Editor: I would like to respond to your report, Australian of the Year wants new national day‘ (West Australian, 26 Jan 09), that some members of the indigenous community regard it as Invasion Day and it should not be celebrated as Australia Day.
I congratulate Mick Dodson achieving recognition of Australian of the Year 2009, even though Mick only suggested it’s something that we should think about. I note the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition made it quite clear on behalf of the people the answer is ‘No’. I personally support Australia Day remaining 26 January. My mother, who was an indigenous Australian, passed away on Australia Day 1996. What a wonderful day to go to heaven.
However, it’s a shame that Mick Dodson chose that to be the headline after his elevation to Australian of the Year 2009. I would suggest he could have taken advantage of being more progressive in using his influence for his indigenous brothers and sisters in the north-west of Western Australia and recommend to the Government that they don’t build houses in those north-west townships for
indigenous families, unless there is employment in those areas so they can legitimately – like anyone else – enter a contract with a money institution so that they can service that contract, at the same time sending their children off to school. If the children achieve their schooling they can go onto further studies and into a profession of their choice and achieve a trade or profession.
If you build houses in the remote areas for indigenous people where there is absolutely no employment prospects, the houses will be totally destroyed within 12 months, partially because of inbuilt indigenous culture and boredom; this has been clearly documented in print and electronic media. My understanding is that Mr Dodson is also of Irish heritage: that being the case, if there wasn’t an invasion Mr Dodson would not have achieved his academic qualification as professor.
I myself have a touch of indigenous heritage, and I write this letter for us all to think about.
– Brian G. Tennant, CLA member, Subiaco WA