Sym­bolic change

NewsMail - - YOUR SAY -

CON­CUR­RENT with the re­cent Aus­tralia Day recog­ni­tion, there has been a dis­cus­sion in the NewsMail pages and the Aus­tralian com­mu­nity on two of our sig­nif­i­cant cul­tural sym­bols: the cre­ation of an Aus­tralian repub­lic and chang­ing the date of Aus­tralia Day.

Op­po­nents to these two de­bates ap­pear to rely on two ar­gu­ments: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and there are more im­por­tant pri­or­i­ties that have a prac­ti­cal ef­fect on the lives of Aus­tralians.

Of course, these deny the sig­nif­i­cance of how our cul­tural sym­bols af­fect the way we see our­selves and the way the world sees us, which ul­ti­mately af­fects most as­pects of our life by dic­tat­ing our de­ci­sion-mak­ing on mat­ters of im­por­tance.

I am very proud that the Queens­land Teach­ers’ Union is a so­cially pro­gres­sive union that has a long-stand­ing pol­icy sup­port­ing the cre­ation of an Aus­tralian repub­lic with an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen as our head of state.

More re­cently the QTU has sup­ported a change of date for Aus­tralia Day so that it serves as a more in­clu­sive day for cel­e­bra­tion by all Aus­tralians.

Strong po­lit­i­cal and com­mu­nity lead­ers and strong unions do not only re­flect com­mu­nity views; they also lead and in­flu­ence the com­mu­nity in change. Many cur­rent well-ac­cepted re­forms were once mi­nor­ity, even rad­i­cal po­si­tions, that re­quired lead­er­ship and cam­paign­ing to achieve.

Aus­tralians would do well to take the best learnt val­ues and lessons from the past, us­ing them to con­tinue to evolve and progress to meet the needs of a con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralia. — AL­LAN COOK pres­i­dent Bund­aberg North QTU

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.