Lead­ers fail­ing to lead

The Saturday Paper - - Letters & Editorial -

The com­ments of Se­na­tor Barn­aby Joyce and Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull on the Uluru state­ment show a lack of lead­er­ship and vi­sion. What di­vides us is not the amaz­ing courage and lead­er­ship emerg­ing from First Na­tions peo­ple from Uluru, but the small-minded views of some such as these. I apol­o­gise to the First Na­tions peo­ple, yet again. Un­til we face and ac­knowl­edge our past, our present, and how we treat First Na­tions peo­ple and deny them a voice in how their af­fairs are run, none of us will have a bright fu­ture. As a de­vel­oped coun­try how can we con­tinue to al­low dis­ad­van­tage and not en­able those with lived ex­pe­ri­ence and cul­ture to have a say and a voice? In 2006, I wrote an opin­ion piece en­ti­tled, “Abo­rig­ines are still treated with dis­dain”, based on my first­hand ex­pe­ri­ences of racial dis­crim­i­na­tion while jour­ney­ing as a white per­son be­side In­dige­nous col­leagues. Let’s think about how lit­tle we have moved on. Let’s not wait for the politi­cians and right-wing think tanks to sab­o­tage the de­bate again. As Low­itja O’Donoghue once told me, “It’s for the peo­ple to lead and the lead­ers will fol­low.”

– Dr Liz Cur­ran, ANU School of Law

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