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Latest update: September 15, 2000

Aboriginal Justice

On Friday, September 15, 2000, Gary McCullouch wrote:

Aboriginal Justice Online. While scrolling down to the statistics information this caught my eye, so I had to read further, because during lunch today I was reading an article about the Olympic opening ceremony in Australia. The interesting thing about the ceremony was the fact that Cathy Freeman, who is of Aboriginal descent, was the final torch carrier and lighter of the Olympic flame for the games. Cathy has been very out spoken for her people and has had many run-ins with the Australian government for doing so. Cathy is a great 400-meter runner and has been the best in the world for the last 3 years representing Australia, and being that she is in the public's eye she has brought forward the troubles of how her people have been treated for many years. Now the Australian government who is talking reconciliation to bring the two groups together, is in the world's eyes and has a chance to show everyone that they are trying to do what's right. (At least for two weeks.)

After lunch I went back to my desk and went online to find out more about who the Aboriginal people were and their plight. I couldn't help but notice all the similarities with what took place here in the United States, with the native Americans (Indians). I thought to myself, it does [not] pay to be the original inhabitants, because whoever discovers you takes the land from you and makes you the outcast. The Aborigines have their own customs and beliefs and have been around for hundreds of years, before Britain decided to colonze Australia into a penal colony.

I'm an avid Track & Field follower and I know that Cathy Freeman has a chance to win a gold metal in Sydney for her country. If she does win, I hope she takes her victory lap draped in the Aborigines flag like she has done in the past, showing that she is proud of who she is. Before these Olympics Cathy was chastised for carrying the Aborigines flag, but now she has the government's permission to carry it if she wants to. I believe that Cathy is in a good position to help the cause of her people, and change the face of Australia. She's just one person and she has already made a difference by opening the Australian governments eyes to her Aboriginal pride by carrying the flag in defiance and forcing them to accept it and condone it.

I discussed the Aborigines' plight with my wife and explained how life is in Australia for them, and she said the same thing I thought at first, that she wouldn't want to visit Australia now. I would like to visit still, but would be more interested in seeing the original people, the Aborigines. That would be more interesting than seeing another big city. I know this has nothing to do with our stat class, but it was an interesting lunch for me. Gary

On Saturday, September 16, jeanne responded:

Gary, that's exactly why I put all the readings together on the Discussion Preparations page. An "interesting" lunch is a major part of your liberal education.

Why don't we consider finding some tables on the treatment of aboriginal peoples and interpreting them? I'll help you look right after the surgery.

love and peace, jeanne
or as Charlie Notess puts it:
salud y paz