, it is just human nature we fear and loath things we not yet understand.

    I am not white Australian but u know what i would give my live to defend Australia then my birth country, why? Australia given my family like many other non white migrant family the best chance to have a future. In my birth country, people are still racist against each other because they speak different dialect but same skin colour. Australia have every race and religion of from all continent on earth name one country in Africa, Asia, middle-east that is like this. We don't have any pro white political parties like other western country (not naming any) we did have One Nation party but they no longer exist, why? because 90% of aussie we don't tolerate that 's@#$'.

    Those people don't know and not from Aus i don't blame you, but those of you from Australia and talking down your country, mate you should be grateful to be born in this country, if you were born in my country and your family is nobody, with not much money you will then know what is injustice let alone racism and i don't what kind of environment and people you were around but the white people i know all of them are good people.

  20. Dick from Brisbane

    I wonder how many fired-up self righteous commentors here could find Australia on a map.
    Go and watch The New American Century now, for a little perspective. Under 'Featured Documentaries'

  21. pk

    hawkpork: Tasmanian Aborigines were not 'wiped out', they still exist, they just have European as well as Indigenous lineage.

  22. Aw Shucks!

    @Ben .... Um wake up tomorrow with a skin color which indicates you are both poor and of a minority then let us hear from you about how "biased" the film is. You, matey, don't have a friggin' clue what it's like to be, shall we say, different. Better yet let's see you live for one solid month amongst any people in any part of the world who've been treated like the Aborigini and let's us see how well you do. You disgust me and I dare say I'm not alone in that sentiment.

  23. jez

    I have traveled this country twice, I have lived in a place they call checkerboard hill because it is black and white, I know plenty of good and i know plenty of bad. The problem is that we are a new country, this is a big country, to get the services they need is a hard effort and is the same effort that is given to the white people that live in the outback. A country of 20 million now, with such a large country with most white people living on the coast, it is hard to get services out across large distances. I think this documentary it showed an awful past that Australia put onto the Aboriginal community was sickening.But still A lot of those children where taken away because of their poor living conditions as-well, this documentary is old and there is not much say from the whole community of Australians that know the truth, which is alot bigger and more complicated than this documentary. The way to help the aboriginal people is award for education as this will help them help themselves. For the people that say they don't want to come to Australia now after watching this documentary, actually you need to see the actual truth for yourselves, as I live and work and travel and have aboriginal in me. You don't learn to much about Australia through a documentary. Good documentary to see, understanding the past is for the past not to repeat itself.

  24. lazibonz

    I am not australian but have lived here for more than 7years, i go to one of australian universities and i have found that in the cours that i do whites stay in their own groups, arabs their own groups some people do mix but a huge majority of people stay within their own racial groups, I think is more to do with culture than race since whites come from one part of the city and the arabs from another. There is racism here like everywhere but i find that the arabs here are more racist than the whites (am neither white nor arabic) point is a large majority of australians i have come in contact with are not racist. but the thing is over here there is more quiet racism where people live parrallel lives.

  25. Philosophocles

    I don't know what to say...

  26. Rhys

    I was born and have lived in Australia all my life, and this racism that we are labelled with is just ill-informed media outlets representing a small minority as the overwhelming majority.

    The highly multicultural Australia I live seems to differ a lot from what aspects of this film and viewer comments seem to describe.

  27. Sun

    My goodness! Is this real Auatsralia? I cant believe that. I thaught its tiny glimpse of war torn Afirca.

  28. Richo

    I love the people commenting on what a racist lot us Aussie's are. How about the Americans and there treatment of Black people or there treatment towards the Indians, how about white South Africans and there treatment of the Black South Africans, or maybe that group called the "Christians" who insist on converting every one to there faith ? Maybe you should take a look at the cr*p in your own backyards before you comment on the cr*p in ours. I find it funny that a country as racist as ours is one of the first places refuges and boat people head to.

    The way I look at it we are no different from anywhere else, there are those who want to and do better themselves and those that want everything handed to them on a silver plater for doing nothing at all, and both groups contain representatives of all races.

  29. daniel

    australia is the most multi cultural society on the planet. very tolerant..

  30. Insulted Stephen

    Mr Hawke ..

