What we are witnessing is the (re-)adoption of empty and often unwelcome symbolism as a cover for the failure of practical policies in Indigenous affairs. And this is a direct outcome of what was one of John Howard’s most significant interventions into Indigenous affairs: his bifurcation of the “symbolic” and “practical” aspects of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia, and the flow-on of this cleavage into Indigenous affairs policy-making more broadly.
In 1968 anthropologist Bill Stanner spoke of the Great Australian Silence in relation to the historical mistreatment of Indigenous peoples, a national myopia. The just announced 2016 Budget could be similarly termed ‘the Great Australian Fiscal Silence’, a fiscal myopia incommensurate with the level of need.
Latest comment: An excellent article. The silence in this and other must be broken. Also very worth listening to Jon'...
‘concerned Australians’ together with Arena Magazine & Journal warmly invite you to the Melbourne book launch of ‘The Intervention: an Anthology’ : a historic anthology, bringing together Australia’s finest Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers on an issue largely unknown to the public.
The proposed—and seemingly doomed—gas hub at James Price Point has been a kind of Rorschach test, reflecting observers’ ideological leanings back to …
Latest comment: Another interesting story about the struggle between mining companies wanting to make a profit, Australian...