[Linux-aus] Acknowledgement of country

Russell Coker russell at coker.com.au
Thu Nov 5 19:42:54 AEDT 2015

On Thu, 5 Nov 2015 05:25:59 PM Luke John wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 1:01 PM, Russell Coker <russell at coker.com.au> wrote:
> > On Thu, 5 Nov 2015 11:49:59 AM Luke John wrote:
> >> Linux Australia currently has an excellent value statement and a
> >> proven track record of being open and welcoming to newcomers and
> >> embracing diversity.
> > 
> > The Wikipedia page you cited states that "In Federal Parliament, both
> > houses start each day with the Lord's Prayer and the Welcome to
> > Country".  I don't think it's unreasonable for Linux Australia to take
> > the standards of Federal Parliament as minimum standards.
> I don't think any standard that includes a prayer can be
> called reasonable.

I agree that the prayer should be removed.  But this isn't a discussion of 
outdated features of parliament.  The mention of parliament was regarding a 
change that was made recently.  We can copy the good things they do without 
copying the bad stuff.

As an aside I'm happy for religious people to pray in their own way in their 
own home or place of worship.  Forcing one particular religion into parliament 
is a bad thing.  If we are going to have any prayers used to open parliament 
then they should give every religious group a chance to send representatives 
to pray.

> > To provide a "fun, welcoming" environment regardles of race (when race
> > means Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) I think that again
> > we need to acknowledge who was here first.
> The current policy is sufficiently worded for organisers of LA events
> who feel similarly to you to include an "Acknowledgement of Country".
> Likewise at events where organisers do not feel it is appropriate to
> include, they may choose not to.

Why would someone object to an Acknowledgement of Country?  It's already been 
done with LA events in the past without problem.  It's done at most 
universities without issue and even when it was added to the start of 
parliament it didn't get much notice (I didn't even know they did that until 

> I think having a guide available to organisers discussing ways to help
> make their event culturally and socially inclusive would be of benefit
> to the LA community.
> The following documents seem like a good starting point.
> https://www.unimelb.edu.au/diversity/downloads/Inclusive-Events.pdf

That has some interesting ideas about a separate area for non-alcoholic 
drinks, separating out beef and pork dishes from other food with separate 
utensils, and using separate BBQ plates.  I don't think that LCA has done too 
badly in this regard, but I know that some other Linux events in Australia 
haven't done so well.

> http://www.flinders.edu.au/staff-development-files/CDIP%20documents/CDIP%20
> Toolkit%202015/Culturally%20inclusive%20social%20events%202.pdf
> http://www.latrobe.edu.au/students/equity/equity-and-diversity-documents/C
> ulturally-Inclusive-social-events.pdf

The first page of each of those demands an Acknowledgement of Country.  Apart 
from that they seem to have much the same content as the first document.

Given that most of the documents you have referenced have mandated an 
Acknowledgement of Country your argument doesn't seem sustainable.

> Information of this sort is already shared between organisers of
> different LA events through both formal (ie. ghosts) and informal
> channels.

A casual scan of the 3 documents you referenced shows that universities are 
sharing information too.  But they write down their conclusions to make it 
clear to everyone.  I don't think there's any reason why we couldn't do the 
same.  We could even just reference one of the university documents, I'm sure 
that they would be more than happy for us to do so.

My Main Blog         http://etbe.coker.com.au/
My Documents Blog    http://doc.coker.com.au/

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