    I agree you may be right regarding the 'smell' I did have cabbage the night before, so something silent but deadly may have been 'emanating' from one of my 'orifices' for sure (hopefully my bum - or I'm in big trouble!).

    That does not negate the fact that you singled out a minority - on several levels - then heaped shite (blame) onto said groups for something that is not even true. Which could then be misconstrued by the naive or ignorant.

    You said - "did you know for eg; that anyone with a students visa can now buy property in australia and keep it for life?
    has made it harder for working class aussies to be able to afford a home. as many rich asians buy and raise the prices.".

    Minorities singled out in my opinion were - students, working -class Aussie's, and Asians.

    As we know now this statement is untrue, lets assume for a moment it was true. Student visas are part of a group known as temporary visas, of which they are PART of the 25% of visas which are not non-business visitors or tourists, which make up 75% of all visas granted in Australia. Of the remaining 25% which consist of Business Visitors, Overseas Students, Working Holiday visas and Skilled Long Stay Temporary Business visas. I cannot fathom why you would pick on students alone? Surely business related visitors would be more fiscally based to invest in property?

    As to making it "harder" for working class Aussie's to buy a home - what don't the poor count or is it just the working class and affluent that have a right to buy land or own a home? Not that you heaped any shite on this group, but your statement could incite feelings of resentment.

    Again I cannot fathom, why you would single out Asians as being the main culprits of this market fluctuation in real estate prices, when the Aussie bureau of statistics states the 3 top offshore visitor grants are from the UK, Japan and US.

    Mr Hawke, it is not that I think you are racist by any means, your use of the English language may appear to imply such, as with a vast majority of those who use the English language, it can and oft be mistaken or indeed bent to suit the opinion or perspective of the receiver.

    I agree with you totally about immigration too, under a Liberal Government the Affluent have their cake and eat it. Thank god we get a break with Labor every now and then.

    As to the "profiteering", your right, I think I was reading to deeply into that one for sure! See, even I can bend meaning to suit my perspective and be totally wrong.

    Thanks for inspiring me to look up the bureau of stats to find the above info, again I really had no idea till I looked.

    Have a happy weekend mate! 'Oi.

  31. hawkpork

    thank you for your very informative and amusing posts.
    i guess i should read the paper more often.
    glad to see the issue as been at least partially adressed. i hope the intended solutions don't have too many negative repercussions.
    like the "hotline – 1800 031 227 – to dob in foreigners they suspect of breaches." lol, wow. way to incite racism.

    no you're not "smelling racism". what yo're smelling probably emanates from one of your own orifices.
    if you reread my post, you'll see my point is that i believe immigration laws in Aus let in the rich and keep out refugees.
    letting rich foreigners come in and buy property is obviously going to raise prices. making it harder for citizens to afford housing which was already too expensive.
    i didn't suggest that there was anything wrong with "rich asians", or anyone else profiting from market fluctuations.
    "profiteering"; a person who seeks or exacts exorbitant profits.
    where did you get this from? certainly not me.

  32. Insulted Stephen

    I think you might have a bit too much pork on your fork Mr Hawk .. not quite right regarding the eg;

    "that anyone with a students visa can now buy property in australia and keep it for life?
    has made it harder for working class aussies to be able to afford a home. as many rich asians buy and raise the prices."

    Here is what the Sydney morning Herald had to say on the issue, then see below what FIRB (foreign investment review board) has posted on its web site ...


    Clampdown on foreigners buying property

    April 24, 2010


    The federal government will again require temporary residents to sell their houses when they leave the country following mounting complaints about foreigners driving up prices.

    Travel details and ownership data will be matched to catch cheats, and the public will have a new hotline - 1800 031 227 - to dob in foreigners they suspect of breaches.

    Those leaving Australia must sell their properties and the government will claw back any capital gains made by foreign investors who breach the arrangements. Real estate agents will face new penalties under civil law that are being developed.

    Assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry issued a statement on Friday night saying he would reinstate restrictions on foreign property investment scrapped in 2008 and impose new measures and tougher penalties to further tighten the system and improve compliance.

    "The Rudd government is acting to make sure that investment in Australian real estate by temporary residents and foreign non-residents is within the law, meets community expectations and doesn't place pressure on housing availability for Australians," Senator Sherry said.

