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A pat on the head for Mundine and Price

The preselection of Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price is a reward for their advocacy of “old white fella” policies.

They have chosen the comfort and support that comes from aligning yourself with those who hold and wield the power whilst seemingly blaming Aboriginal people for their own oppression.

Whilst they might speak about issues affecting Aboriginal communities like domestic violence and unemployment, I have yet to hear either of them offer any recognition of how the past has influenced the present let alone any positive suggestions on how to create change for the future.

Warren Mundine’s CV is really long with an eye-watering array of boards and committees and appointments – the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, the NSW Local Government Aboriginal Network, the National Native Title Council, the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, the Indigenous Advisory Committee of the Australian Law Reform Commission, NAISDA and the Redfern Arts & Film Festival Foundation to name but a few.

Mundine was also appointed as chair of Tony Abbott’s Indigenous Advisory Council, a group that was described as “an amorphous body without clout or a clear purpose.”

As Linda Burney MP put it: “Leadership in an Aboriginal cultural context is not given or measured by how much media you get or if you earn big money. True Aboriginal leadership does not come from high-level appointments or board membership. It doesn’t come from and cannot be given by white constructs. Leadership is earned; it is given when you have proven you can deal with responsibility and you understand that responsibility’.”

Aboriginal people are not one homogenous mob and we must listen to different ideas but ignoring root causes and suggesting that Aboriginal culture itself is to blame is a cop out.

Marcia Langton described Ms Price as a political naif.

“Jacinta Price is useful to politicians. She legitimises racist views by speaking them against her own people. When she walks through Alice Springs and Tennant Creek with the prime minister, she waves a flag for the increasingly normal brand of race politics coming from Canberra.”

A collective of Aboriginal women from the central Australian region presented a statement to the first Alice Springs Town Council meeting for 2018 that called for an end to lateral violence, racial profiling, discrimination and constant vilification. “[…] it is hurtful, it is divisive, it is unnecessary. It fuels tension in our community and incites bullying and racism towards us” claims the collective’s statement.

Trisha Morton Thomas said it was equally about a unified approach to dealing with our shared past and a reconciled future.

“It was the Arrernte women leading the charge and rightfully so. It is their country. The statement was a response but the women decided to address the nonsense in a constructive way, which was to highlight that leadership in Aboriginal communities is decided by the people and not by media or governments. They also wanted to address comments about Alice not being a racist town by stating that they have been at the brunt of racism their whole lives.”

Both Mundine and Price say that Aboriginals should just get a job and are avid supporters of Twiggy Forest’s cashless welfare card.

Economic engagement and achievement, whilst important, is only one measure of developmental success. This punitive patriarchal approach doesn’t consider social cohesion, cultural enrichment and preservation. It doesn’t recognise and respect Aboriginal knowledge or instil pride. It doesn’t foster self-determination and community-based solutions.

As Chris Sarra put it, when recognising and addressing our failings, the goal should be “high-expectations relationships that honour the humanity of Aboriginal people, and in so doing acknowledges their strengths, capacity and human right to emancipatory opportunity.”

In order to work, programs designed to address Indigenous disadvantage must be culturally specific. They must overcome mistrust of institutions and authority and, most importantly, they must involve the community.

Jumping on board the old white fella’s gravy train is not the way to earn respect or make change.

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  1. Kronomex

    Plainly and simply put, it’s just another Scummo desperate ploy to garner votes (from a section of the community that most probably can’t stand the LNP anyway) in the run up, and burn down of his party, to the election.

  2. Henry Rodrigues

    But will these two hang around long enough to be accountable for their choices ??? The only thing we can be certain of, is they will find some other method to milk the system. The coalition is just the kind of party, that unscrupulous operators like these two unprincipled hacks, flock to. After all, if the old white knobs can benefit, why not the old black knobs.

  3. Kaye Lee

    I doubt either of them will get elected Henry. Let’s hope not. They would just be dead weight.

  4. Baby Jewels

    Mundine, the first rat to jump ON the sinking ship.

