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To build a future we must acknowledge our past

By January 27, 2023January 12th, 2024No Comments
Another Australia Day has been and gone demonstrating that our history provokes a range of emotional responses – pride, sorrow, happiness, anger and guilt.
If you accept – as I do – that the Australian frontier was a violent place, and many aboriginal lives were lost in this violence, and that aboriginal Australians have suffered because of the loss of livelihood, disease, and poverty, then there is much to provoke a sense of guilt. Guilt, however, prevents constructive dialogue.
Instead, I want an honest conversation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians about our shared past and its consequences. I want to have this conversation in ways that enable us all to address a legacy of the past and create a shared future.
Whoever we are – indigenous, descendants of Settler Australians, migrants or refugees we all have a stake in our nation’s future. A generous approach to dialogue based on empathy, respect and compassion, would seek to find a date to celebrate our nationhood that is inclusive of all Australians.
First published as a letter to The Age on 27 January 2023

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