    "The new provisions announced today will mean that anyone trying to flout Australia's strict foreign investment rules will face tough new penalties that will be fully enforced."

    Treasury is reportedly investigating 50 cases of suspicious residential property purchases by foreigners in Melbourne, contributing to rising property prices.

    Under reinstated regulations, temporary residents and foreign students will be screened by the Foreign Investment Review Board to determine if they will be allowed to purchase a property.

    Foreign residents without temporary visas cannot buy existing houses, and may buy property only if it adds to the housing stock.

    If buying land, they must build within two years or sell it to stop "land banking".


    Changes to Foreign Investment Policy – Residential Real Estate

    On 24 April 2010, the Assistant Treasurer announced changes to the screening of foreign investment in residential real estate. From 24 April, temporary residents need to notify the Government and receive approval before buying residential real estate in Australia (these changes were confirmed through regulations, which commenced on 26 May 2010 - see Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Amendment Regulations 2010).

    But hey thanks Hawk, I had no clue about this issue till I looked it up ... learning, learning, learning - I love it!

    Personally I feel that Australia is a very large island, so big its also a continent, with a land mass almost as big as continental US, that has a relatively small population of around 20mil ... sometimes I feel a little greedy and wonder if not that huge mass of people in the upper hemisphere might one day start the world spinning arse-over-tit instead of round and round like it always has?!? lol

    As to the 'rich Asians'(??proof please) profiteering from driving up housing prices ... Umm, since when was capitalism a purely 'Asian' trait in the western world?

    I hope I'm not smelling racism in said quote either Mr Hawk?

    That would be very bad form.

  33. hawkpork

    i agree, sydney is very segregated.
    i think the immigration laws should be more open to refugee's. as far as i know we've closed the doors to anyone who can't afford the tariff to open them.

    did you know for eg; that anyone with a students visa can now buy property in australia and keep it for life?
    has made it harder for working class aussies to be able to afford a home. as many rich asians buy and raise the prices.

  34. critic

    I have to admit there is racism going on in Australia.
    I live in Sydney. People call it the melting pot however this city is
    so diversified and segregated by different multicultural communities
    that sometimes there are clashes.

    (Think of the movie Crash)

    Of course let's not forget Pauline Hanson...
    there are lots of Pauline Hansons in all shapes and sizes in lots of countries but more so in Australia.

    If they have a problem with immigrants migrating to Australia
    tighten the law or be a little bit more selective during screening process
    by bringing in skilled migrants who a). Have a better command for the language
    b). are skilled who will benefit to the country.

    I can't stand australians complaining about asian invasion, or the riots and racism against the Lebanese and other cultures... especially with the Indians in Melbourne ..

    Australia is a little backwards

  35. Insulted Stephen

    I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one to get 'lose' and
    'loose' confused ... but I guess one would want to loosen it before they lost it!


  36. nichol

    I wanted to add that I do not think that Ben is a racist or a bigot. I think he explicitly loves his country. I wanted to visit Australia on a contract around seven years ago. I can expect that times have changed, as they have in every nation under the sun. I do think my comment was a bit too broad, but I also think that yours was also a bit harsh.

    Ben I want to add that there are a lot of social ills associated with disinfranchisement of others based on things that they cannot control like skin color, nose shapes, hair texture. Even though these people can modify their culture, they can never change their physical appearances and it is a horrible condition to find one's self in a predicament where you have done everything you can to be apart of something and be rejected based on nothing that truly matters. Of course, times have changed and the ignorance of the past can be connected with the future generations as the world becomes smaller due in part to the the wonderful World Wide Web. I am glad to have talked to you because you are right, I know absolutely nothing about Australia. And, and, and, I got to speak to you who is from Australia.


  37. nichol

    Thanks hawkpork for your comment. I truly appreciate it.

  38. nichol

    Thanks Ben I did not consider the time frame of which this documentary was filmed.

    For the record I am not racist, but my comment must have hit a nerve with you all as you are very quick to jump the gun with the name calling. My comment may have been a bit broad, but since this is a forum I guess you can retort as ignorantly as you would like.

