Day for ed­u­ca­tion

AUS­TRALIA DAY ‘IDEAL FOR CUL­TURE’

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Front Page - Ben Smith

LANGFORD Abo­rig­i­nal As­so­ci­a­tion (LAA) man­ager Jill Ab­dul­lah wants to use Aus­tralia Day to help spread Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture.

Ms Ab­dul­lah ac­knowl­edged the neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions sur­round­ing the day but be­lieved the best way for­ward was to use the day to ed­u­cate peo­ple about Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture.

The City of Gos­nells re­cently ap­proved a pol­icy to “pro­tect” its Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions on Jan­uary 26. The de­ci­sion came in the wake of sev­eral coun­cils around Aus­tralia de­bat­ing whether or not to cel­e­brate Aus­tralia Day.

Ms Ab­dul­lah said the day still held neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions for some Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, but it could be used to ex­pose non-Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to their cul­ture.

“From an Abo­rig­i­nal per­spec­tive, there’s a black his­tory there which needs to be told; mas­sacres and other bad things hap­pened which are in other peo­ple’s minds and passed down from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion,” she said.

“With the City of Gos­nells, we have had some dis­cus­sions. They came to us for advice about how to keep Aus­tralia Day as it is but also how to be in­clu­sive of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in the cer­e­monies.”

Ms Ab­dul­lah said the LAA had a strong re­la­tion­ship with the City of Gos­nells and had dis­cussed ways to im­prove the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture.

“We’re work­ing on how to in­clude Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple so peo­ple who are newer to Aus­tralia ac­tu­ally un­der­stand how they came to set­tle but also there is a black his­tory and how to ex­pose them to that,” she said.

“It’s a so­lu­tion which isn’t po­lit­i­cal, con­tro­ver­sial; it’s a quiet ed­u­ca­tional process so peo­ple are able to em­brace that cross-cul­tural un­der­stand­ing.”

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