  5. Bronte ALLAN

    Yep, 2 more “jobs for the boys (& also the girls!)” in this inept bloody mob of losers, the so-called “liberal” (?) party. Is there nothing else bloody slomo & his lying cronies can do to “help” (?) them retain the leadership after the next Federal election? ! Hopefully just another 2 to add to the slaughter I hope the next Federal election will be for this bunch of right wing, climate change deniers! Another great article Kaye!

  6. Winston a ruthless whore.

  7. A commentator

    Warren Mundine is a sincere and committed indigenous advocate. He has always shown a greater interest in policies than in politics.

    This article is only a reflection on the partisan attitude of the author.

  8. New England Cocky

    Mundine has a history of looking after Mundine, which would make him a good fit for the Liarbral Party of economic political parasites.

    Jacinta Price is a big disappointment who the local Aboriginal community will have to deal with.

  9. Vikingduk

    Probably not relevant to this article, nevertheless

    Via SBS

    I’m writting this note because I hit your car! You have an Aboriginal sticker on your car so the government probs paid for it out of my taxes. Happy Australia Day I’m not sorry as well. Signed 2019, One Nation.

    Victim is a Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara woman. Happened at Chermside Shopping Centre.

    Wonder if the ruthless whore (thanks Winston) has an opinion.

  10. Florence Howarth

    Mundine married three times, having seven kids believes in the family. Say he has two children at PC. They negative gear. Talked about going back several generations, meaning he has close relation’s with people on south coast. Only problem is the Mundine’s come from north coast. According to Wikipedia lived in the north. Dubbo then western Sydney.

  11. Kaye Lee

    “I never thought of myself as a bloke who was attractive to women but after I became president [of the ALP] it was like I became sexy to some people. And if you look at pictures of me back then, I was 30kg heavier, so I don’t really get it. But I was getting offers. And the ego got the better of me and I took one of those offers, and I got what I deserved, which was a divorce.” Riley, a senior lecturer in Aboriginal education at Sydney University, has remained silent on the disintegration of their marriage, but when asked about her view of Mundine’s ongoing political career, she replied: “I think he has sold out his family and his culture. I think he gave up his good Aboriginal wife and kids so he could do that.”

    In October 2013, Mundine married for the third time. His third wife, Elizabeth Henderson, is the daughter of Anne and Gerard Henderson, directors of The Sydney Institute. Mundine has described his third marriage as the creation of “a new life”.

  12. terence mills

    No Sheila’s no poofters

    Is this where we are now :my aboriginal is better than your aboriginal Will we start doing pigmentation
    tests next ?

    And then we have Dutton’s memorable statement when he wanted to be our leader :

    I think in the Immigration portfolio, you are defined by Nauru and Manus. Now, I didn’t put any people on Nauru and Manus, I got people off. I would love to get everybody off there tomorrow — if I could have brought them to Australia in a charter flight overnight I would have”.

    You can follow Alice down the rabbit hole but be warned !

  13. jake francis

    how to win a marginal seat (scummo’s little black book)

    piss off the local liberal voters by de-endorsing their chosen candidate because he didn’t back ann sudamarlis (no-one in their right mind would – silly old crow thought sitting behind fizza with the other black crow made her important – did nothing in parliament and even less in her electorate)- tick
    bring in an indigenous person – that’s nearly as many brownie points as a woman, right? – tick
    bring in a wannabe (i wannabe labour, nah, i wannabe liberal democrat, nah, nah, i know i’ll be a liberal – quick sign me up) non local with no idea (i want to represent a rural seat) though with his marriage behaviour sounds like he would be a better fit as a national – tick
    lose any environmentally aware voters (let’s put a nuclear reactor in jervis bay, the water’s already polluted, what’s a bit of radiation between friends) – tick

    scottie the stupid – dumber than dogshit and twice as stinky

    and yes i am in gilmour and yes ann sudamarlis (?sp) was a complete waste of space but what on earth possessed the prime muppet to think that this makes a winning solution

  14. A commentator

    Why are Mundine’s marriages relevant to his capability?

    Bill Shorten was married to the daughter of a prominent Liberal. Does that effect his credentials?

  15. Michael Taylor

    Warren Mundine is a sincere and committed indigenous advocate. He has always shown a greater interest in policies than in politics.

    That may be so. It is not me to argue otherwise, as I have little knowledge of the fellow.