    I am sure not all the Australian people are racist as I can assume that they are not all hot headed either. I do appreciate your comments and explanation with hawkpork though and in the future I will try to put the documentaries I see here in context.

    I hope to interact with you in another forum under a more positive banter.

  39. Ben

    Hi Pork - just to clarify, I added in "(against Australians)" to be specific about the type of racism I was referring to in my rant, not to condone other types of racism. I thought that would be obvious, but obviously not.

    Also - you haven't seen or heard racism here - you've seen it on TV or heard people talking about what they think is racism, so be clear about that too in case you mislead anybody who hasn't been here/ doesn't actually know about Australia etc.

    Rudd was right to say sorry, but to be clear about that also, the 'Stolen Generation' was never a result of racism, but a policy failure by a well meaning government. There was widespread child abuse and alcoholism (same situation still exists today) amongst parts of the indigenous population, and efforts were made to stop that, but clearly those efforts weren't effective and were inhumane. We've learnt from that now, but sadly the problem still exists, largely because of a wide-spread paranoia (fed by people such as you) that to say anything vaguely negative about a minority is somehow evil, even if said negativity is the first step in a problem solving exercise.

    I also fail to see how my rant was bigoted at all, would you mind pointing that out for me? You might like to look it up in the dictionary first.

    Finally, are you Australian? If you are, you might like to consider the concept of loyalty and patriotism. You disgust me.

  40. hawkpork

    nice one ben,
    are you trying to prove the point that aussies are bigots?
    cause you're doing a good job.
    nichol said " MAYBE a wise decision..."
    he didn't slander.
    "we do not tolerate narrow minded and racist (against Australians)individuals.."
    lol what?
    but we tolerate racism against non 'stralians?
    sounds like you might.

    "I have never once seen any evidence of racism here.." then you've had your head in the sand.
    i've seen it, heard it. it exists.
    i suppose you think Rudd shouldn't've said sorry either?

  41. Ben

    Nichol - yes, that is a wise decision you did not come here, because we do not tolerate narrow minded and racist (against Australians) individuals such as yourself.

    This documentary is over 10 years old and even then it was largely inaccurate - have a good think about the impact of your words before you slander an entire nation on the Internet.

    You are a very irresponsible individual and I continue to be amazed and shocked by the immaturity of many of the comments on this particular video!

    You people seem to see a few highly emotional scenes placed together to elicit a particular emotional response from viewers and you fall for it hook, line & sinker without actually considering that the entire video may be biased. There is far more to just about every situation than meets the eye, and this is no exception.

  42. nichol

    I always wanted to visit the Aussie island and almost took a contract there. Maybe a wise decision that I did not. I would have been very unhappy with the extreme prejudice described in this video.

    Very informative and I could not take leave the screen until the thing ended.

    Thank for posting.

  43. Rudy Jay

    @Ben I'm not concerned with the correct spelling of Rubert Murdoch that is beside the issues the bigger point at hand is the mistreatment of the natives. I won't point my finger at Australia because I'm aware of systematic racism of groups people throughout the globe. From Africa, the America's, Europe, China, its everywhere. So don't think take me for a misinformed American, I'm fully aware, my personal vendetta with Mr.Murdoch has to do with a more sinister agenda that is bigger than racism, Murdoch is the prime example of the problem with capitalism, he is a the product of the capitalism machine. It easy to accuse people of being racist Ben, its harder to admit you are, its harder to apologize for actions. I don't use apartheid to justify the mistreatment of white in south Africa, because discrimination is wrong. Justice for all or no one.

  44. hawkpork

    OI OI OI !!!

  45. hawkpork

    hi all,
    i'm an aussie expatriate. and i do love the place and plan to live there again. so hopefully i can avoid the wrath of stephen.

    haven't watched this for ages so i forget the specifics.
    but racism "is still the issue" in australia, and palestine.
    @ enlightened.
    racism has obviously decreased over time in the places you mentioned. and will continue to do so with education.

    i've seen senseless violent raciscm against aboriginies in the outback, and had my door kicked in by 12 year old aboriginie kids in redfern. (lol weak door). and concur, there are many racists of all skin colours in australia.

    but to put it in historical context, things are gettin better. 200 years ago we were rounding'em up and shooting'em, like in the case of tasmania where all aboriginies were wiped out, with guns'n'germs.
    50 years ago we had the white australia policy, whereby the door was shut to all the rest.
    today, anybody can buy their way in.
    Kevin Rudd made an official worthless apology to the aboriginies, and people are generally against using words like "bung, abo" at least in the cities.
    the solution to racism lies not in God, as someone said above. but simple discussion, education and empathy.

