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Why Deebing Creek is a battle of national significance

Opinion

Down at Deebing Creek, the battle for Aboriginal recognition reflects a wider, national challenge to Australia's psyche.

This battle of the few traditional owners is one we've seen before.

It has the hallmarks of a similar fight more than 60 years ago that changed the nation forever.

A stockman from Wave Hill Cattle Station in 1966 started an eight-year protest, demanding the return of traditional lands.

"I got stories from my old grandpa that the land belonged to me, Aboriginal man, before all the horses and cattle came on to that land," the man said.

With a handful of sand poured through his hands, Vincent Lingiari's effort and tenacity for land rights paved the way for significant change in Indigenous affairs, peaking with Eddie Mabo in 1992.

Despite the efforts of Lingiari, Mabo and countless other activists, Australia remains a long way off true reconciliation with its first people.

As former prime minister Paul Keating put in such a simple and eloquent way: "No country which is great and feels itself great wants to live with the shame of the dispossession of its original people."

For the sake of Ipswich and the nation, a solution must be found at Deebing Creek.



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