Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bicentenary a great occasion, but let’s get it right for all

From the Maitland Mercury report:
For Maitland residents who have non-Aboriginal heritage, the city’s bicentennial celebrations could be seen, at face value, as a chance to have a party and boost community spirit.
But Cr Loretta Baker’s words of warning at Tuesday’s council meeting are worth serious consideration.
No matter which way you look at it, a bicentenary of a city or town in Australia hinges on the arrival of European settlers in that place.
For many Aboriginal people, this was the beginning of a dark time that still has serious effects to this day.
So it may be easy for some people to get swept up in the idea of Maitland’s 200 year birthday, but there needs to be consideration of how, and whether, the occasion can be marked in a culturally sensitive way.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, July 29, 2015.