Sustainable acceptance, growth and spread of the Aborigine became a vital part of various Government programmes. There were focused approaches to help these indigenous people stop the adverse passage to total identity loss and reverse the movement towards maintenance of identity as well as participating in the progress and developmental march of the nation (Barham, 1999).
The movie ‘Australia’ which proved to be a magnum opus presentation, of gigantic historical proportions, gives a glimpse of the life of Australia during the World War. It is a wide angled depiction of how well-meaning and well-intentioned people exist in both cultures and yet it is the host culture that takes the beating basically because of the wide gap in the comprehension of intentions and actions (Australian Government, 2009). The indigenous people are simple and willing to cooperate but it is the discriminatory attitude of a few self-serving individuals that marks the impression of the entire people. While the white population may have been equal, brave, fearless and willing to take on the outback, the backbone of their survival was the deep knowledge they had assimilated over generations of interaction with their Aborigine associates. This wealth of information pertained mostly to the land, its quality and its management. On the one hand, there is the Aborigine who is tuned into the land, its needs and how best to utilize it. On the other hand, it is the white settler who uses the local knowledge and sets out to master it. The difference is technology and the approach (Flood, 2004). While the Aborigine is willing to live within his or her means, the white community has always exhibited a keen desire to exploit vast tracts of land, build cities and make inroads into the heartland. The attitude and perspective are motivated by the background and environment in which the cultural entity flourishes.
Once the basic settlements had been achieved and many of the settlers had even taken up cohabitation with their Aborigine brethren, there was a wave of missionary zeal to help the indigenous people (Dodson, 1994). No doubt the motivation was very positive. The general objective was to help take the benefits of civilization to the doorstep of the Aborigine. What was not and should not be condoned is the virtual attitude of ‘us’ being better than ‘them’ forcing people to embrace progress with little thought to their complex inherent culture.
While culture pervades all aspects of behaviour, it is the government programs on education, health and social welfare that came into conflict with the Aborigine understanding of these concepts and those that were prescribed in their culture.