    I do know, however, that he does not speak for or represent all Indigenous people – but who does? – and you might find that he commands little respect from Indigenous Australians outside of his ‘mob’. Take a wander around the South Australian communities, for example, and seek a few opinions.

    I do hope you weren’t suggesting that he does represent all Indigenous people.

  16. A commentator

    I’m only suggesting that he has devoted many years to indigenous causes, and has won widespread respect for this.

    I think it is unfortunate qnd sad that people turn on a decent individual for political reasons.

  17. Kaye Lee

    A commentator

    Fair question and perhaps none. But it adds to the picture of a man who has perhaps been promoted beyond his abilities whose ego may make him susceptible to manipulation because he now spouts the sort of stuff we hear from the Sydney Institute.

    You say Warren is interested in policies. I have only heard him parrot the Liberal/IPA talking points about pretty much everything. I have never heard him come up with a good suggestion. It’s always just get a job, make some money. I would be interested to hear what he has done that you admire.

  18. terence mills

    A Commentator

    His marriages are not relevant, I agree, but his second wife Riley has seen fit to comment.

    “Riley, (second wife, with whom seven children were raised), a senior lecturer in Aboriginal education at Sydney University, has remained silent on the disintegration of their marriage, but when asked about her view of Mundine’s ongoing political career, she replied: “I think he has sold out his family and his culture. I think he gave up his good Aboriginal wife and kids so he could do that.”

  19. Michael Taylor

    I think it is unfortunate qnd sad that people turn on a decent individual for political reasons.

    Indeed. As was the case with Julia Gillard. Very sad.

    I used to work for her. I was so pissed-off when she lost the leadership that I quit the public service and headed to Bali for a bit of surfing for a few weeks.

  20. Diannaart

    The number of times a person has been married should be irrelevant.

    Might be relevant if someone has a history of absconding child support. As for Warren Mundine, maybe he did marry for political purposes, maybe he didn’t, it is not enough to bring down a judgement on the man. I can feel for Carol and Michael, haters will use anything to denigrate. I have experienced similar bullying.

    I agree with Kaye Lee, Mundine is just another right wing clone, his political commentary is straight from the IPA handbook for the unthinking Liberal hack.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Any respect for Mundine seems to come from old white fellas. I am not sure he is so well received in Aboriginal communities.

    Mundine reduces Aboriginal land rights and First Nations treaties to ‘a fantasy business transaction’

    And he sends out tweets like this one.

    “If you like Sharia law so much @GillianTriggs then move to Saudi Arabia or some other country under Sharia Law.”

  22. paul walter

    Seen Jacinta Price on TV and understand she is Mellissa Price’s kid sister.

    As for Warren Mundine, the less said the better…

  23. A commentator

    The article contains Mundine’s CV. What has he said or done that is objectionable?

    And sinse when have disgruntled former spouses provided reliable character references.

    Mundine devoted his working life to indigenous causes, and is now under attack, for partisan reasons.

  24. Diannaart

    @A commentator

    And the achievements for indigenous people by Warren Mundine are?

  25. Michael Taylor

    I have a feeling that this could become quite monotonous.

  26. Paul Davis

    Paul Walter
    Seen Jacinta Price on TV and understand she is Mellissa Price’s kid sister.

    If you mean Melissa, the Minister for Ignoring the Environment, then not according to either’s Wikipedia bios…

    Jacinta seems to have polarised opinion, with ‘some’ indigenous community leaders loathing both her and her ex politician mother while News Corp appears to have elevated her to sainthood.

  27. Michael Taylor

    It is not Joe, Kronomex. It is an old nemesis of mine and Carol’s who just happened to turn up after we published our joint article yesterday.

    Pathetically predictable.

  28. Kronomex

    Troll or just an idiot? Or both?

  29. Kaye Lee

    This is an interesting piece written by a relative of Mundine’s that paints him as a political opportunist.

    “Whilst Mr Mundine may lack the intellectual firepower of Noel Pearson, he has nevertheless elbowed his way to the front of the pack with his dazzling late-life conversion to the cause of all things Tony Abbott.”

