The Secret River is a two-part ABC television drama that tackles the chilling fundamentals of Australian white settlement: Europeans invaded, slaughtered the first peoples and stole their land.
It is excellent. It is important. It is courageous, confronting television.
But it comes two centuries after the events it depicts: settlement by British convicts and others along the Hawkesbury river in New South Wales and the inevitable, violent confrontations with the Dharug who had inhabited this idyllic place for thousands of years.
But now it’s 2015.
We’ve moved on.
We’ve got a prime minister, Tony Abbott, willing to “sweat blood” for a 2017 referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the whitefella constitution even though he reckons Australia was “unsettled or, um, scarcely settled” and the place was “nothing but bush” when the first fleet arrived in 1788.
Then there’s Noel Pearson, Australia’s most politically influential Indigenous voice