Friday, 25 May 2012

Are we really sorry? And if we are sorry, how sorry are we. Not very, I suggest.

NAIDOC poster winner announced
A 25-year-old Aboriginal artist from Chinchilla in Queensland has won the prestigious 2012 National NAIDOC Poster Competition, snaring a $5000 prize. Amanda Joy Tronc's artwork will adorn posters that will be distributed across the country to promote NAIDOC Week, which runs from 1-8 July. Her work titled 'Look at us now' addressed this year's NAIDOC theme, 'Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 years on'. "I wanted my artwork to show that it is important to understand the history behind us and that our culture is a part of our people," said Ms Tronc (pictured).


To-morrow, 26 May, is Sorry Day or - as it is now called - The National Day of Healing. There has been an apology to the Stolen Generations. There are Reconcilation Committees in all or most Local Government areas in Australia.  However, I would ask how sorry are Australians and how reconciled.  And if we say we are sorry that we do wish for reconciliation, then how sorry are we and what are we prepared to do to be reconciled?

You see in remote Aboriginal communities of Australia they do not have the same facilities and services available to them as those in mainstream communities.  You may recall that one of the things The Intervention in the Northern Territory sought to do was to put reasonably manned police stations in communities. All governments know that Aboriginal communities can have law and order problems - as do mainstream communities - but law enforcement, in many case, was not available to Aboriginal people.

There is a lot of goodwill in Australia towards Aboriginal reconcilation and inclusion but I would put in this reminder that not everyone cares, not everyone is sorry, not everyone wants to be reconciled.   Even among those who express goodwill, I am yet to hear one Australian say that they are prepared to do without a tax cut if the equivalent dollars could be spent on raising up the status and condition of Aboriginal people who are not making it mainstream society.

In short:  Are we really sorry? And if we are sorry, how sorry are we. Not very, I suggest.

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