“I know my aunts were sad, they saw the Queen as a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother,” McCarthy said.
“I know my brothers felt differently, I know my uncles felt differently as they also reflected on what the monarchy has meant and what colonialism has meant.”
She said the Queen was not directly responsible for the frontier wars in colonial Australia, but Indigenous Australians had “mixed feelings and emotions” as a result of Commonwealth oversight.
Western Australian Greens senator and Yamatji-Noongar woman Dorinda Cox said the deplorable dealings of First Nations people did not end with the parliamentary condolence speeches for the Queen.
“The irony comes from so-called progressives in this country who are silencing the voices, their disapproval of anyone brave enough to speak out since the Queen died a fortnight ago,” she said.
“We are a mature nation capable of conversations that both commemorate the life of a public figure and at the same time call out the problematic legacy of the British Empire.”
NSW Labor senator Tony Sheldon said much of the grief of Indigenous Australians had been overshadowed by the mourning period, highlighting the late artist. Jack Charles, who died on September 13.
“I can appreciate and empathize with First Nations people who may rightly have experienced very different emotions,” Sheldon said.
The leader of the House of Representatives, Tony Burke, gave a short speech in which he spoke of his two great aunts, who brought up his father in an Irish Catholic household, and “who had all sorts of views about Britain … but were so proud of the photographs they had from when Her Majesty visited Sydney, and they had always exhibited their best fine bone china teacup, which was always known as the cup for the Queen, if she ever appeared.”
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