  30. paul walter

    He has been excruciating on the Drum. I wonder at his narcissism, progressing to this.

    The grey eminence Gerard Henderson no doubt has subtly fostered the hubris, but I think it will lead to something sadder later.

  31. A commentator

    It was indicted that no one speaks for all indigenous people. So choosing criticism in isloation proves little.

    The article provides a link to Mundine’s CV. What aspect of his history is objectionable?

  32. Kaye Lee

    I will let Linda Burnie answer you A Commentator.

    “True Aboriginal leadership does not come from high-level appointments or board membership. It doesn’t come from and cannot be given by white constructs.”

  33. Kaye Lee

    I would also point you to the Creative Spirits site. Both Mundine and Price speak about the victim mentality holding our First People back. They tend to gloss over the following which may be contributing factors to domestic violence and a whole lot more:

    • Oppression. When Aboriginal men were dispossessed by the white invaders they lost their moral authority over their families. After their wives were taken, white men abandoned them and their mixed-race children, leaving Aboriginal men to rear the family. No surprise they would feel anger and rage. Oppression turns people into oppressors.
    • European invasion and dispossession. European invasion plays a crucial role for marginalisation and dispossession. “After 200 years of abuse, physical and mental, we should not be surprised to find towering rates of domestic violence,” says writer Germaine Greer.
    • Childhood experience of violence and abuse. Aboriginal kids who were forcibly removed from their parents and put into missions were physically and psychologically abused. Their suffering was a seed of violence. “Children taken from their parents and treated cruelly in institutions will learn cruelty. Children who are bashed by their parents will bash their own children,” says Germaine Greer.
    • Abusive styles of conflict resolution. Aged ten, Bill Simon was taken away from his parents and witnessed violence in an Aboriginal mission first hand. Boys were beaten with cane sticks and put into solitary confinement. “Words of comfort for the bleeding boy behind the door were usually not much comfort,” he recalls. “Time spent in that room was always associated with pain and loneliness and nothing anyone said could help. A few of the boys were often very angry and sometimes violent when they were locked up in there.” Unable to express their anger these boys suppressed their violence for many years only for it to come back eventually.
    • Violent family environment. When children witness their parents fighting, moving around and eventually breaking up, sometimes the only way they can express their sadness is through anger and violence.
    • High incarceration rates. Aboriginal people suffer from disproportionate rates of criminalisation and incarceration.
    • Economic disadvantage, which includes unemployment, financial problems, poverty and economic exclusion. Living in a geographic location with poor access to services can lead to frustration and then violence.
    • Poor health. Many Aboriginal people have a lower level of health than other Australians, both physical and mental (e.g. depression, shame, anger). Intergenerational trauma can pass down through family lines, sometimes affecting three generations.
    • Lack of education.
    • Racism. An ongoing exposure to all forms of racism, including structural, systemic and indirect, causes stress and leads to violent responses.
    • Single-parent families and parenting at an early age.
    • Substance and drug abuse, for example alcohol or petrol sniffing. But attributing high levels of violence to just substance abuse can be an overly simplified view.
    • Poor or inadequate housing. Many Aboriginal people live in overcrowded houses.
    • Social isolation and deprivation.
    • Loss of identity. People losing their sense of identity and self esteem can turn to violence to compensate. An imbalance and inequity within male and female roles can also lead to violence.
    • Sexual jealousy and pornography.
    • Lack of respect. within families, but also from younger generations towards Elders.
    • Loss of land and traditional culture. With strong bonds for their traditional homelands Aboriginal people have strong responses if they lose them. Some cultural practices mitigate against interpersonal violence.
    • Breakdown of community kinship systems and Aboriginal law.
    • Stolen Generations. Being a member of the Stolen Generations has a multitude of detrimental effects.

  34. A commentator

    I don’t believe there is any evidence of Mundine “glossing over” those issues.

    I think you are drawing a long bow in that assertion.

    On the contrary I believe you would find many examples of his sincere compassion about indigenous dispossession

    Organisations require leadership, and he has shown leadersip capability in the most complex and challenging environments.

    The fact that you might disagree with his choice of political party does not justify the diminution of his commitment or achievement.

  35. Matters Not

    paul walter re:

    has been excruciating on the Drum.

