Yesterday's Poignant Google Doodle Was Designed By A Canberra Student

There's no denying that Google made a statement with their choice of Google Doodles for Australia Day yesterday. The image beautifully depicted the heartbreaking reality of what most Indigenous Australians call 'Invasion Day', showing a mother and her children who were taken away as part of the Stolen Generation. But there's more to the story than this.

The image was chosen for Google's homepage as part of the annual Doodle 4 Google competition, giving schoolkids the chance to get their artwork displayed on the most viewed webpage on the internet. For the past two years, high school and primary school childrens' artworks have dominated the Google Australia homepage on Australia day, but this year's winner was more relevant than ever.

The theme given to potential Google Doodlers was "if I could travel back in time I would..." with the winner Ineka Voigt from Canberra High School in the ACT answering: "I would reunite mother and child. A weeping mother sits in an ochre desert, dreaming of her children and a life that never was ...all that remains is red sand, tears and the whispers of her stolen dreamtime."

This message has been resoundingly supported by Google, with their official statement:

Judges this year included leading artist Bronwyn Bancroft and ARTEXPRESS curator Leeanne Carr, who along with Google’s other judges agreed that Ineka’s tremendous art work deserved pride of place on the Google homepage. It’s a powerful and beautiful image that is not only a brilliant artwork, but helps bring attention to the critical issue of reconciliation in Australia. We’re proud to have it on our homepage today.

Past Australia Day images have tended to depict the usual patriotism and cliched imagery, but this year reflects a larger movement by Australians to #ChangeTheDate of Australia Day to a day that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians can celebrate together.


Comments

    The tone of this article would present to people from other countries as if the forced separation of children from their families was done for nefarious reasons when the reality is that it was done with the best of intentions at a times when it seemed like the humane thing to do. It is not very different from recent interventions, in that it was trying to protect children from the unacceptably high rate of abuse and high mortality rates they suffer in Indigenous communities. i.e. If Indigenous communities were able to properly look after their children, they would not have felt compelled to take this drastic step.

      Intent is a tricky thing in this situation. I actually studied the Stolen Generation as a case study for genocide, and the legal definition of genocide completely hinges on the idea of intent. Considering the intent of taking Aboriginal children from their parents was to eventually breed the Indigenous Australian race out of existence, it can quite comfortably be defined as an act of genocide.

        I am not supporting what happened but I often hear the breading them out statement. But I have never seen (doesn't mean it doesn't exist) any specific legislation from the time stating that was the intention. It may have been what was happening in practise but yeah is about intent.

        Please supply (from your studies) referenced material indicating such intent.

    The image beautifully depicted the heartbreaking reality of what most Indigenous Australians call ‘Invasion Day’,

    Most? Are you kidding me? I really bloody doubt it.

      Ok do a census and get the results to us bro.

        I'll be honest I've only met 2 (that I know of, I don't generally ask some ones heritage ) and neither think of it as invasion day.

    Yeah, I wonder if MOST american indians call Independence day invasion day as well? Do americans remember the massacre of american indians etc on their national day? I wonder if Google puts that issue up as their doodle on their national day. Somehow I doubt it.

      Well their national day celebrates their independence from Britain, where as Australia day celebrates the date the British colonized NSW, in other words, invaded Australia (you have to see how Indigenous would see it as such).

      America actually has a similar celebration: Columbus day, and it got just as much bad press last year over its origins as Australia day gets. (Columbus being an asshole who raped and pillaged his way through all the lands he was 'discovering')

      No one is against having an Australia Day. Its just a bit much to expect Indigenous Australians to celebrate on the anniversary of the invasion of their land (and all the suffering that brought them)

      Furthermore, I don't think *any* Australian is particularly proud of the origins of our nation (founded as a backwater prison) So changing the date really isn't that big a deal.

      Their national day isn't on the day that Columbus landed and catastrophically fucked up the societies that had existed for millennia.

        It may come as a surprise to you, but Christopher Columbus never actually set foot on North America.

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