Ar­gue cases with dig­nity


ALL Aus­tralians de­serve to be treated with re­spect.

One of the tough­est plat­forms for a coun­cil must surely be to con­duct a fair as­sess­ment of the con­cerns for all groups un­der their ju­ris­dic­tion.

There is no doubt our coun­cil should have dis­cus­sions with the in­dige­nous com­mu­nity to al­low their con­cerns to be ex­pressed rel­a­tive to the is­sue of how Aus­tralia Day should be cel­e­brated.

This is a clas­sic case of the Aus­tralian mantra of giv­ing ev­ery­one a “fair go”, some­thing which is not avail­able in many coun­tries of the world.

Coun­cil­lor Swan seems to be­lieve “we” pay lip ser­vice to the “tra­di­tional own­ers of the land” and past those words we “aren’t in­ter­ested in hear­ing their opin­ion”.

This is non­sense be­cause “we”, in many ways, ei­ther through money, ac­com­mo­da­tion or ed­u­ca­tion, have gone past trite words and have acted to en­gage the In­dige­nous com­mu­nity.

When I use “we” I re­fer to the work­ing peo­ple of Aus­tralia via, in­di­rectly, taxes and time from those who have worked on in­dige­nous projects.

Coun­cil­lor Thom­son ex­pressed “dis­ap­point­ment” that the mo­tion to “sup­port the re­ten­tion of Aus­tralia Day” as it is should be go­ing to a vote at all.

Sorry, Coun­cil­lor Thom­son, but Coun­cil­lors Ma­son and Wil­liams have ev­ery right to ask for a vote on is­sues of con­cern.

Al­though I am not an ex­pert on con­sti­tu­tional law I be­lieve other coun­cil­lors across Aus­tralia can do the same.

To sug­gest the Shire of Strath­bo­gie should not fol­low mo­tions, to sup­port Jan­uary 26, as per other “dys­func­tional coun­cils” tars the opin­ions of elected coun­cil­lors as “im­paired and/or ab­nor­mal”.

Un­less Coun­cil­lor Thom­son has been on the re­spec­tive “dys­func­tional coun­cils” how would he know this?

To then re­gur­gi­tate the ab­hor­rent terms, to most fair minded Aus­tralian cit­i­zens, of “fas­cist” and “white su­prem­a­cist”, to make his point of view has me con­cerned that I have some­one with th­ese views rep­re­sent­ing me on coun­cil.

Yes, coun­cil­lors, by all means present your point of view – this is your right – and vote ac­cord­ingly but please can we ar­gue our cases with dig­nity.

Euroa does not need to be told other coun­cils have “fas­cists” and “white supremists” in their midst.

We need to be told that fair is fair, meet­ings will be held and let us progress to­wards re­spect­ful de­bate.

The con­se­quences were hor­ren­dous and con­tinue to this day.

Are the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion re­ally meant to be grate­ful for be­ing taken from their tra­di­tional lands, fam­i­lies and cul­ture?

Some of the worst abuses, phys­i­cal, emo­tional and sex­ual, oc­curred in Chris­tian Mis­sions and in the homes of ap­par­ently God fear­ing peo­ple.

Since when is Aus­tralia Day our “na­tional Chris­tian day”, as claimed by Ms Moore?

The tra­di­tion of Aus­tralia Day as a na­tional hol­i­day on Jan­uary 26 is very re­cent and has noth­ing to do with re­li­gion.

Not un­til 1935 did all the Aus­tralian states and ter­ri­to­ries use that name to mark that date.

Not un­til 1944 did they be­gin to cel­e­brate Aus­tralia Day con­sis­tently as a pub­lic hol­i­day on that date (Na­tional Aus­tralia Day Coun­cil).

I would have thought that the pur­pose of a na­tional day is to unite rather than di­vide a na­tion.

I have long been un­able to cel­e­brate a day that sym­bol­ises the dis­pos­ses­sion and op­pres­sion of our First Peo­ples and, as such, is of­fen­sive to many.

There are very many other dates that would not have this ef­fect and I fail to see how chang­ing the date is a prob­lem to any­one. As long as we get a day off, right? I ad­vise Ms Moore to come down from her church tower into the real world.

I rec­om­mend that she watches “Rab­bit Proof Fence” and reads Kate Grenville’s “The Se­cret River” for a more ac­cu­rate view of Aus­tralian his­tory.

And no, Ms Moore, the First Peo­ples of this coun­try were not Adam and Eve.

Bron­wyn Starkey, Euroa

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