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Reply to "The 'Promised Land': Why We're Still Waiting"

quote:
Originally posted by Isome:
Australians have a really big problem with their attitude towardthe Aboriginal people. There was the whole era where their children were taken away stolen generations for dubious reasons and given to white people... and subsequently lost their rich heritage as an indigenous ethnicity.

Quite right, but it is some Australians, not all Australians.
Perhaps the most important process that has been stalled is Reconciliation. A lot of Australians want our federal government to say 'Sorry' to the members of the Stolen Generation, and the indigenous population. There has been a century-long struggle for rights for Aborigines in Australia. What has it achieved? One thing is the right to vote. That it took until the late 1960s is outrageous.

Another issue is a treaty. Australia has no treaty with its indigenous citizens, whereas New Zealand, the USA and Canada does. The current government has promoted the idea of 'mutual obligation' involving what are called Shared Responsiblity Agreements with local communities. Whether that is 'enough' or whether there should be an over-riding, all-embracing agreement is open for debate right now.

I can't speak for all Australians, however speaking for myself and people I know, we want an honourable place for Indigenous Australians. A formal Constitution of the nation remains unresolved.

It is rarely up for discussion. And indigenous issues in general are low on the political agenda.

One of the few politicians in this country who has a holistic and inclusive grasp of government is Bob Brown, who I would love to see as our Prime Minister. Because he targets civil rights, and the environment, however, it's unlikely he will ever be in a position of such authority.

The fact is... more Australians care about having a low mortgage interest rate than anything else. That is what they vote for in John Howard.
Yes, John Howard is right wing. Our 'alternative' is no alternative. They maybe more to the left but they are a disorganized and out of touch bunch of hard men who can't even agree among themselves. To their credit they have some previous history of highlighting indigenous people but not currently.

A lot of energy has been spent on whether Australia should become a republic. Not many Australians identify with Britain anyway, so I doubt it would truly make any quantum change in how Australians see themselves, however while there is value in the Republic debate I am suspicious of the real aims of the debate itself and doubt they are in fact altruistic (I see it as a thinly disguised political power struggle for a political to become a President), it distracts everyday Australians from more important, and immediate needs, which are to direct people, skills, education and funding to indigenous Australians with a priority to regional and outback Australia.

What Australia needs politically is a new party with some younger future-looking members. With so much similarity between parties, I don't think there are strictly right and left wing parties here and both parties struggling with a crisis of belief.

It can be argued today's political climate requires thinking beyond left and right that includes a new humanism. The most vexing political issues here include: overconsumption, work-family balance, immigration and the environment. Indigenous issues should feature on this list but in reality in most Australians' minds they don't.

quote:
How is that issue being worked on in Australia now?

not well enough.
The other reason I while away so many ignorant moments on this site asking foolish questions is to help put indigenous issues here in Australia, in perspective. In my incredible 'ignorance' I actually believe that the more people read and ask questions - be they judged as stupid questions (how arrogant) or not - is to in some way help problem-solve issues in our indigenous community here and how. Yes I guess I could sit around worrying about whether I am too white or too ignorant or not conscious enough to do it but I'd rather make a start to do what I can.
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