Time for change

Australians have embraced the Black Lives Matter upheaval which has spread around the world with gusto.
Rallies across the nation over the past two weeks attracted thousands of supporters at a time when it was deemed too dangerous to gather in large numbers and senior politicians, health officials and civic leaders were warning people to stay at home.
The Australian gatherings were largely peaceful when compared with the looting and violence of the US and UK protests, and the opportunity to develop the debate in Australia towards achieving a more equal future may have arrived.
Time will tell.
Perhaps Covid-19 has tempered feelings a little but there has been no tearing down of statues or overtly outrageous behavior.
There has not been a clash between the extremes of the debate which perhaps indicates a level of maturity on both sides.
There is little doubt that change will come and, while today’s society is far from perfect, one only has to look back a few years to see how far we have grown as a community.
There is much to do, but changing the direction of a national psyche is not as simple as a three-point turn.
Australians now openly acknowledge the wrongs of the past and mainstream society is now much more open with how our children are educated.
Most people acknowledge those wrongs cannot be corrected.
Tearing down a statue of Captain Cook won’t change a thing. Putting up monuments celebrating the remarkable Aboriginal culture that was so ignorantly ignored by past generations may well be the way forward.
We cannot rewrite history and the only thing we can change is the future.
And yet at the same time as most Australians agree that Aboriginal culture needs to be afforded greater respect, mining companies in WA are openly destroying sites of international significance.
That is an outrage that should stir the passions of all people – black and white.
To knowingly blow up a site with an estimated 46,000 years of continuous human habitation in order to make money is just another example of how little some Australians respect Aboriginal culture.

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.