Aaron Smith has written a brutally honest expose of Australian social and political behaviours toward Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people. With great insight he reveals attitudes and their effects upon locals. Growing up in a white middle class family he became a journalist for the Torres Strait Islander. He was also the editor and paper boy. Living in the community and working side by side with the Islanders, he observes first hand, the injustice towards a vulnerable people. He has spoken up for those who are marginalised and have no power.
The author’s dismay towards an uncaring political regime and Australian people in general is keenly felt. He views the nation’s failing to support the Traditional owners of this land as appalling. To close the gap between poverty and mainstream Australians would take more than “Missionaries, Mad Men, Misfits and Mercenaries.”
Because the historical and political views are intertwined with the author’s real life, the heat, the poverty, the diseases, and the lawlessness are a story themselves. Some of the characters he describes are glorious. Captain Magic takes Aaron to Daru where he will meet all the top Government politicians. They have been ferried across in special boats gifted to the Islanders. The timing of the trip means that the rough waters swamp the politicians while Captain Magic weaves his boat between the troughs and peaks of the waves.
The Rock is a book which should be read by everyone: by students, politicians and everyday Australians who are so removed from understanding the plight of Traditional People. How can we sit back and live with the appalling injustice in our land? Aaron you have brought this plight to our attention, now is the time for us all to begin to rectify it.