    Indeed! (But I hasten to add he’s not alone.) Haven’t heard Mundine provide any insights or offer any policy options let alone prescriptions. He’s there to make up the numbers. Foley’s analysis resonates. It’s worth a read.

    Mundine has no chance of being elected in Gilmore. That he agreed to be parachuted in against an endorsed ‘branch stacking’ local is amazing enough and in a marginal electorate that now permits a Nat to contest is mind boggling. But it says much about his lack of political acumen.

    If Morrison was returned, then a sinecure or two might have been on the table, but it’s odds on that Labor will form government and surely even Mundine would know that Labor hates rats with a passion. Again it says much about his lack of political acumen. A ‘player’ more to be pitied than …

    Seems to me he’s badly overplayed his hand – but I’m not surprised.

  36. Kaye Lee

    A commentator,

    I have heard no solutions offered by Mundine. Perhaps you could provide an example of some of his successes.

  37. Diannaart

    No, ‘A commentator’, while switching from one political polarity to another maybe indicative of ambition transcending dedication to equality, you have yet to answer a very simple question, what has Mundine achieved for First Nation people?

    Warren Mundine has been around long enough to have achieved something positive, it is not enough to declare compassion for the dispossession of indigenous people.

    What has Warren Mundine achieved?

  38. Kaye Lee

    Another Indigenous view of Mundine…..

    Appearing to know and care about the problem of Aborigines is a profitable business in this country, sometimes even for Blackfullas.

    Enter Aboriginal commentator, advisor, spokesperson, Warren “my mates call me a media tart” Mundine who last week (singlehandedly?) told us the problem and solution to…you guessed it “the Aboriginal problem”. His latest pearl of wisdom was posted by his wife Elizabeth Henderson on the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce Yaabubiin Institute of Disruptive Thinking blog, of which they are both Directors. Titled “Step out of the cage” his piece is neither disruptive nor thoughtful.

    Mundine insists that the multiple, complex and persisting disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal Australia are all a result of a singular poor choice. Now I’m not dismissing the significance of self-perception and self-efficacy but perhaps both our disadvantage and our intellect is a little more complex than he imagines. The real and profound inequalities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia across almost every indicator is not because we have chosen the wrong side in the agency versus structure debate.

    What is confusing about the logic of Warren’s world is that he seems to suggest that Aboriginal disadvantage isn’t real, but he then goes on to argue that we make it real by how we think about ourselves, which then in turn means that there are a whole lot of Aborgines who really are disadvantaged.

    Confusing is one thing – but there is also something disturbing about Warren’s theory. If our disadvantage is a product of how we think about ourselves, it follows that whitefellas must be doing better because they just have a better way of thinking (about themselves of course). Gee, if only we could think more like them, then maybe, just maybe, we could be more like them.

    And if we are going to be really honest, it’s not a sense of victimhood that is holding our people back Warren – it is one of the things that has been propping up your career of late.

    Victims and Vultures – the profitability of problematising the Aborigine

  39. paul walter

    MN, A commentator is either a nitwit or deliberately dishonest when they claim that Mundine doesnt gloss over serious issues- I have seen his evasiveness far too often on the Drum. He is under the tutelage of the great dissembler Gerard Henderson himself.

    I haven’t read nonsense like this since Neil of Sydney was here.

  40. Barry Thompson.

    Mundine is mundane. He is an opportunist and in my opinion doesn’t have the political nouse to be an influential parliamentarian.
    His respect for Tony Abbott is an indication of his intellectual capacity.

  41. terence mills

    Jacinta Price is the daughter of Bess Nungarrayi Price an Aboriginal Australian activist and politician. She was a Country Liberal Party member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 2012 to 2016, representing the electorate of Stuart, and was Minister for Community Services in the Giles Ministry.

    Jacinta is planning to stand for the Coalition in the federal seat of Lingiari in the 2019.

    Jacinta Price opposes tokenistic efforts towards reconciliation ( such as sailing a replica Endeavour around Australia in the name of reconciliation !)

  42. Kaye Lee

    In February lasy year, a petition was circulated on social media to protest against mainstream media’s representation of Ms Price as a community leader.

