A starting point
Reading the letter of D. Morris (History is history, Gaz 7/11) confirms that true recognition of the first people of this country is still some time away.
His comment that ‘it was inevitable that Australia would eventually be settled’ misses the point that the country was already settled before Europeans arrived.
I doubt the Dutch or French would have done a better job, but a settlement that caused widespread degradation of land and displacement of people is not something to be proud about.
I agree, we can’t turn back the clock, but trying to find justifications for wrong doing is not the way to go.
One of our customs is to give awards to, or name places after people we value. However, we accept that these honours must be removed when people are no longer deserving.
Jobe Watson lost his Brownlow medal and Rolf Harris was stripped of his OA. I think it is fair that our electorate will no longer bear the name of McMillan.
It is a starting point, which shows we do care when people feel hurt and that we are serious about dealing with ‘inconvenient truths’ in the history of our country.
If we all make an effort to listen to others and let go of our sense of superiority and entitlement true change could happen.
As for Russell Broadbent, it is encouraging to see a politician who is standing up for disadvantaged people, be it refugees, Aboriginal people or our elderly.
Marja Bouman, Nilma North hats of yesteryear, have all but disappeared, so mostly there’s nothing for us to dip.
And where hats have been replaced, often by baseball caps, the custom of dipping one’s lid, to signal courtesy or respect, also seems to have given way to one of keeping the cap firmly anchored on the head at all times – inside and out; in company or not.
We still hear expressions such as ‘hats off to the winners’, though, so the thought hasn’t quite died out.
‘Dingo’, ‘drip’ and ‘drongo’ – ‘words for people with issues’, as Wells delicately puts it – were apparently not current lingo in CJ Dennis’ day, while some comparable labels that were, seemingly expired between the wars: ‘gazob’, a fool or blunderer, for example.
Colourful words come and go as users seek to make the same points in new ways.
‘Gay’ has gained a whole new meaning, Wells notes. So too has ‘guy’: once ‘a foolish fellow’, now he’s one of us, and she is too!
John Hart, Warragul