  46. Ben

    Rudy Jay, that must have been some A+ class research you 'conducted'. Who is Murdock? Your lack of thought and basic spelling mistakes are symptomatic of your lack of consideration generally - instead of just believing what you see and slamming entire groups of people, thereby being racist, or at least groupist, yourself, take a big deep breath and think about what you're about to type.

    Whoever this "Murdock" is, remember that if you're "damming" him/her/it, you are being just as bad as these apparent persecutors.


  47. Rudy Jay

    I've conducted research on the persecution of the Aborigines after watching this documentary I obtain a avid depiction of the condition of this native group. Murdock monopolizes the media outlets in Australia and now he is trying to do the same with his fox new network. I can't put my finger on this but I know the Murdock have a lot of blood on there hands as well as his close partners. But a higher power will bring judgment to you spineless creatures, your kind do not deserve to live amongst mankind. Dam you !!!!

  48. Insulted Stephen

    I'm an Aussie mate and damn proud to be living in such an open-minded and multi-cultural country such as ours. I'm yet to watch this doco but had to comment first on how completely wrong you folks are .. I'm not even going to put forth an educated argument to such a bunch of lazy twats, who watch one video without further research and then yourselves make racist remarks against Australians.
    As to the 3rd poster, how dare you call yourself Australian when you don't even live in the country .. I don't know what your claim is, but as far as I'm concerned you are pitiful with not an ounce of loyalty, to either Australia or your new chosen home. You 'like to visit, but would NEVER live here again' - good we don't want ya and really must you visit?
    I am proud and privileged that I share our land with one of the oldest cultures on the planet. I am proud and privileged to have a wide and diverse cultural circle of friends as well.
    To ed, Earth, Moldavite, lisaP and Ben ... now you guys are talking about the Australia I live in.

  49. tim

    in the 1960's we gave the Aboriginals equal rights to alcohol.
    before that it was illegal to serve or sell an aboriginal alcohol. This was called a racist , patronizing policy. It was changed, now we have a huge alcohol problem amongst Aboriginals who live in the extremely isolated settlements.
    There is one island with a small population of Aboriginals and no jobs, no industry and no future. The Govt spends 96 million dollars a year on welfare payments so they can continue to live on the island with no hope, but plenty of Alcohol !.

  50. Ben

    I'm a white Australian, and I have to say that I have never once seen any evidence of racism here - other than in sensationalised media reports which seem to seize on the slightest hint of racism and blow it up for entertainment purposes/ shock value. I'm sure there are 'racist' individuals here, but the same can and should be said of every other country or locality on the planet. Some people have difficulty rising above their reptilian brain, and that's fine. Their narrow-minded opinions are worthless, just like the narrow minded anti-Australian opinions espoused in so many comments here.

    Before you smear a country's reputation on the Internet, do some research and watch a one-sided documentary on the TENS OF MILLIONS of non-racist Australians.

  51. j.

    I too am a white australian and i am ashamed of the skeletons that are in our countrys closet.
    i am glad that our government has finally said sorry but until we start to teach our children about the reality of our countrys history then we will never truely stop racism.
    i love this country and we have come a long way since this doc was made but we still have such a long way to go.
    we need to stop looking at our history through rose coloured glasses, we are not all racist but a lot of us are in denial.

  52. LisaP

    I am an (white) Aussie and have lived and worked in the remote top end of Australia for 10 years. I agree with Moldavite almost word for word, so thankyou for providing your awesome insight.
    Please note that this is an OLD documentary in terms of Australia's ever growing History. I understand that some like to base their entire opinion on one documentary, but please research these things if you would like to know more, instead of closing your mind straight away.

  53. Moldavite

    Old documentary - I know we have progressed since then.

    Generalisations are such dangerous things to make. I have lived in Australian communities where there were terribly racist indigenous people who treated me badly when I was trying to do my job - and I had to put up with a lot of poor treatment from them that I would not have put up with from others for fear that I would be physically assaulted (I am a paramedic).