    The petition, titled ‘As an Aboriginal Person Jacinta and Bess Price DO NOT represent me or speak on my behalf’ was started by Awabakal woman Tracey Ray who says both Jacinta and her mother Bess Nungarrayi Price – a former Housing minister of the failed Adam Giles-led Country Liberals NT government – are not at all representative of many Aboriginal people.

    “I started it because I want our people to have a voice and for the rest of Australia to know that the ordinary Aboriginal person did not share the views of Price. That she didn’t speak on our behalf.” she says. “They are out of touch with community, not just their own but across all the nations of this country.”

  43. A commentator

    The societal and political views of indigenous people are as diverse as any other ethnic or cultural group.

    Aboriginal people that make a contribution for their adult life should be applauded and encouraged rather than disparaged.

    I simply don’t think it is up to white middle class people to pass judgement on their efforts because you don’t approve of their political orientation .

    Surely we should encourage the participation of indigenous people in all political parties, and not reflect on their efforts in such a partisan way .

  44. Kaye Lee

    “Warren Mundine has been very clear for the past 20 or 30 years that he wants a seat in parliament with any party that will have him,” Ms Plibersek told ABC Radio National on Thursday.

    “For a long time he was desperate for the Labor Party to give him a seat in parliament. There is a reason we didn’t, and I’m sure the voters of Gilmore will discover that.”

  45. Michael Taylor

    Ac, I for one to not judge Mundine as a First Australian. I judge him as a politician. I think you’ll find that’s the premise of the article.

  46. Oscar

    A Commentator Warren Mundine proved he doesn’t even understand the retrograde “work for the the dole” scheme that he wrote on in Saturdays Telegraph.Our whole economic system is rotten to the core.We need a revolution; not this extremely average human being.

  47. A commentator

    The premise of the article is sumnarised in the first sentence and it relates entirely to their aboriginality-
    “The preselection of Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price is a reward for their advocacy of “old white fella” policies.”

  48. A commentator

    And Tanya Plibersek is also (no doubt) an excellent reference about the attributes of those on the otger side of the political spectrum.

  49. Kaye Lee

    “I simply don’t think it is up to white middle class people to pass judgement ”

    That is why I have been quoting Indigenous sources. I agree that they have diverse views but I can’t find any who sing his praises.

    I couldn’t give a rat’s arse about what political party Mundine belongs to – Lord knows there have been enough of them.

    And I am still waiting for one example of something that Mundine has achieved. Perhaps you can link to an Indigenous source that recognises Mundine’s achievements. I do not know you. Are you a white middle class person singing his praises?


    He doesn’t seem to understand anything much beyond very simplistic rote learned talking points. He will say something on the Drum and then look around at the other panelists seeking approval. IMO he may be well-meaning but he is way out of his depth. I also think he is an opportunist who is given lots of positions and titles but has no initiative or leadership skills to bring to fruition actual positive change.

  50. Michael Taylor

    I know ‘A commenter’, Kaye. He is a middle-aged white male. He is intelligent, witty at times, wordly travelled, right-wing, yet is deeply interested in Indigenous affairs and culture, and recognises the wrongs that have been done to them.

    Unfortunately, he loves to intimidate, and he can be relentless in doing so. He will ask a thousand questions (or the same question a thousand times), yet will answer none.

    His hatred of unions is legendary.

    In my twelve years of blogging I have yet to encounter a more universally disliked person.

    Personally, I don’t particularly dislike him. But nonetheless, he annoys me. And I think he likes that.

  51. A commentator

    “That is why I have been quoting Indigenous sources. ”

    No, your article was full of value judgements, white middle class people should not pass judgement on the efforts of indigenous people, but it seems you you have.

  52. Rossleigh

    “white middle class people should not pass judgement on the efforts of indigenous people”…

    What? Is that restricted to the upper classes?

  53. Kaye Lee

    Value judgements by Indigenous people like Linda Burnie, Chris Sarra, Marcia Langton, Trisha Morton Thomas, the Arrernte and central Australian Strong Aboriginal Women’s Group, the Wangan Jagalingou Family Council, Dr Chelsea Bond, Jack Latimore, Mundine’s cousin Gary Foley, his ex-wife…..and many other Indigenous groups and Alice Springs councillors I haven’t quoted.

