Cel­e­brate with re­spect, sen­si­tiv­ity

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

SET­TLERS and their de­scen­dants are of­ten very sen­si­tive about the past. Re­cently, there has been a back­lash against any­one ques­tion­ing whether Jan­uary 26 is a date all Aus­tralians can cel­e­brate in good con­science. It is un­der­stand­able some peo­ple take is­sue with cel­e­brat­ing this date. In 2014, Adam Goodes re­ceived the Aus­tralian of the Year award. At the time, he said: “There was a lot of anger, a lot of sor­row, for this day... but in the last five years, I’ve changed my per­cep­tion of what is Aus­tralia Day. “It’s about cel­e­brat­ing the pos­i­tives, that we are still here as indige­nous peo­ple, our cul­ture is one of the long­est sur­viv­ing cul­tures in the world. That is some­thing… all Aus­tralians need to cel­e­brate. ” It was a nu­anced and in­sight­ful per­spec­tive – diplo­matic and con­cil­ia­tory. He was slammed for it. No one is go­ing to ban bar­be­cues on Jan­uary 26. Show­ing a bit of re­spect and un­der­stand­ing for diver­gent views on this is­sue would go a long way.

Gio­vanni Torre, jour­nal­ist

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