(Very) long story short: SCOMO wants to commemorate Captain Cook for $50 million, he is punishing local councils if they go against him, demanding a dress code at Citizenship ceremonies, refers to Aboriginal suffering as “other stuff” and deceiving Australians to stay under the Commonwealth. Just in time for Australia Day.
Scott Morrison, last week approved a $50 million budget to celebrate the Captain Cook voyage by having a $7 million ship sail around the country (Cook only sailed the east coast). Despite Captain Cook being commemorated in over 100 memorials, SCOMO says this man was enlightened for his time and gets a bad show from those who talk down on our history.
Another quote from SCOMO: “…it’s very trendy to talk down James Cook and all that other sort of stuff”
To his credit, it’s probably easier to say “other sort of stuff” instead of saying aboriginal genocide, destruction of indigenous culture, forced assimilation and the stolen generation.
We can celebrate the man that discovered our country, but that $50 million can be used for indigenous museums, a collection of smaller projects or more importantly – used to benefit the living that really need it.
Our political system (unlike some others) is still run by mostly qualified individuals. So this could only be a well-planned strategy to gain votes from right-wing Australians, while ignoring immigrant/indigenous voters. Australia Day has always been a sensitive weekend and taking such a stance almost guarantees conservative votes by the effect of tension and division.
Now we aren’t against commemoration and don’t want to deny the accomplishments of Captain Cook. But maybe just use some of that money to promote the indigenous, include others that have contributed to our history and celebrate with a pinch of sensitivity.
Australians are more aware of Indigenous history than ever and the British might not be seen is such a positive light anymore. Younger generations might not see Cook as the figure he is and definitely don’t recognize their British ancestry. This is a great argument for promoting the likes of Captain Cook and Arthur Philip but the question is, do we really need a $50 million parade on the ocean, circling the entire continent? What is the end game?
Enough about the Captain Cook fetish.
SCOMO has gone an extra step and lined up the local councils that disagree with him. Many local councils do not hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day in respect to the Indigenous and some even call for the date to be changed. SCOMO says local councils will be punished by having their citizenship ceremonies revoked. He doesn’t want councils “playing politics with Australia Day”. Uhh.
“The federal government’s strong focus on drawing a link between Australia Day and citizenship ceremonies is bizarre. The government doesn’t even announce the Australian of the Year on Australia Day, so it’s very curious.”
– President of the Australian Local Government Association, David O’Loughlin
Yarra and Darebin councils have already had their citizenship ceremony rights removed.
“I think this is more to do with the federal election than with the Morrison government respecting our country.” – James Merlino, Victorian Premier.
With the aim of national unification, the question of Australia becoming a Republic is being asked. Bill Shorten even promising a Yes/No referendum on this if he is elected. Bill says he wants to “reshape our identity” and “become a republic”.
SCOMO falsely claims that a Republic would just be “a 3rd (Indigenous) chamber of government” when really it would give a voice to the Indigenous. This would be done by officially recognizing Indigenous Australians in the constitution and creating new laws and policies to confirm and enforce the rights of Indigenous leaders to have an equal say in Parliament.
“There is power in a First Nations voice and that is what they’re afraid of. They do not want to have a voice that is unapologetic in standing up for what our people need and that is just wrong.” – Former Uluru Working Group co-chair Thomas Mayor
– A republic would cost approx. $300 million to enact
– Forced citizenship ceremonies will begin 2020, affecting 537 councils
– 13 out of 250 known Aboriginal languages are spoken today
– 25% of councils skip ceremonies on Aus Day due to weather, or have it earlier to allow people to celebrate Aus Day as citizens