    Still waiting for an endorsement from the Indigenous community or an example of something Mundine or Price have achieved.

  54. Stuart lawrence

    Mr Mundine a social climber if their ever is one

  55. Kaye Lee

    It’s interesting how the media put spin on things.

    Today, MSN have the banner headline “Thurston defends Australia Day”

    When you click on the story it is kinda different.

    “I know there are a lot of people who don’t like the date and there are people out there who do love the date,” Thurston tells Brisbane Times.

    “But until people are educated on the history of Australia, I don’t think there will be a change in the date.

    “There are other things out there that are more important to me than this.”

    That is the same oft-quoted line that makes no sense to me. Of course there are more important things to see to but this is something that would be easy to do and might be a small step forward on a long road. Changing the date does not mean neglecting practical steps to address disadvantage.

  56. Matters Not

    Perhaps it’s best if we keep the date because it’s now guaranteed that controversy and debate re historical developments will arise at least once a year. That’s the covert agenda. Learning about history incidentally. The hidden curriculum,

    In fact, let’s legislate the necessity for a date debate. Besides, it’ll give Senator Dean Smith a raison d’être.

  57. MöbiusEcko

    January 26 is also the anniversary of the Rum Rebellion in 1808.

    Declare January 26 Rum Rebellion Day. Everyone gets pissed on rum (Bundy to keep it Australian), marches on parliament and deposes the government. Do this each year and it also does away with the need for Federal elections.

  58. helvityni


    “The hidden curriculum,”

    Some creative thinking there…lol….

  59. Kaye Lee

    That is a good point MN. It certainly stirs up debate every year. Perhaps we could call it Reflection Day. Some can reflect on what we have done wrong, some can reflect on how lucky we are, some can reflect on how to improve, and some can reflect on enjoying a great day with friends.

  60. Andreas Bimba

    A federally funded and locally administered Job Guarantee program that ensures full employment in Australia as well as providing free vocational training and social support when needed, could be transformative for those that are currently poorly served by our economy and governments. A JG could enable many to support themselves and their families, provide an economic stream that creates secondary employment such as for shop keepers and trades, be used to provide many useful local services and amenities and could provide the economic/population justification for better local public services and infrastructure like schools and medical facilities.

    Instead we are witnessing the relentless economic decline of most regional areas under the current pro big business neoliberal ideology of ‘survival of the fittest’. Indigenous people living in remote regional areas being the hardest hit by the current economic ‘rules’ and our sociopathic neoliberal governments that torment the unemployed and socially disadvantaged.

    Job Guarantee programs are being offered by many political aspirants throughout the world and should become ALP policy.

    Without such an ambitious policy what is likely to be offered by the neoliberal duopoly amounts to little more than rearranging the deck chairs on that sinking ship.

    As for billionaires like Twiggy Forrest or Gina Rinehart or those big mostly foreign owned resources companies like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto or Chevron that cream off vast sums of wealth by extracting those natural resources that belong to the Australian people and returning only a small fraction in taxes and royalties and provide relatively few jobs, we would have been much better off WITHOUT YOU.

    Norway’s initial exploitation of its oil and gas reserves by then largely state owned Statoil would have been a much more beneficial economic model for Australia. This is basically what Resources Minister Rex Connor proposed for the Australian mineral resources sector during the Whitlam government and was probably the main reason the big business sector and the mass media turned against this government. Subsequent Labor governments proved much more obliging to the interests of foreign capital and the gifting of our vast gas reserves in the North West Shelf to US petrochemical giant Chevron under the stewardship of then Resources Minister Martin Ferguson in the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments was a noteworthy example.

    Australia has the economic resources through equitable taxation, resource royalties and fiscal policy to sustain full employment, excellent government services, environmental sustainability, a dynamic broadly based economy and an excellent standard of living for ALL Australians. We may see glimpses of our potential under future Labor governments but we will only ever see ongoing decline for all but the wealthiest few under the conservative coalition.

  61. Diannaart



    We don’t need fiscal fatbergs blocking the flow a healthy economy can and should provide.

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