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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Whither the spirit of '67

Reconciliation by Edna Watson
Edna Watson is a Dharug elder whose paintings have been recognised in Australia and overseas.
In this work Edna expresses the various groups who have come to Australia with the original Aboriginal people in the centre of the circle of reconciliation.
Reconciling hands point inwards and outwards.
Earth colours dominate with the central circle showing a broken earth, symbolic of the current drought and the unfinished process of reconciliation.

Miss Eagle commends this article to you, dear Reader. This is the best article that Miss Eagle has read on the current status of Aboriginal people and the issues affecting them. It outlines the progress, the success stories, the failures and the neglect. It attaches blame. It shows the complexity of the topic and the ignorance of governments.

Miss Eagle was interested in the information that Fred Chaney, a former Liberal Aboriginal affairs minister ... has known every minister to have held the post going back to Billy Hughes.

Miss Eagle frequently uses Fred Chaney and Billy Wentworth as examples of the sort of Liberal governance that once prevailed in Australia. These men understood Aboriginal issues, they communicated with Aboriginal people, forged personal friendships in Aboriginal Australia and acquitted themselves well in Aboriginal matters.

There is no one - as far as Miss Eagle can see - in the Australian Government under John Howard who compares with these men. As far as Miss Eagle can see, there is no one in the Howard Government who has the ability to communicate with our First Nations. The great swing to the far right by the Liberal Party in the late 80s and early 90s saw to this. Such people had no value.

For this, Aboriginal people and the people of Australia in general have paid a great price.