Frontier War Stories

Frontier War Stories

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First 5 patrons to donate $5 a month will receive a personal Thank You email from the host Boe Spearim and a shout out on the next episode of Frontier War Stories.

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Frontier War Stories

Yaama, I’m Boe Spearim (Gamilaraay and Kooma). I’m a radio host and podcaster who lives in Brisbane. My first podcasting series which I began in May 2020 is called ‘Frontier War Stories.’ It’s a podcast that is dedicated to truth telling about a side of Australian history that has been left out of the history books. Each episode I speak to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people about research, books and oral histories which document the first 140 years of conflict and resistance. These times are the Frontier Wars and these are our war stories.

 

I’ve always been interested in history, not just here in Australia but worldwide. The transfer of history is something Aboriginal people on this continent have always done through culture and storytelling. History connects us to who we are. It gives us a way to connect to the past and gives context to how we understand the world today. The history on this continent is one of conflict where Aboriginal people were dehumanised. Even though our humanity was being taken from us we were still resilient in maintaining our cultural obligations while also defending our country. Aboriginal people are murdered today and there is no justice, cause our humanity was and still is stripped from us. If you look through history, you can see when we as a people didn’t matter to anyone else on this continent. Not long after 1788 we went straight into warfare and we fought fiercely for 140 years. This history gives context to the relationship between Aboriginal people and settlers today.

 

People don’t know about our warriors unless they have done specialised studies, or these stories have been passed down to them. What we see because of this if a denial of the Frontier Wars and massacres. There is this notion that Aboriginal people gave up. Australia does a good job of denying this history despite historians telling some of these stories. Aboriginal people sacrificed their lives for us to be here and still have some remaining culture and country, I wanted to honour them by making their stories more accessible to everyone.

 

I use a podcasting platform to tell these stories as you can listen to a podcast while doing anything. It makes these stories more accessible to busy people or people like me that have trouble picking up a book. I wanted to engage people in the story-telling process, I’m having these conversations and learning things for the first time too. I wanted Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people to have an opportunity to learn this history through one of the oldest forms of storytelling, oral history.

 

My favourite episode so far was with Libby Connors, author of Warrior: A Legendary Leader's Dramatic Life and Violent Death on the Colonial Frontier. We spoke about Dundalli, a warrior who was hung and killed in Brisbane for fighting for his people. It’s my favourite episode because it’s important to know the history of the area that you live in. I don’t know all the history of this area but what is most important is continuing that learning.

 

My goal with the ‘Frontier War Stories’ series is to raise funds to travel to different communities for interviews to focus on the not so prominent Aboriginal figures out there as well. In one of my episodes I speak to Paddy Gibson who is an activist and head researcher at Jumbunna Indigenous Research Institute. We speak about a Yolgnu leader, Dhakiyarr, who speared and killed a police officer who had an Aboriginal woman chained up. That sparked the Australian Police Force into wanting to go massacre the Yolgnu people.  Activists and communists from different parts of this continent supported Dhakiyarr's act of resistance. Demonstrations were held in the streets and this stopped the government from going in and massacring these people. This was 1933, this was one of the last known open discussions about going in and "teaching the blacks a lesson". Dhakiyarr, isn’t as well known outside of his community. Most of the research done is about the bigger names like Pelmulwuy or Jandamarra, which I would like to cover but I would also like to focus on the lesser known warriors too.

 

If you enjoy this series and want to hear more about the Frontier Wars please donate. Donations go towards equipment and software to improve quality and also towards travel outside of COVID19; to travel to different communities to interview people that may not have access to recording technologies.

 

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Thank you email

$5 or more per month • 5 of 5 patrons

First 5 patrons to donate $5 a month will receive a personal Thank You email from the host Boe Spearim and a shout out on the next episode of Frontier War Stories.

Put on the waiting list

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