    Likewise, I have met some terribly racist people who were not indigenous and who I also feared for one reason or another. I am insulted by some of the comments above suggesting I am in any way racist because I am an Australian, and should feel shameful because of the behaviour of others.

    To suggest one nationality is any worse or better than the other is wrong, and to suggest that Australians are any worse or better than people of any other country is narrow minded, short sighted and racist in itself. This issue is far too big to discuss in a forum like this, and far too complicated to make generalisations about.

  54. Alex

    Gotta second the shame on australia sentiment. Not simply because of what was done in the past, but the lack of willingness to redress this in the present

  55. Drexel

    Australia and America are the most racist 1st world Countries in the world. The way that we treat people and call ourselves civilised?

    This is Australia and Earth saying that it's their fault they are segregated? Wow that's is the "true blue" Aussie way isn't it? I am ashamed to come from such a Country, that doesn't listen to EVEN the basic human rights complaints of a people that we almost WIPED OUT!

    I am disgusted by 'my' people and how they think they are the default human beings, that everything they think and believe is the only path to the final destination; that we would deny their suffering still.

    Australia needs a wake up call and a swift re-education!

    @ Karen don't make ANYTHING that any native feels any less than another! Our problem (by that I mean white people) is we don't listen, we expect evryone to just follow what we say and it's the only way!

    All natives of all lands that we destroyed, that we discriminate and try to change; don't diminish how they feel by pitting them against each other. ANY suffering is the same and equal, it's time to stop ignoring the truth and take action for ALL HUMANS! If this doesn't make you sick there is something wrong with you! If you stand up for the people in power who DO this to humans you ARE a sociopath! How can anyone look into a human beings eyes and judge their worth and vaule on their skin colour?

  56. Phil Atio

    I have yet to watch this doc but am looking forward to it.
    I'm black but have cousins who are white (my cousin is 1/2 white and his son looks white b/c he married white). He went to australia and claims they are all racist. I've met an aussie but he seemed ok, not obviously racist or any thing.

    On the other hand watching some australian reality tv shows I see the general attitude towards black people in them is very negative, so it has me thinking

  57. Yavanna


    You have basically called me and Ed liars. Perhaps you should travel to Australia and do your own research. Perhaps you should come and live in England for a few years and see how things really work here. What worldly experiences and "enlightenment" have you has entitled you to such a grandiose claim for people to TRUST you?

    Enlighten us

  58. Enlightened

    These last two comments dont seem to be telling the truth.
    Give me.. tell me... show me ONE PLACE on Earth where Racism and predujice towards Natives and Blacks ever go away? IF IT HAPPENED TEN YEARS AGO, IT WILLL STILL EXTIST TODAY.


  59. Yavanna

    I got the feel that this doc was reporting 10 years ago on issues a decade or two before that.... Whilst I am a huge fan of Pilger I didn't get a feel for his usual level of objectivity. This was worst case scenario reporting.

  60. ed

    I live in Australia, i am aboriginal and we all get treated as equals. This documentary shows the past and its faults. They have been mended and I love my country. If you dont want to visit Australia on the evidence of one documentary then thats your fault. Because Australia is a wonderful place with wonderful people. You may get those i***** who yell abuse, but they are only angry with themselves. Australia = the best :)

  61. Jack

    Come to Australia and get beaten up by an Aboriginal when they don't get what they want off you.

  62. Raj Kumar

    Australia is no different to India, China, Malaysia and all of those other commonwealth nations who claim to be democratic, have great pr machines to cover their dispicable conduct and treatment of their lesser citizens.

    John Pilger is one of the world's greatest exponents of the art or science of the camera and film making. It is people like him that give the place some semblance of respectability.

    Even if one of the 20 million is different then we cannot generalise. Pilger is Australia's fig leaf.

