OK, I’m going to go into one of the areas where I am considered “right wing” but, to be honest, I think this is something that needs to be discussed.
I’ve mentioned in my comments before a pet peeve of mine in regards to what our school does before every assembly, presentation, and open school day. And that is an “acknowledgement of the country’s original owners, and to indigenous elders both past & present”. I honestly thought, given the indigenous background of some teachers at the school, that it was a localized thing. However, “The Missus” brought to my attention the fact that this “acknowledgement” is mandatory not only for schools but for all “public events” now, including “St Patrick’s Day”.
Apparently this is meant to encourage closer relations between indigenous & non-indigenous Australians. I cannot for the live of me see how! We get at most two days per year to acknowledge the sacrifice our Australian soldiers have made in protecting Australia from external threats. We have none at all for those that worked on the “Snowy Mountains Scheme”, providing water & clean(ish) power for millions as well as bringing in the ancestors of our current multi-cultural society. And they are getting an “acknowledgement” every-time my child gets an award for hard work at school, every-time there is public ceremony opened by a government official, and (for crying out loud) for a celebration of an Irish holiday. That’s right, we’re acknowledging the indigenous elders alive, dead, and otherwise when celebrating the Irish!
Now, I am not racist (which is often the call when this type of subject is brought up). I think an indigenous person is just as important, valuable, smart, & capable a person as anyone else. I have no big quibbles about the extra money they get for AbStudy & so on they get from the federal government, as I have seen the situation alot of them live in. They are human beings, just like the rest of us and any help to get them out of these conditions is a good thing.
On the other hand, “acknowledging” them at the opening of an envelope is not helping them in anyway, nor is it (in my mind) fostering good relations between them & us. Treating them as if they are special (and making it a mandatory speech heard by our young children) will breed resentment. Currently I am annoyed at this celebrity style treatment of the indigenous people where there is simply no connection between them and what is occurring. They have no input whatsoever on the hard work my child puts into his education, and yet it is compulsory for him to hear a fawning speech about them before being given his acknowledgement. Right now, the target of my ire is the bureaucrats/politicians that made this mandatory. However, it won’t take long for this to spill over to the people being talked about, and I bet you pounds to peanuts most people annoyed by this skip the “rule makers” and direct their anger toward the subject matter… you know, the people this is meant to be foster good relations with!
What are other people’s thoughts on this? Am I alone in this feeling that in going to far, the government is going to cause resentment where there was none and move “acceptance” further away for those that already had bad feelings in this?
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