[Linux-aus] Acknowledgement of country

Matthew Lye matthew.lye at ubuntu.com
Sun Nov 8 08:42:02 AEDT 2015

Not to make too finer point on the issue but it is common practice all
around the world for western countries, in different ways, to acknowledge
the indigenous populations that they supplanted. Rather than justifying why
we should do a welcome to country or the more common acknowledgement of
traditional owners we should be critically assessing any reason presented
why not to.

The best reason I have seen so far is that another minority group may be
offended, or other minority groups may expect us to do something similarly
special for them. I consider both reasons to be irrelevant as neither are
the indigenous population of the host country. Look at how New Zealand as
grown as its adopted the Maori culture as an equal to its western
counterpart, no other culture demanded the same respect for them because it
would be foolish and counter productive.

-Matthew Lye

 Leadership is responsibility, not privilege, Action, not position,
Guidance, not knowledge, and outcome, not disposition.

"Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it
often substitutes for both." - John Andrew Holmes

On Sun, Nov 8, 2015 at 2:43 AM, James Turnbull <james at lovedthanlost.net>

> > I don't see why you should. Are you treating them any different to, say,
> > members of an evangelical church who might have some interesting thoughts
> > on community leadership to share?
> Yes - because both groups have differing amounts of power. Evangelical
> Christians wield enormous economic and political power in Australia.
> Indigenous groups are thrilled if people remember they exist. Poverty,
> disease, institutional racism (c.f. the incarceration rates of
> indigenous Australians), radically shorter lifespans all remain
> documented problems for those communities.
> > (At least, treating them any differently in any way other than choosing
> > where to direct /your/ time and focus, for which you're certainly allowed
> > to be as biassed as you like)
> >
> > I mean consider what Noel and Brent actually said on the principle
> > rather than the actions to be taken:
> >
> >  Noel: "there is no them and us, no black and white,
> >         we are all Australians"
> >
> >  Brent: "Indigenous Australian recognition is a given"
> >
> Which is the usual statement from folks who either don't have empathy
> for or don't understand that those statements are simply not true as
> experienced by indigenous Australians.
> This is a systematic problem in Australia. Maybe a "welcome to country"
> won't solve it but it's a step towards ensuring we don't assume the
> problem is solved because we feel like "all Australians are equal" when
> reality suggests otherwise.
> Regards
> James Turnbull
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