    Raj Kumar

  63. Karenep

    I knew that there was racism in Australia but not this bad! I was floored on seeing the details of this documentary. A few years ago, my sister visited Australia and was shocked at the snikers and behaviour she and her friends received whilst touring Australian cities because they were tanned and not fair skin. I have had people who have told me or someone I know, that whites would stop their cars and shout, "Go back to your own countries or go back you bastards!" I have relatives in Australia and they say that normally one has to have a good support from one's own community to live in Australia. There is pretty much a division by race. I know of friends who are studying in Australia who are Asians, and they have told me that whites would only sit among their own and would never sit among especially, the Chinese, in the Universities. They are pretty rude to Asians. It is very sad that in this day and age, such discrimination exists. But if I come to think of it, why wouldn't there be discrimination when they can't even treat the natives of Australia with human dignity then why should they treat all races other than the white race, any differently? Haven't they forgotten that it was never their land to begin with? Racism exists any where you go in this world, even in Asian countries and there is very little anyone can do about it. Laws deal with the problem superficially but only God can deal with this problem from the heart!

  64. Karen

    Wow, a democratic, free, rich country that treats its natives worse than we treat ours.

  65. Roger

    Great Doco!!! One that all Australians should see... There is a huge problem in this country that needs serious attention. There are so many incredible qualities to the Indigenous Australians. They are the most successful culture to ever walk this earth (to our knowledge thus far). Their navigational skills in some instances were more accurate they any western technology up until the mid 80's! Their music, instruments and art have spread and are enjoy all over the world. They ARE the true owners of this country and should be treated with the the despect.

  66. Earth

    Look at you gullible people. The Aboriginals live in extreme poverty because they segregate themselves. They demand everything given to them but give nothing back. There are tribes who refuse to teach children any language but there own. This will lead to extreme poverty.

    I live where there are two classes of Aboriginals. Those who do and those that don't. Those that do, have good living standards and drive some of the nicest cars here.

    As for Australia the worst offenders of human rights, go move to any of the following; China, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

    1. hernandayoleary

      Why should they give anything back, all the land is theirs, whites stole land from them. If an aboriginal stole your land should you give him something back?
      No australia is a worst offender of human rights than any of the countries you named, they wiped out an entire continent of people. Not even kim jong il can match that.

    2. jackmax

      "They wiped out an entire continent of people"
      Can you provide the evidence of that?
      What country are you from?
      It would appear that your knowledge of Australia is limited to bias reports such as this documentary.
      Have you ever lived in Australia or been there?

    3. jackmax

      I've noticed your comment has been deleted, why not have another go at answering the questions I put to you.

  67. Robston

    Interesting. I'd like to know what has changed since this documentary was made (10 years ago).

    1. Jayfa

      Sadly very little. If anything, it's gotten worse: There was another government intervention into traditional lands due to a report about child sexual assault - they sent in the military and started taking children away and cutting off benefits.

  68. Charles B.

    Shameful for a developed nation! This needs to change.

    Nonetheless, I would still love to visit and even live in Australia, because discrimination is world-wide and we mustn't toss out the baby with the bathwater.

  69. Kay

    After watching this documentary there isnt much suprise to me. I have been living in this country for ten years and I have seen how Anglo Australians have treated the Aborigines. It is very upsetting because rightfully this is their land. Who are we to make judgements to the people who we should be thanking and showing some dignity and respect towards? I love the Aboriginal culture and people. By the way im a Muslim and I'll be damned if anyone was to call me a non- Australian.

  70. Tyler

    I knew there was racism against the aborigines, but I guess I didn't know how bad it was. Really awful. This makes American racism look relatively tame in comparison.

  71. Tyler

    I knew there was racism against the aborigines, but I guess I didn't know how bad it was. Really awful.

  72. lou leen

    I'm Australian, not ashamed to be one, just decided not to live there anymore because it's full of racist wankers.
    The governments have very cleverly made the rest of the world think it's a dinky-di fun loving kind of place where the sun shines and everyone has a beer and a laugh. Everyone does; everyone white with a bit of dosh that is.

    Australia is a backwater.

    Have a look how behind the times the government is on gay rights.
    Many an Australian will deny racism, they will shout out their good time, sun lovin', live and let live ocker attitude. Don't believe it.

    I like visiting, but would NEVER live there again.
    John Pilger's documentary reinforces why.

  73. Alex

    Shame on Australia. This is a country which I definitely won't like to visit. How inhuman people can get!

  74. Adams

    I no longer want to go to Australia anymore.