‘G’day’ a no-go at PC Games

Use indige­nous greet­ing ‘jin­geri’, vol­un­teers told

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - GREG STOLZ

FOR­GET g’day – Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games vol­un­teers are be­ing told to wel­come visi­tors with the lit­tle-known Abo­rig­i­nal greet­ing “jin­geri”.

In the lat­est po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness con­tro­versy to hit the event, the 15,000 vol­un­teers un­der­go­ing train­ing for the April Games are be­ing en­cour­aged to use jin­geri – the lo­cal Yugam­beh indige­nous word for “greet­ings”. The reve­la­tion comes af­ter Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games Cor­po­ra­tion (GOLDOC) staff were in­vited to an “In­va­sion Day” bar­be­cue and pub quiz on Aus­tralia Day, and out­cry over vol­un­teers be­ing told to use gen­der-neu­tral lan­guage when ad­dress­ing spec­ta­tors.

A Games vol­un­teer said the “jin­geri” in­struc­tion had been is­sued dur­ing “reg­i­mented” train­ing with a strong em­pha­sis on indige­nous cul­ture.

“The vol­un­teers have been told to say ‘jin­geri’ in­stead of hello, good morn­ing, good af­ter­noon, good evening or the world-fa­mous Aussie greet­ing of g’day,” the source said.

“As part of the train­ing, there are en­tire mod­ules de­voted to indige­nous cul­ture. The vol­un­teers are be­ing told to be bright, happy and up­beat, but neu­tral about ev­ery­thing.”

LNP Com­mon­wealth Games spokesman John-Paul Lang­broek said it was an­other ex­am­ple of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness “in­fect­ing” the Games. “It’s com­pletely proper to ac­knowl­edge our indige­nous cul­ture and her­itage in the Com­mon­wealth Games,” he said. “But to ram it down the throats of vis­it­ing spec­ta­tors, ath­letes and of­fi­cials with a strange man­dated greet­ing is just an­other case of PC ab­sur­dity that we’re see­ing in­fect­ing th­ese Games.”

A GOLDOC spokes­woman said “Games Shapers” (vol­un­teers) were be­ing en­cour­aged to use jin­geri “if they wish”. “There is no com­pul­sion … to use any lan­guage or nar­ra­tive, how­ever the Games Shaper train­ing man­ual of­fers sug­ges­tions, as a guide only,” she said.

Yugam­beh Mu­seum chief ex­ec­u­tive Rory O’Con­nor said that lo­cal indige­nous fam­i­lies had been us­ing jin­geri, also the name of the willy-wag­tail bird, “for­ever”.

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