Voice may ‘lead to constitutionally enforced racism which is absolutely abhorrent’

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LETTER TO THE ALICE SPRINGS NEWS

I don’t fear global warming nor wilderness scare mongering, but I do fear divided allegiances.

We have one sole loyalty and that must be to the Australian people. Some are victims of their own one-eyed opinions that they consider are a fact.  For them, there is no room for anything else to be discussed.

Had Australia actually been invaded, the descendants of its native population would be classified as a conquered people and their land rights would be abolished.

History is not there to be liked or disliked – it is there for you to learn from.

If it offends you, that’s even better, because then you’re less likely to repeat it – it is not yours to erase or destroy.

The colonisation and modernisation of Australia is a clear example of an historical inevitability that is out of our (and your) hands.  Indigenous society never had the power to deny visitors. We were fortunate that a benign outcome was the arrival of the British.

You cannot accuse racism for failures. An indigenous voice in Parliament [as called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart – above, text below] is not an answer to anything.

We are in this together and don’t need chip-on-shoulder politics. This may lead to constitutionally enforced racism which is absolutely abhorrent.

Marilyn Quirk

Heybridge 7316

 

ULURU STATEMENT FROM THE HEART

We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from “time immemorial”, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.

This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or “mother nature”, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.

How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?

With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.

Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.

These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.

We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.

We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Agree entirely with Marilyn’s statement above.
    We are all Australian and should work as one, not seperate identities as this Uluru Statement wants.

  2. A friend from the gulf country recently told me while walking with native animals (a pack of dingoes) through the country at the tip of the gulf, he come across ancient irrigation channels with Chinese markings nearby.
    If this is true and I believe him to be a very remarkable man with much worldly experience, we ALL should be thankful that the British arrived when they did.
    Wild talk of a very old Chinese trading ship buried in the sandhills on the SW coast of Victoria only re enforces that view so let’s all be thankful for what we have, although it’s not perfect.

  3. I suppose that giving a platform to opinions that are misinformed can also allow an opportunity for education.
    However, a viewpoint that can’t see the realities of the impact of colonisation on First Nations people: disease, slavery, massacre, genocide, stolen generations and subsequent inter generational trauma and continued racism will never understand the possibilities that a voice to Parliament could offer in terms of closing the health and economic gaps between First Nations people and the broader population.
    I wonder, Erwin, why you chose to publish a letter that fails to offer anything useful or accurate to this important conversation.

    [ED – Hi Estelle, I published the letter because I believe in the freedom of speech, that everyone has a right to have their say. It is an opportunity the Alice Springs News is happy to extend to you as well, as you can see.]

  4. A letter that fails to offer anything useful. What do the First Nations people actually want? So far it’s anybody’s guess. Is it sovereignty? According to the statement it’s a “spiritual notion which is the basis of ownership” etc.
    Everybody born in Australia conforms to that which the Constitution already covers, so there is no “structural problem” there.
    There seems to be in their mind no understanding of democracy in Australia, so some education by their leaders wouldn’t go astray, and might lead to their and everybody else’s “empowerment”.
    That could be part of the agreement they seek. It is not the Constitution that needs to change, it’s your own spiritual notion of what its all about to live usefully and peaceably in the modern world.

  5. The Constitution is judicially described as “the Sovereignty of the Australian People” and initially designed by the people for the people which it was.
    Under section 121 and 124 the Commonwealth can create new states or remove parts of present ones. Statements above such as “We seek substantive constitutional change and structural reform for this ancient sovereignty,” “agreement making” and “we seek reforms to empower our people” makes me think that this is all about the present land grab that is occurring, culminating in a new state for the first nations people, possibly being the present Northern Territory and including parts of West Australia and Queensland, and won’t be satisfied until the whole country is thus spiritually and actually retained.

  6. The Communist Manifesto, available on the Internet, should be read by all who are concerned about what is going on across the World today regarding disrupting of World Order and established government as we know it.
    In our own neck of the woods we have seen the Communist State of China at work in adjacent Pacific Nations in its endeavour to de-stabilise them, both economically and politically, and mind you they are at it here too, secretly and insidiously.
    It was conceived 150 years ago with an indefinite time frame to achieve the following:
    The destruction of Capitalism, religion of all kind (except itself) and the removing of individual private property so that the State would control everything absolutely (for the benefit of all, of course).
    They are doing it by infiltration of influential government bodies, constitutions, economic networks, Parliaments, media organisations, Internet communications and so on, without participants in those organisations realising it most of the time (meaning us).
    So, beware of changing (supposedly for the better) established norms for no real good reason eg Constitutions in this case!
    It is happening and has been for 150 years, so far.

  7. In 1967 Australian voters overwhelmingly sought to extinguish the racial division of Australians.
    The Commonwealth ignores what Australian voters sought, with the Commonwealth preferring instead to promote racism and racial segregation.
    The Commonwealth’s proposed referendum, if it passes, will encourage racists to further divide Australians.

  8. I recall once in a former life 20 years ago, an Indonesian primary school text book labelling Australia as “South Irian”.
    Is that an alternative to what we missed out on and got the Brits instead?
    We are all one, and thats the reality, despite the philosophy, and we need to keep it that way.
    Having seen first-hand the efforts of our Middle Kingdom neighbours to subvert the status quo in Fiji (where I lived for many years) we need to be very wary of attempts to divide our community for the sake of economic blackmail and control of resources.
    There was recently an attempt to blow a gaping hole in a traditional reef (Malolo island) in Fiji without seeking any form of consent in order to grow a holiday resort aka marine access by building infrastructure as a form of bribery.
    Is that sort of behaviour another alternative to what we got from the Brits? So bad was the traditional warfare that the chiefs actually asked the Brits to come and sort the place out, which they did by first registering which lands belonged to which tribal groups. And every Fijian was registered to a family group which had a landholding registered to tham. In retrospect what a great move that was.

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