03 September, 2006

Australian Aborigines - justice and hope

I was going to write a long wordy piece about how we all would benefit from Aboriginal Reconcilliation .... but then I was upstaged .... and I'm glad I was upstaged .... because it was by NSW MP Linda Burney who presented the 7th Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture which was broadcast on ABC Radio National's "Awaye" program on Friday 1st September 2006.

You can find it at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/awaye/stories/2006/1721722.htm

There's a Transcript there or you can download the Podcast.

Brilliant. Anything I could have said would have been trivial by comparison .... so I urge you to read it or listen to it.


Iain said...

What was so brilliant about that? I listened and she was just sprouting the same sort of stuff we have been hearing from the left for ages. Sadly it was all about blaming the mainstream and not about any real solutions.
Why are you moderating your comments? Are you frightened that some dissenting voices might be heard?

Ungrateful Troublemaker said...

Thanks for your comment Iain.

I thought she had done well in bringing together so many loose threads into a single oration ..... and unlike the borerline plagarism of some politicians, academics and activists, her presentation made no claim to any of the ideas as her own, what a refreshing change.

The Feral Abacus said...

UT: Thanks for posting that link - I would otherwise have missed it. Sure, I'd seen some of the content before, but Ms Burney brought a very personal perspective on the effects of history and politics on our lives. Definitely worth bringing her speech to our attention.

As for iain's comment re solutions, there are several paragraphs of proposals below the "Eight Examples" section.

PS Great to see your blog up & running.

Ungrateful Troublemaker said...

Thanks FeralAbacus.
The solutions for most of these problems have been well-known for years (it's one of the reasons I get annoyed at the news media's very pushy marketing of Noel Pearson's statements as something new). Linda Burney herself told us to stop reinventing the wheel.

The implementaion of existing solutions seems to be the biggest problem - and I don't think money alone is the stumbling-block, I think it is more a matter of unwillingness to do something practical and beneficial.

The Feral Abacus said...

Implementation is always the stumbling block, because that is the step that involves the public service. Some years ago I was involved with community housing, and saw at first hand the misfit between the world view of a govt dept and that of a group where communal participation had primacy. Hierarchy is everything in the PS, and that mindset has insuperable difficulty in dealing with groups, especially those organized along co-operative principles. This must present an enormous stumbling block in dealings between aboriginal communities and govt depts.

Ungrateful Troublemaker said...

How true. Sadly, this stumbling block extends to the corporate world too .... mindsets set in concrete.

I heard about an inland Aboriginal community that was asked what they wanted in the way of housing and they actually got what they wanted .... which was nothing at all like Western middle-class urban housing. The Blackfellas were happy with what they got because it suits the needs and desires of this generation; no doubt a younger generation will have very different needs ("aspirational" perhaps?). As for the arguement that such structures have only a limited life of active use, take a look at all the commercial buildings in our cities - offices, hotels, factories - that are erected and demolished within thirty years! The cost of putting up and pulling down such commercial buildings would pay for gold-plated gunyahs for every Blackfella in Australia; so much for wise and economical use of resources. Furthermore, I have seen the very real problems that have arisen because some well-meaning twit has forced his own narrow idea of what was appropriate housing on an Aboriginal community - Architecture mightn't kill but it can do untold harm.

Freeing up the mindset of bureaucrats - whether public service or corporate - really has to start in First Year Undergraduate university courses. There would be no loss of academic freedom involved in rewarding those lecturers and tutors who encourage their students to be open-minded and giving the flick to staff who neglect to guide their students away from bloody-minded arrogance.