It's the new mantra in Aboriginal affairs: get your kids to school.
Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd were fond of saying it. So too is Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
While I don't accept that education alone, or rather a lack of access to it, explains the desperate poverty in which so many of my people live, I do agree that education is crucial to our future success.
But if it's good enough for blackfellas, then it should also be good enough for whitefellas.
Mainstream Australia has long lacked a real education about Aboriginal people, about our shared history, and this nation's brutal past.
Fortunately, there's a simple way in – an opportunity to get a "punter's guide" to the truth about the treatment of Aboriginal Australians.
John Pilger's latest film, Utopia - a 110-minute feature length documentary more than two years in the making - should be required viewing for all Australians, in particular lawmakers.
I watched the film recently and it brought back many memories for me. Admittedly, a few of them were pleasant. The spirit of my people has always helped to sustain and inspire me, and watching old warriors such as Vince Forrester, Bob Randall and Rosie Kunoth-Monks, for me at least, took the edge off some of the hard truths in Utopia.
But many of the memories Utopia brought back were not pleasant, and large sections of the film simply made me angry.
During the 1970s, I travelled the nation with Fred Hollows. We travelled across Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, treating Aboriginal men, women and children for trachoma and other eye diseases, problems which still plague remote Aboriginal communities today.
The Australia I saw in Utopia this week is the same Australia I saw with Hollows.
Very little has changed on the ground.
Attitudes in non-Aboriginal Australia, it seems, have not evolved much either.
In one part of the film, Pilger is taken on a tour of Rottnest Island by a local Aboriginal elder, Noel Nannup. But it's not the tour tourists get – despite "Rotto's" history as a brutal concentration camp, today it is a resort and luxury spa, with virtually all traces of its past erased.
The stories around deaths in custody; around an Aboriginal elder being cooked, literally, in the back of a prison van; around government and media deceit that led to the Northern Territory intervention; all made for infuriating viewing.
But for me, Pilger's interview with the former indigenous health minister, Warren Snowdon, and the responses of white people on Australia Day who were asked why they thought Aboriginal people didn't celebrate January 26, were the real nuggets in the film.
For Snowdon's part, he was grilled about why, after 23 years in office, his constituents were still among the sickest and poorest on earth. Snowdon's seething, bombastic response was to label the question “puerile”.
And then there were the vox pops from mainstream Australians on January 26, 2013. People were asked why they thought Aboriginal people didn't celebrate the date. Most seemed to have no idea that was even the case, and others were just openly hostile.
To me, it's these attitudes of indifference, and sometimes outrage when challenged, that are the real elephants in the room for this country.
The denial of our history, and our collective refusal to accept the truths of our past are the biggest hurdles to Aboriginal advancement.
I hope that people who see Utopia will have their consciences pricked. Those who do might feel embarrassed or ashamed. But I hope that's not the only reaction. I hope, above all else, Utopia starts a long overdue national conversation.
We can't just sweep aside the truths in Utopia because they're uncomfortable. And we can't let conservative commentators make it all about the film-maker rather than the film, which is what often happens with Pilger's work.
I'm bracing myself for the inevitable focus on Pilger's “style” and his “bias”. So before it comes, let me give you one assurance: You'd be hard-pressed to find many Aboriginal people with whom Utopia won't resonate strongly.
The reason why is simple: what John Pilger and his co-director Alan Lowery have produced is a substantial work of truth, one which provides answers to many of the questions Australians have been too afraid to ask.
Why is this happening? Why were there no reparations to the stolen generations? Why do Aboriginal people still live in such grinding poverty? If, as Snowdon concedes in the film, the NT intervention was “wrong-headed” and “stupid”, why did he continue and extend it under the Rudd and Gillard governments?
The most pressing question from my perspective is why has reconciliation in this country failed?
Pilger touches on this in his closing remarks. He makes the point that until Aboriginal people are delivered justice, there can never be reconciliation.
I agree strongly. But I would add that the path to justice begins with the truth.
That's a reality that nations such as Canada and South Africa recognised many years ago, when they established their respective Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.
Put simply, reconciliation hasn't worked in Australia because as a nation, we continue to refuse to face up to our real past. Just as you cannot have reconciliation without justice, you can't have justice without truth.
Through Utopia, Pilger sheds some light on those truths. It's likely to be very uncomfortable viewing for many Australians, and it will inevitably cause pain.
But you'll find the overwhelming majority of Aboriginal people are prepared to watch Utopia, and feel the hurt all over again.
The real question is how many non-Aboriginal Australians have the courage to watch this film, educate themselves a little, and feel the hurt for the first time?
* Sol Bellear is the chairman of the Aboriginal Medical Service, Redfern and a long-time Aboriginal activist.