Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Australian Prime Minister can't stop people speaking out on the matter of the annual anniversary of the invasion of Australia

One of the reasons why Prime Minister Scott Morrison will fail in his bid to deny Australia's colonial history.......

The Daily Telegraph, 28 January 2021:

Hayley Talbot has long been recognised as a leader, an innovator, and a person with a drive to create positive change within the Clarence Valley.

In the past year, among a myriad of projects she helped drive a revitalisation of koala habitat devastated by bushfire with a program that planted 5000 trees and empowered many in the community who had lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

Along with her team, she also hosts a safe space for young women through her Blanc Space business in Yamba, where they provide an atmosphere to create, learn and converse openly.

It was for these works she was this week awarded the Clarence Valley’s Citizen of the Year.

While Ms Talbot said she was grateful to be honoured, she made the brave decision to use the opportunity to express what she described as an incongruous meeting of both celebration and mourning on Australia Day.

... in good conscience I have to say, we should be doing this on another day. Ms Talbot said the decision to speak her mind and to receive the award was one she deliberated over, and admitted nerves beforehand, having heard the crowd boo 2019 Citizen of the Year Susan Howland for expressing her views at the ceremony.

I was concerned at that, but I thought that if I didn’t accept the nomination, and didn’t show up, I would lose the opportunity to speak that truth and add to the conversation that needs to be leading the discourse on Australia Day,” she said.

I know that conversations were catalysed among new hearts and minds, that was my goal, and I consider that a vindication of my decision to attend the ceremony and accept the award.” Ms Talbot told the hard truths of our history, including the atrocities perpetrated on the banks of the Clarence, and urged the crowd to consider the voices of those most hurt by the day.

I can’t stand here today wholly with joy in my heart knowing that the neighbours I’m called to love are shattered apart by a day that’s considered a day of mourning by many Aboriginal people,” she said.

I can’t stand here another white woman in a room of mostly white people pretending that in 2021 we’re all equal when we are governed by a system that still says we’re not.

There’s a ‘ray’ in Australia, and there’s an us too, but only if we’re brave enough to tell the full story. Even though a date change can’t change it can we at least try?” 

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