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Baillieu move a win for progress

By DEAN LAWSON
Premier Ted Baillieu’s provocative move to give Victorian public servants the freedom of choice, on whether to acknowledge Aboriginal land ownership before official functions, removing any suggestion of compulsion, is gutsy.
We just hope his intentions are based on a willingness to help Victorian society move beyond political correctness instead of a simple thumbing of the nose at an important cultural group and a protocol introduced by political rivals.
While many of us understand the good intentions of the introductory acknowledgment, many of us have also often found it unnecessary, inappropriate and in some cases downright patronising.
Surely it is time to move on. Our history is a story of struggle and it’s wrong and tokenistic to isolate one part of it as being more important or significant than the other.
While we can cherish our heritage, Aboriginal, European, Asian or whatever, there must eventually come a time when being Australian is simply about being Australian. In the end, people are simply people.
Apparently, I’m an Anglo-Saxon-Gothic-Celtic-Gaelic Pict. Yet I proudly consider Aboriginal history part of my history as an Australian and, importantly, a human. In truth I recognise all the trail-blazing people who fought, lived, loved, survived and settled in the place I call home.
We are forever evolving and diversifying whether it is as a result of conquest with a gun, immigration ticket, computer or a dollar. It’s the passing of time that is critical in how humanity evolves and heals.
Day-to-day education about and acknowledgment and acceptance of the cultural and racial mix that establishes who we are in the world sits at the core of true recognition of the first or any Australians, not a mouthful of the same hollow words at every conceivable ceremony.
Australian Rules football, an amalgam of the Aboriginal game marngrook and British football codes, is perhaps the greatest example of how cultures can merge to create something wonderful if given the opportunity.
There is an appropriate place and time for everything.

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Posted on May 25 2011

Posted by on May 25 2011. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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