Is NAIDOC message right one to send?

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

As NAIDOC concludes this year, the theme 'always was, always will be' brings about to a lot of
reflection.

We should indeed acknowledge that this land 'always was' native to indigenous
Australians and appropriate respect should be given.

But there is confusion in the words 'always will be'.

Although I and many Australians will always acknowledge the place of First Australians as the
traditional custodians of this land, there is a different relationship that exists in modern times.
Australia is now a diverse and multicultural land.

We should embrace this diversity and the people
who are proud to call themselves 'Australians'.

We are a nation that is now shared among people of different backgrounds, cultures and language groups, rather than 'always being' or belonging to just one group. In the words of Bruce Woodley - 'I am, you are, we are Australian'.

Let's celebrate our First Australians and recognise their significant ties to the land but also embrace others around us, that we are ALL Australians and this land belongs to all of us, not just a few.

PETER (full name and address supplied)



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