Liddle, Celeste: Seeing the con in reconciliation

Celeste Liddle

Seeing the con in reconciliation‘, Eureka Street, 28 May 2020

Arrernte feminist writer on the annual disappointment of Reconciliation Week, which began on 27 May. Comments section is strong also.

We don’t have ‘land rights’ [says Liddle], just native title and that counts for little when mining companies are blowing up some of the most ancient sites in the world with a mere ‘whoops’. Even then, what Mabo fought for, and won, has not been embraced in the public consciousness. Does anyone truly believe the ‘terra nullius’ mindset has left this country? Because I’m not seeing evidence of this every time the 26th of January rolls around, or every time Reconciliation Week happens and days as important as this aren’t recognised as public holidays yet the AFL Grand Final warrants a day off, as does the Queen …

There has been an opportunity here for a long time to recognise some gains this country has made and truths it has told so that we move forward to a healthy, more equal, future. When you consider the Referendum, Mabo and the Stolen Generations, all of these were rooted in recognising some painful truths and trying to make them right. Yet the reality is beyond rehashing the photo of the Harbour Bridge walk in 2000, which many see as a visual representation of reconciliation, we don’t witness change actually rolling out.

Bronwyn Fredericks and others in The Conversation.

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